Events, WordPress

WordCamp Portland 2013 Plugin Repo Chat

Jake Goldman of 10up led an unconference┬ásession at WordCamp Portland today discussing the current state of the plugin repository. Presented as a follow up to the unconference session he and Shane Pearlman led 1 year ago at WordCamp Portland 2012, below are the major topics discussed in the session…

  • Advanced search filter for searching plugins w/ in WordPress admin, filter by stars, filter by version compat, other meta?
  • Rate plugins further than simple star rating… plugin quality? plugin UI?
  • Elastic search from -Alex Mills
  • Plugin preview? Similar to theme preview. See if it throws any errors before installing. See how much marginal load time it adds, store that as meta?
  • Trusted reviews on repo. Maybe rate plugin authors, let their reviews become the authority.
  • iOS like “review this plugin” notice in the WP Admin to remind people to go actually review plugins.
  • Quick Survey: No one in the room actually lets their clients search and install plugins. Yikes.
  • Maybe we need an additional “Cathedral” plugin repo (redhat like?). A repo that’s closed and highly reviewed. Might seem like a club? Healthy for the community?
  • Would a cathedral even guarantee stability? Is it possible?
  • Create groups on .org that can share reviews and trusted plugins among that group. Maybe even be sub repos that lock in certain version of plugin and WP as ┬átrusted.
  • Observation: Room keeps coming back to trust. People just want to trust an author or a plugin. Is 100% level of trust possible? How can we simply raise trust.
  • Following Amazon’s lead, perhaps bring to surface real people’s profiles. Use real names, meta about that person as they review things, stack exchange-esq
  • Related plugins? Or plugins that are also installed often with the current plugin?

Feel free to leave comments below, ping Jake on twitter, or follow the official Portland hashtag for more plugin repo conversations!

Entrepreneurial thinker, passionate about building teams, products, and services. Previously a Founder, web developer, strategist, and digital agency executive. Runner, guitarist, and hiker living in the PNW. Always with passion, and plenty of caffeine.


  1. Glad to see this discussion still going. The repo has improved a lot since last year’s unconference discussion but, as was painfully evident when @jakemgold asked if anyone lets their clients search for and install plugins on their own and no hands were up, there’s a ways to go. I get overwhelmed trying to find plugins I can trust because of the amount of research I end up having to do. I can’t imagine how someone new to WordPress and with no coding background can hope to feel safe there.

    I like @jakemgold’s idea of a “cathedral” for plugins, in addition to the “bazaar” that is the .org repo. I second @westonruter’s suggestion to start such a project on Github.

    The take away for me is: identifying trustworthy plugin authors, identifying trustworthy plugin reviewers (groups and individuals).

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