So I've provided some statistics which I use to decide quickly without investing too much time.
- Search. I use Google and type a few keywords followed by the words "WordPress plugin" in the search. For example, if I am looking for a social media plugin which allows people to share my posts on Social Media, then I would type the following words in Google: Social Media Wordpress Plugin.
- Then I open the Top 3 or 5 links pointing to the wordpress.org website and check "Compatible up to", "Last Updated", "Active Installs" & "Ratings"
- If the plugin is compatible with the current or one previous version of Wordpress that's a good sign.
- If the plugin was last updated recently, that's good too. If it was last updated a year ago, that's a red flag.
- If the Active Install number is high, that's social proof that it's a good plugin
- But I also check the ratings. Sometimes the number of active installs for a plugin may be higher than another plugin, but the number of 5-star ratings for a plugin is higher in the plugin that has a lower active install. See screenshots below. The first one may appear to be the best plugin because it has a maximum number of Active Install, but if you look closer, the 3rd one is the best because the number of 5-star ratings is 4.9 of an average of 3127 people rating the plugin.