New Plugin Restores Lost Functionality in WordPress

Over time, features and user interface elements in WordPress are removed or hidden from view. This generally occurs after a significant amount of discussion. Since WordPress is used by so many people, even a small percentage of users who depend on those features is a significant amount. Thankfully in most cases, features can be restored by using a hook, action, or filter.

If this sounds too difficult, consider using the new Restore Lost Functionality plugin developed by, Coded Art. As the name suggests, the plugin restores functionality removed or hidden from view. In its current state, it has three options. The features it can restore varies depending on the version of WordPress you’re using.

Restore Lost Functionality Settings Page
Restore Lost Functionality Settings Page

I tested the plugin by restoring the title field when inserting links and discovered it works as expected. As WordPress evolves, Coded Art plans to continue restoring features for those that depend on them. If there’s a feature you’d like to see this plugin restore, let Coded Art know in the comments.

35 Comments


  1. Only 3 features to restore? I’m intrigued what other deprecated/removed features would be nice for some people to take back.

    Maybe the recently inverted layout for comments form in last WP 4.4 would be a nice one. Last week, WP Beginner has posted the code to do this.

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    1. Do you have a link to that post Marcelo and I’ll happily implement it.

      David.

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      1. Yes because that’s where I mentioned the plugin and it has additional links to content you can read to gain context.

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      2. Apologies in that case Jeff, thought it was a mistake. I’ve already taken a look at that code and can implement it. Already found a bug in the original version too so I can fix that whilst I’m at it ;)

        David.

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  2. I like @marcelo’s suggestion to add the old comment order as an option.

    I think the Link Manager and Short Link button are great ideas for the plugin, since I’m fairly sure these features were removed due to lack of use/audience.

    The Link title attribute field, on the other hand, is a bummer. That was removed for a usability and accessibility improvement and really shouldn’t be brought back. There’s a reason WordPress core is removing ALL instances of the title attribute. This plugin could serve a fantastic educational role by acknowledging certain features that won’t be brought back and the reasons they were removed. Adding a warning about re-enabling it feels like the bare-minimum responsible thing to do. Better yet, maybe they could point to a plugin that adds keyboard and screen reader accessible touch-friendly tooltips instead, since that is the only way to implement a title-attribute-like feature that works for everyone.

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    1. Hi Mark,

      I know what you’re saying. By default all options are switched off and the user has to make the choice for any that they want to switch on. I’ve also added links to details on them being removed and am happy to add details as to exactly why they were. Do you have a link to somewhere that explains the issue with the title? Happy to add anything in – this is the first release after all!

      David.

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      1. Amanda’s link is best in class.

        I’d tack on this make.wordpress.org/accessibility/ post that summarized the tickets removing the title attribute in core:
        https://make.wordpress.org/accessibility/2013/08/09/title-attributes-galore/

        And now that I review it, the WP Tavern article on this change is great too! https://wptavern.com/how-to-restore-the-link-title-attribute-removed-in-wordpress-4-2

        And finally, the trac ticket to remove it: https://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/28206

        I can’t vouch for the usability and accessibility of any of them, but there do seem to be quite a few tooltip plugins for those that feel they “have” to have the title attribute.

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  3. Another 4.4 feature to disable: the new srcset functionality.

    https://wordpress.org/support/topic/is-it-possible-to-disable-the-responsive-image-srcset-on-wordpress-44?replies=19 describes people having issues with srcset, plus a solution created to go back to 4.3 img functionality. The lazy load plugin I’m using does not currently work with srcset, so for me it is necessary to disable srcset until the lazy load plugin solves the issue (otherwise site performance is significantly impacted due to no lazy loading).

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      1. It is “restoring” the 4.3 img behavior. Similar to the suggestion to change comment order back to 4.3.

        You solicited suggestions, so I offered one. Feel free to ignore it.

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    1. Or, you could contact the author of your lazy-load plugin and prompt them to update? Seems simple to me. I am sure there are other plugins in the repository that fit 4.4 if the author doesn’t update.

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      1. I already have, and I already updated functions.php with the changes from the link I provided.

        Again, just a suggestion. Sorry I said anything.

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      2. I appreciate your comments and I’m not jumping all over you if that’s how you feel.

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  4. It seems there are many people not happy with those WP updates, is it an indicator of failure?

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    1. Anything that’s removed or hidden in WordPress is done for a good reason and usually involves a lot of discussion. You can’t please everyone so a plugin like this is a good middle ground. It’s not an indicator of failure because every update is going to make someone or a group of people upset.

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  5. On the whole, I think I’m against this. I prefer plugins to be simple and specific to a purpose. This should be three plugins. Not an all-in-one solution to staying behind the times.

    If you need a specific fix, a plugin should exist to provide it. A plugin that provides a bunch of things makes people think that they need those things, when the truth is that they probably do not and should move forward with the rest of the world.

    Just my 2c.

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    1. But, more seriously Otto, I do agree (and I’ve been very critical of Jetpack for just this reason). However, I’d be reticent to release plugins that consist of just a single line switch, which is all that 2 out of the 3 options are.

      Because all the constituent parts are related (unlike Jetpack – yes I’ll keep picking on that), the code is kept minimal (I’ll be ensuring that code is only loaded if the option is switched on) and (next release) I’ll be adding clear messages for each on why they were removed, I think keeping them as one is justifiable.

      I know you see switching back functionality as “staying behind the times” but I totally disagree. I, for example, switched back the shortlink button. It was a pain when it went, although I understood the reason why. These changes won’t appeal to 100% of people and I think you’d much rather upgrade to the latest version of WP and switch back individual options like this, in preference to not upgrading at all.

      David.

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      1. I don’t disagree with you on Jetpack.

        However, simpler plugins that do one thing almost never break. Bundling different things leads to excessive and needless updates, or weird failure interactions, or the too many options problem.

        If you have a specific problem, then a specific solution is still better than an all-in-one where you only turn on the one you need. Even when the code is the same.

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      2. Also, note that the third bigger option there was one I made. They’re welcome to use it. But the other two options should have been two separate plugins.

        Again, just my 2c.

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  6. Technology should move us forward, not backward. These three deprecated functions are unrelated to each other, so bundle them together makes no sense.
    Using any legacy functions is just fight with time ;)
    It’s irrelevant if some users think that PHP 5.2 is ok, that site does not need SSL cert. and so on.
    The reality is, that technology is moving and changing relatively fast and itself it does not care about user’s knowledge or thoughts.
    Any developer of software should be progressive and adapt new technology instead of brings users to ICQ age ;)

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    1. Like what?
      Can you provide some examples?

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  7. I’m happy to announce that version 2 of the plugin has been released. I’ve implemented all of the requests made here and also, listening to what Otto said, I’ve removed those that consisted of more than a few lines of code and an existing plugin existed – in this case, they’re still listed by this plugin but I link to the installation page.

    If you have any queries about it or want to suggest any more functionality then don’t hesitate to let me know.

    David.

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