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Ideas

Better Method to Find Appropriate Plugins

  1. CdnGuy
    Member

    Trying to find a plugin that does what one wants is like trying to find web developer who'll admit they ever used Frontpage.

    I recommend setting up a directory, so that one can narrow the search down a bit. Right now, guessing at what tags or keywords might represent the plugin needed is very frustrating. Especially since terminology for some things isn't standardized.

    I'm grateful for WordPress, and all the plugin developers in general. Thank you. I hope that the whole program can be even more useful in the future.

    Posted: 2 years ago #
  2. Ipstenu (Mika Epstein)
    Half-Elf Support Rogue, Volunteer Forum Mod & Plugin Referee

    The problem is that what you want and what I want, even if we both say "I want a poll plugin," can be wildly different.

    We have a directory, but we do sort it by tags as that's how the developers organize their plugins. We let them pick the terms they feel are most appropriate. I presume you're suggesting we do some sort of manual organizing?

    Posted: 2 years ago #
  3. CdnGuy
    Member

    That's exactly the problem, I agree.

    I don't really know if a directory is the best way to organize it all, but it seems like there must be a better way.

    The tag-filter option on the Themes seems to work well, yet still allow a great deal of flexibility - another hallmark of WordPress. Perhaps that's something to look at.

    Posted: 2 years ago #
  4. Ipstenu (Mika Epstein)
    Half-Elf Support Rogue, Volunteer Forum Mod & Plugin Referee

    The reason it works so well with themes is because we lock that down :) They can only pick from specific themes. Plugins you can make up your own tags (so if you tagged yours with 'phenomenal monkey butter' that would work). Maybe we'll change plugins over to that too, but we have so much more flexibility with plugins (they can, literally, do anything), it's hard to want to rein people in and limit that.

    Posted: 2 years ago #
  5. iamfantastikate
    Member

    12345

    I don't think tags are the real problem. It's just that there's too much irrelevant content in the current directory layout. Being able to sort by plugins tested for the most recent versions of WordPress would help a lot, and that's something that wouldn't be affected by subjectivity.

    When I search for a plugin, half of my time is spent clicking on each one, only to see many were last updated one to two years ago, many WP versions past. I generally draw the line on plugins not updated in the last at 8-12 months, over the concern that the developer's disappeared, unless it's a simple plugin that wouldn't likely be affected by core WP changes.

    The "sort by newest" feature on WP.org--absent from the admin system--helps a little, but I think being able to optionally filter out everything but plugins for the latest few versions of WP would be even better.

    Posted: 2 years ago #
  6. Ipstenu (Mika Epstein)
    Half-Elf Support Rogue, Volunteer Forum Mod & Plugin Referee

    Being able to sort by plugins tested for the most recent versions of WordPress would help a lot, and that's something that wouldn't be affected by subjectivity.

    Alas, 100% subjective. It's up to the dev to update that, and some of them don't.

    Also age is similarly an inexact measuring stick, but that's because WP rarely removes code, it just deprecates. I have a plugin that really hasn't changed in a year, but I find myself coming back to update minor things just so people don't think it's abandoned or it doesn't work.

    Posted: 2 years ago #
  7. iamfantastikate
    Member

    12345

    Alas, 100% subjective. It's up to the dev to update that, and some of them don't.

    TIL. Is there any way that could possibly be changed somehow to enable a sorting feature like this? I still wouldn't mind it even if it is subjective, honestly. And, hey, it might encourage more developers to update that info.

    I agree it's an inexact measuring stick. I've ancient plugins that worked just fine, and I'm not always above trying something old if there's nothing new around. Still, generally speaking, I go for the newer stuff, simply because I can mostly be guaranteed the developer's still around if some support issue arises. I particularly feel this way about the more complex plugins.

    Posted: 2 years ago #
  8. Ipstenu (Mika Epstein)
    Half-Elf Support Rogue, Volunteer Forum Mod & Plugin Referee

    On the great big to-do list is a way to sort by 'Dev claims this works on 3.5!' :)

    Posted: 2 years ago #
  9. CdnGuy
    Member

    Believe me, if this is the worst thing I have to deal with in WordPress, it's still one of the best technologies ever!

    Mind you, if you do publish the Phenomenal Monkey Butter plugin, I am SO buying that one! Just because. Really, who doesn't want Phenomenal Monkey Butter!?

    That being said, there will probably come a day when other aspects of WP are as people would generally like and this might gain prominence as a project. How do other large software plugin sites manage this kind of information? Are they any better at it? I don't know. Something to think about though.

    Posted: 2 years ago #
  10. Hugh
    Member

    12345

    I found a conversation related to this: trying to address the abandoned plugin issue. And replied to this issue but I think these two issues are related. http://digwp.com/2012/10/abandoned-plugin-adoption-program/

    Posted: 2 years ago #

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    6 Votes
  • Status

    This idea is under consideration