The WordPress plugins have an enormous contribution to the WordPress community. If anyone is looking for multiple functionalities in a WordPress website, then plugins fulfill the need.
Although, there isn’t every plugin is useful for a WordPress installation. If you have decided to install any plugin, you need to be cautious because a vulnerable plugin can harm your site.
A malicious plugin can make or break your WordPress installation.
Whether you want to protect WordPress from such infected plugins, you need to consider a few things before installing them. Always choose the best WordPress plugins for your website/blog.
I am going to discuss a few things here in this article that I always consider before installing a plugin.
(Imp. Note: The safest place for downloading threat free plugins is WordPress.org. Always download from there only.)
It will be better following these points every time. If you can’t remember them, just bookmark this article or note them down in a diary. They will always help you in deciding which plugin is good for your site and which is not.
Look at the Author’s Profile and Support
This is the initial thing you should consider checking. Find the Author’s profile and read the given details.
Look into the below screenshot. It’s the profile of Joost de Valk – The founder of Yoast.
Go through the different section like about me, activity, plugins, and favorites. You should be getting lots of information from here. In the activity section, check for the last activity. If there is old time is showing then, we can conclude that the author is not interested in solving users’ issue.
Now switch to support section, and look for the number of resolved threads. Read the comment of author and users. If the number of resolved thread is higher, it indicates that the author is trying to improve user experience with the plugin.
Check out Reviews and Star Rating
I give this section more value to decide whether I want to install a plugin or not. In the reviews section, real people share their personal experience with the plugin. I firmly believe in a plugin if the number of positive reviews is higher than the negative reviews.
In addition to reviews, the star rating of a particular plugin is also crucial. It varies from 1 to 5. If a plugin has received 5-star several times, that means plugins is working fine and can consider for use.
Update History, Compatibility and Active Installs
This is the next thing you have to consider, and it’s an essential point to know whether a plugin will probably be worth or not. Once you decide to install a particular plugin from WordPress.org directory, just make it isn’t an outdated one. If it is the case, you will get notified in the head section of the plugin landing page.
You also have to check the compatibility of the WordPress Plugin with the latest WordPress version. You can see the compatibility clarification on the right side of the Plugin’s details.
Another important measure is some Active installs. The larger figure shows that plugin is doing well around the Internet.
Check for the Last Update:
A plugin should be updated promptly to fix the bugs. The gap between two consecutive updates shouldn’t be more than a year. However, a year is also a huge gap between updates. A plugin that updates within 1 or 2 months is good to use on your site.
If a plugin isn’t getting updated with the WordPress core program updates, then it may create some issues on the site.
Premium or Free WordPress Plugin
The premium plugins are better in the quality compared to free ones. It doesn’t mean that free plugins are bad. The Seo Yoast like plugin offers premium plugin like features, but its premium version is also available that offers enhanced functionality.
You should make sure buying a premium WordPress plugin from the trusted sources. CodeCanyon, WPMU Dev will be some regarded and trusted resources for getting premium packages plus they are excellent at their work. You will not only discover a secured package, but it should come bundled with additional high-quality features also.
Number of Already Existing WordPress Plugin
The last thing you should consider before installing a fresh plugin is – checking the number of already existing plugins. A load of multiple plugins can slow down your site.
To limit the plugins, first, identify your site needs then choose a plugin that can fulfill multiple goals. This way, you won’t need to install a separate plugin for each required feature.
You should keep a few precautions before uploading it to the server. Due to safety causes, it’s better to scan the plugin file with a good anti-virus. In the absence of anti-virus, an online virus checker tool- Virustotal can be used to check for infections.
Note: I don’t recommend using plugins received from unauthorized sources.
Your website or blog is your online asset. Simple negligence of any security level may put it in big danger. Therefore, every time, before installing a WordPress plugin, consider the above points even you are purchasing a premium plugin.
Talk with the people who already used the same plugin. Try to collect positive and negative both kind of views for a plugin. Once you get satisfied with all the things, the way is open to installing it.