Red Deer & Blackfalds Web Design Writes:
Every once in a while (both as a Web Developer and even as a Small Business Owner) you are faced with the task of adding a new Element (or rather a new piece of functionality) to your website. The great thing about Developing with WordPress is that because it is all considered Open-Source Software there is a plethora of both information and additional items you can download and use on your website! Some of these items are referred to as Plugins and although most out there are quite good, you can occasionally run into some malicious software that can ruin your hard work.
The following are a few things to keep in mind when trying to pick out your new plugin:
- FTP Access – just incase your plugin does not work as intended, be sure to have proper FTP access to your server so you can access the /wp-content > /plugins folder and delete a plugin that may have ruined your website.
- Downloads – typically a plugin that works better than others will have a higher amount of downloads. This is listed both on the backend of your WordPress website as well as online when using the actual WordPress.org to find plugins.
- Ratings – pay attention to the 5-star rating that your new plugin is receiving. People in the web-world are usually very adamant about giving appropriate ratings to help save other people from getting a bad plugin. This is also true for the the comments section.
- Last Update – chances are if a plugin hasn’t been updated for quite some time that the developer has fallen off the face of the earth (hopefully not literally) and has decided to not update the plugin anymore. This can be a real issue if you plan on using it for a large element on your website and if when WordPress updates next and the plugin does not … it could break that page/section on your website.
- Don’t Be Afraid to Pay – I know what you’re thinking: “But I don’t wanna pay $50 for this!” … But, you know what? That $50 for a premium plugin could end up saving you hours and hours of time and frustration because usually if you’re paying for a plugin (wherein the individual is actually getting paid to produce it) you end up with a much more superior product.
All in all, sometimes you luck out and find a new one that doesn’t match these credentials and it works just great! But be aware and make sure you’re protecting your website.