Finding the right plugin for your need is super important because there are many different plugins. If you choose the wrong plugin, it could be fatal for your WordPress website. So here are 2 methods to do it.
The most effective way of searching for WordPress plugins is in your WordPress admin area. Go to plugins -> add new. In the top right corner, you can search for the WordPress plugin you’re looking for. Be as specific as you can, but search in keywords.
For instance, if you want to find a specific plugin, then you enter the name of the plugin. But if you want to find an image optimisation plugin for WordPress. Then you search for image optimisation. If you enter too many words, the results won’t be as good as just using keywords. Let’s dive into the 2 methods.
Search For WordPress Plugins In Your WordPress Admin
This is the most straightforward way of searching for WordPress plugins. When you find the plugin you wish, you simply press install and activate because you’re searching in your WordPress admin area.
You search for WordPress Plugins in your WordPress admin area by navigating to Plugins -> Add new. Then in the top right corner, you will see an input box where you can search for your plugin. Remember to search using keywords and not sentences, which will give you the best results.
If you search in sentences, it’s difficult for WordPress to find the right plugins as they use the keywords in the plugins to determine the plugins to show based on your search. As an example, if you want to find a caching plugin. Then just search: caching.
Search For WordPress Plugins On WordPress.org
There is another way of searching for plugins if you wish to have a different view or can’t access your WordPress admin area where you are at.
You navigate to wordpress.org, hover in the menu on “Download & extend”, and then click on plugins. Then right in the middle of the hero section, you will have an input field to search for. Again here, remember to search in keywords and not sentences.
WordPress will show some plugins per default on the plugins page with some different categories. These plugins are popular in each category, and you might find something suiting your need. Otherwise, you simply search in keywords for the plugin you need.
For example, if you’re looking for a plugin to create forms. Then simply search for the word: forms. Then WordPress will show you relevant plugins. But you will often get hundreds of plugins, so how do you make sure to pick the right one?
Tips To Choose The Right WordPress plugin
There are some things you need to be aware of installing plugins on your website. Choosing the wrong plugin can cause your WordPress website to crash, slow it down or make it very vulnerable to attacks from hackers.
Whenever I look for a plugin, I ask myself some essential questions. Like, do I already have a plugin installed that can solve this? If so, I have saved my website by not installing another plugin. Because you have to remember each plugin you install, it makes your website heavier automatically, resulting in a slower loading speed resulting in lower rankings, and you see where it’s going.
When I have decided I need a new plugin, I look at 3 factors. The reviews of the plugin, when was it last updated and is it compatible with my current WordPress version? For instance, if you’re using WordPress 6.1, it would be beneficial if the plugin you’re installing has been tested up to this version.
Now it doesn’t need to be tested up to your current version, but you don’t want to install plugins which haven’t been tested with your current major version. This means if you’re using WordPress 6+, you don’t want to use plugins that are not tested, at least with 6.0.
You see this by looking at the title: Compatible.
Next up, I check the reviews. First, how many stars does it have? And what do people mention about the plugin in the review? We have to take into account that third-party companies are developing the plugins. Even though WordPress validates each plugin, then they can’t catch all flaws in the plugins.
If I see people complain about the plugin slowing down their WordPress website, this is a huge red flag for me, and I move on to the following plugin. Sometimes you’ll also see reviews where it crashes people’s websites. Just spend a minute skimming through the plugins.
The last parameter I check is the attribute: Last updated. You want to use plugins which are frequently updated. An update can be anything from new features to improvements and security fixes.
WordPress plugins are developed in PHP, and PHP is a programming language that evolves constantly. If your WordPress plugins don’t get updated, they will end up being a security flaw in your website or ultimately end up crashing your website.
So make sure to check that your WordPress plugins are being updated at least a couple of times a year. There are 2 ways you can check this. As you can see in the image above, just above the Compatibility, you can see when it was last updated. But you can also see the plugin’s changelog by clicking on the plugin and clicking on Changelog. Here you can see how often it’s updated.