New WordPress users often underestimate the importance of WordPress plugins and add-ons for their website. Plugins are extremely useful, and can take your website from mediocre and not really successful to widely successful and very engaging.
However, you need to choose the right WordPress plugins if you want to do this. Some plugins are great, others aren’t so good. Some plugins will work with your website, others probably won’t. Below are our top five tips for choosing WordPress plugins for your website:
- Pay attention to user reviews:
Although this is probably pretty self-explanatory, it is one of the most important things when it comes to choosing a plugin. If you are tossing up between two or three different ones which do similar things, it is usually a good idea to choose the highest rated one.
However, make sure that you read the written reviews as well, as you can’t always get enough information from just looking at the number of stars a plugin has. Some people might give a poor review for strange reasons. This can cause a low number of stars, even if the plugin doesn’t deserve it – especially if there aren’t a whole lot of reviews.
- Take note of the number of downloads:
Again, probably pretty self-explanatory, but again, something people don’t always do. It makes sense that if a plugin is good, it will be popular, right? However, make sure that you remember that niche plugins won’t always have a lot of downloads, because there simply isn’t the demand for them, even if they are the best at what they do.
- See if the developers are active:
When you search for a plugin in the WordPress repository, you should be able to see when they were last updated. For a plugin to be really good, it is important that the developers are continually working on it, fixing bugs and improving performance. If a plugin hasn’t been updated for some time, think about choosing a different one.
- Make sure that it does what you want it to:
Make sure that you have a clear list of requirements before you go searching for your next WordPress plugin. If you don’t then you might fall into the trap of installing one just because it looks good – even if you don’t need it. There is not point in doing this, and you will only be making more work for yourself.
- Sometimes less is more:
Plugins add an extra layer to your WordPress site. If they aren’t well designed and flawlessly implemented, they can slow your page load speed time and negatively impact your website. Make sure that you consider this before installing heaps of different plugins. As with everything, less is sometimes more. Only use what you need, don’t try and add more just because you can.
Plugins are an extremely useful tool when it comes to developing an engaging WordPress website or blog. However, it is important to only use good quality plugins which are actually useful to you and your website. Good luck!