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Blaine

Do You Vet Potential WordPress Plugins?

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Before I use a plugin on one of my WordPress sites for the first time, I always vet them. Nothing extensive or exotic.

I like to check the amount of active installs, the ratings, and the last time it was updated.

Generally If a plugin hasn't been updated in a while, or has very few active installs I just won't use it. I'm this way when I buy themes too. In the back of my mind I don't want the suspicion that I have a potential time bomb ticking in the form of something that's not well supported, or soon to just be up and gone.

I have a client that I'm building a site for that's going to be a SuperPac site. It's a pretty big venture. He did some searching around and landed himself on "donate.ly" as his solution for taking online donations. So I vetted it and discovered that it only has 400 active installs world wide, and hasn't been updated in over a year. After reviewing other similar plugins I've found that the top rated plugin "Give" has over 10,000 active installs and was updated again less than 48 hours ago. It has some great reviews too.

This "donate.ly" plugin has very little about it online. They have a website though. I'm just suspicious that the word press plugin directory has such low numbers for it.

Anybody know how WordPress plugin directory compiles it's statistical data about the individual plugins it has? Is it on autopilot? Does the plugin owner come in and update it themselves?

I gotta make up my mind one way or the other. Told the client I had reservations about their choice and explained why.

Still am curious about the plugin directory's numbers though and if they're really accurate.

Anybody here a plugin developer? Do you know if the directories info is accurate?

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SEOPress WordPress SEO plugin

No idea on the directory accuracy but what I usually do is check the licensing and I modify their plugin and use it as my own, as long as the licensing allows for it. I don't have a lot of time to discuss this today but I feel your pain. If it's not a widely supported plugin, you have to kind of take over the project or not use it. If it's for a large organization, you may want a to talk with the plugin creator about getting a developer's license and communicate with them about whether or not they can do modifications / additions to the plugin via request or contract.

Also note that donate.ly's pricing model is not something that I would personally consider to be acceptable.

If 1.1 Million was processed by the plugin, the fee would be $22,000 ~ or 2% and that does not include credit card processing fees or taxes.

To me this fee structure only makes sense if the organization was trying to raise < $25,000 as it wouldn't be worth it to hire a plugin developer.

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I don't care how many people use the plugin or when it was last updated.

What I do is download the plugin to my desktop and search all files for http and base_64.

If I find a http URL (calling home) I check the code to see what the code is doing, a backlink on the admin page is no big deal, anything on a live webpage gets looked at further, deleted, or skip the plugin If it's too much editing work.

If I find anything on a free theme/plugin (don't care what it is) that shows base_64 code in a theme/plugin, it gets deleted, never installed.

Here's a related forum thread on base_64.

 

 

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