WordPress.org has lots of free plugin support. There are total 54,831 plugins. However, not all of them can be trusted.
By deploying just one poorly made plugin can risk your web property and can cause many issues on your site. it can pollute the WordPress user experience by complicating the interface. It can even create security risks, giving hackers an opportunity to enter into your website. It can slow down your website speed so indirectly compromise the user experience.
To keep it in mind, in this post. we’ll guide you through the 6 Key Things to keep in mind while Choosing Free WordPress Plugins.
Check plugin ratings
The most obvious thing to do when choosing free WordPress plugins is to investigate the plugin by checking out the average user ratings.
Users can give between one and five stars to a plugin – we recommend staying away from plugins that don’t have an average of at least four (or almost four) stars. Anything lower than that can be potentially dangerous or buggy plugin for your site.
Check user reviews
WordPress provided a nice feature to give a review on particular plugins. The one who uses the plugin most probably come and give his/her good/bad review. So we recommend reading review ratings of the plugin to get a taste of the plugin before installation.
While reading review makes sure to check the issues that are pointed by existing users. Naturally, if there are more negative comments than positive ones, you should not consider that plugin at all.
Check active installations
This is again an interesting fact to investigate while choosing a free plugin. As a rule of thumb, the higher a plugin’s active installations number, the more it is trusted by the WordPress community users.
We will not recommend any numbers here. After all, new plugins have to start from somewhere, and you may also find that some lesser-used plugins are perfectly sound. if you have to choose between two or more plugins. this is one good criterion to decide.
Check updates and compatibility
If the plugin is not regularly updated it is less likely to be secure. The regularity of updates is also a good way to gauge the developer’s level of active involvement in the plugin.
In the above image, you can see the plugin is last updated 5 months ago. which means we can trust it. make sure this gap should not be a year or two. You can also check the compatibility of the plugin with WordPress version and PHP version.
In the changelog of the plugin. you can see the progress of the plugin so far. you can clearly judge the developer’s effort behind the plugins updates.
Check support and documentation
All plugins on the WordPress plugin repository have a support forum located within the Support tab: We will recommend checking a few support tickets and read the developer’s response.
I am sure you will be able to judge whether plugins developers are working to solve user issues or not.
Check plugin contributors
If a plugin has more contributor, for sure the plugin will be in active development and improvement mode. You can also go and check the profile of contributors and know about them in detail.
It will help you to see the brilliant mind working behind that plugin.
Extending website functionality with plugins makes WordPress such an awesome CMS, but that doesn’t mean you should trust every plugin on the market. We have seen how few badly built plugins can affect site speed, security, and general usability.
Following the above 6 steps, you can choose the best fit and excellent free plugin.
How do you choose a free plugin for your website from the WordPress plugins directory? Let us know in the comments section.