Find That Plugin

I am often asked is there a plugin for task X in WordPress, nine times out of ten there is, here is how I go about finding plugins.

What Are Plugins

Plugins are extensions of WordPress which allow blog owners to perform a multitude of functions, there are thousands of developers out there beavering away developing code for nearly every eventuallity, they extend WordPress, usually for free, but how do you find the one for your job?

The WordPress Plugin Directory

Here is a link to the offical WordPress repository of all things plugable http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/

This is a huge database of plugins here are the stats when this post was written:

5,365plugins, 32,374,772 downloads, and counting

The directory has a searchable database and a tagging system, so if you know what yiou want you can search for it, or if you have a rough idea use the tags, for example if you want a video player, check out the video tag and review the various offerings.

Plugins come with recommendations or star ratings from other users , this is very helpful finding really good plugins.

The same directory can be accessed straight from your WordPress dashboard, if you click on plugins-> add new , there is a search box which feeds into the directory.

Google It

I have found that the WordPress plugin directory search function is a little cumbersome so I prefer to use Google for my searches, try a search in the following format, it will usually bring back some hits that will help:

wordpress plugin {your needs go here}

There is usually a developers site as well as a entry in the directory for the plugin which is indexed more readily in Google than the WordPress directory.

Ask Your Network

I am always asking my social network for hints and tips on WordPress plugins, and I frequently answer others queries on what is the best .  Throw out a tweet on twitter, send out an email, do whatever it is you kids do on Facebook.  There are loads of sociable people wanting to build connections by being helpful to others.

If you need help finding the right fit plugin, tweet me  @wpdude I will do my best to help you.

When All Else Fails

Get one written to your exact specification.  If there is not a cat herding plugin for WordPress write up a specification and post it on one of the freelance sites such as  Elance or Rent-A-Coder.  The pizza munching code monkeys will happily slap togeter some code for you for a reasonable fee.

Professional Finder

I’ve just thought I should charge a fee as a plugin finder, I will find install and test plugins to your specification, this time next year I’ll be a millionaire :). 

Have fun searching for those plugins, but be careful you can get adicted and install too many plugins – what do you mean, of course I need a plugin to capitalise the third e in every sentence.

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