All about WordPress plugins
WordPress was first released in May 2003. It is a free based model for blogging and content management systems which run on a web hosting service. WordPress has countless features in the form of blogging and template systems. Since its release it has become an entire community for web developers, designers, programmers and bloggers. With more than 60 million websites on line it makes up about 20% of the website market today.
The WordPress community keeps growing and improving mostly thanks to a very popular feature called the “plugin architecture”. There are more than 26,000 plugins which offer functions and features to suit any specific need. They vary from SEO enhancers to content displaying features such as navigation bars, widgets, galleries, sliders, etc. The users must be careful to use only trusted plugins, keep them updated and change the default admin in order to avoid attacks on websites such as SQL injection and XSS. To further inspect your plugin, always check the support provided by the creators and credibility of their home site. Remember the web is full with poorly coded and unstable plugins- don’t let them ruin your site.
If you are not careful with the plugins you choose, you will expose your site to unsecure code, and the more plugins you have the more exposure you will get. Too many plugins also means a slower and less efficient site.
Choose wisely the plugins that you really need. Before downloading a plugin, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I really need this plugin?
- Is the functionality I am trying to provide necessary?
- Does my theme have a built in way to provide it?
- Does the plugin I chose have credibility and support?
- Does the plugin have a newer version?
- Will this plugin serve as main feature for my site?
After careful consideration you should have a list of no more than 10 plugins.
Free vs. Premium
All WordPress plugins must be free, that is true. However, most of them also have a premium or a pro version which is paid. It is always recommended to check out the paid version. It will give you a clue as to what developments your plugin will have in the future and what is new in this field. Sometimes the paid version will have features that make it much easier to use and it will be money well spent if it saves you time. Sometimes it will have a very cool feature that you simply must have. But mostly the paid version is the latest version and the price includes the fastest and best support.
Make sure to check all the versions for your plugin and what they include before you decide to download. The paid plugins have a vast range of prices. It is best to consider your budget and not to go over it.
Most important to consider is the quality of the plugin, the reliability of the creators and the support they supply.