WordPress Plugin: Vote for Plugins

May 18, 2010 | No Comments Yet

Vote for Plugins lets you help contribute to the WordPress.org plugin ratings without having to leave your admin panel.

The WordPress.org plugin directory has a neat rating system that lets users rate plugins both on overall quality and on compatibility with specific WP versions. However, its usefulness is stymied by poor integration with WordPress itself. To try to remedy that, I’ve created a plugin that lets you vote on plugins directly from your Dashboard.

Once installed you’ll be asked for your WP.org account details so your vote can be counted. Then at the plugins list, you can indicate whether a plugin you’re using works or is broken, and give it a rating from 0 to 5 stars.

Vote for Plugins is an easy candidate for canonical plugin or even a core feature, considering the useful information it can add to the community.

Download Vote for Plugins

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Premium theme frameworks reviewed

April 9, 2010 | No Comments Yet

Technosailor reviews in depth the four most popular premium theme frameworks: Thesis, Headway, Genesis, Builder. Criteria range from pricing to performance to compatibility with various WordPress (even BuddyPress) features.

[…] based on the stress test and criteria I outlined earlier, the best framework is Genesis with an 84%. Thesis comes in with a 76%. Builder garners a 74%. Headway needs the most improvement and only gets a 55%.

It’s a long read, but if you’re a serious website developer, a good theme framework can make a big difference in getting things done. My only wish is for a matrix comparison of all the themes, not just the conclusion above, so it’s easy to figure out who’s strong in which area.

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WordPress 2.9

December 19, 2009 | No Comments Yet

WordPress 2.9 is finally here! Just days after the first release candidate comes out, the final version of the much-awaited WordPress upgrade has arrived. Looks like Christmas came early this year.

WP 2.9 been dubbed “Carmen” after jazz vocalist Carmen McRae, and is the most feature-packed upgrade to date. The most popular mentioned are: the Trash, a built-in image editor, batch plugin updating and compatibility checking, and easier video embeds using oEmbed. The whole list is detailed in the Trac, of course.

Backup and upgrade now!

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WordPress Plugins Directory adds user-voted compatibility checker

October 28, 2009 | No Comments Yet

WordPress.org Plugin Directory compatibility feature

WordPress plugins listed at WordPress.org’s official plugin directory now have a new feature for compatibility checking. It uses the naturally-helpful WordPress community to gather statistics on how compatible a plugin is for a certain WordPress version. Weblog Tools Collection reports:

Normally, the plugin information within the FYI box tells you which version of WordPress is required and which version the plugin is compatible up to. Unfortunately, the version the plugin is compatible up to is not updated that often which is why some plugins which state that they only work up to WordPress 2.5 end up working with the latest release.

[…] The beauty of this system is that it leverages the community in order to figure out what works with what. However, just because it works for the majority of users is no guarantee it will work on your particular setup. But using these statistics, it should make it easier to figure out whether the issue is with the plugin and WordPress or with your setup.

One of the biggest fears users have when it comes time to upgrade WordPress is whether their plugins will work on the newest version or not. There are a large handful of people who upgrade to the latest version of WordPress as soon as it’s released and the hope is, these folks will visit the plugin page and report their findings for others to take advantage of. If more users see that their plugins work on the newest version, they are more likely to upgrade.

It’s not yet on all plugins, and it doesn’t appear yet inside details screen when you install from within your WP admin, but expect that to change soon. After all, this feature is still in beta.

But the biggest advantage, as WLTC notes in the last paragraph above, is key here. WordPress-powered sites often stay outdated and unable to fight off security attacks because their owners fear for incompatible plugins breaking their site. This checker should help quell those fears. And of course, this is a great incentive to make sure you’re grabbing plugins from the most legitimate source out there.

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