At some point everyone turns to a WordPress plugin for adding functionality or a feature to your website. Finding a good WordPress plugin can be challenging but with a few simple checks you can find good plugins.
Poorly coded plugins can slow down your website and possible open your site up to malware infections and hacking.
So be careful when choosing plugins for your website, here are a few tips:
So you have arrived at the plugin depository at https://wordpress.org/plugins/ and start to search for the perfect plugin for the feature you want to add to your website, now what? Here are 10 ways to help you determine if a free plugin is good and can be trusted on your website.
1. Last Updated –
This shows how diligent the developer is about keeping the plugin up to date. Keep in mind that sometimes there are good plugins that simply haven’t needed to be updated. So don’t base your decision on this one factor alone.
2. Tested Up To –
It’s important to know that the plugin is up-to-date with WordPress core and has been tested.
3. Active Installs –
How many active installs of the plugin shows you that there is or isn’t social proof that the plugin works and is being used.
4. Ratings –
Look for the average star rating and number of ratings that the plugin has.
5. Reviews –
Look through the reviews and check for issues with reliability, security, etc. Keep in mind that many people will use and really like a plugin but don’t submit a review.
6. Developer –
Scroll down to the bottom on the plugins page and ready more about the Contributors & Developers. What is their experience and activity on WordPress.org?
7. Responsive –
Is the plugin responsive? Usually only way to check is to install it and test.
8. Support –
Go to the support tab for the plugin to see if the developer is answering questions and resolving any issues that may arise.
9. Documentation –
Does the plugin provide good documentation such as instructions and screenshots? Lack of documentation could point to a poor plugin.
10. Google –
Search the plugin name and see what comes up – good and/or bad.
I hope this was helpful. These are the things I look at for each and every plugin I install.