WordPress Plugins offer custom functions and features so that your site meets your specific needs. Currently, there are over 20K plugins available in WordPress.org Plugin Directory. Not every plugin is well coded, there’s risk of installing WordPress plugins.
It is not unusual that a bad plugin could bring down the entire WordPress site. I did installed some plugins that cause extreme high server load then brought down the web server. WordPress plugins that are poorly coded could also exposes your site to hacker attacks.
There are some questions you need to ask before you install a WordPress Plugin.
Check out the flowchart by Six Revisions below to decide:
The idea is to keep the installed plugin as minimal as possible. Too many plugins will affect your site performance and increase security risk.
If you must install a plugin, then you need to check the plugin author credibility, plugin update record, and plugin popularity.
Personally, this is how I choose and install a WordPress plugin:
- Search for the feature I want on WordPress.org (the search sucks!)
- Open each search result in new browser tab.
- Check description, FAQ, Screenshots to make sure the plugin does what I need and compatible with my WordPress version.
- Check last update date and changelog, make sure the plugin gets constant updates.
- Check download stats for popularity. It can’t be wrong if many people installed the same plugin.
- Check plugin support forum. Make sure it has active community support for when you need help.
- Pick the best one and install it. Test for 72 hours.
- If anything goes wrong, deactivate the newly installed plugin. Else, you got a WordPress plugin that do what you need.
How do you choose a WordPress plugins? Which plugins you installed for WordPress? Please share in comment.