Here are some things to keep in mind when you are looking at plugins for your WordPress site.
- Is kept up to date? Be sure to see when the last time the plugin was updated. Beware of plugins that haven’t been updated recently. They may not work with your current version of WordPress or your other themes
- Does it have good support? This plugin is going to be a part of your site, so the support team for the plugin will be a part of the tech team for your site. Make sure they are people you can and want to work with.
- Does it have clear installation instructions? There is nothing more frustrating than not knowing how to install a plugin or having hard to follow instructions. Don’t settle for a plugin that causes you more work and stress.
- Will it work with a response WordPress theme? With the explosion of mobile users it is imperative that your WordPress website is easily viewable regardless of the device it is being shown on. Because this you need to make sure the plugin you pick scales with your site when view on an iPhone or tablet.
- What do others say about it? If most people think it is great that probably means something. If all you can find said about the plugin is negative, take this a caution to avoid a plugin that will give you trouble later.
- Does it show up when you search for it in WordPress? From your Dashboard in WordPress you can search plugins under “Add New” in the plugins section. The highly used (and usually best) plugins show up first. Though a plugin shown on the 1st page may not be the best it usually is a good indicator of popularity and effectiveness.
- Is it worth what it costs? Many plugins are free, but some of them have a small cost. This doesn’t mean they are better or worse. What you want to find is a plugin that is worth more than what is being charged for it no matter the price. Even a free plugin can be overpriced if it is hard to use or doesn’t work well.
- Do you need it? Often people become plugin happy and next thing you know they have 100s of plugins. As a general rule only add a plugin if you need the functionality. If after using it you don’t need that functionality or won’t need it for some time it is better to delete it and reinstall it when you need it again. This will keep your WordPress running its best.
- How does it work with other plugins? Make sure when you add a new plugin that you check both the admin functions of your other plugins to be sure they are still working correctly. Also check to make sure no change happened to the frontend of your site that you didn’t want or expect to happen. Don’t wait until a customer tells you something is broken to figure out why.
- Is there another plugin that would work better for you or is more highly recommended? Sometimes you will find a gem of a plugin that isn’t well known and really does what you need it to. The key is to take into account what others are saying about it and to be sure that the plugin really does what you want. The highest rated or the lowest rated plugin is only as good as it truly meets the need for you WordPress website.
If you need more help with plugins try Plugins Help