WordPress plugins are “officially” distributed through the WordPress-owned plugin repository. You can search for any kind of plugin to add extra functionalities to your website or blog. But, there are also a number of great plugins that we can find outside that are not hosted in the official repo.
Some plugins can only be found in its developer website, while some can only be found in Github.
Github is like a gold mine for developers. There are a bunch cool projects including WordPress plugins that are hosted in it. But sadly Github does not return quite an accurate result when we search for WordPress plugins. Using keywords like “WordPress Plugins” does not help much either. But here is what you can do with a plugin.
Github Plugin Search
Github Plugin Search is a plugin created by Paul Clark. This plugin, as the name implies, allows you to search and install WordPress plugins from Github. To do the job, this plugin utilizes Github API Search, Plugin File Header and WordPress Installer API.
Once installed, you can search and add new Plugins from Plugins > Add New menu as usual. But as this plugin is still undergoing development, it replaces the Plugins search result entirely with a list of plugins found in Github.
In this example below, I searched for “bootstrap”. And it returns several results.
Word Of Caution
This plugin could be a good alternative source to find WordPress plugins. But there is one important thing to note when you are using it:
Github is not designed specifically to distribute WordPress plugins. Unlike WordPress.org repo, which moderates all the submitted plugins, Github allows anyone to upload and host their project in it without strict screening. This could be taken advantage of by people who upload plugins with malicious codes, which for intance could allow backdoor access to your blog without your permission.
So, while this Github is a great alternate source to find WordPress plugins, you have to be cautious with your choices. Make sure that you know what the plugin and the codes in it do before getting the plugin.
I’m looking forward to the enhancements of this plugin. In the future, the developer, plans to add the capability to let you opt between WordPress.org repo and Github.