Oregon State University

Plugin Evaluation Criteria

Central Web Services reviews all plugins that are included as part of the centralized OSU Wordpress MU installation.  We do this to ensure that blogs.oregonstate.edu remains a stable, secure and supportable product for the campus.  The following are the initial criteria we use to evaluate a plugin.

  • Code Review:
    1. Are there any pending security bugs in the bug tracker?  What are they and how long have they been there?
    2. Is it performing sql queries directly? If so, does the module escape user input?
    3. How does it handle user input? Is it being escaped? Is user input cleaned before printing it out in a page?
    4. Are permissions check in place? Are the checks manual or does the code rely on other core methods?
    5. Is the code well documented? Does it follow a standard?
    6. Is the javascript code and css well structured?  Does it follow follow a standard?
    7. Does it have readme, install and upgrade files?
  • Lifespan/Activity:
    1. How long has this plugin or 3rd party program been around?
    2. How many developers are working on it?
    3. Is there a roadmap? What does it look like?
    4. What is the release life cycle?
    5. What is the average turn around time for critical bugs?
    6. How active are the forums or mailing list discussions?
    7. Do other programs use or depend on this library?
  • Support:
    1. Is there user documentation? Is there documentation for developers?
    2. Is a documentation generation system like phpDocumentor used?
    3. How quickly do the developers respond to requests?
    4. Are newer and older versions of Wordpress supported?
    5. What is the learning curve like?
    6. Is the module usable through the Wordpress interface or does it require users to work with HTML, CSS, theme changes or other advanced techniques?
  • Compatibility:
    1. Does the it conflict with other existing plugins or modules or other updates?
  • Cost/Benefit:
    1. Will the module work with Wordpress MU as is, or would some re-write be needed?
    2. How complex are patches to apply? (# of classes, files, and db tables affected)
    3. What % of our users would benefit from this new module or plugin?
    4. Is there a fee to purchase or use the plugin?
  • Redundancy
    1. Does OSU/CWS already provide this service?
    2. Is this capability already planned for an upcoming Wordpress release or update of a currently supported plugin?


To request additional WordPress MU plugins, please contact us using the CWS Help Ticket.

Contact Info

Central Web Services
Oregon State University
Corvallis, OR 97331
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