What are WordPress Plugins?
One of the best parts about WordPress is how actively the community contributes to development. With thousands of plugins in the WordPress plugin repository, all you need to know is what features you are looking for.
There are articles all over the internet that break down how to add features to your WordPress site using plugins. WPBeginner is one of the best websites for finding WordPress resources on adding custom functionality to your website.
What Does a Good WordPress Plugin Look Like?
There are a couple of ways to uncover whether a WordPress plugin is good or bad. Ask yourself these questions before you commit to a WordPress plugin:
- When was it last updated on WordPress plugin repo?
- How many good vs bad reviews are there?
- Are there videos on YouTube showing install and/or configuration?
Last Updated on WordPress Plugin Repository
When the plugin was last updated will determine if it is compatible with your version of WordPress. There are hundreds of plugins that are no longer supported and there will be a notice that the plugin is no longer supported.
You should not use these plugins as they could break your website or other plugins.
Analyze Good vs Bad Plugin Reviews
With such an active community in development, most active WordPress plugins will have reviews on the repo. Many of the people who are releasing reviews have a basic understanding of WordPress and I have noticed that you can generally trust plugin reviews.
When you’re analyzing plugin reviews, use these guidelines:
- See when the plugin was released
- Look at negative reviews and how recent they are
- Read the in-depth negative reviews to see if their problems apply to your application
If the positive to negative ratio is around 75% to 25%, I will generally trust that plugin (assuming it is compatible with my version of WordPress).
Find videos on YouTube showing Install and Config
Generally, I have found that if there are install and config videos on YouTube that are less than a year old for the plugin in question, you can trust the plugin.
These videos will also make installing the plugin easy and you won’t have to worry that your site may crash.
How To Find the Perfect WordPress Plugins
Using this guide, it should give you some insight into how to go about choosing your WordPress plugins and analyzing them.
Installing a not supported plugin or even a plugin that conflicts with a current plugin you have can be detrimental to your website. Be sure to understand what all your plugins do, so you don’t have extras that end up slowing down your website.