WordPress represents a whimsical universe of developers all working to simplify the process of building a website. Due to the open-source nature of the WordPress platform, developers can take the code and build on it to present new features that WordPress websites would otherwise not have access to.
If you are new to WordPress, you may not realise the power of WordPress plugins. However, you could quickly become overwhelmed by the sheer number of options. WordPress offers tens of thousands of different plugins for your new website, so how do you know which will best serve your purposes?
Below we have gathered five tips to help you successfully select the appropriate WordPress plugins for keeping your website in top condition.
#1. Don’t simply browse, have a purpose.
If you find yourself browsing aimlessly through WordPress plugins, it can be very easy to add too much functionality and bloat your website. Websites overloaded with plugins can get bogged down and lead to slow loading times, decreased search engine value, and overall bad performance. Be sure that you know exactly what you are looking for before you set out in search of new WordPress plugins.
#2. Know the real cost.
It’s important to know how much you will be paying for your plugin. Is there a one-time or a monthly fee? Even if a WordPlus plugin is free, you may end up paying for it in other ways. For example, your website could experience additional loading time or you might have to invest hours configuring or upgrading the plugin. Make sure that you take the time to understand exactly what you are getting with your plugin download.
#3. Check reviews, ratings, and active installations.
These three aspects of a WordPress plugin can tell you a lot about how well you can expect the plugin to perform. Reviews are comments from those who are currently using or have previously used the plugin. Ratings are how many out of 5 stars users would rate the plugin. Active installs indicate how many people are currently using the plugin for their WordPress website. A high number of active users typically indicates a better plugin.
#4. Understand updates.
Before downloading a plugin, make sure you check how recently it was updated. WordPress plugins that are not actively supported can become security vulnerabilities and create access points for hackers looking to install malware, steal information, or other nefarious deeds. Do not install plugins that appear to be inactive or are not regularly updated with security patches.
#5. Check available support options.
Plugins available through the WordPress plugin repository have a support tab to help you determine exactly what type of support you can expect to receive after installation. However, not all developers choose to use the WordPress.org support functionality, so you may need to check the plugin website. If the support updates appear to be regularly updated, then the plugin is most likely reputable and trustworthy.
Whichever plugins you choose, WordPress is a secure, easy-to-use platform you can use to build your next website. With thousands of options for themes and plugin tools, you can customise your website to perfectly suit your needs. 70 million websites trust WordPress with their website data. Join the millions and get started building your own WordPress website today!