How To Choose The Right WordPress Plugins & Themes

Updated: December 19, 2017
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Choosing the right plugins and themes when you make a WordPress website can be challenging. In this video, I will share how to avoid the dangers and pitfalls to make sure you are choosing the right tools.

 

 

If you’ve ever wondered when you’re looking
at a plug-in or theme to use on your website

if you should use that if that is the best
pick for you if it’s going to be reliable

if you’ve ever wondered about that talk about
that in this video and try to give you some

tips and pointers to make sure that your choosing
plug-ins and themes to use on your website

that are going to be around and are going
to do go the distance and not just be a project

that gets abandoned hi my name is Adam from
WPCrafter.com were I release atomic content

to help you get better results with WordPress
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bill off to the right and you to let you know
when I have a new video so about two days

ago some news came out about a page builder
that is going out of business they’re not

can it develop it anymore and I remembered
when I saw that story I actually had it comment

a discussion in the comment section of one
of my videos with the developer and and this

is kinda one of those situations where you
were right to but you actually feel bad about

it you feel like being right is actually being
wrong in a bad thing and let me just first

tell you the name of the page builder and
it’s right here it’s called Taylor and there’s

many blogs that wrote articles about this
when it was released some very popular blogs

had articles about this a lot of blogs just
you know they take money to write reviews

in things that nature I’ve never done that
I don’t think I ever will do that if something

feels disingenuous about that to me but of
this was written up on a lot of different

websites giving great reviews and all that
kind of stuff and I release the video menu

three months ago right here in it was my latest
comparing all the different page builder options

that are available today and I remembered
this conversation so I came to my comments

section and I entered the name of the page
builder and essentially just a discussion

with the developer where he was saying you
know Taylor’s a great page builder you should

check it out and I said to him and I was actually
I think kind of kind being kind here I said

yes I have heard of it but at this point I
don’t see it getting any momentum ever when

there are much better value propositions out
there with Elementor which was also a is also

a free page builder in Taylor was freaked
anyways the conversation went on and I basically

said I kind of concerned that this page builder
Taylor is that there’s no business model behind

it in something as important as a page builder
really needs a business model so that they

can actually fund development and he assured
me here at the bottom that they have great

stuff going on and that they’re going to go
the distance and they’re not going anywhere

and I thought you know that’s good but then
two days ago this is put on their blog that

they are not going to continue developing
it anymore because of Gutenberg but when you

actually read the article if you’re not familiar
with Gutenberg it is WordPress’s kind of building

a page builder that can be included in it
should be out sometime next year so the article

talks about Gutenberg but it also says we
don’t have the money to fund developing this

and this basically because there was in a
business model behind it and when you go to

their WordPress.org page were talks about
the or you can download the page builder right

here you can see they had about 3000 active
installations and it was actively being developed

they did a great job and reviews but for some
reason people were using this there wasn’t

a large numbers of people using this and so
I thought this is the perfect opportunity

to make a video like this about how like what
factors should you be looking at when choosing

to use this plug-in or that plug-in or this
theme or that theme what are some of these

things that you can look at the kind of try
to get an idea of whether you should even

go through the effort of installing this on
your website now I do want to let you know

I get asked all the time to make a video here’s
a new plug-in make a video or write something

or do something like that and I am a lot of
times I say no I are just file off the email

it actually reminds me of a another page builder
that came out last year and you might’ve heard

of it Elementor I actually received this is
the first time I received an email from Elementor

it was last year it was in June 8, 2016 Ben
the marketing mastermind behind Elementor

sent this email to me basically say my name’s
been here is Elementor we just released that

its grades etc. etc. and then he asked me
to do a video review no doubt catch the date

it was in June and I congratulated him and
I said I’ll add it to the list that’s a polite

way of saying no I’m not going to make a video
but I will keep an eye on this and I’ll add

it to my list of things to watch and I do
I am sincere and that I will keep an eye on

it and if you actually go to my YouTube channel
you can see I did not make a video on its

and it wasn’t even a dedicated video until
September 8 so that was a full three months

later till you ever heard me on this channel
talk about Elementor the point being at the

time when Ben reached out to me was this new
page builder and I’m not going to talk about

it I’m not can even waste any time on it unless
I see some of these factors in place for the

plug-in so I won’t even talk about it all
and part of the reason is for me is I feel

very responsible if I was to make a suggestion
or talk about something and then it ends up

being a disaster for someone I take a lot
of personal responsibility there and I feel

the pressure that I don’t want anyone to follow
any bit of my advice and have it end up being

bad for them so I have to have that extra
level of caution so let’s talk about some

of the things you can look at to determine
whether or not you should use a plug-in or

theme so first of all let’s get this straight
there are two types of plug-ins in my mind

that you should have should have different
criteria for there is those utility plug-ins

that just kind of added feature it’s really
easy to install and it’s very minimal to configure

on your website and they also don’t really
have a lot of lock in a perfect example of

this would be maybe a security plug-in if
you’re choosing iThemes Security which I use

