WordPress.org Adds Plugin and Theme Reviews

The WordPress Community Summit is currently taking place in Tybee Island, GA and the WordPress.org website is getting some attention, as attendees discuss ways to improve WordPress. They’ve launched Make-Meta for collaborating on new features and improvements for WordPress.org.

The most exciting announcement of the day is the addition of a new feature: Reviews for Plugins and Themes. Reviews will now be tied to ratings so that in order to add a rating to a plugin or theme, you will be required to provide a review.

The new reviews features is already active if you want to check it out on WordPress.org. Here’s a sample review for the Twenty Twelve default theme:

As you can see plugins and themes now have a new tab to house the review section:

Given that ratings really don’t communicate any detail, Otto introduced the new reviews feature on the Make-Meta blog with hopes for improving communication between users and contributors on WordPress.org:

Communication is important, and “support” is only half of the equation. Feedback is critical, and hopefully, the new Reviews system will go a long way to improving communication between the many millions of users of code we host on WordPress.org and the many thousands of contributors who write the themes and plugins that we all use every day. And all reviews go into our forums and can be commented on by everybody, just in case somebody needs some extra help.

Plugin and theme authors will be able to subscribe to their own reviews via RSS. However, if you’ve already signed up for an email subscription to your own support forum, you’ll now get the reviews in that email, too.

Over the next few weeks reviews will get some CSS love and maybe even some additional features based on feedback at the Make-Meta blog.

Reviews and ratings are bound to make user feedback more useful to others who are surfing the repo or theme directory for a high quality solution. If you have a few minutes, get out there and put in a good word for all your favorite plugins.