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How to Choose the Right WordPress Plugins for Your Website

How to Choose the Right WordPress Plugins for Your Website
January 9, 2020 Mike McLeland

How to Choose the Right WordPress Plugins for Your Website

The ability to customize WordPress extensively with themes and plugins makes it the most popular content management system (CMS). Depending on the scope of your website and the number of visitors, plugin decisions can be crucial for the site’s success.

The ability to customize WordPress extensively with themes and plugins makes it the most popular content management system (CMS). Depending on the scope of your website and the number of visitors, plugin decisions can be crucial for the site’s success.

WordPress offers over 40,000 plugins, so knowing how to find the ones that fit the needs of your site can be overwhelming if you’re not sure what you’re looking for. Often, there will be multiple plugins that fit your needs. However, try to avoid just picking one before doing a little more research on all of the ones similar to it.

Here are some ways to help ensure that you choose the best WordPress plugins for your website.

Lean Toward the Premium Version

Although it’s fun in the beginning to try out free WordPress plugins, the novelty soon wears off when you realize you’re not getting exactly what you want. In rare instances, a free plugin will be just what you need, but premium plugins come with numerous pluses, including:

  • Maintaining compatibility with new WordPress versions
  • More features for customizing
  • Relatively inexpensive
  • Support for developers to keep improving
  • Often security-tested and more frequently updated

 

Check the Changelog

The WordPress  plugin changelog can tell you which features the developers add with each update. If you see significant progress in the changelog, this usually means that plugin developers are actively improving the plugin to best fit customers’ needs.

WordPress Security

Choosing a poorly coded plugin can make for huge consequences. An estimated 22% of WordPress sites get hacked due to a security issue with a plugin. An easy way to protect against security issues is to see when the plugin was last updated. Plugins that are updated frequently (within the past 2 months) and are running on the most recent version of WordPress generally have known security holes fixed.

Utilize a Plugin Checker

If you’re not sure which plugin to look for but you’ve seen something on a website that you like, you can use the WordPress plugin checker to give you a better idea about what to look for. This tool will tell you which plugins are used on any WordPress site, out of the 50 most popular ones.

Utilize a Comparison Tool

Choosing between 2 plugins can be tough when there are many similarities between them. You can use MangeWP.org’s plugin comparison tool to see the most important details for any WordPress plugin, including downloads, latest updates and ratings.

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