I spent an entire week traipsing through WordPress.org in search of plugins that could provide value to certain business models.
Initially I chose only 4 – 5 star plugins sometimes going as low as 3.3. Then it occurred to me, star ratings are purely subjective.
In this short post, I am going to give you some guidance in knowing whether to give a plugin a try.
Check For These Things
Title and description: Try and read through the title and brief description on the page. If the plugin sounds good, don’t let the 1-star rating stop you — yet!
Star Rating: Okay, I know I said star rating wasn’t everything but it’s a good start. Let’s use this as anchor point. If it has no stars, maybe it hasn’t been given a chance yet. If it has 1 star, maybe its only 1 review from a grumpy know it all.
No. of reviews: I found a two-star plugin that had only one review. This plugin was actually quite good. Point is, if 100 people say its bad, it’s likely bad.
Number of Downloads & Date Last updated: Sometimes you’ll find a plugin that is being worked on or fairly new into its infancy. You may also see a plugin that has 200,000 downloads and is as old as the hills. If a plugin has a comfy star rating and a high number of downloads, you can almost bet your bottom dollar you’re on a winner.
Developer’s Comeback: In the case of the 2-star wonder , the developer was humble to receive feedback. Maybe even defeated. If the developer starts ranting, then you know they plugin is probably not worth it. If the developer is willing to make an effort to improve, you might want to keep your eyes open on this plugin.
Old Plugins: Plugins that haven’t been updated in 3 years can still be useful. Although WordPress has gone through many changes, the plugin is less likely to be affected than an oldie that had some form of integration with social media. Social Media changes a lot. So if you’re downloading, for example, a like box for FaceBook that hasn’t been updated in 3 years, chances are its not going to work.
In my experience, people are more likely to complain than commend; it’s human nature. People seem to get a kick out of de-spiriting others. Use your own ‘feelers’ when grabbing a plugin.
Above all, remember; all plugins on wordpress.org are tested against malicious code. Another good reason to use them as opposed to these packaged plugins that are given away or sold in low grade PLR shops.
Have you experienced a plugin that was rated either high or rated low and gave you a totally opposite expectatio? If so, why not share your experience with others.