Plugins… which ones should I use?
As a Search Engine Marketing Consultant, I get asked this question a lot.
Unfortunately, there’s no simple answer. While there are tons of free plugins available in the WordPress repository, most of them lack support and are not kept up to date. This means they may not work with the next WordPress update and could break your site entirely. This leaves you waiting to see if the coder who was nice enough to make the plugin for free, has the time to fix it.
There are paid versions of the same types of plugins available all over the web. These are generally better because your paying for the provider to keep the plugin up to date and provide support for fixing issues.PID encountered the same issues when we first started developing websites. We tried many of the free plugins and it became more costly to maintain them than it was to just purchase a plugin than did want we wanted and worked.
I know this personally… when I first signed up, I asked a lot of ridiculously silly questions. They answered them all with a positive attitude and encouragement.
This is the first advice I have on plugins. Paid plugins are better. No two ways about it. If you can afford paid plugins, you will save your self tons of time, frustration, and money down the road.
The next question I get is… Which paid plugins…from what company…?
Even with paid plugins, there are many that do the same things. How do you know which one is best for you?
My first answer is always WPMUDEV. PID signed up with this company several years ago and it did wonders for our bottom line and development process. The team at WPMUDEV is pretty amazing. They produce 2-3 new plugins a month. Usually ones dealing with functionalities we can all use.
They support their products! This is so critical, and why we are firm believers in paid plugins. Have trouble installing, integrating, or using a plugin?…. They are ready to help. Without attitude, without hesitation… These guys are there no matter what level you are at.
I know this personally… when I first signed up, I asked a lot of ridiculously silly questions. They answered them all with a positive attitude and encouragement. WPMUDEV offers plugins for just about anything, from enhancing your user experience to complete ecom solutions. The plugins work with 99% of all WordPress themes, If you can’t get one to work with your setup… they’ll help you figure it out. It just doesn’t get any better than that.
This is true even with the most awesome, Thesis Theme. As a pro development theme, it has some coding that can cause issues with implementation. The WPMUDEV team usually codes with Thesis in mind or provides an easy fix in the forums.
It’s a membership-based site, which can be a drawback to some. However, you get a lot more than great plugins with fantastic support as a WPMUDEV member. You also get access to a huge forum with outstanding advice, a community of hard core WordPress users who are also ready to help if they can, access to all of their products including free themes, and more awesome WordPress tips, tricks, and facts than you can shake a smart phone at.
As a search consultant… I rely on trending info to stay up to date. The folks at WPMUDEV can crank out the content. They have a sister site called WPMU.org. If nothing else… subscribe to their blog. Good stuff in there!
There are very few membership sites that I recommend signing up for. WPMUDEV is one of them. If you can swing the monthly fee, you’ll gain access to a ton of fantastic plugins and solid WordPress advice. For PID it has been one of the smartest investments we’ve made.
Click on any of the WPMUDEV links in this post to check out the awesomeness. These are affiliate links which means PID will get a commission if you sign up through the link. Your cost is the same either way.
As a Search Marketing Consultant, I tell my clients to stay away from free plugins. There are rare exceptions…, which I’ll cover in another post.
A membership with WPMUDEV is a smart way to go whether you’re a developer, designer, or DIY business owner. Their paid plugins are well worth the monthly cost… saving you money, time, and frustration down the road.
What paid plugins do you use? I’m always looking for new ones. Let me know in the comments!