Right WordPress Plugin

WordPress plugins are powerful scripts that, once installed and activated, can expand your website’s functionality.

When looking for a WordPress plugin, there are a few things that you have to keep in mind. Some of these plugins are open source. Meaning it is being maintained by someone for free.

Some of the authors of these plugins can be inexperienced when it comes to software development or people who do not have enough time to maintain and keep up with the newest releases on WordPress.

Therefore, when choosing the right plugin, you have to do your homework first so that your site will work that way you want it.

For instance, replacing a plugin might be a cumbersome experience on your part. Moreover, the wrong plugin might also endanger the safety of your WordPress site.

In this post, we will give you seven tips on how to choose the right WordPress plugin for your website:

Determine what you want from a plugin

Before looking for one, you have to know first what you want from a certain plugin. So, make a thorough list of what you are exactly looking for.

It helps you save time and money in the long run because you have a plan. Not to mention that there are plugins that are incompatible with some WordPress themes.

Check the user reviews

One way to know for sure whether it is a good plugin or not is to hear from the users themselves. For popular plugins, just doing a quick Google search lets you come across several detailed reviews from bloggers.

Look for the number of downloads that the plugin has as well. A high number of downloads means that that particular plugin is popular.

According to Infigo Software, a software and web development company, “Check for the star ratings as it is the reflection of the plugin’s quality. When a particular plugin doesn't have many ratings or has low ratings then that's usually not a good sign. An excellent plugin for WordPress would usually have excellent reviews.”

Do not pick a plugin that has less than three stars, unless if that plugin is relatively new and only a few people have rated it so far.
Take advantage of the WordPress Repository

When searching for a plugin, it is always a good idea to look at WordPress' official plugin directory.

This directory is usually made up of an extensive list of plugins that are being monitored by WordPress' team of professionals. Here, you could come across all the validated plugins that are submitted by the community.

Any plugins that are deemed untrustworthy are removed from the directory. 

Check the last update of the plugin

If the author of the plugin does not make any improvements to it in the long run, then most likely it does not work anymore.

When a plugin has not been updated for more than two years, then the WordPress plugin directory would let you know. Usually, a plugin that has not been updated is not a good sign, because if there are bugs in this particular plugin, chances are it was never fixed.

If a particular plugin has not been updated for over a year, then it might not work anymore or it has not been properly maintained. Bugs happen, and issues do come up, so you need to have a developer who will quickly fix these issues should they happen.

So if you want a plugin that is working now and in the future, you have to pick one that is constantly being upgraded and maintained by the developer. 

Check out the plugin changelog

The plugin changelog is also a great tool to know what you will be getting from a plugin. The changelog will give you an idea of what particular features were added after the update.

Having a lot of changes with the changelog is always a good sign because the plugin's developers are more tuned to their customer's needs, and are actively looking for ways to make the plugin better. 

Check the WordPress Compatibility

One of the most important things that you need to consider when choosing a plugin is to check whether or not it is compatible with your WordPress theme. This is especially true if your website is meant to have a particular function or feature such as a multi-vendor e-commerce shopping cart.

Remember that WordPress is always updating. Although the core remains the same, these changes can cause some incompatibility with the plugin code, causing errors on your site or might stop working altogether. 

Thus, with the latest WordPress updates, your plugin must regularly be updated to work well. Also, be on the lookout for a warning on the top of your screen that tells you that the plugin has not been tested with the current version of WordPress. 

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right WordPress plugin involves a bit of research and consideration on your part.

That's why depending on your WordPress site's scope and how many site visitors you are getting, these plugin decisions are vital.

Hopefully, this post can help you select the best WordPress plugin for your website.