Anatomy of A Great WordPress Plug-In

On August 14, 2012, wrote:

Man’s best friend is a dog. Guess who’s a blogger’s best friend? WordPress! For one, it is absolutely free. You can use it for anything, for personal use (sharing your thoughts and hobbies), or for commercial use (marketing your product or service). It’s become a day-to-day necessity for many developers. Your blogging websites can be made more fun and interactive for users with these plug-ins. WordPress can be made friendlier by customizing the basic functionality with add-on plug-ins. Here’s a guide on what to look for:

Security: When you get a good plug-in, it comes with a good security package:

  • Any confidential information is not printed into the Javascript code as it will be visible on the client’s side
  • A secure plug-in will make use of wp-admin’s nonce validation
  • Offers protection against unnecessary XSS exploits and SQL injection

Offers thorough documentation: If a plug-in is not going to offer proper support and good documentation, it is not going to be used by anyone. A competitive plug-in offers both support and on-the-dot documentation.

Regional support: Everybody is not fluent in English or comfortable with the language. They prefer to have their regional language in place. A good plug-in is encoded with regional support.

Competitive admin user interface: Multiple pages carrying loads of information can confuse a user. A good plug-in helps in compiling similar options in its own sub-page. When there are multiple advanced features, they are compiled into a single sub-page or hidden by default so that new users don’t get confused or intimidated with the innumerable options.

Import or export and reset features: You can restore configurations if you face a problem with “reset” option available in many plug-ins. However, the import and export options are not widely popular yet. If a user is offered with multiple options, it will be good to offer him an option to import and export those options. This way, users can either take a backup of their setting or smoothly manage their various blogs.

Option to “wipe-out” information: When a user deactivates or deletes a plug-in, there are often footprints or a whole table left behind in the database. A good plug-in gives you the option to ‘uninstall’ and clean out all the information regarding the plug-in.

Error-message pop-up: When any errors occur on the plug-in, it pops-up a message stating the problem. This way a user can troubleshoot the problem himself instead of contacting the host blogger (you).

Easy installation: A complicated installation does not guarantee the high quality of a plug-in. In fact, a good plug-in should have a simple and straight installation. For example, there are many plug-ins that require a set of steps to be followed even after activating. This is not the case with a good plug-in. You can just activate and start using it.

Enjoy hosting a blogging community by looking for these characteristics of efficient plug-ins. A good plug-in not only makes the blogging experience smoother; it also increases the user base of your WordPress-powered blog or website.

About the author: This guest post has been brought to you by Robin Mckenzie of Centurylink, a site that offers savings and current information on consumers broadband internet and cable. Click here to check for services in your area.


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