9 Comments


  1. Jeffro:

    It’s amazing how well most plugins work with WP and other plugins. Sometimes I’ll find a plugin that conflicts with another or doesn’t work as advertised. In that case I look for another plugin and most of the time find a different one that works. One could argue to leave well enough alone.

    On the other hand, WordPress has become increasingly popular as a website software. More and more online businesses are using it for their websites. As a business owner, you’d like to be assured of some level of quality because when you’re site is down, you aren’t making money. From this perspective you could argue that there should be a review process.

    Maybe we should look at it as a tiered plugin repository – quality reviewed plugins and non-reviewed plugins.

    Should plugin reviewers be paid? If so, why not pay the theme reviewers?

    Maybe theme and plugin submitters should pay a fee for reviews?


  2. The truth is, what makes me nervous about a high volume of plug-ins on a site is the sad reality that many plug-ins are simply poorly developed. Even if they work in a sandbox, they often don’t work well at a high traffic scale. You might get away with a few so-so plug-ins, but the odds of a badly developed plug-in taxing your site get higher the more plug-ins you install, and the more bad plug-ins you run, the worse the problem becomes.

    Even many well developed plug-ins have become insanely bloated, adding layers of code to WordPress execution for features most users will never touch. And I speak as the author of about 15 publicly available plug-ins.

    The reason I built Simple Local Avatars, for instance, is because *popular* plug-ins that were once simple solutions (like “Add Local Avatar”) have become – in my humble opinion – far too heavy and bloated. I don’t want that weight sitting on top of WordPress. I wanted a plug-in that added an avatar upload field to the author’s profile, and would use that avatar – if available – when an avatar was called. No new setting screens (there is a single new setting option in the Avatar section of Discussion — where it belongs — that lets users determine whether lower permission roles are allowed to upload avatars), no third party API communication with social media sites, no new dashboard widgets promoting the author, no new folders in wp-content. I had to build the answer.

    I’m not sure what the answer is, but I often see adding lots of plug-ins to WordPress as akin – in many cases – to all the freeware software people used to install on Windows. We all know how that ended up working out.




  3. Why not start small? Some script/program which scans for typical mistakes. Initially it could just grep for things which are a no-go but are known to be used, maybe also some typical novice-mistakes, and some bad-programming-style things. Maybe also grepping for things which should be there but are forgotten from time to time.

    With this as a base (and I’m sure as time increases the things which are looked for in such a program will increase), the basic quality could improve for the worst plugins. Provide this to the people to check before submission of the plugin, so that people can check locally, and also run them for each new submission to the plugin-repository. Initially you could just issue a response from the output of the program to the authors, later you could maybe block based upon the output.

    As an example what is possible with such a script you could have a look at “portlint” (http://www.freebsd.org/cgi/cvsweb.cgi/ports/ports-mgmt/portlint/src/portlint.pl), the script which checks the meta-data of the FreeBSD package management system.

    I’m sure as time passes such a script/tool would receive improvement submissions and extend into something which catches a lot of problem cases.

    I’m aware that this will not be able to find everything you want to find, and that some things may even be imposible to find with such a tool, but you can raise the bar by a good amount to what is done in the plugins ATM.


  4. Should plugin reviewers be paid? If so, why not pay the theme reviewers?

    As a Theme reviewer: I say absolutely not. The WordPress project likely doesn’t have the funds, and WPF might have a difficult time justifying such an expense as a 501(c)3 organization. So: who ends up paying? The only viable source is Automattic, which would be an inherently bad idea, IMHO.

    Maybe theme and plugin submitters should pay a fee for reviews?

    Again: absolutely not. It is imperative that reviews remain fair and objective. Introduce financial incentives/contributions from Theme/Plugin developers, and that fair/objective standard becomes infinitely more difficult to maintain. Heck, the WPTRT has already had to defend itself against accusations of taking money for approvals, and/or for the Featured Themes listing; imagine if actual money was involved.


  5. Otto said it best over on wpcandy: it’s not the number of plugins, it’s how the plugins you have operate.


  6. Not sure if it is bad form to ask, but do you mind sharing the 30 plugins you currently use on this site? I would be curious to compare to some that I am using on mine.

    Thanks!

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