If you are new to WordPress, chances are that the number of different plugins that you have available is going to feel overwhelming. There are so many different options (many of them rated those shiny five stars) it is easy to start downloading at random and install too many plugins. However, the truth is that too many plugins can leave your website bloated, complex, and fragile.
If you want a safe, secure, and fast website, it is a good idea to minimize the number of downloads and plugins that you add to your WordPress website. If you want to be sure that your next plugin is worth it and is safe to install, follow our guidelines.
Tip #1 – First Glance Says A Lot
If you are looking for a new plugin or new theme, the reviews for that particular plugin or theme are a great place to start. If there are countless positive ratings, it does not necessarily mean that this is a match for your unique needs. If you want to make sure that this is a great fit, check to make sure that your plugin or theme receives regular updates. Regular updates would be a great indicator that the developer keeps up-to-date with WordPress updates and also responds to potential issues.
If you are considering a plugin that has not received an update for one or two years, we highly recommend that you look elsewhere. If you want to keep your WordPress site stable and secure, you need to make sure that you avoid outdated plugins where possible.
Tip #2 – Pay Attention To The Reviews
While reviews might not tell you everything, they are able to offer you a lot of information about the plugin or theme that you are considering. Pay attention to the responses, does the developer still respond to comments and concerns or have they completely abandoned the project? This is also a great place to find any potential drawbacks that other users have run into before.
Tip #3 – Take It For A Spin
Most plugins and themes that you will find have live demos. This means that you are able to determine whether this is a plugin or theme that suits your needs, or whether it does not offer all the functionality that you need. Even though reviews are great, you still want to try it out for yourself. Use due diligence and check its functionality on different browsers and devices.
Also pay attention to the fact that many of the themes that you find online that promise to ‘do it all’ can be unnecessarily slow and bloated. You want to make sure that the demo offers the performance that you are looking for. If it does not, you are better off looking elsewhere.