WordPress Plugins Directory adds user-voted compatibility checker

| October 28, 2009 | Leave a Comment

WordPress.org Plugin Directory compatibility feature

WordPress plugins listed at WordPress.org’s official plugin directory now have a new feature for compatibility checking. It uses the naturally-helpful WordPress community to gather statistics on how compatible a plugin is for a certain WordPress version. Weblog Tools Collection reports:

Normally, the plugin information within the FYI box tells you which version of WordPress is required and which version the plugin is compatible up to. Unfortunately, the version the plugin is compatible up to is not updated that often which is why some plugins which state that they only work up to WordPress 2.5 end up working with the latest release.

[…] The beauty of this system is that it leverages the community in order to figure out what works with what. However, just because it works for the majority of users is no guarantee it will work on your particular setup. But using these statistics, it should make it easier to figure out whether the issue is with the plugin and WordPress or with your setup.

One of the biggest fears users have when it comes time to upgrade WordPress is whether their plugins will work on the newest version or not. There are a large handful of people who upgrade to the latest version of WordPress as soon as it’s released and the hope is, these folks will visit the plugin page and report their findings for others to take advantage of. If more users see that their plugins work on the newest version, they are more likely to upgrade.

It’s not yet on all plugins, and it doesn’t appear yet inside details screen when you install from within your WP admin, but expect that to change soon. After all, this feature is still in beta.

But the biggest advantage, as WLTC notes in the last paragraph above, is key here. WordPress-powered sites often stay outdated and unable to fight off security attacks because their owners fear for incompatible plugins breaking their site. This checker should help quell those fears. And of course, this is a great incentive to make sure you’re grabbing plugins from the most legitimate source out there.

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