How do you know if a WordPress plugin is worthy of being installed in your site? Sure, you need some new functionality sometimes. But having too many plugins can slow down your site and introduce security issues. In this article, you’ll learn how you can perform a plugin review and make sure that the plugin is capable of working properly and giving you the support you need.
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out InMotion Hosting’s fast, secure WordPress Hosting.
There are a few critical questions you must ask yourself before installing a WordPress plugin. It’s a vetting process. All of the information below is available on the plugin page in the WordPress plugin repository.
A plugin’s popularity is very important. The plugin page will show you how many WordPress sites have installed this plugin. If the plugin has a lot of installs and good reviews then it’s a good sign that the plugin is useful and supported by the community.
The plugin page will also give you some critical details about the code of the plugin. Specifically, you will be able to see if the plugin has been tested with the latest version of WordPress. If it hasn’t been upgraded and tested to work with the latest WordPress version, you may want to think twice about installing it.
At this point, you should have a great deal of information about the plugin you’re reviewing. You may already be able to make the critical decision. But there’s one last point you need to consider. When was the plugin last updated? If it’s been over a year it’s possible the developer has moved onto other projects and is not supporting the plugin anymore.
If the plugin is relatively simple and does not require a lot of moving parts, you might give it a try. It’s always possible a local PHP developer can help you bring the plugin up to current standards. But this is introducing unnecessary risks. In most cases, it’s best to make sure the developer is still supporting your plugin. That way, you could get help from them directly if you have any other problems.
Here’s a tip: if there’s a paid version of the plugin then that indicates the developer is making some money off the plugin and will be giving equal attention to both the paid and free versions.
Oops. Did something break anyway? Even the most detailed plugin review can still hide issues. It’s always possible that two or more plugins will conflict with each other. At this point, you will need to go through common WordPress troubleshooting techniques. If you continue to have trouble be sure to check in with InMotion Hosting WordPress experts anytime.