WordPress has quickly become one of the most recognized and sought after platforms for building a website in today’s modern age. The easy to use interface, wealth of templates and ever expanding library of plugins make it more efficient than most other platforms.
Plugins are a vital part of WordPress. They can save you time, enhance and improve your site as well as assist novice and experienced webmasters with SEO. However, there is a downside to using plugins. They can make your website more susceptible to security risks and decrease the speed or performance of your site.
Do You Really Need The Plugin
This should be the first question you ask yourself before installing or activating a plugin. Just because a plugin is popular doesn’t mean it is going to be helpful. If it is something you deem critical for the success of your site, then obviously install it, however, if it is something that is just an added convenience, you may want to consider holding off on installing it.
Can This Plugin Do Everything You Need it To Do
The ideal situation is to find a plugin that is multi-functional and has more than one or two features that you site will use on a regular basis. Most people will install large plugins that have more than a dozen features, yet only intend on utilizing one aspect of the plugin. If the plugin has additional features you do not need, find one that is small that can handle the tasks.
Is The Plugin Better Than Competing Plugins
Before you commit to a plugin, do a little side by side comparison work. Check the reviews of the plugins you are considering and see which one is best suited for your needs. Pay close attention to the date that the reviews had been published to ensure you are getting the most accurate information as possible. It is also a good idea to review your installed plugins every so often to see if a new plugin has been developed that is better tailored for your site and replace one or more existing plugins.
Check The Developers Credibility
This is likely one of the hardest things for any WordPress site owner to do. New developers may not have a lot of feedback or tickets opened on their plugins. This does not mean they are not any good, it just means they are not well known yet. Some developers also discontinue making improvements or updating the compatibility of their plugins. The best way to find out what is going on with a developer is to check the support section of the plugin. You can check how many tickets have been opened, what the problems have been, how long it took for the issue to be noticed, addressed and corrected. This will give you a good idea on how active the developer is with their plugin.
How Often Is It Updated
Finding out how committed a developer is to their plugin will let you know if it is going to be a long term solution or not. To do this, simply go to the plugin directory and check out the changelog tab. It will show you when the updates have occurred and any notes left by the developer about the update. If the plugin is updated regularly and updated for compatibility shortly after a new updated for WordPress has launched, the chances are, you have found a reliable developer who is in it for the long haul.
What Does The WordPress Community Think
The WordPress community is unlike anything most people have ever run across before. They are willing to give advice, help each other and provide reliable feedback on a regular basis. If the plugin you are considering is popular amongst those in the community and has gotten high praise from the community, then it is worth looking deeper into the plugin. Take a look at how often it was downloaded and how many stars it has as well.