PlugIntelligence had a minor patch release today (which in retrospect should have been version 0.4.1).
The new patch fixes a warning that would come up whenever a fresh install of the plugin was being used for the first time. The database options field was not initialized. This would add an entry to the server log file. The problem went away after saving the options for the first time.
What is PlugIntelligence?
This is a free plugin that works within your WordPress admin panel to restrict the results that are returned from the WordPress plugin directory when doing a plugin search. By default every plugin that matches the keywords you enter will be returned, regardless of age or quality.
This plugin allows you to set parameters on several key metrics including:
PlugIntelligence was updated to version 0.3 to add an easy on/off switch for the WordPress plugin filter system. Prior versions required you to disable the plugin if you wanted to disable the plugin listing filters implemented by PlugIntelligence.
After years of searching through thousands of WordPress plugins, trying to sort out the 5-star from the 1-star listings, those that were not tested on the most recent version of WordPress and other filters, I decided it was time to make my plugin search a bit easier. Since the WordPress plugin manager already has a way to retrieve both basic and detailed plugin information directly to my WordPress site admin panel, I figured there must be a way to do some more intelligent filtering of plugin data when doing my searches.
Turns out there is a way. And this is my first stab at it. If enough people are interested in the plugin I’ll even add more advanced features like listing and filtering based on number of downloads, reviews, and more.
WordPress approved my latest plugin project this morning and the first iteration has just hit the WordPress Plugin Directory.
I finally broke down and spent a day writing a plugin to help WordPress site admins and developers find quality WordPress plugins. There are plenty of good plugins in the WordPress Plugin Directory. There are plenty of bad plugins as well. That is the problem. It seems like every time I go searching for a new category of plugin that I’ve not found a “go to” solution yet I end up installing at least 3 or 4 plugins before I find one that doesn’t suck.
My newest plugin is a start toward “separating the wheat from the chaff”. I’ll likely extend the filter set when I get more time, or if the WordPress community shows an interest in the plugin. For now the basic filter set will “block” any plugins from being listing in the WordPress admin panel “Add New” search results based on these criteria:
Minimum Rating / Maximum Rating
Filter out any plugins that are above or below a specific star rating. This filter uses the raw 100-point numerical scale that WordPress uses to rate plugins. The WordPress plugin directory translates numbers like “80” to 4-stars based on this number. Don’t want to look at 3-star plugins? Set the minimum rating to 65.
You can also set a maximum rating, though in most cases you’ll want to leave it at 100. Often new/low-volume plugins have a perfect 100-point rating. This setting provides an easy way to sort those “outlying plugins” out of the mix, setting it to 99 will eliminate most “perfect plugins” from the list.
Default settings: 65 / 100
Minimum Number of Ratings
This allows you to filter out plugins that do not have at least this many ratings recorded. This can be useful when searching for popular plugin categories such as the “cache” category where you may want older, more established, plugins.
Default setting: 2 ratings
Minimum Tested Version
Use this setting to filter out plugins that have not been tested on a recent version of WordPress. If you only want plugins that have been tested on WordPress version 3.5.1 you can change this setting and eliminate older plugins. Many defunct plugins have not been tested on the latest version of WordPress. This is a great way to filter out plugins that are no longer in active development.
Default: version 3.3
Changing The Settings
After installing PlugIntel your WordPress admin panel will start filtering out the plugin search results based on the default filters noted above. You can deactivate PlugIntel to get the full search results back. You can also go the Plugin / Intel sidebar menu and change the default values to a wider range to increase the number of results returned.