WordPress offers so many ways to make a website look and perform in amazing ways. One of the items that make WordPress so useful is a plugin. A plugin is an additional software or code that adds functionality to the website.
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But, as amazing as plugins can be, you really don’t want too many on your site. The fewer that you can use, the better. Ask yourself these questions before installing a new plugin.
1. Is It Necessary?
Sometimes a plugin might seem like a good idea, but you really need to determine if the plugin is something that is necessary to provide the functionality that you need for your website.
2. How Much Does It Cost?
Many plugins offer a free version, but it doesn’t do all the things advertised unless you upgrade to the paid version. Find out how much the cost is because if it’s a plugin you really need, cost can truly be a big factor to help you choose one plugin over another.
3. What Comes with the Plugin?
If you buy the plugin, will you get better customer care? Does the plugin do a lot of things once it’s upgraded to the paid version? Make a list of what it does so that you can compare it with others. If you only need one part of what it does, is there another plugin that might do the trick?
4. What Do You Know about the Developer?
Sometimes a plugin comes out that is made by an unknown developer. This is not necessarily bad, but you’re going to probably have more luck with a plugin created by a well-known developer with a brand name that you recognize.
5. What Do Others Think about It?
It’s imperative that you look at the ratings and reviews regarding the plugin. This is very important because you don’t want to use something that has bad ratings or even lukewarm ratings. Pick plugins that have excellent ratings only.
6. How Many Times Has It Been Downloaded?
This is a great indicator of popularity. If a plugin has been downloaded many times and still has a top rating, then it’s likely to be a great plugin that will perform well for you.
7. Will It Affect Site Speed?
Some plugins (no matter how great they are) end up coming at a price, such as site speed. You only have seconds to impress your visitors; if they can’t load your site very quickly, they will leave.
8. Do the Developers Maintain the Plugin?
Another good indicator of whether a plugin is worth it or not is if the developers are maintaining and updating it often. Don’t use plugins that haven’t been updated for a year or more. They will be vulnerable to hackers.
9. Could It Be Infected with Malicious Code?
Often this happens with free WordPress plugins that aren’t on the WordPress site. However, very rarely one on the WordPress site could slip through too. You can download the plugin, keep it in the zip file, then test it for malware issues with a scanning program like VirusTotal.
10. Does It Play Nice with Other Plugins?
Some plugins don’t play nice with other plugins. Unfortunately, sometimes you cannot tell just by looking at it. Read the reviews to see if anything shows up regarding that. But if not, try out the plugin and then test your site to see if everything is working right. Give it a few days before putting in other plugins so you can fully know whether it’s affecting your site.
11. Is It Highly Recommended by Authority Sites?
Choose a few WordPress authority sites to read to find out what’s being recommended. You can also join WordPress user groups based on your niche on Facebook, to help find out about plugins that might work for your needs.
Plugins help your site do all the things you need it to do such as collect email addresses, make landing pages, keep your site secure, improve SEO and more. Pick plugins that perform multiple tasks, try not to overlap features, and test them out before you use them to ensure there aren’t any problems with compatibility.