Proposed Abandoned Plugin Policy

  1. Nick Rosenthal


    This proposed policy change will make WordPress better/faster/stronger in the long term.


    There are many plugins that are in the repository and are being used by countless thousands of sites but have been abandoned by their authors.

    This means a potential loss of functionality, plugin conflicts, or even conflicts with newer versions of WordPress. And even worse, security vulnerabilities.

    In summary, abandoned plugins are a bad user experience.


    I am here proposing a policy or process whereby a plugin could be officially determined to be abandoned, and a process where coders who are willing to take on the plugin's maintenance and support could "acquire" the abandoned plugin, thereby granting new life to the plugin and improving WordPress dramatically as a whole with thousands of plugins being updated and improved more regularly.

    An alternative option would be that instead of them "acquiring" the plugin, that there appeared an option to "fork" the plugin, although while that would keep good code in the repository, it wouldn't update or protect those using outdated plugins.

    Although if there was an update pushed to affected site's plugin folders similar to when a new version of a plugin has a notification... it could say "Plugin has been abandoned... switch to fork?" Or something similar. I think that the acquisition model might be cleaner, but if there are problems with the acquisition model, the fork model might be a solution.


    I personally think that this one change would have a truly massive impact on the long term health of this platform as one of the main things that give strength to WordPress as a platform is that it is well maintained and constantly improving.

    Let's not allow our powerful and valuable plugin repository to lose that same incredible edge.

    This issue being handled elegantly would be a serious improvement to WordPress and keep us forging into the future.

    Kind regards,

    Nick Rosenthal

    Posted: 1 year ago #
  2. We already have an adoption system.


    The only thing we don't do is provide a list of 'abandoned' plugins because it's really not possible. That would have to be manually curated, and no one's shown any desire to go through all the plugins not updated for X years and determine what's wrong.

    Also this forum is for ideas for WP core, not the .org ecosystem. So I'll be closing this post.

    Posted: 1 year ago #

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    This is not a core suggestion