Wordfence it’s really easy to switch between
the two there’s no real lock and see have

a bit more flexibility but then there’s those
other plug-ins that a lot goes into it and

it would be very painful to switch and what
category are those page builders is a perfect

example right if you’re using a page builder
in your building out all this content on your

website and then you determine that maybe
that page builder goes out of business they

stop developing it or you want to switch is
causing problems while you now have a big

task ahead of you to switch and that’s why
some plug-ins are in a different category

of scrutiny that you need to put in before
you decide to even install this on your website

a perfect example that would be page builders
it would also be your theme themes can be

a little bit of a pain in the rear and to
switch and also a SCO plug-in so whether you’re

choosing use Yoast or all-in-one SCO I think
is the name of the other one some of these

plug-ins you’re going to the putting data
in and it’s not gonna be easy to switch so

you really want to give and a lot of scrutiny
and make a good decision so let me shirk you

some of the red flags that I saw with Taylor
number one is the active installations when

I was looking at that it wasn’t really big
now what I didn’t say when I give you the

Elementor example Elementor when I made the
first video in three months they went from

zero installs the 40,000 active installs and
so what does that tell you tells you that

they have a lot of momentum behind it this
is something that is getting a lot of traction

so I try to avoid plug-ins that don’t have
a lot of traction now let me show you how

you can tell when you’re looking@aplug-inonwordpress.org’s
page if you click on advanced view and you

scroll down a little bit right here it shows
you how many downloads in the trend of downloads

that this plug-ins getting in it shows you
the history so with Taylor you could see was

only getting downloaded maybe 50 times a day
and there and obviously there’s a couple little

spikes here and there but there wasn’t an
upward trend or an upward movement let’s compare

that to Elementor which mate may or may not
be fair but this kinda came out around the

same time so if I go here on Elementor and
I’m actually already on the page here it is

so you can see a couple days ago they had
36,000 downloads in one day and of course

that’s probably the highest that they’ve ever
had may be some kind of a news article came

out or some kind of write up on a blog or
anything like that but look at this trend

you can see I adjust in March they’re getting
about 5000 or 6005 to 7000 downloads a day

but then look at this trend upward you can
see right here November 8 they had 36,000

downloads this is momentum this is the trend
and this is what feeds into the active insulation

number and you can see right here all time
Elementor’s been downloaded 2.5 million times

that’s massive that is just a massive number
next you can look at reviews so the reviewed

reviews sometimes are not can it tell the
whole story though because reviews are really

dependent upon a developer asking for reviews
people don’t just give reviews unless they

were asked so you can go here and you can
look at the amount of reviews but you can

actually click on save if I clicked on one
star and we can read what that one star review

said now a lot of times a one star review
you got a kind of read between the lines sometimes

it’s someone that’s new and they’re just frustrated
and they’re taking it out on the plug-in developer

so you got it just gonna read between the
lines on it and kind of see what your gut

telling you if this is a reliable plug-in
next on some of those mission-critical plug-ins

that you want to add to your website you need
to visit the website of the developer behind

it and see if there is an actual business
model behind it one thing I like about Elementor

is there’s a rocksolid business model behind
it they have the Pro version and they sell

that in sales are going great there’s a lot
of momentum going into that so if there’s

a business model if it’s making money obviously
they it’s in their best interest to continue

making it the very best product that it can
have another example is a Yoast Yoast has

a great business model they have the paid
version of it they have multiple products

at training programs on their website their
super actively involved in the greater WordPress

community so that is another signal that okay
I’m in a be in good hands if I make the decision

to go this route because they have the money
to have the staff and have the response times

and all of that to be there for you when you
need them the most so those are some of the

examples of things that you can look for now
there’s times though were you there it’s going

to be an important plug-in but it might be
a little on the niche side so that there aren’t

lots of installations of it or reviews a perfect
example of that where you know it’s a little

dangerous but you have to know that going
in on the my website I recently added a user

form so when you go to my website you click
on forum I have this year it’s using a question

and answer plug-in called and suppress and
it’s free and this is actually little bit

of a rest I looked at all of the question-and-answer
plug-ins obviously it’s kind of a mission

critical because all this contents going into
it in if you were to switch you would lose

all that user generated content so it is a
little bit risky of me to use this plug and

