Plugins, Upgrades

Plugins » Find and Choose the Best Plugins

Plugins can be incredibly useful. With that in mind, it is important to evaluate the value and risks of each plugin you add to your site. Similar to apps you can install on your phone, it’s important to choose good quality, tested, and trustworthy plugins. This guide will help you understand how to choose and manage plugins on your site.

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Before Installing a Plugin

Prior to installing a plugin, you can ask yourself questions such as:

  • Is the feature this plugin adds important to you?
  • Does your site already have this feature built-in? If you are not sure, check here.
  • Has this plugin been tested with the latest version of WordPress?
  • How active is the support forum (or other support method) for the plugin?
  • How responsive is the plugin developer when an issue or bug is reported?
  • When was the last time this plugin was updated?
  • What do others think of this plugin? Look at the ratings, reviews, and amount of installs.
  • Is this plugin a “freemium” plugin? Is it worth the associated cost?
  • How many active installations does the plugin have? This gives you an idea of how popular and well-supported the plugin is.

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Evaluating your Current Plugins

It’s important to regularly review the plugins installed onto your site to ensure that your site is safe, healthy, and free of any unnecessary additions. Here are some questions to ask to evaluate the plugins already added to your site:

  • All of the questions that you would ask prior to installing a plugin (see above).
  • Are you still using this plugin? If not, get rid of it!
  • Is the plugin still being supported? Sometimes plugins get abandoned by the developer.

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Other Savvy Tips

  • Test plugins one by one with your current theme to see if there are any obvious conflicts. If you’re testing different plugins to try to get specific functionality, it’s a good idea to deactivate a plugin before moving on to another one to test. 
  • Before installing a plugin, read over the plugin’s documentation to make sure you know how to use it and what it will do for your site.
  • Check out the version history.
  • Use as few plugins as possible.
  • Avoid installing multiple plugins to perform the same task. Having two active plugins with the same or similar functionality can cause conflicts in your site or none of them will work correctly.
  • Only download plugins from reputable sites.
  • Always keep your plugins up to date.
  • Evaluate your current plugins prior to installing new plugins. It is possible a new plugin will conflict with your current plugins.
  • Unless there are multiple plugins that need to be activated to work together, it is best to install one plugin at a time and test/set up each one individually. In the event that a plugin causes undesirable results on your site, you’ll be able to isolate the specific plugin that caused the issue.

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If you find that after you install a plugin, your site stops operating as intended, there are a few things you can do:

  • A good first troubleshooting step is to deactivate all possible plugins. Did that solve the problem? If it did, it’s most likely a plugin conflict! If the issue disappears then reactivate one plugin at a time. Refresh your page each time you reactivate a plugin to see what causes the issue to return.
  • Read the plugin FAQ and check out the plugin support forum. You can typically find the support forum by navigating to and searching for the plugin. Open the plugin’s page and click the Support tab.
  • Try switching to a default theme like Twenty Nineteen or Twenty Twenty.
  • Contact us and a Happiness Engineer will be happy to take a look to point you in the right direction! Each plugin developer is responsible for its support. Once we’ve helped you narrow down the conflict, we’ll recommend that you contact the plugin developer for additional information and support.


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