Elgg Plugins Need Better Organization and Navigation

Update: See the comments. Not too long after I wrote this, we noticed big changes in the Elgg Plugin site. What changed? Every one of my five suggestions was incorporated making huge improvements in the Elgg Plugin site. Thanks guys.

A few days ago, I wrote a post on how to improve Elgg. Something else that is needed to help make it better is improved plugin organization.

The way that Elgg plugins are organized leaves much to be desired. You can see what I am talking about here. Plugins are listed in order of most recently added to the site, and you can browse them 20 at a time. So to find a plugin, you have to go through page after page, and there’s no way to tell whether or not the plugin might be useful.

So here is what needs to be added to improve plugin organization on Elgg.

1. A way to rate plugins. Plugin ratings would be useful to help developers determine whether the plugin works well or not. Then you could organize plugins by popularity.

2. How many times a plugin has been downloaded. This would also help you to know if a plugin is useful, and you could sort plugins by this option.

3. Plugin search. There is no way to search plugins on the site. What?

4. A plugin description displaying in the listing. The only thing you can view in the listings is the plugin title. These are not very descriptive sometimes, so it is hard to tell what the plugins are for based on the titles alone.

5. Better versioning. Old versions of plugins stay in the listings, which is fine. But plugin organization by version would be helpful.

Basically, Elgg plugin organization is almost useless in that you have to page through the list of most recent plugins and without descriptions you have to click through to find out what they do. Adding things from the list of above would greatly improve the organization and help developers better find plugins to improve their sites. This would also help improve the usefulness of Elgg itself. All of these suggestions are obvious, so it’s a mystery why the developers haven’t implemented anything like this yet.