Improving the WordPress Plugin Directory

As someone who’s deployed WordPress from its B2 days a decade ago, I feel somewhat qualified to list what I love and loathe about the product. I’d be eminently qualified had I developed a plugin or theme used by thousands; but my brain doesn’t quite work that way. But lets not bore you with its mapping 🙂

As someone who deploys WordPress to clients, as well as a personal blog (this one, LOL), I like the changes made to the WordPress.org Plugin Directory where you can tell if a developer is invested in their plugin by adding a placeholder image, description, screenshots, FAQ and responds to support requests. I also like that the directory only included plugins that pass WordPress.org tests. The directory managers also include a warning if a plugin hasn’t seen updates for a year plus.

What we really need in the Plugin Directory is:

  • Ability to exclude plugins rated for a specific WordPressversion; AND
  • Ability to exclude plugins that haven’t been updated for 6/12/15/18/24 or more months ( months is easier than years); AND
  • Ability to exclude free feature-limited plugins; AND
  • sort search results by Relevance AND/OR Rating AND/OR Popularity (download count) AND/OR Newness

Plugin Directory Search sucks compared to the search within self-hosted WordPress that’s enhanced via free search plugins like

However searching for plugins in the Directory sucks. You can search by relevance (the default) but woe betide you if you click on any of the other search options: Newest, Most Popular, Highest Rated as these are all OR statements. The result: plugins ordered by one of these terms instead of Relevance plus one of these terms. The Directory also needs to add a more prominent and visual indicator for plugins where the free version is limited to only the most basic features with usable features limited to the paid version  I feel plugin authors only offer free versions of their premium plugins to enhance their search rank. It’s a disservice to the WordPress.org community to have to separate this chaff from the free wheat.

 

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