How Do You Choose Your Plugins?

Plugins

Laptop image.

There are so many plugins available now it is hard to know which are best for your blog. Indeed having too many can slow down your blog performance,and some can conflict with your WordPress theme, or each other, to cause all sorts of problems for you.

So how do you choose which are the best for you and your blog?

Well, a good starting point is always to get a mentor. My mentor is John Thornhill and I am on his Partnership to Success programme.  Your mentor will suggest initial plugins to install. They are almost always plugins they use themselves and will always be plugins they have tried out. After you have installed these initial plugins you will start to get a feel for what they do and how others can improve your blog and give you what you want.

You can also do your own research by talking to other marketers and finding out which they use and what is popular amongst them. Join forums and groups if you don’t have a network of bloggers you can turn to, but another way to create your own network is to blog hop. Visit as many blogs as you can and leave comments, this will encourage reciprocal visits and then you can write a blog post asking your readers which plugins they use and why. It will give you a good start to your research.  A great networking group I am in has many experienced Internet Marketers and we are able to discuss and share and support each other with these major decisions.  It’s called The Power Affiliate Club and we have a very active Facebook group.  You can join the Facebook group by clicking this link and applying now.

For any plugin you consider you need to look at the main features and the benefits of each one before selecting the ones you want. There will be many on the market that will do similar tasks,  and you will also have to decide whether you want a free plugin or one that you pay for.

On the premium plugins (ones you pay for) you will often find one that does the job of several of the free ones so keep an eye out for that. It cuts down the number that you need to install to  fulfil those essential jobs.

Some plugins are purely for fun and you don’t really need them. They don’t fulfil any critical task so you might start out with them but deactivate them later on as you get more essential plugins.

Choose carefully which plugins you have on your blog and do tell me, how do you choose your plugins?

30 Comments

  • Edward Thorpe
    Twitter:

    Reply Reply February 24, 2017

    Hi Mandy,

    I agree with you, which WordPress plug-ins you choose are crucial for load speed and we have to balance their value against their drag. The process you’ve described, following a mentor, networking with other bloggers and independent research, is exactly how I’ve made my plug-in choices. Good post, thank you, Edward
    Edward Thorpe recently posted..Gluten Free Diet Could Be Making You SickMy Profile

    • mandyallen.com

      Reply Reply February 25, 2017

      Hi Edward, thanks for visiting. Yes, having a mentor or even someone who is an expert online that you can follow and ask for advice is always best when you start out. I remember when I first started online in 2009 and a bunch of us signed up with John Thornhill, he recommended some plugins but within a few weeks everyone was suggesting other plugins to each other. We learned from each other. It is great to share!

      Enjoy the journey!
      mandyallen.com recently posted..How Do You Choose Your Plugins?My Profile

  • David Vu

    Reply Reply February 25, 2017

    Thanks for sharing these great tips. This is the plugins I am using on my wordpress site: akismet, iThemes Security, jetpack, SumoMe, WP Rocket, Yoast SEO,…
    David Vu recently posted..GramKosh Review: World’s Best & Most Complete Instagram Marketing SuiteMy Profile

    • mandyallen.com

      Reply Reply February 25, 2017

      Hi David, thanks for visiting. You have some great plugins there. My favourite is commentluv but it is no longer being supported so I will have to get rid of it at some point, sadly.

      Enjoy the journey!
      mandyallen.com recently posted..How Do You Choose Your Plugins?My Profile

  • sazia kazia

    Reply Reply February 25, 2017

    Hi Mandy mam, Yes we need to chose plugins very carefully. sometimes it happens that the plugin is not suitable to blog template and due to error template gets corrupt. Thanks for sharing these valuable tips with us.
    sazia kazia recently posted..Learn Cold Oil Method-Massage Precautions-Ayurvedic Massage MethodMy Profile

    • mandyallen.com

      Reply Reply February 25, 2017

      Hi Sazia, thanks for visiting. I agree with you, sometime the plugin will conflict and then it needs to be removed and another found.

      Enjoy the journey!
      mandyallen.com recently posted..How Do You Choose Your Plugins?My Profile

  • Joy Healey
    Twitter:

    Reply Reply February 25, 2017

    Hi Mandy,

    I enjoyed adding plugins to my blog – until it got to the point where they were slowing my blog down badly. You may care to Google “ppp plugin” for a free plugin to check the loading on your blog. When I saw the results I did a big prune.

    Then when I moved to Managed WordPress hosting and my new theme, I had to have another prune as both suppliers said they had found problems with some of “my” plugins.

    I have to say, though, that almost anything you want to do on your WordPress blog, someone has produced a plugin for it – even if there is actually a very simple solution without a plugin.

