I’m a big fan of making life easier. If you’re new to WordPress, plugins are a way to add functionality to your site quickly and make your life a little easier. Each and every project I work on start with a few key plugins. Please note, since I only develop web sites based on the Genesis framework, a few of these plugins are specific to Genesis.
1) WP No Category Base
I love the simplicity of this plugin. It removes the word “category” from the URLs of your categories. Pretty simple right? Out of the box, WordPress category URLs are domain.com/category/category-name/ or something similar depending on the permalink choice you make. I like to get rid of that identifier. The WP No Category Base does that for me. Now a link to a category is domain.com/category-name/. A nice clean and easy to read URL.
2) Genesis Simple Edits
The Genesis Simple Edits is a great little plugin that allows me to change some key information quickly and without a big hassle. On each install there is certain information that I want to change. Most importantly is the information hooked into the footer on Genesis. There are links to login and WordPress and Genesis and so forth and so on. Well, I like to update that footer information so it’s relevant to the web site I’m building. Nothing is easier than the Genesis Simple Edits plugin.
It’s a bonus that should you decide to switch up your theme, these changes move to the new theme, as long as you stay with a Genesis based theme.
3) Genesis Simple Sidebars
This is absolutely one of my favorite plugins. Simple put, Genesis Simple Sidebars allows you to create new “sidebars” that you can customize and use on the pages or posts you want to. Once you’ve created your sidebar, you can add the widgets of information you want, then go to the post and select your new sidebar. In the past, you used to have to code these new sidebars in your theme. With Genesis Simple Sidebars you don’t need any coding knowledge to create new sidebars and customize your site. Plus, you get the same time saving feature that these sidebars can move with you to your new theme if you ever decide to change it.
4) Simple Social Icons
Linking to your social media accounts can be a real challenge. The Simple Social Icon offers a clean and highly customizable option for linking to your social media accounts. All of this done in a widget, no settings page or anything else to mess with. The name says it all, simple.
5) Login Logo
So I love adding a little personalization to each site I build. The login logo plugin allows me to replace the WordPress logo on the login page with a logo of my own choosing. Create a logo in the right dimensions, save it as a PNG file and upload to the server. Bing, bang, boom you’re done! The web site now feels like it’s my clients custom site in under five minutes.
These five plugins are the ones I use most frequently and love. Are there any plugins you can’t live without? Share below!