The selection of plugins is a very changing scenario for most beginners. There are more than 50000 plugins available in the WordPress directory and finding the right one for you might not be easy. It is really a challenge to find out the best WordPress plugins.
WordPress plugins are very useful. By installing the right and suitable plugins on your site, you can enhance the functionality of your site and you can also integrate different useful tools to your site.
But before installing a plugin to your site you should know that you are installing a good plugin and not putting your site at risk.
There might be some plugins that may put your site at risk and it may be knowingly or unknowingly. So it is important to find out the right and secure plugin for you.
In this blog post, I am discussing 9 factors to find out the best WordPress plugins. I hope this article may help you. So, let’s start one by one.
1- Understand Your Requirements to Get the Best WordPress Plugins
First of all, you should understand your need. Why do you want to add plugins? what particular feature do you want to add to your site? What kind of website are you creating or have?
For example, if you have a blog site your requirements may be different in comparison to the person who has an eCommerce site. List out the things which you want to improve and search out the plugins for the particular function.
For example, you want to improve the security of your site. It means you want a security plugin. So, you can install Wordfence or any other good security plugin as per your choice.
2- Free and Premium Plugins
Whether you are installing a free plugin or premium, in both cases you need to be careful. There is a lot of plugins that are free and have good features. And there are a lot of plugins that have a premium version also.
If you think that the free version of a plugin does not have enough features which you want, you may go for the premium version. Always analyze that doing such kind of investment is really beneficial and adding really some good extra features that you need.
You can have a comparison of the plugin’s features and pricing. After that, you may have a better idea of which one is better for you.
3- Updated Frequently – Best WordPress Plugins
This point is very important. You must check the update status of the plugin. If you see that the plugin is not updated for many months or a year then hold on. It might be a risky call for you.
A plugin is something that may need an update on a regular basis. WordPress is updated frequently and your plugin should be compatible with your version of WordPress.
Normally, a well-developed and reputed plugin is updated on regular basis. They update its features add new features, fix bugs, etc. You can check about updates in the plugin details.
If the plugin is updated on regular basis then it is a good sign. However, a plugin is good for your site or not, depends on many other factors.
You can also go through the changelog Tab. Here you can see the functions added in previous updates of the plugin. You can get a lot of information from the changelog.
4- Check Reviews and Rating
This is one of the best ways to find out the best WordPress plugins for your site. By checking the rating and reviews of the plugin, you can see how is the customer’s response about the plugins.
What is the overall rating? What customers are saying about plugins? You should go through these points.
You should go through both negative comments and positive comments as well about the plugin. You may see, what kind of problems are user-facing and how is the response of customer support.
To check the reviews, search the plugin you want. Click on More details and after that click on Review Tab. Now you can see the details of the comments, Average ratings, Reviews, etc.
5- Descriptions of Plugin
You have a particular requirement for your site that’s why you want to add a plugin to your site. So, it is very important, that you check that you are getting the features which you want in a plugin.
When you open the details of the plugin, you will notice a tab of Description. The description is basically a summary of the plugin. After reading the description you may have the idea that the plugin is fulfilling your needs or not.
6- About the Developer of the Plugin
A plugin is a very important part of the WordPress site. You should check maximum things about the plugin when you install it. You should go through the developer and should know who is behind the plugin. You should know who is the developer for the particular plugin.
What is the reputation of the developer and other brief details of the developer? If possible you can also check the reviews of other plugins of the same developer. By doing this you can have a better idea.
7-Number of Active Installation of the Plugin
You can easily check the number of active installations of the plugin. In my opinion, you should choose the plugin which has a high number of installations. However, it may not the guarantee of being a good and secure plugin.
But if there is a huge number of active installations of plugins, then it means it is popular and widely used. However, you must not download the plugin only on behalf of the popularity. You should always check other factors also.
8-Test Plugin in Staging Environment
If you have finalized your plugin list. You can easily install and active it from the WordPress dashboard. But I would suggest you test your plugin in a staging environment before you do the final.
By testing the plugin in a staging environment you would have the idea that the plugin is working on your site well or not. And it is not hampering your site structure or anything else. If it is ok then you take a final call for the particular plugin.
9-Support Function of Plugin
Where will you contact if you face any problem with a particular plugin on your site? Of course, in that case, you need support from the plugin’s team. That’s why it is very important to check the support system of the plugin.
In most of the premium plugins, there is a proper support function. But when you are installing a free plugin, check out that the support function of the plugin is available.
WordPress is the most popular CMS. Plugins are the best available tools to extend the functions of your WordPress site. But most important points are – First you know your needs and Second to find out secure and the best WordPress plugins for your site.
If you want to choose the best WordPress Plugins for your site, you should give some time to find out the best one for your site. Installing and activating a plugin randomly might be risky for your site.
For me, the best WordPress Plugins are those plugins which are:
- Safe and Secure
- Having the features and functions I want
- Good Customer Support
- Updated Regularly
- Working fine on my site
- Compatible with latest version of WordPress
- Trusted Developer
- Light Weight
You should always go through the plugin details and cross-check about other points. Try to use only those plugins which you really need. Always make sure that you are installing and activating the best WordPress plugins for your site.