Selecting Third-Party WordPress Plugins

Where to Look for Plugins

When looking for third-party WordPress plugins, you should lean heavily toward selecting a plugin that is listed in the official WordPress Plugin Directory.

Plugins in this directory are all open-source and must abide by certain standards in order to be listed. Additionally, all plugins listed in this directory provide:

  • community ratings and reviews;
  • support forums;
  • tracking of plugin updates; and
  • tracking of the number of downloads.

This is all crucial information for vetting third-party plugins, and is information that is usually not available (or reliable) when researching plugins which are not included in this directory.

How to Evaluate Plugins

Wherever you find a plugin, please consider the following factors when selecting third-party plugins:

  • Is the plugin frequently/recently updated?
  • Does it have a large install base?
  • Does it have good reviews/ratings?
  • Has it been tested up to the latest version of WordPress?

If you can answer ‘yes’ to all of these questions, you can be reasonably certain that the plugin in question is safe to experiment with and test for your use-case.

If you cannot answer ‘yes’ to all of these questions, you should strongly consider whether the plugin in question is really the best method for what you would like to accomplish.