How to Choose The Best WordPress Plugins? What to Consider and Look for When Choosing New Plugins?

Hi! This is Topher with Winning WP In this video, we're going to look at how to choose WordPress Plugins

What to consider and look for when choosing new plugins There are many many options and it can be difficult to choose one especially when there are many options for the same task The first thing you want to do is decide what you want For the purposes of this video, we're going to be looking at caching plugins which help make your site go faster So the first thing you want to do is Google for something like, top five WordPress caching plugins, and you'll see we got a number of results

Now the first thing you should do is read no fewer than five and maybe as many as 10 These two here at the top are the same article I'm going to click in there and I'm going to skim What I'm looking for is what plugins they recommend regardless of quality So here's WP Super Cache, W3 Total Cache, WP Rocket, and that's it, those three really

Hummingbird is mentioned but it isn't a mainstream plugin So there's WP Super Cache, W3 Total Cache, and WP Rocket So let's look at the next one real quick There's WP Rocket again! And there's W3 Total Cache again And WP Super Cache again

But now we also have Fastest Cache, and Comet Cache, and there's Cache Enabler And then at the bottom, they do have a comparison table They're all fairly similar Let's look at one more There's W3 Total Cache again and WP Super Cache again and WP Rocket again

Do you see how we're starting to see a pattern? It's the same ones that come up in every review So once you've read through several of these and you do some comparison tables and you look at who's better and who's faster, then you pick one and you do some research on it First let's take a look at WP Super Cache It's a free plugin on WordPressorg and we want to evaluate this plugin to see if it's worthy, to see if it's good for us

Some of the things you want to look for is when it was last updated This one was last updated a month ago and it has over a million active installations That means it's pretty popular and it's pretty well-updated The ratings are decent but you also want to look in the Support area and you want to look for unanswered support requests So these are requests and the ones with zeroes are unanswered

There are quite a few that are unanswered, for a couple of days in some cases Another thing you can look at is the last code change which is a little different from last updated If you click on Development and then Read More, you can click on the development log Now this isn't nearly as scary as it might sound We're not going to look at code

We're just going to look at some dates So the last time code was pushed was five weeks ago, which is about on par for its last update of one month ago But sometimes, authors push code more frequently than they actually release a version and that can help you know whether or not there's a new version coming Now there are a couple of exceptions to these rules that I've shown you and one of them does happen to be with W3 Total Cache If you look at it on WordPress

org, you'll see that it also was updated about a month ago and there are also about a million active installations However, if you start doing research on W3 Total Cache on Google, you'll soon find that it's been almost abandoned Paid customers are not getting support New releases are not coming when they're supposed to So don't simply go by these numbers

Use Google and read reviews and find out what people think of this plugin Another exception is Posts 2 Posts Posts 2 Posts was last updated a year ago and has only 20,000 active installations However, because it was written very very well, it hasn't needed an update in the last year and those 20,000 active installations, those are rock-solid websites And I know this because I did some research on Google and I read about Posts 2 Posts and I know some developers who use it

I use it myself So our first rule is to look at these metrics and our second rule is to do some research and make sure they're accurate Now let's look at evaluating a paid plugin WP Rocket is not free, you won't find it on WordPressorg so you want to do things like look at pricing

$39 for one site gets you a year of support and updates $99 for three websites and $200 for unlimited websites But if you look at the top here, you'll see that there's a 10% off discount Those happen occasionally After you've looked at price, you then want to look at Features and compare them with other caching plugins

Now of course, this is the WP Rocket site so it's going to come off as much better than all the others Personally, I prefer WP Rocket Even though it costs, it is extremely simple and easy to use Once you've looked at Features, check out Support and Documentation Here you can open a ticket even before you pay for it

They list their Support Hours and they provide Documentation One of the advantages of paying for a plugin is that they do promise support If that's important to you, it can be invaluable One last thing I want to talk about is downloading paid plugins for free All you have to do is use the right Google search and you'll find sites that offer premium plugins for free

Now the problem with this is that many of those free plugins come with malware pre-installed So you might avoid paying 50 or $100 for a plugin but you're going to be serving malware from your website Another reason is that the people who build these plugins and sell them do it for a living Instead of having a different job, they spend their entire day building this plugin to make it be the very best for you All they ask in return is a small fee

If it saves you time and energy, it's well worth the fee So remember, don't download paid plugins for free Let's review real quick First, decide what you want then Google for something like, Top 5 WordPress Plugins for X and read no fewer than five but maybe as many as 10 or whatever you feel comfortable with As soon as you feel like you have a handle on one or two of the best plugins, then pick one and start doing research

When evaluating a plugin on WordPressorg, look at when it was last updated, look for unanswered support questions, and look at the last code change There are exceptions Don't just blindly follow those rules Use Google to get reviews on the plugin you're thinking of

When evaluating a commercial plugin, look for support, look for automatic updates so that you don't have to keep an eye on it, and then look for the features And lastly, never ever download paid plugins for free Often they have malware built in and someone is counting on that money to make a living If you'd like to learn more about WordPress, check out WinningWPcom

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