The truth is, WordPress on its own doesn’t offer many features. The customisation potential that plugins provide is what makes WordPress the most popular CMS platform of today. The wide array of plugins makes WordPress a dream come true for both beginners and professionals alike. With WordPress.org boasting over 60,000 free plugins, chances are there is a plugin for a certain function. However, finding the right one for the job can be difficult and overwhelming. In most cases, there are several plugins that could fit your needs and requirements. So how do you choose WordPress eCommerce plugins?
Tips Before You Start Picking WordPress eCommerce Plugins
Before looking for a plugin, it is best to determine what you want the plugin to do. You can do this by writing down a list of the features you’re looking for in order of importance.
Note that not every feature will be present on one plugin. By writing down a checklist based on importance, you can make a decision easier and more efficiently. It doesn’t always have to be just one plugin. If you find 2-3 WordPress eCommerce plugins that work well together, install all of them. Always remember that the number of plugins does not matter, the performance they offer does.
How to Pick the Right WordPress eCommerce Plugins
Choosing the right WordPress plugins is very important. A lousy one can damage your website in a variety of ways. For starters, it can affect and complicate the interface or slow down your website which can compromise the suser experience. Even worse, there are plugins that can serve as an entrypoint for hackers which can cause security risks.
To protect your websites against these threats, choosing the right WordPress eCommerce plugins is a must. Let’s take a look at the five basic steps on how to choose the right plugins for your website.
Step 1: Compare plugins.
Using the list of requirements you have previously made, you can now begin searching for a plugin. Since there may be a lot of choices that will match your needs, the best thing you can do is to compare them based on features, compatibility and pricing.
Create a table and list all the features you will need as well as the names of the plugins you have found. Find out whether each of the plugins you have searched offers them. If the plugin has it, tick the box corresponding to the plugin’s name.
The number of features it can offer isn’t the only thing you have to consider when looking for the right WordPress eCommerce plugins. A plugin that has many features but isn’t compatible with your website is not the right option for you.
Most plugins today do not work on outdated WordPress and PHP. So before installing a plugin, make sure to look at the WordPress and PHP versions of that certain plugin and upgrade yours if necessary.
Alongside features and compatibility, you also need to consider security when comparing different WordPress plugins. According to the State of the Internet report from Verisign, 52% of all WordPress vulnerabilities are plugin-related.
To ensure sound security, choose a regularly updated plugin. An updated plugin not only limits security vulnerabilities but can also bring new features for you.
Step 2: Check the number of active installations.
When looking for the right WordPress eCommerce plugins for your website, it is best to check the number of active installations. You can find it on the right sidebar of the plugin under “Last Updated.” The number of active installations shows how many websites in total currently have the plugin activated.
The active installations can indicate the plugin’s popularity and can even mean that it has nicer features and fewer compatibility issues.
Step 3: Look for the date of the last update.
The next step is to check when the plugin was last updated. In most cases, Updated plugins are a good indicator that the plugin is well-maintained, bugs are regularly fixed and the user experience is always improved.
It is best to choose a plugin whose last update is not any longer than six months or the previous year.
Step 4: Check the plugin rating system.
Checking the ratings and reviews from other plugin users is also an essential step when choosing WordPress eCommerce plugins. You can find the plugin ratings on the right sidebar under the plugin information or by simply clicking the “Reviews” button.
Look for a plugin with a 4-5 stars rating and avoid installing plugins with a rating of 2 stars or below.
Step 5: Test the plugin.
Finally, it is now time to download and test the plugin on your website. Before installing the plugin directly to your live website, it is best to run a test on a local WordPress website first. This will allow you to discover the strengths and weaknesses of the plugin in terms of appearance, functionalities and responsiveness before you actually upload the plugin on your live website.
Choosing from the thousands of WordPress eCommerce plugins available in the market can be overwhelming. With these five steps listed above, we hope to give you all the help you will need to find the right plugin for your website.
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