The life and times of WordPress plugins

Alternative title: Three great plugins I no longer use

Part of the WordPress strategy is to use popular plugins as an indicator for future core features. Sometimes this happens, and sometimes it doesn’t. WordPress has been around for long enough now that it is possible to look back at how things have evolved. How once-great plugins have succumbed to the passages of time…

Gone without replacement – Register Plus

At first, all my WordPress installations came with this plugin. I couldn’t imagine building without it. The feature I wanted it for most was the ability to force email verification on user registration. The author stopped developing the plugin. WordPress core updates meant it broke. There were some attempts to fork it and continue, but none gained any traction. The plugin is now completely missing from

Partially absorbed into core and abandoned – Scissors

Everyone I knew used this plugin! It had two main features. The first allowed images to be edited and this was pulled into WordPress core. The second let you watermark your images (automatically). It was common knowledge that the core team wanted to use the plugin code and the author assisted them and then publicly abandoned his now (partly) defunct master piece. The water marking was a great feature, I miss it a little and I hope someone has created a plugin to replace it.

Thought I couldn’t live without it and losing momentum – Capsman

This little beauty is a powerful plugin with a simple UI that allows you to view and manage your roles and capabilities. I used it a lot before I learnt about the add_role() and add_cap() functions. I prefer to set thing up programmatically rather than configure a plugin. But I have still been using it. It has been a great way to check and debug my code. However, it has not been updated over a year and will surely soon fall foul of the ever-moving WordPress core. I think this is an ideal candidate for the core team to pull in. With the fast growth in use of custom post types with custom roles (mapping the post capabilities onto role-specific capabilities) , I think there are many freelancers out there who would benefit from this.

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Open Source Architect (Web Geek)