I have to admit, I love WordPress Extend Plugins. My first experience with the service came in April of this year when I released Ajax Edit Comments. I was mainly drawn to the service because of the promise of added publicity and the ease of tracking statistics.
My plugin crossing the 10,000 mark is a testament in itself to how WP Extend (and the WP community) helps promote plugins.
Once you get used to it, WP Extend is an easy and powerful tool for launching (and maintaining) a plugin. Sure the SVN takes a little bit of getting used to, but numerous people have written great tutorials on how to get your plugin listed (Windows, Linux, Mac?).
And since WordPress 2.3, WordPress users are automatically notified when a plugin listed at WP Extend is updated. It can’t get any better than that. Or, can it?
I love you WP Extend Plugins, but I have several suggestions on how to make the service even more enjoyable.
Featured Plugins? Forever?
As much as I love you WP Extend, forever is not in my vocabulary. I can’t remember the last time I saw the featured plugins change. I think there’s some room to shake things up a bit and feature something new from time to time.
I know being listed in the featured section doesn’t guarantee more downloads, but a change in scenery would help keep things fresh.
Please Give the Newer Plugins a Chance for Most Popular
How about showing popularity relative to points in time, such as monthly?
How About Related Plugins?
Another suggestion I have is to show related plugins in addition to the awesome feature of showing what else was downloaded.
For example, for All in One SEO Pack, you can see the other plugins that were downloaded in addition to the SEO plugin. However, looking at the list reveals no related plugins.
In the case of SEO Pack, I think it would be great to see other SEO related plugins as well.
Could I Please Have Sort Options Within Tags?
The post tag currently has the most plugins for any tag. Right now it’s being sorted by most recently updated, which is fine. But I see growing pains as tags become more populated. It would be awesome if there was a sort option for most popular, most highly rated, and perhaps alphabetic.
Since the “most highly rated” suggestion can easily be gamed, I suggest the date of addition, ratings, and downloads be placed into an algorithm that determines the highest rated plugins.
Can I Please Change My Plugin’s Homepage URL?
I’ve run into a situation where my plugin’s homepage changed. I unfortunately cannot change this, not even in the coveted readme file. Could I please have an option in the readme file to specify my plugin’s homepage URL?
And Recommendations for Plugin Authors
WordPress Extend Plugins is a great tool, but only if you use it to its maximum potential. If you happen to have a FAQ, screenshots, installation instructions, or other information, please have this all listed on WP Extend instead of having a link directing users back to another website.
If you take the time to post the screenshots, FAQ, and other information on WP Extend, you’ll get more downloads. I promise. You’ll still get a lot of website traffic, especially if your users need help.
WP Extend Plugins should ideally be self-sustaining, so please make it more convenient for those browsing the directory and have as much information listed as possible so the user can make an educated download decision.
Please take my suggestions with a grain of salt as they come solely from my observations over the past year. If WP Extend Plugins implements just one of my suggestions, I will fall over myself in bliss.
If you are a user of WP Extend (plugin author or plugin seeker), please feel free to weigh in on my suggestions and perhaps add some of your own.