Plugins are useful, obviously. There’s one for all sorts, from Yoast’s SEO plugin which is one of the best tools out there, to plugins for social media integration, forums, caching and more. Anything you can think of.
However, whenever you need to add a plugin on your website, you need to remember that you are installing someone else’s code onto your site. Not every plugin has been well-written and in fact, some are downright malicious.
Some plugins aren’t kept up to date and this means that your site could be facing security threats or vulnerabilities from hackers. Others could mean your site speed is slowed down, impacting your SEO score. Multiple plugins can all start to have an effect on others, with the code from one interfering with another.
Make sure you carry out due diligence before you install any plugin on your site.
- Use plugins that are regularly updated.
- Use those that plenty of other people use.
- Get your plugins from the WordPress directory and not from random sites.
- Check out the reviews on the plugin directory.
- Make sure the plugin is compatible with your version of WordPress.
- Have a look around for blog posts, forum discussions and articles on the plugin.
- Has the author of the plugin got lots of published material around?
- Conduct a code audit if possible.
- Make sure that the plugin’s functionality can’t be found elsewhere in the WordPress installation itself or in one of your current plugins.
You can keep yourself protected from issues by conducting basic web maintenance, running a web development production environment where you can test plugins before rolling them out and doing regular backups.