I had an idea this morning. Contrary to what the title suggests (gotta have some linkbait) this isn’t a post where I bash Jetpack but rather take the core of what Jetpack is and propose something a little bit different.
I want to create a new plugin, let’s call it Rocketship, that acts as a plugin launcher. Instead of developing modules myself I would create a system like Jetpack but that uses awesome existing plugins as modules. Let’s say I want to create a contact form module. I would set it up that when activated it automatically installs Contact Form 7 or Ninja forms. Also when an update comes out it will be installed automatically (once we verify this update doesn’t break anything). When the module is turned off then the plugin will be stealthily uninstalled.
All the modules would be like this. I’ll basically identify a current plugin that solves a particular problem and include it in the Rocketship plugin. I think the biggest trouble with the plugin ecosystem is there are too many of them. No one knows what to use. Things like quality of support or if it will be supported long term aren’t all that apparent from the plugin page. With my new plugin it will include plugins that are coded well and are going to be around and supported for the foreseeable future.
Users won’t even know that all these modules are really separate plugins. I’ll create some sort of wrapper that allows them to be “activated” but not show up on the plugin’s page as a separate plugin. Things like updates and managing conflicts will be managed by the plugin itself. I wouldn’t be doing this to take credit for other people’s work but rather to make the experience streamlined for the end user. All branding and such of the original plugins would be maintained. They can still upsell people on premium add ons and such.
The WordPress ecosystem is full of some great stuff and I want to create a plugin that highlights it. No one can maintain all this code themselves so creating a distributed model like this just makes sense to me. The WordPress ecosystem is pretty fragmented and I think we really need to start putting all the pieces together.