Key Points to Consider When Choosing WordPress Plugins
Today, WordPress has over 54,000 free plugins for users to choose from. WordPress, being an open-source platform, allows anyone to create his plugin. Some developers hold a confined knowledge and understanding of what a user is looking for. WordPress hosts a diversified amount of plugins that can be readily used. WordPress users often face boredom and get tired by installing and testing multiple plugins until they find the correct one.
The following are 7 key points that one should consider when choosing WordPress plugins-
1. Checking for the Last Update
The online repository of WordPress gives a clear indication regarding when a plugin was recently updated. If the user is accessing that plugin using his WordPress dashboard, it will inform the user whether the most recent plugin is compatible with the present WordPress version.
One should also understand that WordPress developers are always working to keep the plugin updated. This can be checked by clicking on the development tab present on the plugin’s home page and monitoring the changelog. The changelog gives the details of the recent updates and what is involved in these updates. If a plugin tends to be timely update, it remains secure to all forms of vulnerabilities and hacking, resulting in increased compatibility with other WordPress plugins & themes. On the other hand, if a WordPress plugin hasn’t been recently updated, it depicts that WordPress’s developer team is no longer interested in that particular WordPress plugin.
2. Determine the Last WordPress Version Against Which Testing Was Done
The WordPress team constantly updates its core files, and while doing so, there might be specific compatibility implications for certain plugins. In order to stay functional at all times, these plugins need to be regularly. The ‘Tested Up to’ version is mentioned on the repository page of the plugin.
The ‘Tested Up to’ depicts how carefully the developers are monitoring this creation. In case the plugin is essential to them, they will test it against the latest WordPress version after performing the update. If the testing hasn’t been done with the latest WordPress version, it is clear that the plugin will soon become incompatible and needs to be replaced.
3. Number of Active Installs for the Plugin
Earlier, WordPress used to inform the users how many times a particular plugin has been downloaded, but now it gives more detailed statistics regarding the active installs. The active install data can be of great help as it provides an exact number of how many sites are currently using the plugin.
By clicking on the Advanced View link, a user can compare the total number of downloads with the number of active installs. Comparing downloads and active installs can prove to be a better method. Some newer plugins may have a low number of active installs; however, they may have an improved download-to-active install ratio.
4. Check for Plugins Ratings and Reviews
Ratings can be handy as they contain independent feedbacks from WordPress users who have used the plugin. Any user often wishes to use a plugin with higher ratings, though some of these ratings might have a large number of 5-star and 1-star ratings. This indicates that a particular plugin can be the right solution for some websites and can be useless for others.
To have a look at all the ratings and reviews, users can click on the ‘See All’ link, where the user gets a list of reviews. By clicking on the review’s titles, the user can read the complete review. As a general practice, one doesn’t go for the older reviews, as the issues pointed out might have been resolved already.
5. Go Through the Profile of Developer
Each developer in the WordPress community has a profile that can be accessed using the link present at the bottom of the plugin’s page. By visiting these profiles, users can estimate the developer’s experience with WordPress and what other projects he previously worked on. The developer’s experience can be handy for deciding how useful the plugin will be.
6. Support Levels
Developer support is essential for users, as it shows how many plugin-related issues have been resolved in the past two months. This can be a necessary criterion when selecting a plugin as the websites are reliant on it, and users wish to get their problems resolved at the earliest. In an ideal situation, those plugins must be selected with fewer issues, with a high percentage of them getting fixed. A higher number of issues is not a good thing indicating WordPress developers are not correctly dealing with the user issues.
7. Additional Advice for Users
Lastly, a developer can help the user by putting in extra information related to the plugin. This information can be present at the plugin’s page in various forms such as- installation advice, FAQs or even screenshots. The developer offering such extended support for its users will be maintaining the plugin in the future.
The diverse and massive collection of plugins is one of the key differentiators for WordPress. The WordPress community’s plugins allow the users to add several features in their WordPress hosting without paying an extra penny.
Author Bio –
Rob Smith is a content specialist by profession and choice. He holds an experience of more than 2 years in the writing domain with over 100+ articles authored by him. In his leisure time, one can find him reading about technology trends that have impacted the human lives.
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