Re-thinking the WordPress Plugin Directory

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The WordPress Plugin Directory is due for an update. While it's great for getting information about specific plugins, it's not so great for browsing. The lack of filtering, and the poor quality of relevance results are two of the main reasons. I'm proposing a revamp of the plugin directory.
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The WordPress Plugin Directory is due for an update. While it’s great for getting information about specific plugins, it’s not so great for browsing. The lack of filtering, and the poor quality of relevance results are two of the main reasons. I’m proposing a revamp of the plugin directory.

Meet the Plugin Directory prototype:

1. Filtering

Sorting alone isn’t ideal for finding the right plugin out of thousands. Filtering lets you narrow the results, finding plugins that might not have otherwise been discovered. The prototype includes such filters as: minimum rating, minimum downloads, last updated, and even compatibility (“find plugins compatible with WordPress 3.5”).

The relevancy search needs to be smarter. On, only the title, description, and tags are factored into the results. On the prototype site, additional variables are weighed in, including freshness (based on days since last update), rating, and weekly downloads.

Trending is an idea for showcasing “rising star” or “back from the dead” plugins that aren’t necessarily the most downloaded. It’s based on a ratio of a plugin’s recent downloads, compared to its download history.

Going Forward

The ultimate goal of this project is to encourage improvements to This is a working prototype, and all information is pulled from WordPress APIs. The prototype site is being continually improved, so any feedback is welcomed.

Jean Galea

Jean Galea is an investor, entrepreneur, and blogger. He is the founder of WP Mayor, the plugins WP RSS Aggregator and Spotlight, as well as the podcast. His personal blog can be found at

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13 Responses

  1. Hi all – just a note that has just been updated. It should now be easier to use and a little easier on the eyes 🙂

  2. I agree it needs redesigning.
    Actually I’d like to see a design more like Pinterest, as plugins already have image headers.
    And categories. You also should be able to create custom plugin lists and share them. For example : “my essential plugins”, or “plugins for running a restaurant website”
    It needs more social proof. We all have developers we trust, so it should be easy to see at a glance if plugins are vetted by them.

  3. Revisiting this… still love it.

    Would like to see some integration with signed in users “Favorites” too.


  4. Great post here! Completely agree, but would also add that I think some serious screening needs to be done regarding guidelines and coding standards.

    As the developer of a jQuery based plugin, I’m pretty fed up of having to debug a users site only to find that a plugin has loaded jQuery incorrectly ( element hardcoded), hence causing it to load twice and breaking all other jQuery dependant plugins loaded after.

    Coding standards need to be properly enforced, otherwise no point in having them. They’re enforced heavily for themes. I feel it needs to be addressed if we want to provide a directory of quality plugins. Especially to get rid of this fear of ‘breaking my site’ that novice WordPress users often have.

    1. Standards are enforced, it just happens that there are so many plugins that were approved before stronger standards were enforced.

      1. Interesting, I didn’t know standards are now being enforced on new plugin submissions, that’s a very good step forward.

      2. My apologies, hadn’t heard this. Well I guess that leaves my point somewhat invalid! Haha.

        Definitely an important step for the future regardless.

  5. This is fantastic. And I agree with casjam: being able to search a specific plugin’s support threads would be really helpful.

  6. That is freaking sweet!!!! BookMarked! This will make life much easier and stop bringing up old plugins that don’t work anymore…

    Great Job!

  7. Great ideas here.

    I’d also like to see a much-improved support system for plugins. Really just a way to search threads *related to a single plugin*. Currently you can only search the forums across all of

  8. I think that’s awesome. The only thing I’d possibly add is a way to ‘hide’ certain plugins (either by individual plugin or by author).

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