Users of the Posts 2 Posts Plugin Left Searching for an Alternative

Posts 2 Posts Featured ImageWhen it comes to creating many-to-many relationships in WordPress, the Posts 2 Posts plugin created by Scribu is often cited as the plugin to use. Unfortunately, those who rely on Posts 2 Posts will need to find another solution as Scribu has officially announced that he is ending development.

In 2013, Scribu published a call for help asking those interested to adopt his plugins. A number of WordPress developers chimed in showing interest in taking over and supporting the Posts 2 Posts plugin. However, no official change in ownership occurred.

Since that post in 2013, Scribu has reviewed and tested pull requests submitted by the community. Posts 2 Posts user Paul Canning, recently opened a pull request on the project’s GitHub page questioning whether or not the plugin is actively developed.

Scribu responded in the thread explaining the reason for the lack of activity, “Yeah, I found that even reviewing pull requests is a lot of work,” he said. He subsequently updated the Readme file to include the following text:

Furthermore, I will not be doing any development work whatsoever. If you want to fix a bug in the plugin or add new features, feel free to fork it [on github (https://github.com/scribu/wp-posts-to-posts).

I will not be accepting any pull requests though, since ensuring that a code change doesn’t break things takes effort, effort which I’m no longer willing to expend.

Similar to his call for help in 2013, Scribu received offers from developers in the WordPress community to take over development of Posts 2 Posts. The most notable is from Daniel Bachhuber, maintainer of the WP-CLI project.

“Thanks, @danielbachhuber, but I’ve heard that line several times before, from several different people, and nothing happened,” Scribu replied. “If someone is truly interested, they’ll just fork it, merge any interesting pull requests and go from there.”

Bachhuber states that his fork would likely be renamed. Scribu agreed with the idea as the plugin has evolved over time to go beyond posts-to-posts relationships.

I asked Bachhuber what the status of his fork is, “There are no updates at this point,” Bachhuber told the Tavern. “I maintain enough stuff without pay at this point. If I do fork and rename in the future, it will be some form of paid plugin.”

As for alternatives, a cursory search of many-to-many on the WordPress plugin directory generates four results. Posts 2 Posts is actively installed on more than 20K sites. Considering the plugin has established itself as the defacto standard for providing this functionality, it’s no surprise that when asking the Tavern’s Twitter followers for recommendations, it’s the most recommended plugin.

For years, WordPress developers have expressed their desire to be able to create many-to-many relationships in WordPress core. When Andrew Nacin published a potential roadmap for creating taxonomy meta and post relationships in WordPress in 2013, he explained why the Posts 2 Posts plugin was not merged into WordPress core.

The existing Posts 2 Posts plugin by @scribu is fantastic and serves the niche well. But we’re not really comfortable making any architecture or API changes along these lines while our taxonomy schema is still in a far from ideal state.

Although post relationships are unlikely to happen in the immediate future, a lot of work has been accomplished on improving WordPress’ taxonomy schema. WordPress developers who rely on the Posts 2 Posts plugin are encouraged to find an alternative and keep a close eye on the plugin’s GitHub page for news of any forks that are created.

If you know of a plugin that provides functionality similar to Posts 2 Posts, please share it with us and our readers in the comments.

14 Comments


  1. It’s sad to see things like this happen, but I understand the reasoning. We’ve used P2P for a few projects in the past at WDS and I personally will continue to use it going forward, forking and fixing where need be.

    Hopefully we will see an ‘official fork’ sometime soon by a reputable dev.

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  2. As for alternatives, a cursory search of many-to-many on the WordPress plugin directory generates four results.

    Here is one active alternative.

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  3. FYI, Types plugin will have complete many-to-many post relationship in version 2.3 (two major versions from now).

    https://wordpress.org/plugins/types/

    The upcoming release of Types 2.2 already includes the foundations for this (some API that we’re creating internally).

    Types 2.3 will also have the GUI, so that users can declare one-to-many and many-to-many relationships between different post types.

    We took inspiration from posts-2-posts plugin for our implementation, but it’s not the same. In Types, there will be both an API, to use in PHP code, and a complete GUI, to set up things from the WordPress admin.

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    1. That would be awesome. Types and Views are very powerful.

      I’ve been looking at nesting one content type under another within the WordPress Admin. I noticed that Justin Tadlock’s Message Board plugin does this using custom coding and permalink rules for the front-end. If I understand correctly, and that ability is being added to Toolset, it will be a big boon.

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    1. Yep, so do I. Pretty simple, and just works. Customization options are plentyful, too :)

      cu, w0lf.

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  4. Do any of the options mentioned above allow for meta fields to be added to the relationship?

    For example on a Movie site their might be post types of movies and actors that have a many to many relationship, and the relationship itself might have a meta field of “role” to associate what part the actor played in the movie?

    I’m using Posts 2 Posts to achieve this and have not been able to find a currently maintained alternative.

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    1. Matt, the upcoming development in Types plugin will allow you to include meta information for the intermediary posts (the relationship).

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