The game changer. The extra website boost. The answer to all your questions. You probably know by now that we’re talking about the trusty WordPress plugins. While they can do wonders for your website, they can also be pretty damaging if not considered carefully. WordPress plugins are all created differently by different people. Therefore you’re never quite sure what’s its going to do to your website. Majority of the time, it does it’s job. However sometimes it can cause a few glitches, or even worst – break your whole website.
1. Do you really need it?
This is a pretty important question. Many people do not know this, but if you have too many WordPress plugins on your website, it can actually make it run slower. This is because your website has all of this extra functionality, however it is still only a WordPress website and can’t handle too much going on in the background. In addition to these plugins making your website work overtime, they also take up a lot of bandwidth. Again, this will make your website a lot slower than it should be. So before you even think about installing that plugin think about whether you actually need it.
2. Does it look reliable?
This is probably one of the most important questions on this list (although they’ll all pretty important!). Making sure that a plugin is reliable is the only way you can protect your website from breaking or getting some serious bugs. At the moment WordPress plugins can actually be developed by anyone. That means that there are probably a whole load of plugins on the WordPress directory that are not coded well, full of bugs, or even specifically designed to steal information on your website. But how do you know whether a plugin is reliable or not? Well, we think our next questions will actually be the answer you’re looking for…
3. Is it still supported?
Do not install an unsupported or abandoned plugin. You’re just asking for trouble. The plugin may work for the time being, however when it comes to updating your WordPress, you may run in to some problems. This is because sometimes, the creators of plugins decided they are no longer going to invest time into the upkeep of their plugins. This can make them incompatible with the latest versions of WordPress and, you guessed it, break your website. To find out whether a plugin is still supported just check the date of the last update. If it was more than a year ago, steer clear because it probably won’t be updated anytime soon.
4. Does it have any reviews?
This is another way you can test out a plugin’s reliability. Just do what you would usually do before buying another product online – scour through the reviews. If it has a fairly decent amount of four star plus reviews, it’s probably fine. Whereas if it has a handful of two stars or less we’d advise you to pass up on this one. Similarly if there are no reviews at all, don’t bother installing it.
5. Does it have a decent amount of downloads?
Again, this is another way to determine a plugins reliability. Similarly to when you’re reading reviews, evaluate whether or not it has a good amount of downloads. More downloads generally indicates a pretty successful plugin. On the other hand a plugin with very little downloads is not worthy of an install.
So those are our top five questions we believe you must ask yourself before installing any WordPress plugins.
Just remember to do your research on a plugin before you install it to ensure that your website is left safe and secure. As always, if you need any further assistance with any WordPress projects then please don’t hesitate to contact us either here or on LinkedIn or Twitter. Until then, happy designing!