How to Find the Age of a Plugin Hosted in the WordPress Plugin Directory

The WordPress plugin directory provides information such as version requirements, compatibility, last updated, and active installs for plugins. What it doesn’t tell you is how old a plugin is. A new site called Age WP Plugin created by Ahmad Awais and Maedah Batool makes finding this information easy. Simply type in a plugin’s slug into the search box and hit enter.

Hello Dolly is 8 Years Old
Hello Dolly is 8 Years Old

Awais created the site after Batool inquired about the age of a plugin for an article she was writing. Using the API, Awais discovered that one of the data points was a plugin’s submission date. In addition to displaying a plugin’s age, the site also shows the number of downloads it has. In early 2015, the plugin directory was redesigned and replaced the download count with the number of active installs.

The site has received positive feedback from plugin authors in the Advanced WordPress Facebook group. Something I’d like to see added is a list of 10 or 25 of the oldest plugins in the directory. Awais plans to redesign the site using a different color scheme and fix styling issues reported by testers.


14 responses to “How to Find the Age of a Plugin Hosted in the WordPress Plugin Directory”

  1. Can somebody please explain why the plugin directory maintainers decided to keep this useful information secret?

    • I have not looked at the code for this, but it’s not a secret. All commits in the directory are available. Finding the first commit isn’t difficult. We could even add it to the API if it’s actually useful information. I’ve never considered it before now, really.

      Basically, nobody asked. We can’t think of everything.

    • Yes Otto, it is extremely useful information. Deciding to add a plug-in to a website is a serious decision that requires evaluation of the product’s stability. The age (maturity) of the plug-in is an important consideration. So is the ratio of downloads to active installs, which suggests if a plug-in is a “keeper” or a disappointment. Both of these should be included in the panel of basic information about the plug-in. It should not require a research project.

  2. Hey, guys!

    Oh wow! That was quick; I just updated the site. Should look a bit better now. Maybe you can update the images as well.

    A few folks recommended me to update the colors. I have a habit of writing CSS from scratch — first time I use a framework only to get this.

    Anywho, I have updated the app. Toned down the colors, and it’s all blue now. Blue’s blue. Ain’t nobody hates blue.

    Goes without saying, thanks for covering it here. It was a fun little experiment. A good one — it seems.

  3. May find it useful to add a definition to what a slug is for people new to WP, or let people search by URL also. It’s not obvious when you enter an address why the plugin wasn’t found unless you know what a slug is:

  4. Maybe convert it to a Greasemonkey script, so that information can be shown directly in the plugin directory.


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