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118 – A Practical Guide to Picking Out Plugins

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118 – A Practical Guide to Picking Out Plugins

Techniques for picking the right plugin.

  1. Google what you are looking for ( function + WordPress plugin )
  2. Most links will open up in the WordPress repository
  3. Does the plugin meet the following criteria:
    • Does the plugin have a large banner graphic. This is a relatively new feature within the plugin directory. It helps me know whether the plugin developers took the time to design something creative
    • Next I look at the LAST UPDATED field. I has to have had a revision in the last 6 months for me to consider it
    • Then I look at the number of downloads. If it has a lot, 10,000 or more, it’s probably legit
    • Lastly, I always look to see if it contains screenshots. Lots of plugins don’t so it’s hard to know which ones are good by seeing what the plugin looks like installed.
  4. Then I will highlight the plugin name and go back into WordPress and search within WordPress. This makes it much easier to install (you don’t have to download, etc.)
  5. Test it out
  6. If it works, configure
  7. If it doesn’t work, delete the plugin then rinse and repeat

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    • mrarlen Reply

      Hey Dustin, thanks for another great episode. Just a warning it can be dangerous to google plugins and themes because you don’t know what you’re going to get. It’s safer to go straight to the WordPress repository and search there.
      Your other suggestions on picking plugins are wonderful.
      Thanks for the great info!

      Mar 7, 2013
      • dhartzler10 Reply

        @mrarlen True story that you don’t know what you are going to get when you google things, but normally the first few results are always WordPress repository plugins. Plus, I’m a little lazy and it’s easier to get to google in my browser :)

        Mar 11, 2013
    • Suzie Farthing Reply

      Dustin, I just checked out your podcast for the first time by listening to this episode. You provided so much useful content regarding choosing WordPress plugins.  Thank you. I will definitely be tuning in again!

      Mar 9, 2013
      • dhartzler10 Reply

        @Suzie Farthing Thanks Suzie! Glad you enjoyed the episode :)

        Mar 11, 2013
    • JoeyF Reply

      Thanks Dustin for clarifying “nofollow” tag! I’ve just finished watching all the past webinars. Very resourceful. Thanks a lot for sharing all those. :)

      Mar 12, 2013
      • dhartzler10 Reply

        @JoeyF you are welcome :)

        Mar 12, 2013
    • garybembridge Reply

      Dustin. Just thought would drop another comment to say how much I enjoy and how useful your podcast is. I have been using wordpress since you kindly did the episode in response to my question about moving from Blogger. It is so much better. Though I did get a BIG hit in traffic from search when I moved. But working to build that back up, and will be better in the long run. About to now use some of the plug-ins you recommended that I am not using!

      Mar 14, 2013
      • dhartzler10 Reply

        @garybembridge the traffic hit will be temporary, but WordPress will give you so much flexibility in the future! Glad you are enjoying the new platform!

        Mar 15, 2013
    • leeanngtaylor Reply

      I found your podcast from your little bit on the Audacity to Podcast at #nmx. So glad! I’ve taught myself WordPress this last year by googling things and listening to your podcast is a much better way to learn. Thanks for this great list of plugins. If I’d found it sooner, I would have saved a lot of time. I can’t wait to listen to more. I’ve already shared this with a friend who owns his own website design company and he was thrilled to get connected with you. Blessings!

      Jan 16, 2014
    • dhartzler10 Reply

      leeanngtaylor  Awesome! Nice to meet you. Wish we could have connected while in Vegas…definitely next time! 

      If you ever get stumped with a WordPress question, please let me know, I’m happy to help!

      Jan 17, 2014
    • leeanngtaylor Reply

      I didn’t actually attend #nmx (although I’d like to in the future!) but just heard you on the podcast. It was great exposure for all the podcasters included. I’m thrilled you were on there because this resource is just what I’ve been looking for. I listen to podcasts daily on my commute and this is the most efficient way for me to learn WordPress. Thanks for all the time and effort you have (and continue to) put toward this!

      Jan 20, 2014
    • dhartzler10 Reply

      leeanngtaylor Definitely next year is a must!

      Jan 20, 2014

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