I looked at all the plug-ins in its category
and they’re all kind of the same where you

know they had good reviews they had bad reviews
they had very low install numbers I think

this one only has 6000 active installations
but I know going into it that it’s niche so

what I did with Anne’s presses I I went to
their website and they actually had the best

website of any of the developers that make
the plug-in in this category so I went to

the website it looks good to me their support
available there granted there’s a little bit

of a delay also I looked to see how often
they release updates as is actively being

developed and they do kind of have a business
model they have a theme available that is

perfectly designed for this question and answer
type of solution so you know I thought okay

I’m taking a risk but at least I know going
into it I’m taking a risk here it could work

out great it could maybe not work out great
in this could be all that it ever is if there’s

a problem I might need to figure out who to
hire to fix a particular problem but I know

that going into it I knew it wasn’t there
to be perfect so far it’s been pretty good

and I’ll probably make a video on this solution
here in the future now so far only talked

about plug-ins I really want to talk about
WordPress themes now with WordPress themes

a lot of the same goes into it you want to
look at old washers for example you go to

a website called Theme Forest if you’re interested
in purchasing a theme there what ends up happening

let me go to the website right now here’s
Theme Forest so with Theme Forest what’s interesting

is the each theme has its sales numbers public
so if I go here to WordPress and I go to popular

themes and is can you show me Alyssa popular
popular does not mean it’s a good thing it

just means that they in the last week had
more cells than another theme that was available

so if you go here and say click on a theme
when we click on one that I think is good

ListingPro is more of a niche theme you can
scroll down and there’s info here there is

right here when the deep the theme was released
when it received its last update these are

very important things to look at when the
did the different distance and time are they

regularly updating it and then right here
the sales numbers for that theme you can see

this particular theme has sold over 3000 times
and there on that popular list what ends up

happening with Theme Forest themes is whenever
they start losing sales momentum what you

think happens the developer loses interest
in it right they aren’t making any more money

off of the theme so why are they gonna spend
the time developing and adding new features

it just doesn’t make sense from a financial
perspective so what you have here is a great

way of looking to see whether or not this
is a plug in our theme that’s can continue

to receive updates it’s going to continue
to receive new features and is has some momentum

so that there and I have the money to further
develop the particular theme this is why I

really only recommend a few themes one of
them being Astra Theme now one of the main

reasons I like the Astra Theme is it has a
whole team of developers behind it they have

a vested interest in its success and they
have a proven track record of successful products

that that continue to be updated supported
and improved upon and so that’s why it was

an easy decision to start really putting a
lot of my time and effort into Asher I’m using

it on my website because I know that it’s
going to be around for a long time it’s going

to go the distance and it’s just been getting
better and better another great example of

a theme in this category would be GeneratePress
it’s been around for a very long time it’s

probably one of the original highest performance
theme get rid of things themes available themes

available in the WordPress repository and
it has one of the most passionate developers

that’s behind it he’s super available to help
people you go to his website he is a user

form that super active and amazing Facebook
group that’s super active so these are reliable

choices of companies that are making money
they’re making great products are going to

be around they’re not going any work you can
trust your website your website for livelihood

to these theme developers and this is also
why you haven’t seen me create much content

around another theme called Ocean WP and the
reason is because like with Elementor I wanted

to give it some time to see what ends up happening
with it and I’m very happy for them that they’ve

begun to get some traction with a been getting
traction for a while and it appears that they’re

starting to earn money so they can get a little
bit more staff and continue taking this thing

forward but it all boils down to one thing
and that is momentum you want and actually

isn’t that the word that I used right here
in the comments is that you know you want

to use plug-ins and themes with momentum and
if I was the title back and up into one concept

you want to use plug-ins and themes that have
the momentum and are going in the right direction

I do have a lot of discipline on this channel
because I’ve been using WordPress for many

years there’s been many plug-ins I’ve used
and themes I’ve used that ended up being a

disaster because I didn’t look at it this
way and I don’t want to ever recommend anything

to you that’s gonna cause a problem for you
and I want you to actually be able to trust

your gut and your instincts and your intuition
when you’re deciding what to use on your website

so that’s all I have for you in this video
now if you have any advice for other people

about this topic of what what you should be
looking at in determining what’s solution

which direction to use what’s what tools to
use go ahead and leave that info down in the

comments section below will be help very helpful
to me and I will be very helpful to other

people that read through on the comments so
that’s it thank you for watching this video

and I’ll see you in the next one.

Adam @ WPCrafter

My passion is making the best quality video tutorial online, for non-techies. When I am not behind the camera, I am usually helping out one of my YouTube subscribers.
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4 thoughts on “How To Choose The Right WordPress Plugins & Themes”

  1. Another very useful video Adam, I have evolved from Free to Premium WordPress themes on the back of what you recommended so than thanks for that.

    Currently I am using Astra, for one particular site, together with Thrive Themes, which it has to be said is fast becoming my Go To WP affiliate source

    Keep up the good work

    Dave

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