Congratulations on your new WordPress website. I know you’re probably very excited at all of the available plugins. There is a plugin to do just about anything you’d like, and they are usually very easy to install.

Check out this cool new plugin that does…

But remember your first experience with a smart phone? So many apps, so many cool add-ons! But after the 50th app, you realized your phone was working extremely slow. Well your WordPress website works in the same way. The more apps you have running at the same time, the more memory is required to load your website. The more memory that is being loaded, the slower your site will be for your users and may even cause other complications.

Here are some key factors to remember when choosing to use a new plugin.

Do you really need it?

Ask yourself if you really need this plugin, or if you can achieve the same thing with a built in WordPress feature you didn’t know about. Also check to see if another plugin you are already using offers the same thing. For example, Yoast SEO will take care of your Google sitemaps, so you don’t need another plugin just for that.

Is it easily interchangeable?

If you are using a plugin to pull in media for example, like a YouTube video,  your plugin may have you use a shortcode in your post or page. This is great because its easy to use and you can sometimes style your player differently than the default YouTube player allows. However, should your plugin stop working at any point, become outdated or unsupported by its author, you may need to rework the way you pull in those 10000’s of videos already using that shortcode. The same thing applies to any type of content rendering. Try to stick to the Core functionality already built into WordPress because those developers will make sure that your posts will update properly as WordPress files grow and update as well.

Is it compatible with the latest version of WordPress?

A very important factor to look for when choosing a plugin, is if it is compatible with the most current version of WordPress. For example, If you see that a plugin is only tested only up to version 3.4 and the current version is 3.5.2 than most likely that plugin will cause some sort of error on your site. You may not always notice the error, and it may just be a security risk, which is not visible. Another important note is that if the plugin is so outdated, it probably means it is no longer supported. So if you have any questions or issues with the plugin, you will be out of luck. Most of the time there are several plugins that will achieve the same thing. So if the one you want to use is outdated, just look a bit longer and you will probably find another one that will work.