There are many articles that recommend the best WordPress plugins. Here, I want to dedicate an article to the crappiest and shittiest WordPress plugins.
Are you ready?
I am sure you want to see who the losers are right?
WordPress Plugin Losers
Here is how I see it –
Anybody who takes the time to write a plugin and then offers it to the community for free-use is definitely not a loser in my book.
True, many WordPress plugins (including Shiba plugins) have numerous bugs and can sometimes be frustrating to use. Plugin developers often choose to focus on features rather than on testing.
If you have tested software before, you know that it is time consuming, and often not a whole lot of fun.
How to Make WordPress Plugins Less Frustrating
This is the process I go through when looking for a new plugin –
- I do a Google search based on my task keywords.
- I read through a few articles and the associated comments.
- I download the top plugin based on this and test it out on my test blog. Using a test blog is very important because if the plugin does not work on your environment, you do not want it to disrupt your live-site, your traffic, and your data. When testing a new plugin, I usually turn off all other plugins and use the default WordPress theme (20-10).
- In fact, I also test out all plugin upgrades on my test site first. I upgrade the plugin, test out a few things, test out a few more things the next day, and so on. After a few days, I upgrade it on my main site.
- If the plugin does not work on my test site or if it takes a heavy hand in adding lots of links, then I usually look for alternatives. In this way, I do not spend too much time on any one plugin and never feel the need to rage at someone who is good enough to share the fruits of his labor with me for free.
Sometimes, there are exceptions. Some plugins may do a very good job at almost everything I want, but may be missing some specialized functionality, or may not work exactly right on my environment.
Sometimes, there may not be a plugin that fulfills my task. In such cases I find it easiest to add or fix those things myself.
If you are not familiar with PHP, there are several other possibilities.
How to Get a WordPress Plugin Fixed or Enhanced
Most WordPress plugin developers write plugins as a hobby. As such, they may not have a lot of time to devote to free support and free updates to fit an individual’s needs.
The quickest way to get a plugin fixed or a WordPress problem solved is to hire a WordPress consultant. Just do a search on Google and you will get many hits. If you have a larger job you can even post it on WordPress Jobs.
If you are looking for free support, you can try posting on the plugin site or page. Alternatively, if the plugin is on the WordPress Extend directory, you may post your questions on the wordpress.org forums.
The most effective way to get free plugin help and free enhancements -
- Always be courteous and polite to the plugin developer. Let him know that you appreciate his efforts. After all, you are asking for free support.
- Try to be as detailed as possible. Describe everything that you did, step by step. Also give information about your WordPress version, what theme you are using, and what plugins you have active (In general it is best to turn off all other plugins when testing something new, especially if you are running into problems).
- Sometimes, it may not be possible to debug something through textual descriptions. Some plugin developers may be willing to debug their plugin on your test site. If this is the case, make sure to only share information with developers that you deem to be trustworthy. Delete the test account once the issue is resolved.
The worst way to get a plugin fixed is to randomly curse and swear at plugin developers who are providing a free service to the WordPress community.
At best, your comment gets thrown into the spam folder. At worst, the plugin gets yanked, fewer plugins get developed, and the next time you go looking for a plugin to do something you really need, there may not be one.
If you feel that particular features are trivial to add, then it is most effective to just add them yourself and then offer your enhancement code to the plugin developer.
In this way, everybody wins. The plugin gets enhanced, you quickly get what you need, everybody else gets the new features, and you get lots of Kudos for your efforts.
Well, perhaps not the Kudos part, but it will be a good way to positively give back to the community.
Sometimes we just want to bitch. If you ever find yourself in such a situation, the best thing to do is follow the Golden Rule.
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Update Feb. 24th - WordPress 3.1 has been released so I am retesting all the Shiba plugins. You may download latest versions of the plugins by going to my WordPress Plugins page. Update - WordPress 3.1, RC3 broke a bunch of the updates. I will wait until 3.1 gets released before making further plugin [...]
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