    Joy – Blogging After Dark
    Joy Healey recently posted..Start A Blog For Seven DollarsMy Profile

    • mandyallen.com

      Reply Reply February 26, 2017

      Hi Joy, thanks for visiting. That’s a really useful tip, thanks for sharing that. I guess I’ve been pretty lucky because I haven’t had much trouble with plugins and know others who have. I don’t add many but have all the ones I want to do the jobs I need done.

      Enjoy the journey!
      mandyallen.com recently posted..How Do You Choose Your Plugins?My Profile

  • Chery Schmidt
    Twitter:

    Reply Reply February 25, 2017

    Hey Mandy, I always have a challenge with this one. How many plug ins are to many! I actully just had my friend Monna delete a bunch of them for me after my blog crashed because I was looking to add one to share my instagram..

    Yikes What to do??

    Thanks for sharing
    Chery :))
    Chery Schmidt recently posted..Personal Branding For Your Online PresenceMy Profile

    • mandyallen.com

      Reply Reply February 26, 2017

      Hi Chery, thanks for visiting. I think the difficulty is choosing which functions you actually need to be done, that narrows the list somewhat. After that it’s finding ones that do the job and don’t crash your site! There are plenty that do the same task so maybe trying another plugin will solve the trouble.

      Enjoy the journey!
      mandyallen.com recently posted..How Do You Choose Your Plugins?My Profile

  • Kathryn Maclean
    Twitter:

    Reply Reply February 25, 2017

    Hi Mandy,

    Learning about plugins from a mentor is a good idea. Even better is learning from a community of bloggers. We all use plugins and it’s not an exact science. If someone recommends a plugin that’s fine but it may not be a good one for your particular theme. I had one plugin that others liked but it really messed up my site and gave me a week long headache back and forth with support. Trial and error sometimes. I recommend PAC as a group for blogging wholeheartedly!
    Kathryn Maclean recently posted..7 Ways to add Social Media with Pinterest and InstagramMy Profile

    • mandyallen.com

      Reply Reply February 26, 2017

      Hi Kathryn, thanks for visiting. I agree, PAC is a great community for advice. Having a mentor gives you the starting blocks but it will always be community that supports your journey for the rest of the way.

      Enjoy the journey!
      mandyallen.com recently posted..How Do You Choose Your Plugins?My Profile

  • Taiwo Emayosanlomo
    Twitter:

    Reply Reply February 26, 2017

    Hi Mandy,
    This is a great post.
    Plugins are good on blog, but it is very important to make proper enquiry before adding any of them to our blogs
    To select any plugin, we must first know what we want to achieve through the plugin, and be sure if the plugin we are choosing will deliver the result we want
    Thanks for sharing.

    • mandyallen.com

      Reply Reply March 1, 2017

      Hi Taiwo, thanks for visiting. Exactly my point, it is indeed essential to do your research. There are often tasks that we think are a good idea but we don’t really need them.

      Enjoy the journey!
      mandyallen.com recently posted..Why Do You Blog?My Profile

  • Ruth Bowers
    Twitter:

    Reply Reply February 26, 2017

    Plugins are such a tricky business. Everyone will have their favourites, and other than a couple of “standards” like Yoast SEO and Akismet, every list will be different. Right now my favorite plugins are my page builder, and my opt-in form builder. I wouldn’t want to be without either one of them now.

    To answer your question, I find my plugins through the communities I’m a part of. And sometimes when I see something on a blog that I really like, I’ll raid the source code to see what they’re using. 🙂
    Ruth Bowers recently posted..[Friday Five] 5 Tips for Increasing Content ConversionsMy Profile

    • mandyallen.com

      Reply Reply March 1, 2017

      Hi Ruth, thanks for visiting. Yes, we all have favourites for sure! Apart from the important ones anything else is personal to each person. I also listen to fellow marketers and bloggers to find plugins.

      Enjoy the journey!
      mandyallen.com recently posted..Why Do You Blog?My Profile

  • emi

    Reply Reply February 26, 2017

    Hi Mandy,
    I agree with you, we have to pick the right plug-ins as they are the heart of our websites 🙂
    Thank you for sharing!

    • mandyallen.com

      Reply Reply March 1, 2017

      Hi Emi, thanks for visiting. Plugins are really important although a lot are just adornments, aren’t they.

      Enjoy the journey!
      mandyallen.com recently posted..Why Do You Blog?My Profile

  • Amar kumar
    Twitter:

    Reply Reply February 27, 2017

    Hey Mandyallen,

    Plugins make WordPress a dream come true for beginners as well as experienced one. Plugin screenshots are a quick way to see how the plugin looks on the front-end and on the back-end of your WordPress website.

