What Plugins Should I Install in WordPress?

WordPress is a great website-builder for everyone from newbies to pros.  It gives developers a stable platform on which to build and it’s easy enough for anyone to learn.  One aspect that some might not know about though is plugins.  Plugins, in short, are just additions to your site that can change how things work.  For instance, if I want my website to have more options for a feature (say registration) then I can search online for a plugin that offers just that.  A single plugin alone won’t completely overhaul your website, but with a few small plugins you can give it a lot more flexibility.

How do I know what plugins my website needs?

First thing’s first — what is your website about and who is your audience?  If you’re just writing a blog, for instance, then you certainly don’t need people to be able to have access more than simply for commenting.  You could potentially add plugins to allow more emoticons/emojis.  Or, in the backend (your admin panel) you could include anti-spam filters, SEO boosters, or analytics plugins.

On the other hand, if you’re trying to create a more social website then there are a lot of good plugins out there that can help with sharing to other social websites, better content viewing, better tagging, or even live streaming options.

Think about your website and what your users want to see.

Shouldn’t I just get a bunch of plugins and turn them all on?

In this instance, the more the merrier is really more like the more the laggier.  Plugins are not the core website and so the bigger they are and the more they do, they slower your website will go.  This is because they’re not directly incorporated into the site and also because many plugins pull data from other servers to function appropriately.  The more plugins you have going at once, the longer load times will be on your website.  In fact, your site could ultimately go down from this very issue.

Okay, then what do I do?  How do I know which ones to install and where do I find them?

Once you know what you’re looking for, do research.  Look for plugins with good reviews or from sellers with good reviews.  At the same time, try to find plugins that do more than just one thing you need.  A lot of them out there can do three or four related things at once that can all help your website become a success.

If you’re not finding what you’re looking for, just ask!  It’s entirely possible that there’s simply not a plugin right now that can do exactly what you want, but there are likely some similar ones.  Ask around on the forums and see if someone knows where you might find one.

It’s also important to note that plugins can be dangerous, so it’s best to avoid plugins that seem suspicious.  Ultimately, plugins are a great tool to help you build the website you want.