Favorite Toots now available on the WordPress plugin directory

Back in early February I submitted the Favorite Toots WordPress plugin I had been toying with on my own website to the WordPress plugin directory. Starting today, it is available publicly there and people can search for it from their own WordPress Admins.

The source code is available on GitHub if you’d like to contribute a bug fix or feature. However, if you’d like to install it on your website I recommend using the version that is available on the plugin directory.

Submitting a plugin for review is a valuable process and it benefits everyone in the WordPress ecosystem. If you’re in a hurry, it might be a little frustrating to get through review, but I believe the process is vital to keeping the plugin directory as safe as possible. Yes, issues still arise from time to time, but I’m glad there is a review process to at least make sure a plugin is ready to be released.

Here are some things the reviewers suggested prior to making the Favorite Toots plugin on the directory:

  • Rename the plugin from Mastodon Favorites – This makes total sense as I do not own the copyright to Mastodon and I wouldn’t want to take a name they may end up using themselves someday.
  • Fix some potential security vulnerabilities – I had written this plugin for my own website, from code I wrote a long time ago, and so I didn’t escape or sanitize a few things. I’m glad the review team caught these.
  • A misspelled function! – I don’t even know how the plugin was working! I’m very glad they caught this one.
  • Adding some security around direct file access – Honestly, I can’t believe I forgot this.

All of these were issues I should have caught on my own. But, in my own haste, I submitted code that wasn’t ready. And I’m positive the plugin needs even more attention than I have time to give it. But I’m thankful the review process is in place to catch things like this.

Updates to Hubbub Lite (which is also available on the WordPress plugin directory) and Hubbub Pro (which is deployed directly to customers) are reviewed by the team at NerdPress prior to being deployed. Most companies have a code review. It just makes sense. So having a code review for new plugins on the WordPress plugin directory is a reasonable and needed process.

In addition to the above code edits, there are a few other requirements and nice-to-haves for plugins on the directory. I wrote a readme file that follows the conventions of the directory, created some images to showcase what the plugin does (the directory calls these screenshots, but they can be anything), and designed an icon and a banner image.

I’m glad the plugin is now available to all WordPress websites. I have no aspirations that very many people will want to use it. But if even one or two people end up showing off their favorite toots publicly on their website it will be fun to see. (If you end up doing so, please let me know!) And, going through the process reminded me of the requirements and steps needed to publish a new WordPress plugin on the directory.

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