Compared with the similar process with themes, it seems to be a little harder to find free plug-ins that are not in the WordPress Plugin Directory. Although the Google search for "free WordPress plug-ins" generates even more hits than "free WordPress themes" (87 million versus 49 million), nearly all the top 50 matches point directly to the Plugin Directory, or to developers already in the Plugin Directory.
So how do you learn about the best plug-ins? Again, look to the community for answers:
■ The Weblog Tools Collection highlighted in Chapter 12, "The WordPress Toolkit: Themes," does plug-in reviews twice a week.
■ Angelo Mandato does the consistently interesting WordPress Plugins Podcast, where he reviews one plug-in at a time. He also reports from conferences and interviews plug-in developers to learn more about their recent work and their craft. Listen and subscribe at www.pluginspodcast.com.
The WordPress Plugin Database at http://wp-plugins.net is a promising idea, if somewhat neglected as a project.
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