Make WordPress directories

This is a major undertaking, and something I have notebooks filled with notes about: I am going to make directories for WordPress plugins and themes.

I rarely meet folks that deal with as many themes, plugins, or WordPress-centric integrations/services as I do. I tend to take deep dives into how sites are built, and for the most part I can read the source for a few key WordPress pages and just list out which components make it up.

To be sure, that is one of the reasons I love WordPress, as I love HTML: you get to read so much of how it works. Best practices in WordPress make it easier to learn how others are building their sites. Win-win!

So I have this personal, often printed, database of theme and plugin knowledge, and I’ve been wanting to digitize and publish it.

A prominent feature of these directories will inclusion in the interi continuous content audit, wherein I will regularly update the directory items, to reflect current thoughts. There may not always be anything to add, but it will at the very least involve a human checking for activity, and maybe putting up a notice similar to in the public plugin repo about “hasn’t been updated in so long or for so many versions”.

I call this a prominent feature because the attempts to do this kind of activity have happened, but without that built-in curator intent, they become outdated artifacts within a year or two.

Two other interesting features have to do with editorial:

  1. I plan to be honest. Like, maiki-honest. But I am committed to putting positive energy into the world, and will back up what I think with my reasoning, and will always be open to explaining it better.
  2. I will invite active collaboration, even from the creators of entries!

These are neat by themselves, but together they create a challenge for me, as I still haven’t found a solution to meeting good web standards for the cognitive and narrative side when I am asserting everything from my perspective, unless I am not.

Did that make sense? Example: I have several run-downs on plugins, most of which is feedback on the negative aspects, and why they should be avoided. Then, someone sees the value of an entry and wants to keep it updated more often, starts doing that. But their opinion is not aligned with my own… great opportunity! So we somehow split off the “perspectives” from the rest of the entry, and further separate the actual perspectives. Does that look like comments? Is that always easy to distinguish? Does that mean I should craft my perspectives in that way to start, to invite collaboration into that space?

Hmmm… lot’s to consider!

Anyhow, this quest is primarily concerned with creating the following:

  • Policy on how to write up honest, human-useful coverage, with multiplayer built-in
  • goHugo templates for wordpress section on interi, and specifically for the data structure for two sub-sections: plugins and themes
  • goHugo templates for rendering single and list views of entries

I don’t know where this fits in, but I’d like to see documents appear that approach plugins and themes as Wirecutter does for things. They show their homework, the considerations and presumptions, and who is playing, as well as alternatives and a look at the field and future.

I can see populating the directories answering the research to a given document such as that, maybe a “rundown of form plugins” or “current page builders with Gutenburg support”.