The thousands of plugins in the repository are what make WordPress so powerful. With these plugins, you can mold the CMS into anything you need; finding and downloading any capability you might need to make your site work for you. However, not all of these plugins are being used.
The WordPress.org Plugin Review Team announced they will be closing unused plugins in order to clear up space. According to the announcement, written by Mika Epstein, there are over 9,100 plugins that have been approved but are unused. That’s a huge amount of space that isn’t being properly utilized.
If a plugin remains completely blank after six months, it will be deleted. Going even further, if a developer is continually uploading unused plugins, any new submissions will remain pending.
What are Unused Plugins?
The most important question following this announcement is “what qualifies as an unused plugin?” These are not plugins that haven’t been updated in the last six months, they are plugins that have no code whatsoever.
The idea is to stop people from squatting on domains and make sure if a developer registers a plugin, they are uploading that plugin to the repository.
“The good news about this is once we close it, people can request to take over the slug and use it for a new plugin,” Epstein said.
Why remove them?
So if these plugins are sitting there not doing anything, why bother taking them down? As stated above, it will allow other developers to actually use that name. But there’s a bigger reason for attempting to stop this trend.
“Every time you submit a plugin, a human being downloads and reviews your code. If you’re submitting with out a plan to actually use the hosting, you are abusing the finite resources, and taking away from everyone else who is using the directory. Worse, we’ve found out some people like to get a review as a ‘free’ security review instead of hiring people for that work,” Epstein said.
What this means for you
As of right now, there isn’t a list of the plugins that will be closed, however, if you have committed at least a first version you will not be affected.
It will clear up space and allow for the team to focus on plugins that will have an impact on the way WordPress works and the community.
If you have any questions, you can reach out to the Plugin Review Team or check out the FAQ Closed Plugins Page.