Plugins are to WordPress what apps are to a smartphone and in the world of Content Management Systems, and just how the iPhone was one of the first smartphones to offer virtually limitless possibilities thanks to the ubiquitous App Store, it isn’t a stretch to say that plugins have helped WordPress to a similar degree in making it the number 1 choice of Content Management System (CMS) across the world.
Of course, no good deed goes unpunished as it’s said and with all that popularity comes great security issues to be aware of and take into account before you decide on which plugin to install.
If you’re thinking about adding new features to your WordPress website, this short but useful guide from Diffusion Digital will help you decide on one that is fit for purpose and safe for use.
Ladies & gentlemen, start your plugins.
The first step is to understand what you need from a plugin before you even begin the search for one.
Take time to figure this out and note down the specific needs you would like it to address or any problems it should solve.
This is likely to save you resources in both time and money, and give you ideas on where to start your search.
The Developer’s Reputation
It makes sense to find out how preeminent a developer or the agency is in the world of WordPress plugins as well as how effective their plugins are.
The first step is to check the reviews, ratings, as well as the number of downloads their various modules have.
To state the obvious, a plugin which has had lots of good reviews and comments is a good one to go for.
However, don’t just take your decision based on reviews as you might miss out on identifying recently launched plugins simply because no one has downloaded it yet (there has to be a first one, right?).
A safe bet here is to look at plugins the developer might have released before and how they have performed. Even if they weren’t incredibly popular but has had mostly positive reviews and the developer has a good reputation, don’t hesitate to try a new one and help others by being one of the first to leave a review.
It is estimated that the hacking of about 22% of WordPress websites is purely a result of some security issues within a plugin such as them being out of date or a vulnerability being discovered..
One of the most straightforward approaches to confirm the risk of security breaches is confirming when a particular software lastly got updated.
It is advisable to opt for packages that are often updated, at least within the past two months, and most preferably compatible with the latest version of one’s computer programme or website.
Software that is updated frequently has lower security risk; this is mainly because known issues on previous versions of itself are likely to have been rectified.
Look at the Changelog
A changelog is a record of all alterations done to a programme. By taking a look at the log, one can tell the security issues that have been resolved, if any, as well as what the application has to offer.
It helps one see the additional features that come with each update as well as how often the changes have been affected over its lifetime.
More modifications not only imply that the developers are keen to solve any issues detected but are also eager to tweak their add-on to satisfy client needs.
Premium plug-ins have a dedicated team of personnel that works around the clock to ensure that customer experience is optimised. This means that any time a client makes an inquiry, they get a reasonably fast response.
Such a prompt response is critical especially when one is faced with a security risk. With a premium package, it is even possible for the developers to check for issues from their end by accessing your device or website.
Unfortunately, some of these features are not available for free packages usually so if the plugin has mission-critical to your business, spending the additional amount for tech support could be a wise investment. .
It is wise to consider acquiring plug-in bundles. Such a bundle comes with a few modules that work hand in hand. This can spare time and cash, as you don’t have to look for different applications from different companies.
Furthermore, all the applications in a group originate from a similar source, therefore, they are in sync with each other. On the off chance that for reasons unknown they don’t, you need to go to one source for assistance.
It is also more economical to acquire a bundle than purchasing individual modules.
It’s estimated that there are approx. 29k WordPress plugins to cover a wide range of functions and features so if you have an addition you’d like to make to the website, chances are that there’s a plugin for it.
However, taking the additional time to do some research before you make the choice can help make your WordPress site more secure and safer.
Of course, if all of this is simply too overwhelming for you, don’t hesitate to give Diffusion Digital a try, we’d love to help!