Plugins have long been a double edged sword for software. On the one hand they make software more flexible than it would be otherwise. On the other hand, plugins can be poorly maintained and full of bugs. That second issue is so much of a problem that a little while back I wrote a post describing several methods to better manage the plugins for your favorite piece of software.
Now WordPress has gone one better with their new Plugin Compatibility Beta. Blog owners can now vote on how well a plugin works with different versions of WordPress, making it easy to see if a plugin is well maintained or dying. The new feature is already available within the WordPress plugin directory, and anyone with a WordPress login can vote. Here’s an example with WP-Polls.
And the future looks even brighter. According to the development team:
Eventually, we’d like to gather this compatibility feedback from within WordPress, allowing you to vote directly from your plugins admin screen. The ultimate goal is to use this information to inform you of plugin incompatibilities with a new version of WordPress during the upgrade process. For that to be useful we need a large set of high quality compatibility data. Start voting!
Hopefully, selecting the right plugin for your needs will become even easier and more reliable.