WordPress draws a lot of power from themes and plugins. Being an open-source platform, there are thousands of developers trying to develop tools to make WordPress better, faster, or easier. While this sounds amazing, choosing a trustworthy plugin or theme from the thousands of options available can be an overwhelming task. In this article, we will offer some tips and tricks to help you choose trustworthy plugins and themes.
The WordPress Directory is your friend
WordPress.org has a theme and plugin directory offering a huge selection of themes/plugins. If any user reports an abusive or untrustworthy theme or plugin, the organization takes immediate action and even removes them. They also review all themes and plugins before publishing them in the directory. Therefore, the WordPress directory is a relatively safer place to look for themes/plugins for your website as compared to other online sources.
Look at the number of downloads and reviews
Around the world, WordPress users actively seek good plugins and/or themes for their websites. A quick look at the download counter can tell you about the number of users who have tried it. Usually, selecting a plugin/theme with at least 100,000 downloads is a good bet.
Having said that, there might be some newer themes/plugins with relatively fewer downloads. You can assess them based on the reviews. The WordPress directory allows registered users to review and rate a theme/plugin on the scale of 1-5, with 5 being the highest. Try to look at all types of reviews – good and bad. If a user has rated a plugin/theme poor, then try and understand if the issue lies with the tool or is specific to the user himself.
You will also find a Support section in the WordPress directory. This section usually contains multiple threads where users highlight issues and authors seek to resolve them. Check if any issues raised by the users conflict with your requirement. You can also assess the responsiveness of the authors by looking at the number of issues resolved by them vs the number pending resolution.
Has it been recently updated?
The WP-core is updated once every few months. Therefore, the themes/plugins need to update themselves so that they stay compatible with the latest version of WordPress. Look at the last updated date of the theme/plugin. Avoid those which haven’t been updated in a long time.
Review other tools created by the same developer
Apart from the theme/plugin that you are interested in, take some time to review other tools created by the same developer. Check for user reviews and rating and try to see if there is a common thread of issues across all tools.
For the technologically-inclined, a quick test of the code can reveal anything detrimental in it.
A bad theme or plugin can have an adverse impact on the performance of your website. Therefore, it is important that you choose your tools carefully. Further, to derive the best out of WordPress, you must also ensure that the core, themes, and plugins are updated regularly, the database is optimized, and regular backups of your website are taken. If you find these tasks time-consuming, then you can avail the services of a provider offering WordPress Hosting in India who can manage these tasks for you.
Follow these tips and get the maximum out of your website. Good Luck!