Announcing the new WordPress Plugin Directory

The Meta team is very happy to announce the launch of the all-new WordPress Plugin Directory!

First announced as an Open Beta at WordCamp Europe 2016 , this latest evolution features a range of improvements, both internal and tangible:

  • A new back-end based on WordPress, to replace the old bbPress engine.
  • Refactored API code, also open source.
  • A complete visual redesign and open-source theme.
  • A completely open-source codebase.
  • A vastly improved search engine.

Developers and testers running early versions of WordPress 4.8 have already been using the new API for a while now, and many in the #meta community have been testing and contributing to the new directory’s development.

For those of you seeing the new directory for the first time, here are some of its features in detail that will interest both plugin developers and users:

The search engine has been totally replaced. Searches now return the most relevant results based on a combination of many factors including version compatibility, recency, and popularity, in conjunction with text relevancy. This means that obsolete and unsupported plugins – while still available – are less prominent in search results than those in active development and use.

Search results in the old directory, left, and the new directory, right.

The most important information about each plugin is shown up front, rather than on separate tabs. The description, screenshots, and FAQs are all visible together, with a simple scroll, without flipping to a separate tab. Important metadata like versions and ratings are shown in a sidebar, much like before, but we’ve simplified the page with a 2-column layout, removing extraneous navigation from the old 3rd column.

Plugin details in the old directory, left, and the new page, right.

We have also revised accessibility across the new design, with improved text sizes and contrast, and better markup for screen readers. The new design is responsive and works well on mobile and desktop devices with a wide range of sizes.

Behind the scenes, the entire back end of the web site and API has been replaced with an open source WordPress plugin. The old directory was built on bbPress with a collection of ageing, closed-source plugins. It was antiquated and difficult to maintain. The new directory uses the best practices of modern WordPress development; and, since it’s entirely open source, can be maintained and improved by a much wider community.

It’s been a long road, so it’s very exciting to finally launch the new Plugin Directory. Thanks to everyone who has contributed their time and energy to the project, especially @obenland, @mapk, @dd32, and @gibrown, whose enthusiastic efforts made everything look easy.

The new directory has been built with future maintainability and iterative enhancement in mind. We’re looking forward to hearing feedback from the whole WordPress community, and making regular improvements and additions. Bug reports and specific enhancement requests can be made in Trac. The best place for questions and general discussion is the #meta channel on Slack.

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Plugin directory chat 2017-02-15

Join us at 22:00 2017-02-15 UTC in #meta for our first regular plugin directory chat in a while.

#plugin-directory #meta

X-post: Building a Machine-Readable List of WordPress Events

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Handbook Redesign

The Handbooks are slowly being updated to the o2 theme (Breathe). With this upgrade, I’ve been thinking about how we present our documentation, reference materials, etc. While Breathe was definitely refreshing, there’s still some experience issues I need to work through.

CURRENT ITERATION

Right now, the amount of floating menus on the page is too many. When navigating to a Handbook page there’s a floating menu on the left side, and possibly another floating menu on the right side for in-page navigation. This compresses the initial intro of the document a user might be reading causing some confusion with its odd flow of characters.

Current Handbook

 

PROPOSED ITERATION

I believe we could alleviate some of this by anchoring the left side menu a bit better and structuring these pages to appear more like a true documentation portal. I made a few changes in Inspector within the browser and came up with something like this (b/c of this there’s no mobile version yet):

Handbook

 

Some PROS and CONS are mentioned in a conversation here: https://meta.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/2389

FEEDBACK

Please leave some feedback here in the comments or on the actual ticket. Everything is helpful. I’m personally struggling with the floating right-side menu. There’s been some good ideas for solutions, what’s yours? If you have a few minutes to take a brief survey regarding the Handbook usage, please do! Handbook Usage Survey

 

#design, #make

Plugin directory chat 2017-01-18

Join us as usual at 22:00 2017-01-18 UTC in #meta for the regular plugin chat.

Agenda: launch checklist.

#plugin-directory #meta

Plugin directory chat 2017-01-12

Back on schedule this week. Join us at 22:00 2017-01-11 UTC in #meta to talk about the plugin directory v3. On the agenda: the final issues for launch.

#plugin-directory #meta

New Homepage is Launched

There’s been a lot of positive feedback regarding the new homepage development, and I’m excited to say it’s live! While this is only the first iteration, the plan is to continue design and development to create something truly amazing. This is the first step toward that goal. This project moved quickly in hopes to provide something beautiful for the holidays, and I’m proud of this beginning.

Thanks to everyone involved in this process: @rosso99, @sonjanyc, @hugobaeta, @brad2dabone, @matt, @otto42, and the many others who provided feedback!

Take a look and leave some feedback. Just visit the homepage to see the new changes! https://wordpress.org/

+make.wordpress.org/marketing +make.wordpress.org/design

#design, #homepage

Plugin directory chat 2016-12-21

Let’s make it a short one this week, with no agenda: 2016-12-21 22:00 UTC in #meta if you’d like to ask questions or discuss anything plugin directory related.

#plugin-directory #meta

Plugin directory chat 2016-12-14

We’ll have our weekly chat in #meta at 2016-12-14 22:00 UTC. Main topics will be progress over the last week; and remaining tickets on the 3.0 Milestone.

#plugin-directory #meta