100 Million Plugin Downloads and Counting

WordPress 3.0 Thelonious passed 3 million downloads yesterday, and today the plugin directory followed suit with a milestone of its own: 100 million downloads.

The WordPress community’s growth over the years has been tremendous, and we want to reinvest in it. So we’re taking the next two months to concentrate on improving WordPress.org. A major part of that will be improving the infrastructure of the plugins directory. More than 10,000 plugins are in the directory, every one of them GPL compatible and free as in both beer and speech. Here’s what we have in mind:

We want to provide developers the tools they need to build the best possible plugins. We’re going to provide better integration with the forums so you can support your users. We’ll make more statistics available to you so you can analyze your user base, and over time we hope to make it easier for you to manage, build, and release localized plugins.

We want to improve how the core software works with your plugin and the plugin directory. We’re going to focus on ensuring seamless upgrades by making the best possible determinations about compatibility, and offer continual improvements to the plugin installer. And we also want to give you a better developer tool set like SVN notifications and improvements to the bug tracker.

We’re also going to experiment with other great ideas to help the community help plugin authors. We want it to be easy for you to offer comments to plugin authors and the community, including user reviews and better feedback. We may experiment with an adoption process for abandoned plugins as a way to revitalize hidden gems in the directory. I’m not sure there is a better way to show how extendable WordPress is and how awesome this community is at the same time.

As Matt said in the 3.0 release announcement, our goal isn’t to make everything perfect all at once. But we think incremental improvements can provide us with a great base for 3.1 and beyond, and for the tens of millions of users, and hundreds of millions of plugin downloads to come.

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