RankWP is a relatively brand new plugin directory that covers all the WordPress plugins available, on the official WordPress.org directory.
This is a non profit site, and it aims to supply updated information of the plugins but in a different way – with more visual appealing.
This RankWP review covers the ideas behind, the pros and cons, in order you can decide which plugins are the most appropriated for your needs, via this site.
You know there are thousands of WordPress plugins practically for every function or task required. As you also already know (and if not, you’ll know it soon not all the plugins are well coded, updated or secure.
If we think that those plugins can bring access to your whole site, you’d be pretty sure before installing them. Safety is vital, and sometimes plugins can lead to security holes that allow hacking your site – a nasty thing.
This site has a colorful layout, like a magazine-style, and you receive more explicitly the information you’re looking for. Maybe the colors and other aspects of the design aren’t for all tastes.
But for me, particularly I like the data presentation and not most text, as the WordPress directory, with perhaps some plugin screenshots.
- Plugins are checked often updating their data, hence you’ve fresh info.
- At the left side bar, you’ve organized the data in: Best Plugins, Most Popular, Trending, Recently Updated, Developers. The categorization is done manually.
- You’ve plugin categories for: Navigation, Stats, Workflow, Presentation, Community, Advertising, Infrastructure.
- Choose the plugin you’re requiring and installing immediately within the directory, this is a valuable bonus, good job!
Take a look:
- You’ve searches and categorization by themes, to find out the plugin you like
- Also, there are related articles that mention the plugin on the web, extending its data even more (I don’t know which criterion they use to gather those links, but more information is always a good option)
- You’ve the plugin popularity rating; the same thing as the stars of WordPress.org, the only difference is that the number was simplified to just one digit.
Let’s see for instance, the following screenshot of the W3TC plugin available recently at WordPress.org to compare later with RanWP:
In the past, I didn’t take notice of these “RED” flags (stupid thing!) and I updated the plugin, breaking my layout.
Today, if I see several alarming reds, I don’t update if the actual version installed is working fine.
This situation has happened with W3TC lately (in one case, stopped my pings to search engines, and in another, slowed down my dashboard in a terrible way).
Recently, I disabled this plugin and seeing so many people showing their problems with it, the situation is worse. Still, I deem that W3TC is a great plugin, perhaps in future versions and with all in green light, I’d install it again. You know, I’ve love-hate relationship with it.
At RankWp the approach is more graphic, when we’re speaking about the whole plugin data, compared to WordPress.org.
- An interesting point is trending that show the signals of downloads, and how the plugin has been working since the last check (weekly). I still consider that a graphic red/green approach like the one available at WordPress.org is a better plan.
The data extracted from the information doesn’t show a clear idea of the health of the plugin. If we compare with the vital zone from WordPress.org, like the situation I explained before with the W3TC, watching this image is a RED WARNING that the plugin is having issues.
At RankWP, I don’t have the compatibility with the recent version of WordPress or with older versions of the plugin.
Now, compare the W3TC data showed in WordPress.org before, now at RankWP:
Do you notice that there are several issues with W3TC? Not really, you see a deep down (bad sign) and some ups, but nothing more.
Let’s face it: not everybody update the WordPress core files and have the up-to-date version of a plugin. Respect to WordPress, no matter how many backup and pre-measures you do before an update, there is a risk and I bet most of us have the finger crossed when we press “update”.
But on the other side, having older versions of WordPress the situation is worse, because your blog can be hacked for security holes the plugins can have. Then always exist older WP versions in the cyberspace, and this is why the compatibility with older versions of WordPress is a good parameter, but at RankWP doesn’t appear.
I don’t recommend having old WP core files and please update – even having a certain risk to break a site – if not hackers will thank you later
You can complement having additional security measures with plugins like limit login attempts, review here and firewall with the corresponding explanation here, too.
Anyway, here at RankWP we have the quality score (indicating that the updates are coming and the results are satisfactory).
Summing up, in terms of the plugin health, the information of the quality score, popularity and stars are very welcomed to have a wide landscape of the performance of the plugin
Which are the RankWP Pros or Cons for you?