Installing WordPress Plugins: 11 Questions To Ask Before

WP plugin directory

WordPress has come a long way and is still growing rapidly, and what makes it more powerful is its Plugins. Plugins help improve the SEO of your website, save time, speed up the website and make the website management process more convenient and faster. 

With the use of plugins now, web developers and designers find it really easy to extend and expand the functionality of websites as quickly and effectively as possible. However, all the great things have some limitations, and the WordPress plugin is no exception. 

When you fully rely on too many plugins, it can make your website slower and more vulnerable, which is extremely risky for your site. Even some plugins can put a serious security hole in your website. Therefore, before installing the WordPress plugin, it is essential that you consider some information and ask relevant questions.

So, keep reading this guide because here, we will discuss in some detail the questions you need to ask before installing the plugin.

Installing WordPress Plugins: Questions To Ask Before

Before getting into the questions to ask while installing the WordPress plugin, let's discuss the common problems that can occur on your site if you install the plugin without any research or inspection. So, here’s they are-

  • Speed decreases due to duplicate JavaScript libraries and unnecessary HTTP requests.
  • Security vulnerabilities (Vulnerable libraries and Lack of good data sanitization and validation)
  • Long-term risks (when plugins are not updated for a long time)

So, now that you know the potential risks of using the WordPress plugins let’s find out how you can avoid them just by considering the following questions before installing any WordPress plugin. 

1. Do I Really Need This Plugin?

The first and foremost thing is to determine if your website really needs this plugin. Or you are just installing it just because other sites use it. Before you install any plugin, you need to be sure that this one is critical for your site. There is no need to install a plugin to accomplish a simple task that you can do in any other way. Keeping that in mind, let’s go to the next question. 

2. Can I Do What I Need Without This Plugin?

Mostly, non-developers rely entirely on plugins for even the simplest tasks. However, Pro developers, who know and understand coding, PHP, MySQL, best practices of web development, can avoid using these third-party plugins for every single function.  

3. What Features Come With This Plugin?

It’s the obvious thing that we all look into a plugin when it comes to installing it. However, when you search for a plugin, you will find many plugins that serve the same purpose, but when it comes to usability and features, these can vary for each individual plugin. 

In that case, first, you need to determine what gestures you must need for your website, and then by comparing the several plugin features, you can get the most suitable one for you. 

4. Is This Plugin Better Than Other Competing Plugins?

There are two great ways for you to get the perfect plugin for your website. The first one is searching the directory of the plugin, and the second one is looking for plugin reviews. You can start making a list of plugins by searching the plugin directories, and once done; you can move forward to seeing the plugin reviews. 

Let's make this clear through an example. Suppose you are looking for a customer review plugin, and when you search for it, you will find many relevant plugins. So, which one will you pick? 

In that case, you can consider the wordpress customer review plugin guide, which reviews different customer review plugins, including their features and benefits. So, when you compare these plugins thoroughly, you can easily determine the most suitable one for you and decide if your chosen plugin is better than the other competing ones.

5. How Frequently Is it updated or Is It Compatible With The Current WordPress Version?

Plugin update history

To ensure the best user experience, WordPress is updated once every 6 months with new features. So you need to know if the plugin you want to install is up-to-date, compatible with the latest version of WordPress, and how often it is updated. 

Fortunately, you can see the last update information and its compatibility with updated WordPress versions in the WordPress Plugin Repository. Also, make sure to check the changelog of the plugins from the development page. 

This way, you can get an idea about what the developers are up to. In fact, the more frequently a plugin will update, the more new functionality and convenience you will get.

6. How Many Active Installs Are There?

Plugin installs

Well, it’s really easy to find how many sites are using a plugin, right from the WordPress plugin repository. It is a fact that more people will use the plugin from which they are benefiting, or that comes in good quality. So, checking the active installation is a great indicator of popular plugins. 

As you can see in the above image, two plugins basically do the same thing, but the first plugin has 2,00,000+ active installations, whereas the other one has only 8,000+. And obviously, you will consider the first one which has more happy customers with 534 ratings. 

7. What Is The Total Number Of Reviews and Ratings?

Average rating

Considering the customer reviews and ratings while installing a plugin is one of the most helpful factors. When you see the maximum user gives a plugin 5-star ratings, that means it's a good plugin, and when you see the opposite, you should search for another plugin immediately. 

With the higher number of ratings and positive reviews, you can feel confident about the accuracy of that plugin.

8. How Many Support Requests Have Been Completed?

Plugin support

You should check the support forum to see how active the developers are. You can understand this, though seeing if they answer the questions of the users and how fast they respond to solve users' particular issues. 

You can get a quick overview of the particular plugin’s support system from its WordPress main page. Also, you can get insights by reading through the support forum.  

9. Who Is/Are The Developers?

When it comes to maintaining or fixing the bugs, a WordPress plugin solely relies on its developer. Therefore, it is essential to look out for the developer of that plugin. 

For example, if a company or multiple developers develop a plugin, there is a higher chance of getting things fixed relatively in a short time. On the other side, you should also look out who is behind the plugin.   

10. Is The Plugin Easy To Use and Customize?

A plugin will add a new button on your WordPress dashboard, from which you can use the plugin. Here, if you find it difficult to understand how the plugin works, and handle or customize the settings, then what is the point of using it. 

The plugin must come in a user-friendly interface, well-organized and logical menus, and buttons so that users can easily understand what they are going to do.

11. Do You Already Have A Plugin That Does Something Similar?

So, this is the last but one of the crucial questions. People often install several plugins that actually do the same thing, and there is no need to keep the unnecessary ones. The more plugins your website will have the more resources will be added to your site. 

You need to make sure that you are using only the required plugin; also those which have distinct differences, and ensure your website is overlapping as little as possible. Therefore, go through your WordPress plugin list and simply delete similar and unnecessary plugins. 

Wrapping UP

There is no doubt that plugins are really essential to your WordPress website. But, where there are over 55,000 plugins available in the WordPress directory, finding the right one for you can be really difficult. 

Don't worry; this guide will help you make this task easier. When searching for a plugin for your website, be sure to ask the above questions mentioned in this guide.


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