WordPress.org Hides Plugin Deprecation from Users

It’s official, as I’ve just learned from Mika (aka Ipstenu) and Samuel (aka Otto) — WordPress.org will remove the description and assets from all known deprecated plugins, so users landing on the plugin’s page will be told that “This plugin has been closed for new installs” and nothing else, leaving users to wonder what happened, why the plugin is closed, and what they should do next.

I’m a strong proponent of letting users know why a plugin is deprecated, but Mika and Samuel have taken a hard-line against this, and have told me that all known deprecated plugins will be closed (except for exceptions — see bellow).

What it means when a plugin is closed on WordPress.org:

  • The plugin will no longer appear in WordPress.org search results, even when searching specifically for the plugin name or slug — it’s like the plugin never existed.
  • The plugin page URL is still functional, allowing users to access the plugin page from an off-site link or directly — if the user knows the direct URL.
  • The plugin page does NOT show the plugin name / title, description, FAQs, change log, or any images — the only information shown is the plugin slug and a “This plugin has been closed for new installs” notice.

A few weeks ago, I asked that a deprecated plugin of mine be closed — what I didn’t know at the time was that the plugin description, which included a deprecation notice, would be removed. When I contacted WordPress.org about this, Mika and Samuel informed me the plugin would NOT be reinstated, and that all other known deprecated plugins on WordPress.org would be closed as well.

At this time, there are a lot of active deprecated plugins on WordPress.org, but as Mika and Samuel informed me, this will be fixed shortly and all deprecated plugins will be closed, removing all information about the plugin and why it was closed. I felt this information was important enough to write this post and let other plugin authors know of this.

There’s at least one notable exception:

The WP REST API (WP API) plugin includes a clear deprecation notice, and its deprecation is acknowledged by Mika at WordPress.org, but apparently they’re waiting for Matt’s approval.

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