Occasionally I post reviews of WordPress Plugins that I often use. The reasons for this are numerous of which the single most important (to me) is giving some recognition back to the Plugin developer. Most of the Plugins I review are licensed as GPL (i.e. free to use) and therefore it seems only reasonable to do something to ‘repay’ the developers.
There is however an obvious problem in reviewing Plugins that I use often; I’m always reviewing Plugins that I find useful and like (otherwise I wouldn’t use the Plugin); hence it would be very rare for any Plugin review to receive anything but a good rating. I very often try Plugins that I haven’t used in the past whilst looking for certain functionality for clients but disable and delete the Plugin should it cause any problems or not satisfy the requirement. It would be very unfair and subjective to review a Plugin that I don’t have a lot of experience with; just because it causes problems on a single Site or doesn’t fulfil certain functionality doesn’t mean that it won’t work perfectly on another Site. I am therefore not in favour of providing reviews for Plugins that I don’t know well.
Most WordPress Website designers, consultants, specialists etc. tend to repeatedly use several specific Plugins; for example on all my Sites I use the ‘Contact Form7‘ Plugin whereas another WordPress consultant may use another contact form Plugin on their Sites. In reviewing Plugins then it is also difficult to review or compare Plugins that perform very similar functionality for the reason that WordPress specialists tend to stick with the Plugins they know.
It’s a strong point for WordPress that there is such a wealth of choice regarding extending functionality via Plugins. Having such fantastic choice of what Plugins to use is positive for users of WordPress. It doesn’t however make reviewing Plugins any easier.
P.S. All my reviews are Microformats hReview formatted/compliant to enable enhanced sharing and compliance to Web standards.