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How to Choose WordPress Plugins


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Brian from Diogenes' Lantern explains to the East Bay WordPress Meetup in June 2012 the methods for choosing among the dozens of plugins available for any given function.

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How to Choose WordPress Plugins

  1. 1. Diogenes’ Lantern WordPress SeriesChoosing Plug-Ins for Your NewWordPress WebsiteHow to find WordPress Plug-Ins and kick the tires effectively…
  2. 2. WordPress Plug-Ins 101» What is a plug-in?  The car analogy: » Theme – Your paintjob and custom interior/exterior package » PHP functions – Doing your own modifications to your car  Think of a Plug-In like an after-market factory install of a new car sound system, or a turbo- charger, etc.  It’s self-contained, and designed to install, update, and remove easily3/25/2012 2
  3. 3. WordPress Plug-Ins 101The Plugins UI•Left Menu•Top Menu•Plugin Content3/25/2012 3
  4. 4. Choosing Plug-Ins» What kind of plug-ins do you want/need?  General Considerations » Performance (external vs. internal, active vs. passive, etc.) » Complexity (Strive to maintain simplicity and focus)  Coverage » Figuring out what types of plug-ins you need: Housekeeping Utility Presentation Backups Social Media/Feeds Sliders/Galleries Broken Link Checks Forms/Submissions Calendar/Events Image Compression Translations Related Posts XML Sitemap Email Subscriptions Platform Support*3/25/2012 4
  5. 5. Choosing Plug-Ins» Finding and evaluating plug-ins  Via WordPress Plugin Search or via web search » Look for: functionality, popularity/rating, known publishers, documentation, support options, and timely updates » Google for major issues  Via referrals from people you know (best method) » Ask about: reliability, maintainability, learning curve  Installing plug-ins to check them out » Be careful of plug-ins that install tables/store info » Check out dashboard UI for ease of use and functionality » Avoid plug-ins that re-invent the wheel, and avoid overlap3/25/2012 5
  6. 6. Choosing Plug-InsPluginsInstalled3/25/2012 6
  7. 7. Choosing Plug-Ins» Try it  Pick a type of plug-in, search for your options, and evaluate them thoroughly  Decide what criteria are going to be most important for you and then stick to your guns» Ongoing  Update your plug-ins in a timely manner  Prune your plug-ins periodically3/25/2012 7
  8. 8. Walkthrough and Q&A» What I’m currently using for plug-ins» What other kinds of plug-ins have people found useful?3/25/2012 8