I am not a prolific WordPress developer. But I was quite pleased with my little self, when I wrote the Creation Caching plugin. I thought that I had developed something that was worth sharing, for once in a way.
So I submitted the plugin to the WordPress repository in the usual way. Weeks and weeks later, I have heard nothing. Even when I submitted it, the online form told me that there were 76 plugins in the line ahead of me.
This does not seem to be a sensible way to work. However, I had already heard about Github, and had developed the plugin, using the Github repository. Research has shown me that there are a lot of WordPress themes and plugins which reside on Github – and many of them are not duplicated in the WordPress repository.
Then I found two wonderful plugins at Github. The first, and most important, was the Github Updater. This excellent plugin allows plugins and themes installed from Github to be updated directly from within WordPress, as if they were stored in the WordPress repository. In fact, the plugin also allows updating from other repositories – notably BitBucket and GitLab. So, I decided that I was going to store all my themes and plugins on Github, so that they could easily be updated. Therefore, if you want automatic updates to my themes and plugins, get the latest version from Github, and make sure you have Github Updater installed as well.
A plugin which is great fun to have is Github Link. This little plugin applies logos to your plugin list, to show whether they are updated from WordPress or Github (or elsewhere). Although not strictly necessary, I think you will like this plugin, and recommend that you install it.
It is still the case that the WordPress repository is probably the easiest to use – for clients. But Github is clearly much easier to use for developers. Don’t overlook Github when searching for great new plugins.