    Sometimes we find screenshots to be more helpful than the actual plugin descriptions which could be lengthy and confusing. With screenshots you can actually see how the plugin will look, what it actually does and then you can quickly find out whether or not you should try it. Eventually, thanks for revealing a light on this topic.

    With best wishes,

    Amar kumar
    Amar kumar recently posted..17 Things to Know About Visual Content MarketingMy Profile

    • mandyallen.com

      Reply Reply March 1, 2017

      Hi Amar, thanks for visiting. I often find plugins do so much more than I need to be done and sometimes they sound like a good idea but I have no idea what their function is really!

      Enjoy the journey!
      mandyallen.com recently posted..Why Do You Blog?My Profile

  • Rachel Lavern
    Twitter:

    Reply Reply March 3, 2017

    I try to avoid adding plug-ins whenever I can since they slow your site down. I prefer to just modify the code to add functionality (when time permits).
    Rachel Lavern recently posted..3 Ingredients of a Booming BrandMy Profile

    • mandyallen.com

      Reply Reply March 21, 2017

      Hi Rachel, thanks for visiting. Ah, that’s a great way round it, not everyone is great at coding though.

      Enjoy the journey!
      mandyallen.com recently posted..Life Is A JourneyMy Profile

  • Mitch Mitchell
    Twitter:

    Reply Reply March 5, 2017

    Most of the plugins I’ve selected have been to either help my blog with speed or security. I do a lot of testing to find the ones I feel will work best with my blogs. The funny thing is that not all the plugins work with every blog; must be something about the themes.

    The only premium plugin I’ve purchased was CommentLuv, and now that Andy’s too sick to work on it anymore I can only hope that it’ll survive for a good long time. That’s the one problem I’ve seen with some of these things; the developer for whatever reason stops updating it and, well, there you are.
    Mitch Mitchell recently posted..What Is An Authority Blog Post?My Profile

    • mandyallen.com

      Reply Reply March 21, 2017

      Hi Mitch, thanks for visiting. I agree, some plugins really mess with your theme (or maybe the theme really messes with the plugin!) The result is problems! Usually it is after an update and it’s quite easy to find which one is the culprit by deactivating then turning them on one by one until the culprit is found! I love commentluv, so sad about Andy, I’m surprised no-one has taken it on to continue the good work.

      Enjoy the journey!
      mandyallen.com recently posted..Life Is A JourneyMy Profile

  • K. Lee Banks
    Twitter:

    Reply Reply March 5, 2017

    I used to just choose plugins because that’s what “everyone” has had (or so I thought). Now I ask advice, read reviews, and discuss in blog mastermind groups to find out the pros and cons of various types of plugins. I also observe it a plugin “plays nice” with my particular blog theme – sometimes incompatibilities or updates interfere with my blog itself and I have to remove the plugin.
    K. Lee Banks recently posted..Lamenting Weaknesses or Maximizing Strengths?My Profile

    • mandyallen.com

      Reply Reply March 21, 2017

      Hi Karen, thanks for visiting. I also used to be swayed by what others had when it came to plugins. Now I am much more discerning and only choose ones that benefit me and my blog.

      Enjoy the journey!
      mandyallen.com recently posted..Life Is A JourneyMy Profile

  • ikechi
    Twitter:

    Reply Reply March 18, 2017

    Hi Mandy

    The more plugins you have, the more it affects the performace of your speed. Choosing Plugins are so crucial that I do agree that you need to more research. Sometimes, some plugins do the same jobs without you realising while others are great but use so much processing power.

    I agree that asking questions and looking at reviews is great when choosing a plugin. Thanks fro sharing. Take Care

    • mandyallen.com

      Reply Reply March 21, 2017

      Hi Ikechi, thanks for visiting. Yes, our choices are crucial to the performance of our blogs. I love to read about plugins others use, t helps me to decide which I should try out on my own blog.

      Enjoy the journey!
      mandyallen.com recently posted..Life Is A JourneyMy Profile

  • Parth Patel
    Twitter:

    Reply Reply March 27, 2017

    Yeah its true that mentor can help a lot in blogging but sometimes if you don’t have any mentor then google is your best friend.
    Also one thing I would like to add is that after adding certain plugins, do check if that plugin affects your site performance or not. If it does then you should look for alternatives.
    For checking plugin performance, you can use P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler).

    Thanks,
    Parth Patel
    Parth Patel recently posted..[Root Bluestacks] How to Root Bluestacks 2 App Player for Android easily 2017My Profile

    • mandyallen.com

      Reply Reply March 28, 2017

      Hi Parth, thanks for visiting. Mentors can start us off on the right track, but it is our own journey so we have to try all the methods and choose which are best for each of us.

      Enjoy the journey!
      mandyallen.com recently posted..Too Busy For Social Media?My Profile

Leave A Response

* Denotes Required Field

CommentLuv badge