For a little while now, I’ve been running a little site called Tidy Repo as a resource for new and advanced users alike. The site’s principle is fairly simple, a single repository of all the greatest WordPress plugins, tested, curated and reviewed. I go through the tens of thousands of plugins out there, and find the very best ones, and put them up on Tidy Repo with a short walkthrough for getting started.
The concept is simple. Use any plugin listed on my site, and I can guarantee that it will work, be well supported, and be frequently updated. Each week, I get a chance to add a few more.
It was actually TorqueMag that gave me my first exposure, and hired me on as a plugin specialist. In the past year or so, I’ve been diving further and further into the world of plugins, continuing to share what I’ve found along the way. But it’s been my wish for a while now to try and take Tidy Repo to the next level, with more robust features, and more in-depth tutorials and plugin comparisons.
From time to time, I’ve received emails with more unique requests. Users that are looking to solve a very specific problem, but can’t find a solution. I answer what I can, but I’d really like to take Tidy Repo to a place where I can offer personalized assistance with setting up WordPress sites and picking out the right plugins. But the site is a whole lot of work, and I don’t always have the time.
That’s why I’m very excited to announce that I’ve found a new partner for Tidy Repo: Jack McConnell.
Jack and I first spoke when I asked for some help with the site. Since then, we’ve talked at length about improvements that can be made, and where the future of Tidy Repo lies. This includes more frequent plugin reviews, an updated design, and a lot more features in the next few months. You can see the full details over at Tidy Repo, but needless to see, we have a lot planned.
Plugin discoverability is a major concern for me, and I believe, for the WordPress community. For your average user, plugins are what bridge the gap between a functional CMS and a full-featured website that serves the need of their users. But there are a lot of plugins out there, and it can be intimidating for new users to jump in without knowing what problems they might run into.
As Jack and I continue to develop Tidy Repo, my hope is that I can make the plugin space just a little more welcoming, and give users the assurance they need to start adding robust functionality to their own websites. That means reading through full tutorials that walk you through every detail of finding and installing plugins. Or connecting with other users for advice and recommendations. And, in the most unique cases, that might mean connecting with Jack and I directly, so that we can address your problem and get you on your way to solving it.
That’s what we have in store for this next step in Tidy Repo’s progress. But we’re still very much in the ideation phase. So I’d like to hear from you too.
How could we make plugin discoverability easier? Let me know in the comments, I’m open to any suggestions.
Jay Hoffmann is a WordPress developer hailing from NYC. In the strictest sense of the word, he is a WordPress enthusiast with an eye for front-end development and design. He has been working with WordPress since 2006 and currently works for a popular children’s media company. This year, Jay started Tidy Repo, a curated list of the best and most reliable plugins from around the web. You can also follow Jay on Twitter.