Improving WordPress Plugins

Improving WordPress Plugins

In some ways, plugins are kind of the “apps of WordPress” and they need to be treated as such. Many developers care about improving WordPress plugins and the associated experience, but there’s a long way to go.

Currently, it’s more like the Wild West than anything else: Anyone who can write code that does something with WordPress – regardless of if it follows any of the best practices – and can have their work added the plugin repository.

Last week, an impromptu discussion about the state of plugins grew into a much more serious talk. So much so that what started as a Twitter conversation moved to a Google Hangout then migrated to a blog.

Obviously, this touched a sensitive spot in the WordPress Developer community and a discussing ensued about what could be done to begin improving WordPress plugins and the associated process and repository:

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Why WordPress Themes and Plugins Are Software

I’ve shared my thoughts on WordPress as an application framework, but I think that simply making a case for how the core application can be used for web applications isn’t enough to help others see that it’s a viable platform.

Lately, I’ve had several conversations with others who are skeptical (and rightly so). Themes are often viewed as “skins” for WordPress and plugins are often viewed as little ways to add new features to a blog. If anything, I’d say that one could make a stronger case for plugins being software rather than themes.

But to a point, I disagree. There are several reasons why I think both WordPress themes and plugins are software.

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WordPress User Interface Design

For years, I’ve been using PayPal and although I don’t hate the service as much as many (in fact, I have very few complaints), I really dig Stripe for its simplicity, design, and ease of integration.

On top of that, I’ve used it in a variety of client projects but I’ve never actually done anything with it myself.

But this past weekend, I finally had the opportunity to integrate Stripe into a page on my site, and I used the WP-Stripe plugin by Noel Tock.

This morning, I tweeted the following:

This tweet sparked an excellent conversation in WordPress user interface design.

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