Navigating the Uncharted Waters of WordPress Plugins: Risk vs. Reward


As WordPress developers, we’re always exploring ways to enhance our clients’ websites. In the vast ocean of available plugins, we often find ourselves torn between opting for well-established favorites or venturing into uncharted territory with untested alternatives.

It’s a temptation many of us have succumbed to — choosing a plugin based solely on its appearance or description, only to face disappointment later.

In this article, we’ll delve into the risks and rewards of navigating these uncharted waters, examining their implications for website security, compatibility, and overall user experience.

Two Plugins - One Smooth Sailing, One Rough Waters - Page 5 Digital
A Tale of Two Plugins: One Smooth Sailing, One Rough Waters

The Experiment

Recently, I encountered a design challenge on a client’s website.

While searching for plugins, I discovered an alternative option promising a unique design element.

However, the plugin lacked recent updates and had minimal user reviews — essentially untested.

The Calculated Risk

Despite the risks, I decided to explore the possibility further. Here’s how I approached the situation responsibly:

  1. Thorough Research: I meticulously reviewed the developer’s website and available user reviews to understand the plugin’s functionality and identify any potential red flags. While I couldn’t directly analyze the code in this case, I looked for comments mentioning compatibility issues, security concerns, or bugs reported by other users.
  2. Compatibility Checks: I ensured the plugin wouldn’t create conflicts with my existing tools, particularly Elementor, already used for building website sections.
  3. Rigorous Testing: After installation, I closely monitored the website performance and functionality for any errors or unexpected behaviors after installing the plugin.
A developer testing a website on a laptop and desktop computer
A developer testing a website on a laptop and desktop computer

The Outcome
Fortunately, in this instance, the untested plugin worked perfectly and accomplished its design objective.

However, this experience highlights the importance of responsible experimentation when considering untested plugins.

The Discussion
While the experiment worked out well this time, it’s crucial to acknowledge the inherent risks involved in using untested plugins. Here are some points to consider:

  • Unforeseen Security Vulnerabilities: Untested plugins might harbor security vulnerabilities that could expose your website to attacks.
  • Compatibility Issues: These plugins might conflict with existing themes or plugins, causing website malfunctions.
  • Limited Support: With no established user base, receiving technical support for untested plugins can be challenging.

Open Question
Despite the risks, do you think there are scenarios where exploring an untested plugin might be justifiable?

Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below!

Let’s create a discussion about responsible experimentation in WordPress development.

While established plugins often provide a safer choice, the allure of a “perfect-fit” untested plugin can be tempting. By following responsible practices like thorough research (including reviewing available information), compatibility checks, and rigorous testing, you can minimize the risks associated with experimentation. However, it’s vital to weigh the potential benefits against the risks before taking the plunge.

Want to learn more about WordPress plugins? Here are some helpful resources:


WP Dev & Designer

Deji “Luminous” Ogunbanjo, Web Design & Dev (MSc) & Brand Designer

I’m a passionate web designer and developer with a Master’s degree in Web Design & Development. I create user-friendly and optimized websites that help businesses worldwide achieve their growth goals. When I’m not coding, I’m flexing my branding muscles. Stay tuned for insights on #WordPress, #webdesign, and #growth!

Scroll to Top