WordPress Plugins: Abundance and Curation

One of the main plots in the story of the web is the replacement of scarcity by abundance. For example, you want to find restaurant reviews? Go ahead, knock yourself out, but try to finish with the reviews before the restaurants close for the night. As that example shows, abundance is itself a problem.

Abundance isn’t just a problem for consumers of web content. It’s also a problem for content creators. For example, what plugins should you use for your WordPress site?

The official plugin directory currently lists over 10,000. You can search by keyword, but that doesn’t solve the abundance problem. Searching for the keyword analytics yields 270 plugins.

So we need selection, or ordering, or, to use a currently fashionable term, curation. The plugin directory does this by sorting; you get to choose the criterion (Relevance, Highest Rated, Newest, Recently Updated, or Most Popular).

Weblog Tools Collection recently asked “WordPress Genuises” for the top 5 plugins they use in every site they set up, and published the results. I’ve been guided by those results in setting up the PTA website I’m working on.

I’m interesting in approaching plugin curation from another direction. There are several value-added WordPress hosts, such as page.ly and WP Engine. They use plugins. I’m interesting in their selection of plugins, since it provides a sort of implicit curation of plugins. I’ll contact them, and see what I can come up with.

Meanwhile, any comments on plugins and how to select among the abundance are welcome.

WordPress Hosting: WP Engine and Page.ly

WordPress hosting: does the world need more options? Perhaps it does.

WP Engine seeks to serve what they believe is a large market: businesses that need more customizability than WordPress.com hosted accounts offer at low-end prices but more ease of use and scalability support than the millions of WordPress.org users get running open source installs on their own or rented servers.

For $50 a month, the service will offer premium support, automatic security upgrades, recommended plug-in curation and some original software. Scalability durring traffic spikes is one of the company’s biggest sales propositions.

I think that the WP Engine folks are on to something. Follow the above link, or see Marshall Kirkpatrick’s post at RWW, if you want to see who these folks are. As I write this, the comments on Marshall’s post are an amicable exchange between the WPE folks and their counterparts at Page.ly, who offer a similar service.

Page.ly seems to be a little further along than WPE, particularly with respect to partnerships. Page.ly has an affiliate program in place (yes, that is an affiliate link in the previous paragraph) and explicitly encourages resellers. But, without turning this post into an over-optimistic echo chamber, I think that there is room for multiple strong competitors in the premium WordPress hosting space, so all the best to WPE as it launches and invites.