Full disclosure, not only am I a big WordPress enthusiast, I also love me some Genesis. This is next installment of the WordPress for Beginners Series; I am covering my Top WordPress Essentials. These tools may require you to make an investment so if you are just starting out you make want to weight the pros and cons, but if you want to get setup right (at least in my opinion), then you definitely want to give these tools a once over.
My Top WordPress Essential Resources and Tools
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StudioPress is the home of my absolute favorite and the only WordPress framework theme that I have stuck with called the Genesis Framework. Before I move forward, lets talk about frameworks. A framework is a parent theme that can work on it own but it better with a child theme. This allow you to make all of the changes you want to the child theme, so when you run an update of the parent theme or WordPress, you don’t loose those changes.
StudioPress also offer hosting called StudioPress sites. I do not use this service so I cannot speak to this but their themes are the best. A few years back I made the best business investment and brought the pro membership package, which gave me access to all of their themes both current and future. However, that not the best part, I also get access to a great community!
Resource: StudioPress (aff link)
The theme that I am using on this blog is from Restored 316, which is a website that sells Genesis child themes and also provide design/tech services. I know that their products are top notch because they are also listed on the StudioPress site at a third-party provider. I love that they have tutorials for their themes and provide support.
Resource: Restored 316 (aff link)
Last week, I shared my top favorite plugins. Those plugins can use with anything theme you make pick for your site. Since I am genesis user, the following plugins will require you to have the Genesis Framework (aff link) on your site in order for them to work.
Genesis Simple Edits: For when you are not a coder but you would like to change a couple of things such as your byline (the information located underneath your blog post title), footer area (located at the very end of every page on your site or blog), and more.
This plugin allows Genesis users to easily change sections with out having to touch any codes. The only think you would need to know is shortcodes but these are provides for you. Shortcodes is short pieces of code that can be use in place for longer text.
Genesis Simple Hooks: Hooks are pieces of codes that can add additional features or functions to our site or blog. For Genesis users this plugins allow you to add items to your site without the need to touch any coding. How is this different from the “Simple Edits” plugin?
Simple Hooks is for when you need to add that Google Analytics code to your site for tracking traffic. There is a section for each part of your site with an explanation of where it going to show up. For example when you are instructed to add something to your header section before it closed. There will be a space for that.
Genesis Title Toggle: Let’s say you create a layout for one of your pages but you don’t want the title to show. You must add the title for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) purposes – so your site can be found in places like Google. So what can you do? Well, you can use this plugin. All is does, is a section to your blog posts and pages that give you the option to check a box so the title won’t show.
Genesis Simple Sidebars: By default every single WordPress page and post will have a sidebar. In your widget section you can add and remove the information you want to show up there. With this plugin, you can customize your sidebar.
So let’s say you want a particular page to have certain images and text in the sidebar that’s different from everything, you will create a new sidebar and it will show up in the widget area all without knowing any coding or touching any coding.