WordPress Plugins enhance the functionality of your website.
Just like apps for your smart phones, plugins enable us to easily add extra features to our WordPress sites by ourselves, without having to know special codes that look like a foreign language nor hire an expensive website developer. And inside your WordPress website there are thousands of plugins you can choose! Things like social media share buttons, image sliders, Search Engine Optimization, security & backups, and more!
Well, I found this very handy flowchart below that shows a decision making process that we all should follow before installing ANY WordPress plugin.
While it’s fun to play with plugins, it is important to know some plugin basics AND also ask yourself some questions before installing any plugins. For example, installing an old plugin that hasn’t been updated in years could make your site vulnerable to hackers. Also, your WordPress theme might not play well with certain plugins, and badly designed plugins could cause website performance issues.
So when you want to add a plugin, and you are trying to decide between a couple of similar plugins, do your research and go to WordPress.org and look at the popularity of the plugin: number of active installs, the number of stars, when it was last updated, the reviews, and is their support forum active.
Going through “what you need to know about the plugins” is a topic that I’ve taught for years.
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Even if you already have some plugins installed on your website, it probably is a good idea to review them from time to time, using the flowchart above.
And remember to keep the number of plugins you have to only the ones you absolutely need!