WordPress Plugin Directory Restores Stats and Links to Older Versions of Plugins

Since the launch of the newly redesigned WordPress plugin directory, the Meta team has been hard at work fixing bugs and updating the design. The directory has undergone a series of visual updates that address some of the concerns readers expressed last week.

The number of active installs, tested up to WordPress version, and author information has been restored to the plugin card view. Previously, this information was only available on the plugin’s single page view.

Plugin stats are available to the public again and can be viewed by clicking the Advanced View link.

Advanced View Link
Advanced View Link
Stats For Plugins
Stats For Plugins

Links to previous versions can also be found on the stats page along with a disclaimer that says older versions may not be stable or secure.

Drop-down Menu to Download Older Versions
Drop-down Menu to Download Older Versions

The installation instructions have also returned as a drop-down section.

Installation Instructions
Installation Instructions

These changes bring the directory closer to the usefulness its predecessor provided. Some of the issues that remain include, read more links, distorted plugin banner images, and screenshots linking to a page instead of opening in a lightbox. Although some plugin banners are distorted, the Meta team does not recommend developers update them as the new dimensions have not been finalized.

The plugin directory is a work in progress. To report a bug or enhancement, you can create a ticket on Trac. If you have any questions concerning the directory or would like to get more involved, visit #meta on Slack.

Correction: April 17th, 2017 Although the number of active installs, tested up to WordPress version, and author information was removed during the mockups phase, the redesign at launch included this information.

7 Comments


  1. Still no sort options for search results and “Last updated” field still missing in card view – making choice of most suitable plugin even more difficult.

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    1. So true… Sorting is a must, and I have personally sent feedback about this in the beta stages.

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  2. The number of active installs, tested up to WordPress version, and author information has been restored to the plugin card view. Previously, this information was only available on the plugin’s single page view.

    While active installs, tested up to version, and author were not shown in our initial mockups a year ago, we launched with this information in search results. I’m not sure what this sentence means, but we have not iterated on the display of search results since launch.

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    1. I see that you’ve now modified the post to remove this line. In the future, when you modify posts, can you please add an “Update” noting the change? That’s a generally accepted best practice of media sites.

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  3. These are some nice improvements. Thank heavens, there’s some useful information on the cards now. I’m surprised to hear Samuel say that information has been available all along. I remember seeing versions without almost no info on the cards very recently. Great to see Samuel out communicating with the wider WordPress world at last.

    SINGLE ROW OR TWO DATES

    What is really not necessary is the tested with 4.7.3 info. WordPress.org has pushed plugin authors to do automatic checkmarking of older plugin versions so the information doesn’t mean much. If you don’t do it you’re blacklisted (and probably don’t even show up in search).

    The cards would look better and be easier to read with just plugin author information and number of active installs at the bottom. If any information would help, it would be to add last updated date – more than just checking the “I’ve tested my plugin with latest WordPress” or even more symmetrical (as if you add one piece of info you may as well pair it in two rows) would be last updated date and date created.

    CLICKABLE AUTHOR NAMES

    It would really help if the plugin author’s name in the search results were clickable as the first thing a responsible WordPress publisher or developer wants to see is the author’s track record with other plugins.

    PREVIOUS VERSION LANGUAGE

    While it’s great that previous versions are back, I’m not happy with the language around previous versions.

    Previous versions of this plugin may not be secure or stable and are available for testing purposes only.

    It’s very alarmist. These versions are not just for testing purposes. I’d recommend something more neutral like:

    For security reasons, WordPress.org recommends running the latest version of a plugin unless you have good reason not to such as removed features or compatibility.

    Or short and sweet:

    Older versions may not be secure. Handle with care.

    In any case, the word stable should not be here. Why would the earlier versions not be stable?

    SECURITY CHECKS | GitHub INTEGRATION

    We could then go a bit further and start to mark with red asterisk versions which are known insecure. I know there are quite a few databases of WordPress and plugin security issues we could pull from. That’s an additional feature and lots of extra work so I just mention it, I do not recommend it. GitHub integration would be much easier to build and more useful.

    LAYOUT: ADVANCED VIEW

    The placement of the Advanced View is quite awkward, far away from the developer section. It seems to me it would be much more useful to have a “Stats and Preview Versions” link in the Developer section. Of course that’s awkward as the link would be nested under a “Read more” link (tabs were so much more functional an interface for the plugin directory) but at least it would keep all the developer information in one place.

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  4. The installation instructions have also returned as a drop-down section.

    Just updated the readme of my plugins and moved this info to the Description section.. :-(

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