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How to write a good plugin review

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When we launched our Reader Review series, I’m sure we created a few doubts in your mind about:

  1. How do I write a review?
  2. Will my review be accepted?
  3. What if my review gets trashed by readers?
  4. Is it really worth the effort?

And so on…

We published a list of reviews from our readers, so that is a good starting point. I’ll guide you through a few tips on writing a good review.

Step 1 – Select the Plugin

The first step to starting the review, is well finalizing on which plugin you want to review, then downloading and installing the same on your blog. This could either be a dummy blog dedicated for this purpose or maybe your production blog itself.

Do you really need to install it? Well, the answer is obvious. Yes, you need to. Because without getting a hands on experience, you will never be able to write a good review. Unless you’re me ;) J/k

Step 2 – Study the Page

Next, study what the plugin author has to say about his / her plugin. I love plugins that have a dedicated plugin page (not a post) on the plugin authors blog / website dedicated for this purpose.

I give negative points for plugins that don’t have their dedicated page or if they are bunched together with a plugin on a single page. Hence, this usually forms one significant portion of my WordPress plugin reviews.

Step 3 – Study the Plugin

Now, lets get down to studying the plugin. Here is where you have several options to select from and again this will vary from plugin to plugin.

First check if the plugin does what it is supposed to. This usually is the case, but while checking for this, you may stumble upon a bug or a point of contention that you’d like to bring to the author’s notice.

Step 4 – Feature enhancements?

Found something missing in the plugin? Would you like to see something that would make a significant difference to you? Maybe there’s a feature that would make you switch to this plugin, instead of a similar one you are using?

Jot this down.

Step 5 – Writing the Review

We’ve collected a lot of information. Now, it’s time to start the review.

Open your review with the plugin name. Maybe write a short intro on why you chose the plugin. Next write a description of the plugin as well as the features. Provide a screenshot or demo of the plugin if required.

While this is not part of your actual review, it provides an introduction to your plugin for the readers of your blog who are not aware of the same.

Next write your actual review. Include the information we collected in Steps 3-5. Remember to use heading tags i.e. <h3> and <h4> etc. to divide your post into appropriate reading sections.

Step 6 – Submit your Review to us

This week you have a choice of six plugins to choose from:

You have until Saturday, March 21 – 11.59pm EST to send in your review to submissions AT wltc DOT net with the following information:

Subject line of the email: [APAD Plugin Review]:plugin name. Replace plugin name with the name of the plugin you reviewed.

Content of the Email:

  1. URL of the review on your blog. Make sure this is a direct link to the post
  2. An excerpt of your post. Maximum 50 words. This will be used by us.
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Comments

  1. Matt (2 comments.) says:

    What is the problem with having a post dedicated to the plugin?

    In my case I use a post, but have a page listing all of the plugins and linking them to my posts.

    • Ajay (209 comments.) says:

      There is not a “problem” but a post is specific to a particular time period, while a page is perennial.

      Again, this isn’t a requirement but definitely makes things a lot easier. I’ve seen plugin authors dedicating a separate post for each release of the plugin with a separate download link for each release. You’re just creating confusion for the visitor on your blog, hunting for your plugin.

      Keeping a plugin page ensures a kind of a flow and a more organized structure / distribution.

  2. Martin says:

    How to talk about something? First decide what you want to talk about, then…

    Gee, this post is reaching new heights!

  3. tekzt (1 comments.) says:

    I usually do not browse the authors page before reviewing a plugin, except there is a very visible “how to install”-link right next to the download button. it´s because a part of my review process is how much i can do with something without having read about it before. I think the best plugins don´t need any explanation and should just work intuitive or have explanations build in their admin options. Another part would be how fast i could find help on the authors page if I experienced some issues and this would be very random if i browsed the authors page a lot before, because i already know the site and know or even already saw where to find the solution.

  4. Mark Ghosh (386 comments.) says:

    This is a test



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