1. Ryan Hellyer

    Read the code. That’s clearly not gonna work for many people, but if you can, it’s by far the best way to figure out whether a plugin is worth using or not. I’ve gotten into a habit now of immediately rifling through plugin code before I even bother testing something. If the codes not up to scratch, I ditch it immediately and find something better.


  2. Ted Clayton

    Plugins have really taken on the proverbial life of their own. People enjoy the acquisitive aspects of plugins – and they might be useful, too! ‘Irrational’ factors loom large, in the plugin-game.

    Business folks will do well to recognize that the objective functionality is far from the whole story on plugins … is not a complete accounting or explanation of the demand for & interest in plugins .. or the true ‘uses’ to which they are being put; roles they are fulfilling.


  3. Bucee

    Beside the ratings, I always check the reviews section and community. If there are too many reported bugs, or the developer doesn’t reply, I don’t usually use that plugin.


  4. dev.xiligroup

    As free plugins developer since 5 years, I agree with this post and comments. But I would like to emphasize the common confusion between free availability (published as feedback of works with WP) and a commercial product. In this contributive context, it’s rare, but I’m happier when a user publishes a notice, offers a translation or simply writes his experience as a manual (or a chapter). When a plugin is downloaded thousands of times, I am invited to make progress in updates while following the evolution of the core of WP. As seen at WordCamps for 4 years, there are more and more professionals but they routinely forget that Free open source plugin does not mean free services.
    But would I have imagined five years ago that I was going to exchange with users from all around the world?



  5. Vivek R

    Very in-depth article and one of the unique article about WordPress I have read lately…Glad you are back Jeff


  6. Bob Wilson

    Apologies if this is mentioned in the post as I didn’t see it…

    I would add this one:

    If you’re adding more than one plugin, especially one you’ve never used before, only add one at a time. Then test to make sure it’s behaving with your site, theme, and other plugins.

    If you add several at once and have a problem, you won’t know which one is the culprit.

    Don’t ask me how I know about this… ;)



  7. Mathew Porter

    Th main factors that sway my decisions are usually the reputation, features reviews and then compatibility with my install. I will then test it on the local dev site, see what code is added and see if it breaks anything, then adjusting anything if all the boxes are ticked and get it on the live site.


  8. TCBarrett

    Use a test installation of WordPress to see what data and tables the plugin leaves behind, don’t clutter your live site with these artifacts.

    Also, the plugin URL will no longer have /extend/ in it.

    And finally, consider the nature of people and reviews. Most reviews will be either 1 or 5 stars. Often, 1 star reviews are misplaced. So ignore the star rating and read what has been written.


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