[SOLVED] WordPress plugins for beginners

edited November 29 in WordPress Plugins
It’s not worth it to try and figure out the manual approach of adding popup messages to your site or animating your new landing page. With so many tremendous plugins out there, why expend your time coding that functionality from scratch when someone else has already done it for you?

Approved, there’s always the cost issue to worry about. Well, not all high-quality and beneficial plugins cost money to use. In fact, many of the top-rated and most frequently used plugins are free (like Jetpack, Akismet, and W3 Total Cache).

The only problematic thing with saying that free WordPress plugins are just as good as premium plugins is well, that’s not always the case.

So, how do you distinguish when a free plugin can be trusted? Are free plugins better than freemium? And which free plugins do you actually want to use without going overboard on your WordPress site? I’ll cover all of these points as we review what to look out for when selecting free WordPress plugins.

A Guide to Selecting WordPress Plugins
1. When looking for a plugin, the initial thing you should do is write down correctly what you want this plugin to do. In our experience, it helps if you generate a checklist with features that you’re looking for in the order of importance.

2. The order of position matter because sometimes you won’t find everything in one plugin. The importance factor will help make your judgment easier.

3. Remember that it doesn’t have to be one plugin that does all the things. If you find two plugins that work well together to give you what you want, then install those 2 plugins. The number of plugins does not matter, the quality does.

How to Search for a Plugin


WordPress plugin directory is the initial point for most people. It has numerous of plugins available which is great except that this abundance also makes it tough to find the perfect plugin.
The search feature in the WordPress plugin directory is not very poor. This is why we always mention using Google search or look through the WPBeginner’s plugins category first.

You can also associate the best of both by typing your keyword in Google search and add wpbeginner at the end of it.

Otherwise, you can start by browsing the most popular WordPress plugins in the directory
WordPress plugin directory search shows results based on importance by default.
For each and every search result, you will be able to see the author name and tested with WordPress version, plugin name, rating, description, number of active installs (websites using the plugin),.

You want to choose a plugin that sounds applicable to you, has a decent number of active installs, a good rating, and tested with a recent WordPress version.
Comparing Plugins – Which One to Download?

Once you have found a couple of plugins, you can open these plugin pages in new tabs to relate them. WordPress plugin page contains info about the plugin, what it does, how to use it, etc. You will required to use this information to decide whether or not this plugin is the best fit for you.
The sidebar on plugin page contains relevant information about the plugin. The right section in the sidebar shows the plugin version, last updated, active installations, and minimum WordPress version essential to run the plugin.

A plugins last updated date and active installs are a good indicator of a plugin’s status.

If it doesn’t display the most recent version, then there is no need to freak out. Although plugin authors check their plugin with each new WordPress release, they may only update the plugin if required.

Plugin Ratings


In the sidebar of plugin page, plugin ratings is shown. The number of stars shows rating score, where five is the highest and one being the lowest.

You should always keep in mind that a lot of WordPress users using the plugin without rating it. It is possible that a plugin downloaded by the number of people may still not have enough people rating it.

Support Overview

This section of the plugin page’s sidebar will give you a fast overview of the number of support threads opened for a plugin during last two months. It will also display you how many of these threads are solved.

You can get support threads by clicking on the support tab in the plugin menu bar.
However, if a plugin has many uncertain threads and the plugin author has not responded to any of them in the last two months, then this could be an indicator that the author has gone interest.

Plugin Screenshots

For most WordPress plugins in the directory, you will see a screenshots division below the plugin description. Plugin screenshots are a fast technique to see how the plugin looks on the front-end and on the back-end of your WordPress website.

Sometimes we find screenshots to be more useful than the actual plugin descriptions which could be lengthy and confusing.

Check FAQs and Other Notes

These sections generally contain useful information about how to use a plugin. Sometimes users end up irritable that a plugin does not work without even reading how to use it.

When you are trying a plugin, make assured you read these sections so that you can configure and use the plugin correctly on your website. It is also possible that you will see some other cool tips there.

Testing a Plugin

WordPress plugins may slow down your website if they are don’t follow WordPress coding standards.

To check for this problem go to Pingdom or any other site speed inspection service. Examine your website’s page speed before activating the plugin. Take screenshots of that and go back to your WordPress website and activate the plugin. Now check your website speed again.

If the plugin adds a major amount of time to your site’s speed, then you should try finding a better plugin.

Plugin effect on website speed

WordPress is a free software and so is the WordPress Plugin Directory. Plugin authors put a lot of effort and creativity in writing those plugins. You can help them in several ways and here is a list of things you can do:

• Donate: If you catch a plugin useful and the plugin author has donate URL on plugin page, then please consider donating some money. It is not the price of the plugin, it is a sign of gratitude.
• Rate the plugin: As we mentioned earlier that a lot of users don’t feel much tending to rate a plugin that works fine. You can help breakdown this trend. When you discover a plugin that you like, then leave a rating and a review.
• Mention the plugin on your blog, Twitter or Facebook, Instagram.

About Author: Kush Patel is the Chief Technical Officer and Managing Director of Echo Innovate IT - Custom Software Development Company. He is responsible for the overall operations of the company and has played a major role in making Echo innovate IT the top notch IT services provider and transforming it into a globally trusted web and mobile app development company.


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