Since the day our first author published the first third-party plugin on the marketplace, we've received new product review requests almost daily. As of today, there are more than 600 plugins on the marketplace, and now we can see trends and stats which help us to optimize the plugins marketplace and make it simpler for the October CMS community to find extensions they want to use in their projects. Today we are rolling out some important updates, which will improve marketplace usability and remove some unnecessary elements.
The usage statistics show that the most often used actions on the marketplace are the search and selecting a product category. This update improves both features. Also, now it's clear that the Blogging and E-Commerce products are the most popular in the marketplace.
Updates in Plugin Categories
The Plugins page now has a sidebar with categories. We've recategorized all published plugins and added some new categories. More granular categories give visitors a quick insight on which features are available. We also removed the Miscellaneous and Utility categories, because they didn't have strict definitions and were assigned to almost all plugins, which was not helping with finding products.
The Blogging and E-Commerce categories are displayed at the top of the list, to help visitors to find the most popular products. Those categories now display the most popular paid and free plugins on the top of the page.
Plugins can now belong only to two categories, at most. We noticed that authors often assign multiple (or all) categories to their plugins in order to increase their plugin's visibility. But having all products listed in all categories actually makes the visibility worse for all products. On the other hand, accurately assigned categories will help visitors to find plugins in the expected categories. Please contact us if you need help with assigning categories to your products, or if you think that a new category is needed.
Improvements to the Marketplace Search Feature
The product search is the most popular way to find plugins on the marketplace. To help visitors find plugins, this update introduces the Keywords field, which you can find on the Edit Contents tab of the plugin management page. In this field you can list keywords which are not included on the product page and a short description. For example, if your plugin name is "MegaStore" and the short description is "An ultimate eCommerce solution for October CMS," it's a good idea to add the "shop" and "e-commerce" keywords.
You can always check which keywords are popular by visiting the Marketplace Stats page. The keywords chart on that page is now updated daily. Please do not use irrelevant keywords for your plugins - doing so will not increase the chances your product to be purchased or downloaded. The best advice we can give you is to write relevant short descriptions and choose clear product names.
The plugin page layout is now simpler, providing better visibility for the best performing products. The product rating and the number of projects are now displayed by default, without the necessity of hovering over a plugin. This will help visitors to make decisions faster and simpler in high competitive categories.
The Plugin details page now displays a list of plugins which extend or require the plugin. For example, the RainLab Blog plugin page shows 16 plugins, which add RSS Feed functionality, Blog Tags, improved search and other extensions and improvements for the standard Blog plugin.
The marketplace grows quickly and we observe a rising interest in the platform by both the website builders and plugin developers. The recently completed Black Friday promotion was extremely successful. The marketplace activity during the four days of the promotion was almost four times higher than the average value. We hope that authors see the potential of building high-quality products for October CMS. More exciting updates are coming soon. We won the CMS Critic Award in 2018 and we believe that 2019 will be the best year ever!