Today we are going to share with you some tips on how to pick the right plugin for your WordPress website while also listing the best WordPress plugins according to their categories.
WordPress plugins are awesome and if you want your site to have a specific function or add additional functionality, the chances are there is a plugin out there for it. Plugins make WordPress a dream come true for beginners. However, with over 60000+ WordPress plugins available in the official plugin directory, users find it difficult to find the right WordPress plugin for the job. In this article, we will show you how to choose the best WordPress plugin.
Our checklist may not guarantee 100% success in picking the right plugin. However, it will certainly increase the chances.
Before You Start on How to Pick the Right Plugin
Before you start looking for a plugin, the first thing you should do is create a list of requirements. This is a list of all the functions that you want the plugin to do. Do that in the order that is important to you.
Orders of importance matter because sometimes you won’t find everything in one plugin. The important factor will help make your decision easier. You might find a couple of plugins that work well together and do what you need. In that case, install those 2 plugins. The total count of plugins doesn’t matter; the quality does. Many plugins have too many features and try to do a lot.
So by preparing a list of requirements, the search is more targeted, and it’s easier to find the best plugins for your needs.
Start Your Search
While searching for a plugin, you’ll most probably come across both free and premium options. The free plugins are usually a good place to start. This is because they require no investment, and depending on your needs, the free version might work just as fine.
The WordPress Plugin Directory is the starting point for most people. There are thousands of plugins available, which is great, except that this abundance also makes it difficult to find the perfect plugin. The search feature in the WordPress plugin directory is not very sophisticated. This is why we recommend using Google search.
For each search result, you will be able to see the Plugin name, rating, description, number of active installs (websites using the plugin), author name, and tested with WordPress version.
The easiest thing to do when choosing free WordPress plugins is to check out the overall rating.
On the WordPress plugins repository users have the option to rate the plugin, by choosing from one to five stars. A good rule of thumb is to stay away from plugins that don’t have an average of at least four (or almost four) stars.
Anything lower than that is typically not a good sign. A plugin becomes popular because it is well maintained, works as advertised, users get responsive support, and any reported issues are always addressed on time.
Check Out the Changelog
In addition to using it to see if security issues have been fixed, the plugin changelog is a good tool to know what you’re getting with a plugin.
The changelog will tell you what features are added with each update. Generally, a lot of progress in the changelog means the plugin developers are attuned to their customer’s needs and are actively trying to make the plugin better.
This will make getting the features you want out of a plugin easier than with those that have made little progress in the changelog.
Here is a another way to know how to pick the right plugin. What better way to determine the quality of a plugin than to hear about other users’ experience? This is a great way of knowing if a plugin is broadly appreciated or not.
Another thing to look for here is the total number of ratings. Let’s say, a plugin only has one or two people that have rated it, so this is not really a significant number. Nevertheless, if those one or two people left a decent reason for their rating in the review, then this would make their rating notable for others.
All plugins that are on the WordPress plugin repository have a support forum located within the Support tab. If you see regular activity within those forums, that is a good sign that the developer is responsive, and is actively working to update and patch user reported issues.
Apart from the forums support (for free plugins) if you are evaluating a premium plugin, you should definitely check the plugin’s website and see how easy it is to get support, send a test email or perhaps ask a pre-sales question to get a good idea of how responsive the developers are.
If a plugin has lots of unresolved threads, and the author has not responded to any of them in the last couple of months, then that is an indicator that most probably the plugin has been abandoned. This is a good way to learn How to pick the right plugin.
Number of Active Installations
A plugin that has been downloaded by millions of users is of course different from a plugin that has been downloaded just a few times. Obviously, if a plugin is installed on many WordPress websites, it’s likely doing a fair job.
Don’t forget to check FAQs, and Other Notes sections below the plugin description (Some plugins may not have them). These sections usually contain useful information about how to use a plugin. Sometimes users end up complaining that a plugin does not work without even reading how to use it.
If you can follow this checklist then you can surely know how to pick the right plugin for your WordPress site.
Best WordPress Plugins According to Category
Now, that you know how to pick the right plugin for your WordPress site, we are going to list some of the best WordPress plugins according to category.
Best SEO Plugin: Yoast SEO. It is an all-in-one solution for your WordPress SEO needs. With more than five million active installations, it’s one of the most popular WordPress plugins on the market.
Best Google Analytics Plugin: Monsterinsights. It is the best WordPress plugin for Google Analytics. Google Analytics gives you in-depth knowledge and insights about your website traffic. By installing a plugin, you can have access to all of your Google Analytics reports without leaving your WordPress dashboard.
Best Membership Plugin: MemberPress.Membership websites drive recurring revenue with a subscription business model.Think of those blogs or web newspapers you see online that ask you to subscribe for their content. You can offer premium features and content to your paid members.
Best WordPress Backup Plugin: VaultPress. In the event of a crash or malicious attack on your website, a backup plugin will be there to restore your content and minimize downtime. It will also act as a fail-safe against human error on your WordPress dashboard.
Best WordPress Cache Plugin: WP Rocket. The WP Rocket WordPress plugin is a very versatile cache plugin. It’s simple enough for beginners to figure it out, but has advanced features that can meet the needs of developers with more technical experience.
Best WordPress Security Plugin: WordFence Security. More than two million WordPress websites are currently using the WordFence Security plugin as a security solution. The plugin fights against malware, spam, and other threats in real-time. It’s a great option for those of you who don’t have a background in IT or cybersecurity.
WP Hive: The Platform to Choose and Analyze Plugin
WP Hive is a platform where you can easily,
- Search for a plugin according to category
- Get all the insights regarding any kind of plugin
- Compare plugin side by side and choose the best one for you
- Download plugins.
So, if you are still confused about whether or not you want to use the plugin for your website, then go to this site and find out for yourself.
As you can see you now know how to pick the right plugin for your WordPress site. Also, you know about the best WordPress plugins in the industry.
So, if you use this checklist before select a plugin for your website, then hopefully you will find the best-suited plugin that will work for your website.