Finding & Choosing WordPress Plugins

I recently asked folks on Twitter how they choose WordPress plugins:

I received over 20 replies, many of which listed the same few factors. Here they are, ranked by mentions:

11776665554322111111012345678910111213CountRecent updatesActive installsDocumentationRatingsReviewsSupportRead codeDescriptionRecsDev name recognitionTestGoogleScreenshotsNo upsellsSecurityOn .orgUnbrandedReviews outside .orgSimplicityMethod How do you choose plugins?
  1. Recent updates: 11
  2. Active installs: 7
  3. Documentation: 7
  4. Ratings: 6
  5. Reviews: 6
  6. Support forum response: 6
  7. Read code: 5
  8. Description: 5
  9. Recommendations (word of mouth, twitter, facebook, meetup): 5
  10. Developer name recognition: 4
  11. Test the plugin: 3
  12. Google: 2
  13. Screenshots: 2
  14. No upsells: 1
  15. Check for security vulnerabilities: 1
  16. Available on WordPress.org: 1
  17. Unbranded: 1
  18. Reviews outside of WordPress.org: 1
  19. Simplicity: 1

The top 8 are all featured either in the plugin cards, or detail pages. So I wondered: what’s missing? What information would people like to see in order to better evaluate the plugins they’re installing?

I received a ton of great ideas:

  • Does a plugin have dependencies
  • Multisite compatible
  • GitHub link
  • Easy way to look at code before downloading
  • Incompatible plugins
  • List of hosting providers where the plugin was tested
  • Link to external (direct) support
  • Link to external documentation
  • Link to external quick-start guide
  • Link to issue tracker
  • Related plugins
  • Plugins users have also installed
  • All WordPress versions on which the plugin is active
  • Ability to test the plugin without downloading it

“GitHub link” was mentioned several times:

Surfacing developer reputation was a big suggestion:

Pretty much all of my responses were from WordPress power users and developers, so the results are obviously very biased towards that.

Anything missing from these lists?

Posted on

One thought on “%1$s”

  1. Beside what I saw over the past was most plugins like to set a link to their settings page in admin nav on top instead of bringing them together or move under a toplevel link which like their passion. A Backup plugin should reside under settings or tools, courses and lessons from Sensei LMS shoud be under Sensei and so on. Could you please mention this to plugin devs too?

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