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The problem with WordPress plug-ins…

Written By: Gary on September 21, 2009 No Comment

I love WordPress. I think I’ve expressed that many many times. The plug-ins that people supply are amazing too. But what I’m surprised about are some basics that some plug-ins don’t have. When going to the configuration page from a plug-in they neglect some basic information:

  • the name of the plug-in
  • the version number of the plug in
  • the name of the programmer
  • a related web site
  • a link to where the plug-in is located on WordPress.org
  • A few sentences with some very basic instructions would be nice too :)

How can I recommend your product to anyone else without a link? Or how can I donate to the author if I don’t know where (or who) they are? Or how to use it without any instructions?

Some of the plug-ins have great instructions, but if you can’t find the site with the information it’s not very helpful. Some of the plug-ins have the information in a read me file in the plug-in folder, but some of the folders don’t have names that match up with the name of the plug-in very clearly. And really, if you’re going to create a read me file with important information, just paste it into the plug-in page.

Some plug-ins are great and include all the above, but many leave out a thing or three.  Some go above and beyond: including a list of people who donated and a list of information to include when reporting bugs (WP, PHP, MySQL and more); please note in this example, that they don’t tell you collect the information, they actually have the list with all the version numbers (all you have to do is copy and paste).

I might be sounding fussy, but I’m not talking about user interface and minor confusing instructions, I’m talking relatively big things here. Things that could get the author recognition or donations. Things that could prevent people from using the plug-in that they bothered to create (they do want people to use them, don’t they?).

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