Here at BossWP we review WordPress plugin and themes as well as various hosting providers and other WordPress related products. When writing our reviews we consider the following factors.
Our “First use” rating is how does the plugin or theme appeal on the first installation. Does it just activate and you’re left to find how to set it up, or does it guide you through the process?
High scoring plugins or themes will have a welcome wizard, or WordPress pointers. Low scoring plugins or themes will have no easy way to find the settings or options and give you no steer at all.
Our “Features” rating is how does the plugin or theme look features wise. Does it have all the features you expect, or are things missing. For themes this may be a unusable proportion of the Plugin is “pro” and you need to pay, or the theme has a lot of options locked down.
For freemium products (products that are free but you can upgrade to premium) we would expect it still to be useable but rightly some of the Pro features locked down.
If it’s really hard to use, or plastered with “powered by” options that are not removable in settings, then the plugin or theme would score low in the review here.
The “Compatibility” rating is does installing the plugin affect your website, does it change CSS that it’s not supposed to (i.e. does it make your website font change, or change the colours of your links that it is not supposed to). Does it break other plugins, such as a home-page slider or simply not appear at all.
It takes a very incompatible plugin or theme to really notice so we would expect most of our plugins and theme reviews to score highly here.
The “Technical” rating is looking at how easy the plugin is to use for beginners. The majority of the team here at bosswp are WordPress novices so when reading the reviews you can see how easy they are for people without developer level knowledge.
The “Documentation” rating goes hand in hand with the Technical rating, if a plugin is quite technical its OK if it’s documented well, either in guides or standard documentation. If it’s technical product and has little or no documentation then the plugin or theme will get a low score here.
The final rating is “Cool Factor”. Is the plugin or theme cool, does it look good, work well and give your website that boost towards making people think that you’re an expert. Does it really help boost your website traffic, sales or improve your reach (depending on the goal of your website).
Finally, our team come to a judgement on the overall score. If a plugin or theme is insanely cool it may outweigh a lower score in compatibility (you can always disable other plugins or change themes).
If a plugin is damn cool, it can still get a poor rating overall if it’s simply too hard to figure out how to get it working on your WordPress website.