What Should You Look for When Deciding Which Plugins to Download?
Plugins… normally the factors to consider downloading and using a plugin in WordPress are:
- If the plugin’s description and available information has the functions you need for your site.
- If the developer is active about updating their plugin.
- How many times has the plugin been downloaded.
- Reviews or ratings, not just on WordPress.org, but out on other websites (some people will do plugin reviews on their own website.)
Some other factors to consider that you normally don’t think of, but are just as important are:
- Will the plugin play nice with your theme?
- Will the plugin play nice with other plugins?
The two factors are not always considered and a lot of times you can find out by viewing an support tickets or reviews left for the plugin. The reason why a plugin might conflict with other plugins or the theme are due to similarly named functions, database tables, or other markup that the plugin outputs.
If you are not sure about a plugin, make a beta site version of your own site and try out the plugin. This will answer your questions of whether the plugin actually works, and is it something you need for your site without fearing that you are messing up your live site.
The biggest things you really need to think about before downloading and is:
Does your site really need this plugin?
There are quite a few people that will download a plugin like it is something to be collected. Plugins are not like coin collections. In fact, they could become a problem if they are not regularly updated or if they conflict with other plugins. They can also be a problem with site load time if they are activated.
A lot of people will tell you that you shouldn’t use too many plugins. The actual advice they should be saying is use what is necessary for your own site and use common sense when choosing what WordPress plugins to download.
What factors to you look for when deciding which WordPress plugins to download?