Evaluation Criteria

Version 1.2
Updated November 10, 2022

The OpenRank score is designed for SaaS products that offer a WordPress plugin. Each category is assigned a maximum number of points, based on the factors within that category, adding up to a possible total of 100 points – the best possible score.

To determine the OpenRank score for a product take each of the factors identified and weight them to produce a total within the possible points per category. Document your rationale. Record the total.

30 Points – User Experience

  1. Target Audience – Does the plugin appear to have a clearly defined target audience? Does the plugin’s landing page / description speak well to the audience and the problem they’re trying to solve?
  2. Onboarding – Does the plugin offer an onboarding experience appropriate to that audience? (e.g. level of experience, expectations of the product / brand)
  3. “Nativeness” – Does the plugin interface make appropriate use of the existing experiences within WordPress, and only diverge when it makes sense? (e.g. making use of the established design patterns, minimizing the use of new interfaces)
  4. Friction Free – Given the target audience, is the overall experience of using the plugin low friction? Or are there areas that could cause frustration and confusion?
  5. Feature Availability – Are the relevant features of the product available directly in WordPress? Or is the user required to leave WordPress unnecessarily?
  6. Business Model Clarity – Is the plugin and associated software’s business model clearly conveyed to the user?

20 Points – Support

  1. Compatibility – Has the plugin been tested with the latest version of WordPress? Does it work with the most popular related plugins? Has the plugin listing been updated to reflect compatibility?
  2. Responsiveness – Have questions posted to the plugin’s Support Forum been answered promptly?
  3. Bug Fixes – All plugins have bugs. When a user reports a bug, is it addressed appropriately? Are fixes made in a timely manner?
  4. Update Handling – Are updates to the plugin well explained and pushed out at an appropriate pace? Is the changelog maintained?
  5. User Documentation – Is plugin functionality / usage well documented and is the document easily accessible? (In general, users have a well placed distrust of the effectiveness of documentation – does your approach buck the trend?)

20 Points – Integration

  1. “Hookability” – Have you made it easy for other plugins to play nicely with yours? This includes placing appropriate hooks throughout the plugin and investing time in anticipating some of the ways others might use your plugin (e.g. automation).
  2. Built-in Functionality – Does the plugin make good use of existing functionality in WordPress? (e.g. media library, core APIs)
  3. Ecosystem Engagement – Where appropriate, do you highlight / reference other plugins that play nicely with yours?

20 Points – Best Practices

  1. Coding Standards – Does your plugin adhere to the WordPress Coding Standards?
  2. Handbook Guidelines – Does your plugin follow the guidelines laid out in the Plugin Handbook?
  3. Accessibility – Does your plugin follow the accessibility best practices?

10 Points – Contribution

  1. 5% for the Future – Does your company acknowledge (even if only internally) and make conscious efforts towards 5% for the Future? (Here’s a case I wrote for why)
  2. Participation – Do you and your team show up at WordPress events (local meetups, regional WordCamps, etc) to receive / share ideas and feedback?