Before You Begin
WordPress is an open source platform in which thousands of developers have contributed millions of plugins and it’s still growing in numbers. But when it comes to installing a plugin, we often want something that will fit our requirement the best and gives us functionality and quality that will boost our website whether it is related to looks or feel.
Choosing the best plugin for your website can be a bit of a challenge as some users don’t know where to start looking from but worry no more. In this blog, we will guide you through the 7 things that you need to consider before installing a plugin. So, let’s dive in.
Before you begin your treasure hunt for the plugins. Do sit down and list down all the features that you want on your website and prioritize it.
Sometimes, you wouldn’t find all the functionalities in just one plugin and will be forced to consider another option but you can simply install more than one plugin as quantity doesn’t matter, it’s the quality and functionality that we are looking for.
It is estimated that a decent website contains more than 20 to 30 plugins, in some cases 50 as well but if all those plugins can improve your website performance and looks than that should exactly be your goal.
Once you have prepared your list, you need to filter out the following seven things in order to have the best plugin suitable for you.
1- Active Users On That Plugin
One of the things that are important to figure out is the number of active users on that particular plugin. But Why? For instance, there is a plugin which has about 30,000 active users and another plugin that has an active user of 3,000. Therefore, a plugin with 30,000 active users must have a spark in it if that much people are using it.
To determine the active users on a plugin, you have to direct towards the repository of plugins.
Some of the examples are as follows:
2- Ratings Of That Plugin
Nowadays, all the things have shifted to the internet and we can’t actually feel or test it. Therefore, we dive into ratings that is another way of checking that plugin. Usually, ratings are from 1-5 where 1 is the lowest and 5 being the highest. If ratings of a particular plugin are 4.5 stars where another plugin like the previous has a rating of 1 star, there must be something right in that plugin if it’s rating is 4.5 stars.
Sometimes rating with 1 star also needs to be checked out for a number of reasons. Some users have personal issues with the plugin, whereas the whole product is not bad in functionality. So, each plugin should be given the benefit of the doubt.
Some of the examples are as follows
3- Reviews Of That Plugin
Reviews have taken a toll over the internet as each and every user give and read it and are taken pretty seriously by everyone. Once you see ratings of a plugin, you also need to check out the reviews of that rating as when you are asked to rate, you will also need to write a review.
Checking the review can have a major impact in choosing the best plugin for your website as users of that plugin will give honest reviews most of the time.
One thing to consider is that the total number of ratings and review of that plugin. For example, if a plugin has a rating of 5 stars and only two users have rated that but have given an honest review of that plugin explaining why they have given 5 stars then that must be something you can consider.
Some example are as follows
4- In Development or Not
To determine if the plugin is still being updated or the developer has bored out, you can see “last updated” date. For instance, if the plugin was developed 3 years ago and the “last updated” date was 2 years ago then that is you must consider. But sometimes it also depends on the functionality that plugin provides if it is providing one functionality than that can be used but if that is providing a bunch of functionalities than that can be an issue and you need to continue searching.
5- Support Forum
For choosing the best plugin, checking out the support forum of the plugin is also a good idea because if the response on the queries of the users is not updated in the last two months than maybe the developer is not interested or is not working on that plugin anymore. This does not always mean that the plugin will not work for you but it can produce hindrance in the future.
Checking out the support forum will give you a rough idea of what issues or problem are users facing in that plugin or what kind of questions they are asking. In this way, you will have a better command over the plugin when you use it.
Some of the examples of support forums are as follows
6- Overlapping Functionalities
You need to keep in mind that there can be a bit of overlapping in functionalities if you can not careful enough. For Example, if you want your website to have SEO functionality in it and a particular plugin is providing only this functionality but you have another plugin installed that does other thing but includes SEO functionality as well.
Therefore, you need to be vigilant enough to detect that because it can be a bit difficult. Overlapping functionalities is a must consider thing if you are trying to select the best plugin for your website.
It is also very important to have a look at the FAQ’s and other notes as it contains installation and another document to guide you on how to use that plugin. Sometimes, users ignore that and jump directly to the usage which causes them some issues and in return, they leave a not so good review or rating.
Therefore, reading the FAQ’s and other notes can actually help you to better understand that plugin rather than going on the hit and trial method.
Some of the example are as follows
Deciding and filtering out what plugin should we install can involve a lot of work but if you follow the above list you will have a decent idea of what can be the best plugin for your website. Don’t take my word for it, Go and check out all these in your desired plugin and you will observe it will lead you to the plugin that is best suited for you.