How to choose the best Wordpress plugins· 1 mins read
You can add features to your Wordpress theme via Plugins. At the time of this writing there are 56,986 free plugins in the Wordpress plugin repository to choose from. Most of the time, if you can think of it, someone already created a plugin for it. But not all of these plugins are of the same quality! You may want to do a little research before adding a plugin to your website.
How to find and install a plugin
Login to your Wordpress and go to Plugins > Add new. There you can search for free plugins. Under Plugins > Installed plugins you can see all your currently installed plugins, (de)activate them and also remove them once they are deactivated.
How to spot a high quality plugin
Look for the following markers:
- Plugin should be under active development, updated within the last few months.
- A plugin with a higher number of active installations is usually better (10.000 and up).
- A few good ratings wouldn’t hurt. Maybe read some of the bad ratings and see if those issues where solved well.
- Make sure they respond to support questions on the forum.
How many plugins should I have?
The availability of different plugins is seemingly endless and plugins are a wonderful way to quickly add functionality to your website. However, every plugin you install will make your website slower and more complicated, meaning more things can go wrong! Every time you update your Wordpress and plugins something could potentially change or even break on your website.
So just don’t do the updates to keep the website stable? No! Not only will you miss out on new features and bug fixes, your website might even be at a security risk if your plugins are not updated regularly. Once your website is hacked trough some old and little used plugin, it often is close to impossible to recover from that. Replacing your website with a backup from before the hack is the only option, but such hacks can go unnoticed for months.
I strongly recommend to always have a good backup ready before you install any new plugins so you can recover if things go wrong.