How To: Choose a WordPress Plugin

Author - Alex Price

Posted By Alex Price

Date posted 2nd Mar 2015

Category WordPress, Blog

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WordPress is famous for its endless extendability. The open source nature of WordPress and the masses of enthusiasts and businesses that contribute to it mean that there are a huge number of plugins available.

From social media widgets to custom post types – there is a WordPress plugin for nearly every function you can imagine.

The WordPress plugin depository contains over 37,100 plugins at time of writing. However, not every plugin might be up to the standard that you need. Here are a few things to consider when picking a plugin:

When was it last updated? If a plugin hasn’t been updated for a while, it’s probably worth avoiding. It most likely means the developer is no working on the plugin. It could be incompatible with the latest WordPress version and no longer be secure. Lastly, if you run in to any problems, because the developer is no longer working on the plugin, they’re unlikely to be able to help troubleshoot problems.

What is the rating? The Average Rating is a good indicator of whether a plugin is worth considering. If 100 people have rated the plugin at just 2 stars out of 5, it’s fair to assume it’s not perfect. If it has 400 ratings and 5 starts out of 5, it would be far to assume that this plugin is of a particular high standard!

How many downloads? This is fairly obvious – if a plugin is super popular, you might assume it can be trusted. Of course if a plugin is brand new, this number will be low, but use it with the other factors above and it can be a good indicator of popularity.

Compatibility rating? On each plugin’s page, there is a section on the right sidebar called ‘Compatibility’ – it isn’t used a huge amount, but it can be a good place to check whether any other users have raised issues with a certain version of the plugin against a certain version of WordPress.

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