How Do You Know if a WordPress Plugin or Theme Will Work?
When you’re on the search for new plugins or themes you’re going to have a lot to dig through. After all, there are thousands upon thousounds of themes and plugins for you to choose from.
The last thing you want to do is rush your plugin or theme selection and end up choosing one that will compromise your online efforts. Choosing low-quality themes or plugins can lead to slower sites, sites that break easily, and can even leave you open to security risks.
Below we offer a few tips that will help you ensure you’re choosing a high-quality theme or plugin before you decide to buy it or install it on your site.
1. Only Download From Reliable Sources
One of the first steps to choosing a high-quality theme or plugin is to only download or purchase from reliable sources. Chances are, when you’re spending money on a theme or plugin it’s already going to be of higher quality. But, you’ll still want to thoroughly research the plugin or theme beforehand.
Below we offer a few more things you’ll want to look out for when selecting a new plugin or theme. Follow these guidelines whether you’re purchasing from a marketplace or using the WordPress theme directory or plugin directory.
2. Check User Reviews and Feedback
User reviews and customer feedback don’t lie. If the plugin or theme you’re thinking about has a very low star rating, then it’s probably for good reason. However, it’s also important to keep the total number of reviews in mind. If it only has a small number of reviews, then it will be hard to glean a factual option based on the feedback provided.
By reading reviews you’ll be able to learn things like how secure it is, how often any technical issues occur, and anything else that you might worry about when installing a new plugin or theme.
3. Check the Latest Update Date
This is a very important bit of information. You’d hate to install a plugin that never receives developer updates. This will lead to potential security risks and could even lead to plugin and theme conflicts down the road.
Ideally, you’d like to see updates that have occurred no longer than a few months ago. This means the developer or development team is actively maintaining the theme or plugin and working to improve it.
4. Number of Active Installs
It’s not pure fact, but chances are, the more people who have installed and are using the theme or plugin, the better it’s going to be. It wouldn’t make sense for a large number of site owners to use a plugin or theme that doesn’t work.
5. Look at Their Support
Not every plugin or theme has a dedicated support team. It’s not completely necessary and depends upon the complexity of the plugin or theme. But, most high-quality themes and plugins do have some form of support.
It can be helpful to check this out beforehand, so you’ll know you’ll be taken care of if any technical issues arise. Beyond support, you should also look for plugin and theme documentation that will help with setup and plugin or theme customization.
6. WordPress Compatibility
Before you end up choosing a WordPress plugin or theme you’ll want to double check that it’s compatible with the latest version of WordPress. The WordPress core is updated on a regular basis, without your plugins and themes being updated you could run into a conflict that could break your site.
Hopefully, the tips above will help you make a better decision when it comes to choosing a new theme or plugin. Remember that plugin and theme selection is very important. The more time you can spend researching, the more likely you are to end up with something that will benefit your site.
Are there any selection parameters you use to filter the good from bad plugins and themes? Please share in the comments below.