Once you have finally made a decision on the focus of your website and are ready to set up your WordPress install, it’s time to decide on the theme that you will be using and select a series of plugins in order to build upon the core functionality that comes as standard with a WordPress site. However, without thousands of different options to choose from, it can be quite challenging to choose plugins that will benefit your site rather than bring it down. We’ve put together some simple steps that you can follow in order to ensure that you choose plugins for your site that are of good quality. Even if you don’t understand a word of code, using these guidelines will provide you with some security.

Read Reviews

With around 40,000 plugins available, WordPress has made it easier for users to select the best ones by allowing ratings and reviews. In the early days it was possible to leave a rating without a comment, however WordPress has made it not only fairer but also more informative by requesting that users leaving a rating also leave an explanation for why they have given it. Plugins with too many low-star ratings should be avoided, and it’s good to read through the comments to learn about any advantages or disadvantages.

Support Time

Support forums are offered by WordPress on which users can ask authors for support using plugins, with some authors also offering support on their own site. When choosing which plugins to use for your site it’s a good idea to check how many people have asked for support, and how many resolved topics there are in the recent past. On top of that, it’s also advisable to see how long it generally takes for the author to reply – you want to choose plugins whose authors reply quickly.

Frequent Updates

As anybody skilled in website design will tell you, there is no such thing as a piece of code which does not need updating from time to time. It’s virtually impossible to create a plugin and never touch it again, and with WordPress constantly releasing new core updates it’s essential that themes and plugins are updated accordingly in order to keep up. Choose plugins that are kept updated – the plugin page will tell you the date it was last updated on and with which WordPress version it was last tested.

Coding Best Practices

Although identifying well written software is difficult if you don’t know the last thing about code, there are a few things that you can look for and recognize – or, employ the help of a service such as www.wordpressdesignservices.com. Go for plugins that have a lot of commenting by the author – nobody remembers every last thing that they did when coding, and good plugins will have extensive comments about every step taken to create it.

How do you identify the best plugins to use on your WordPress site? If you’d like to offer any advice to new site owners, we’d love to hear from you in the comments.