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 1
  17. Unbranded: 1
  18. Reviews outside of 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?

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One thought on “Finding & Choosing WordPress Plugins

  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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