1. Milan Petrovic

    They should also start removing plugins that were not updated for 5 or more years. Current plugins number looks high, but, number of active plugins are much lower. They started marking outdated plugins few years ago, but, that ultimatively did nothing to really cleanup the repository.


    • Peter

      Yes, removing broken plugins (that were broken by new releases of WP and the author did not update) is a good idea. The problem is, how to find and identify broken plugins and remove only those?

      I mean there might be some X year old ones, that are still working flawless, so removing just based on the age is questionable IMO.


      • Milan Petrovic

        Maybe combine age and number of downloads in recent years. I think thst WP.org has plenty of data to filter out plugins to remove.

        Also, som outomated testing with various versions of WordPress can reveal broken plugins to.


    • Álvaro Góis

      It’s not that easy to assess if a plugin is broken or not just by it’s age or not being tested with current or recent WordPress versions. A first step could be, IMHO, to have the search algorithm penalize older plugins in search results. Current search is weak and allows very old plugins to appear on top of results.


    • Anh Tran

      It should be very careful to remove old but working plugins. Some plugins don’t need to update over the years, but they still work perfectly.


  2. Jeff Chandler

    How would a user download the plugin to use it if the author never uploaded the code to the .org repository in the first place? Note that unused here means the code was never uploaded to the directory after it was approved.


    • Peter

      Okay, then i misunderstood. I just thought if the plugin author does not upload updates then it would be declared “unused”. Thanks for the clarification!


  3. Jean-Francois Arseneault

    While removing outdated plugins is a good start, providing filtering capabilities and bolean searches on the data already in the repo would be nice too : # of stars, # of downloads (interval), compatibility with current WP version, last update date, etc.


    • Bastian

      Agreed. Current filtering capabilities in both plugin and theme repositories are atrocious.


  4. Louis Reingold

    Clarification from make.wordpress.org:

    Edit: Unused means LITERALLY unused. No one uploaded code. Ever.


    • Brad Williams

      Good move. I’m sure I have a few plugins that I submitted for approval but never actually released.

      If I remember correctly a plugin file upload wasn’t required back in the day.


  5. Peter

    “We’ve found out some people like to get a review as a ‘free’ security review instead of hiring people for that work”

    So for many non-commercial plugins you require authors to spend money on something which they not benefit financially ?


    • Li-An

      You did not understand clearly : the code was reviewed by the team but was never uploaded on the depot. So the developer had a free check but did not share any work. So, it’s not a “non-commercial” plugin as it’s not distributed in the depot. And, worse, it can be a commercial plugin.


  6. Pete

    Shuttting a plugin is one thing but allowing a new developer to take over an existing plugin (without the authors approval) is problematic.

    Legally a plugin author could have common law trademark on the name…


  7. Ian Rose

    Good start. As others have said here, a great next step would be to start working backwards from the oldest, least updated plugins and culling the herd even more. But I’m happy with this move.


    • fwolf

      The main issue with that is: There are quite a few plugins around which simply DO NOT NEED updating.

      Eg. Regenerate Thumbnails got no updates for over 6 years – because it was working flawlessly. Only after excessive head shaking and strong nudging, the original author started overhauling it.

      IWhen looking at its usage statistics, you see that quite a bunchload of users still prefer the 2.x releases. Which might be a) one doesnt trust the rewrite or b) the 2.x AGES OLD release still works flawlessly even in the current WP nightly builds.

      Of corpse, I do understand that nowadays, folks think that updates are an indicator if a piece of software has been or has not been abandoned for good. Which is well-meaning, but shortsighted. Because: NTARS.

      cu, w0lf.


  8. Webmaster

    What about providing notifications in WP admin backend plugins list if a plugin has not been updated for 1, 2, 5 years or has been removed or suspended from repository? With maybe a vertical color bar left/right in yellow, orange, red, purple or similar?

    That would really be helpful.


  9. Luis Medilo

    That’s a good move. I’ve seen several plugins that haven’t been updated for years, and that are still downloadable. Some still work, most don’t. They also pose security risks to WordPress users. Hopefully, this will force plugin authors to keep their plugins updated.


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