Author: Joshua Eastman
We have been developing websites for 8 years, over 100 customers, over 200 websites and have customers that have been with us since day one. The single best thing you can spend time on when building a website is where you are getting your software from. It can save a huge amount of time, maintenence and troubleshooting not to mention lost revenue if your website is an e-commerce website.
The first thing to consider for a plugin is obviously functionality. What do you need it to do and how crucial is it to the functionality of your website? If it is a plugin for something minor you are trying to accomplish and wouldn’t put you out if it broke I would tell you to get adventurous if you see something that looks perfect.
Indicators of a solid plugin
1. Think of finding a plugin like a job interview. Check their references, see how many sites it is installed on (Or how many people have purchase dit if it is not free) this is generally your first indicator on rather or not you want to use it.
If you find a plugin with less than 10 active installs and it has been out for over a year you will have to replace that plugin at some point as the developer will let it die on the vine and stop updating it.
2. If it is for WooCommerce ALWAYS START with woocommerce.com. They sell plugins from developers and they never (Almost never) have issues and when they do their support is very quick to help out. Yes they cost money but if it is used for selling products making sure you get the right plugin, updates and most importantly a trustworthy source than get your wallet out and understand that there is no better source than the company making the software you are using to recommend developers.
3. Always google the name of the plugin, look at support documentation and look at developer responses. You can generally tell if you will get help in the event something goes wrong. If you see questions asked to the developer unanswered for months than keep looking, even if you thought this was the one!
4. Make up a question or ask one that is outlined in their documentation and see how quickly, kindly and understandably they respond. This gives you a good idea of who you will have to work with at some point as you will eventually have an issue or two. Make sure the team helping you with an issue is one you trust.
That pretty much sums it up. We carefully vet plugins and make sure to talk to developers before shelling out cash for anything. It is good to know that you will work with a company that has your back vs one that will tell you to hit the road as soon as you have a challenging problem.
If you need help with anything on your site rather it is finding a plugin or just questions about WooCommerce we are always happy to chat even if you aren’t looking to pay to have someone help you. Beyond The Brand Media was born from the ideology that everyone needs help with this stuff and we love talking shop!