When You Should (And Shouldn’t) Use A Plugin On Your WordPress Website

Posted on April 7, 2021 • Written by Emily Wheeler
Why you should and shouldn't use a plugin on a wordpress website

WordPress plugins are an easy and convenient way to build and update your company’s website, but you shouldn’t download any and every plugin that may potentially meet your needs. To help you decide when and if you should use a plugin, expert WordPress developers Ian Belanger and Mike Kelley sat down with us to share their knowledge. 

What Is A WordPress Plugin?

A WordPress plugin is a pre-written piece of code that adds new functionality to your site. Plugins can add a variety of small and large features to your site, from improving your page speed to transforming your site into an eCommerce platform. Developers from around the world create plugins and share them on wordpress.org. Some plugins are free, some require a one-time payment, and others follow a subscription model.  

When To Use A Plugin

Only use a plugin when there’s a reputable, well-maintained option that meets your needs. Although that criteria sounds simple, many plugins may have additional features that can make your site clunky. With too many bloated plugins, your site speed may be severely impacted, which causes a negative customer experience. 

How To Choose A Plugin 

To make sure you choose a plugin that meets your needs, consider the following: 

  • Number of installs: When it comes to building your site, you want to use trusted, vetted plugins. A high number of installs is a sign that the plugin works well and does what it’s supposed to do. 
  • Ratings and reviews: Read about others’ experience with the plugin. Was it easy to use? What was their long-term experience with it? 
  • Reputation of the developer: Any developer can create a plugin and post it on wordpress.org, so dig into their background. What is their experience? Have they created other successful plugins? 
  • What version the plugin is tested up to: A good plugin should be well-maintained. By checking that the plugin is tested up to the latest WordPress core version, you’ll get a better idea of whether the plugin will continue to function as the platform continues to evolve. 

Take these factors into consideration for both free and premium plugins. In many cases, it’s up to the developer if they want to release the plugin for free, so a premium plugin doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting a better product. 

What To Do If You Can’t Find The Right WordPress Plugin 

Sometimes, a plugin that perfectly meets your needs just doesn’t exist. In those cases, you’ll need to work with a WordPress developer to create some custom code for your site. If you decide to work with a developer, make sure you understand their reputation, expertise, and commitment to your site. WordPress is regularly updated to offer increased functionality to site owners, and your developer should be prepared to maintain their code to keep up with them. With the right development team, custom code can be a great solution to niche problems since it can solve your unique issue without adding bloat to your site. 

Fruition’s WordPress development team is well versed in choosing plugins, customizing pre-built plugins, and creating custom code for websites in every industry. Contact us today to learn more about how we can take your website to the next level! 

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Emily Wheeler

Written by Emily Wheeler

As Fruition’s Lead Creative Strategist, Emily designs and executes short- and long-term content strategies for each client. Emily is passionate about storytelling and capturing the unique voice, tone, and perspective of various brands. Her time as a copywriter for a Fortune 250 company deepened her love of content creation and sharpened her skills for writing everything from advertisements and press releases to video scripts and more.

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