Lee Odden

First Thoughts: WordPress Official Plugins Directory

Lee Odden     Blogging Strategy

When I first read last week that WordPress had launched an official plugins directory I was excited. There are lots of good plugins out there that are not in any sort of searchable database other than a search engine. However, the WordPress plugin directory isn’t living up to my excitations yet.

The directory holds less than 150 plugins out of the thousands out there. What is there seems to be organized well and has a nice star rating scale, installation information, screenshots, a FAQ and even download stats for the plugin.

I then tried to add the FB StandardStats plugin and that’s where my excitement died.

Signing up for an account and submitting the basic plugin info was easy. A couple hours later I got notification that a SVN area was setup for my plugin and the URL took me to a page with no GUI, no instructions and no clues as to what to do next. A quick email back to support and they said it was easy, just get a SVN client and they sent me here.

Confused yet again, and not sure how to install the plugins they recommend, I went out and got a SVN stand alone application. That didn’t work as I had no idea the connection settings. So I ended up installing TortoiseSVN as they suggested and it worked.

I’ve got the plugin uploaded and ready to go, I think. But I have no idea what to do next or how to get it into the WordPress official directory. The whole ordeal isn’t user friendly and I can see how quickly it’d deter plugin authors from uploading their plugins. That is unless I’m the only one who doesn’t get the whole SVN thing.

I think the official WordPress plugin directory is a great idea, but I think it’s confusing and annoying to get a plugin listed. I’d recommend wp-plugins.net for a large database of WordPress plugins that is extremely easy to get included in.

What are your thoughts on the official WordPress plugin directory?

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Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on integrated content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely on a beach somewhere doing absolutely nothing.

Comments

  1. @Thomas: I agree with you 100%. I believe the new system is wonderful in terms of usability on the front end, however, just because we’re developers does not mean we don’t want a user friendly interface. I don’t mind using SVN, I mean I use it for most projects, however I think for ease of use amongst most developers, it could be easier.. and with authentication. However, because it is GPL now anyone can make modifications.

  2. guys, check out the new plugins directory at http://www.learningwordpress.com. Is a lot more organized and easy to add and find plugins compared to both the wordpress.org official directory and wp-plugins.net. Let me know what you think of it … im still fixing it up.

  3. Thanks for the agreement Justin. 🙂

    Ssharaf, my first thoughts on your new site is that it’s so pretty. I really dig the design! What are you using to create the directory/blog/cool user area? I see it’s WordPress, but it’s not the normal WordPress install.

  4. It’s elitist, but some of the barriers to entry are deliberate. We’ve found the best plugins are written by folks who have a good understanding of version control and are willing to invest the time required to create the documentation which powers the directory. Quantity does not always translate into quality.

  5. Its WordPress + Joomla stitched together. The user management is being taken care of by joomla community builder.

  6. Kerry Woods says:

    Well a few bits of good news regarding plugins – with the new WordPress 2.7 Matt Mullenweg has stated he plans on focusing more on plugins and there will hopefully be one-click installs for them as well. He spoke on it for a bit at WordCamp 2008. http://www.bestofthewebhosts.com/wordcamp.php You can check out his thoughts in that event review – I’m hoping that 2.7 really breaks things open. I really am curious about his mini social hubs. I can think of so many times I would have used those if they’d existed in a form like WordPress which is very easy to use especially for those of us who aren’t very tech savvy.

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