Love it or hate it, if you make plugins and want any amount of exposure you are going to need to use WordPress.org – the exposure it provides (so your plugin is searchable via the WP dashboard), and the convenience of it’s plugin updates, make it necessary.

I don’t dislike WordPress.org, but there are several aspects I’d love to see improved and made customisable. Here’s my wishlist.

Integration with Github & other repos

WordPress.org forces you to use it’s SVN repository for managing your plugin, but I think other services like Github are growing in popularity forcing you to manage your codebase in multiple locations.

It would be great if you could instead ‘link’ your WordPress.org listing to a Github repository, and have the download link/stats link to a tag there instead. That way we could use Github 100% of the time and not have to mess around with SVN as well.

(more) Responsive

Recently WordPress.org was made ‘partially’ responsive, but to be honest, it is pretty lacklustre, especially when you try to browse plugins and the forums (which are still desktop width!). WordPress.org needs a redesign, mobile first, to make it truly accessible on the go.

Optional forums

The support forums on WordPress.org are mandatory and you also see a little “X answered out of X” shown on your plugin page. If you don’t offer support for a plugin, or offer it externally which is common (think EDD or WooCommerce) this can reflect very badly on the author. I’d like for forums to be optional, rather than having a forum of unanswered posts which help nobody.

Mod powers for your own forum

If you do offer support for your plugin on the WordPress forums, you don’t have mod powers meaning you cannot close your own topics, edit, or move unrelated topics. You even get stopped by flood protection if you are answering tickets at a faster pace. This is very frustrating.

I’d like to see limited moderator capabilities for plugin authors for their own plugin’s topics; move, edit, delete, close, and a more lenient flood protection. This would help authors keep their forums clean, and lesson the load on the volunteers doing moderation now.

A fairer review system

I hate the review system. Users frequently make idiotic ‘reviews’ instead of support requests and can use them as a kind of ransom demand for support, and there is no community power to vote down these ‘bad’ reviews. I’d love to see some improvements like the following:

  • A simple vote up/down system for agreeing or disagreeing with a review, with reviews which are voted down having less ‘weight’.
  • Making users submit a support request, or contribute someway as a prerequisite for leaving a review. Don’t let new users review right away.
  • Separate the review system from the support system more clearly.
  • Make the ‘edit review’ function more visible so users can change their mind if needed.
  • Change the star rating system – like Marmite, users tend to either love or hate a plugin and thus use 5 or 1 stars. Therefore, it might be better to either give meaning to the stars with a textual description, or dump them entirely for a like/dislike kind of system.

What would you change?

That’s my opinion on WordPress.org, but what would you change? Discuss in the comments.

Photo by deltaMike, CC-BY-2.0