WordPress is getting more and more popular every day. The true power of wordpress don’t stand in the coding style, database or the feel of the administration panel. It stands in what you can do with wordpress and how fast you can do it. Here comes the community: plugins and documentation. Without proper documentation and blog articles explaining how to do things you basically can’t do a lot with wordpress unless you go trough all the files to see all the functions available to you. The plugins will help you to do whatever you want better and faster.
It is true that you can pay a good programmer to do whatever plugin you want to use on wordpress, but if you already pay a lot of money, why don’t you start from scratch ? The best part is that you don’t have to pay someone to do a wordpress functionality because you can use a plugin. You will still have to pay to get the things combined, customized and designed, but you will pay only a small portion of what you would have paid to do everything from scratch.
When I started this blog, in the begining of year 2010, there was a number of 7000 plugins in wordpress plugin directory. In February 2011, the number grown to 13000, an increment of 5000 plugins. Today, we have almost 20,000 wordpress plugins only in the free official wordpress directory. This means that more and more plugins are developed for wordpress, making it better to find the perfect plugins for you.
Whenever I start doing something new, or when I add a feature to a site, first I am searching comprehensive into wordpress plugin directory to see if there is something similar, or at least something I can change to do what I need. I may seem lazy, but I am proud that I like to save time when doing things. There is no need to reinvent the wheel. If I don’t find anything good in the free plugin directory then I will try to look in other places for paid ones. I think it would be a good thing to see both free and paid plugins in the official directory but I think this will never happen.
I always found something that I can work on. Even I didn’t find exactly the plugin I was needed, I found something similar than I can work on to make something better. This means power, not some fancy features that you can replicate in few minutes. I hear people praising joomla with phrases like: “Joomla has a better contact form”, “Joomla has a better default theme” or “Joomla has better colors” etc. The problem is that these are details. If you focus on details instead of focusing on issues you will never do something good, or something better than others.
Quality over Quantity
At some point, because WordPress getting more and more popular, there will be a lot of duplicate plugins, or low quality ones. It is good to have more plugins that accomplish the same thing. Variation is good. We will have different point of views and there is a higher chance that users will find the right plugin. The drop in quality is obvious if you look at numbers: 2 years ago, from 7000 plugins there were 1000 great plugins. Now, from 20 000 plugins there are only 2000 great ones. The numbers don’t look so well, but the plugin actually improved a lot. The number of great plugins doubled, the quality doubled. If you can cut the crap and ignore it then you are left with more quality choices.