There are number of plugins available for WordPress in various categories but finding a right plugin for your self hosted WordPress blog might be a time taking task. There are some good practices that will help you to find an appropriate plugin for your blog.
#1. Look for Most Popular Plugins
WordPress Most Popular Plugins category is the collection of plugins being used by maximum number of WordPress users. If you’re in search of a good WordPress plugin then you should start the hunt from this category. Also, don’t forget to look the current rating and compatibility of the plugin with your WordPress version.
#2. Read Installation Guide, FAQ, Screen-shots, Change log and Stats.
On WordPress Plugin download page, you can see Plugin Installation guide, Screen-shots, Ratings etc. These options may help you a lot in choosing a good plugin. So, it’s strongly recommended to read the plugin description before downloading a plugin. Also, I do agree that some plugins descriptions are not well managed by the plugin developers, but still you can give a view.
#3. Test the plugin on local desktop
It is strongly recommended to test your plugin on your local desktop before installing it on your live website. It is a very good practice because you can freely test and explore plugin options, appearance and compatibility with the WordPress version. Also, you can judge the usefulness of the Plugin for your Blog.
To Install WordPress on your local desktop you can use XAMPP.
#4. Look for new releases
New Releases provides rich experience and better compatibility with latest version of WordPress. So, in search of a good WordPress plugin, it is advisable to view newly released plugins. You can view new releases on WordPress Plugins database and Weblogtoolscollection website.
#5. Visit sites and Blogs other than WordPress
First, Except WordPress plugin Database, you should not download any WordPress plugin from other sites. A small error in Plugin can make a big security loophole on your blog. I agree to the fact that there are some good and well known blogs that provides good WordPress Plugin. If you find a plugin on other site then search the WordPress database for the same plugin. If you don’t find the plugin in WordPress database then you can search for a short review of that plugin.