WP Recycle: Fresh Perspectives for Starving WordPress Plugins
If you are a WordPress developer, you will very likely have coded a WP plugin at some point of time. Maybe you still write plugins for WordPress? In any case, one trend remains unchanged: plugins tend to get obsolete and fall out of favor. Maybe the developer loses interest or runs short of time, maybe the plugin fails to gain the required amount of popularity, or, more commonly, WordPress updates itself, and the newer version offers a particular functionality natively, thereby eliminating the need for plugins that offer the same or similar functionality. Thus, one thing can be assumed as certain: WordPress plugins in general tend to have a short shelf life. Ever wondered how awesome it would be if such plugins came back to life? Allow us to introduce you to WP Recycle by PluginChief.
What WP Recycle promises to achieve
The WordPress plugin repository is full of various…. well….. plugins! However, not all of them are actively maintained anymore. As mentioned above, many plugins tend to be abandoned owing to a multitude of reasons. Yet, even these abandoned plugins continue to retain their space in the repository.
WP Recycle intends to give a new lease of life to these plugins. Got an old, broken or abandoned plugin of your own? You can easily submit it to the WP Recycle program and watch it getting reincarnated.
A Simple Process As Far As Developers Are Concerned
The idea is simple: you head to the WP Recycle page where you find a submission form. Enter the details about your plugin, such as description, last compatible WP version, free or paid, etc. That’s it! Your part is done! If you are the plugin author, you can specify whether you’d be fine with WP Recycle rebranding your plugin, or not. Furthermore, if your plugin is a paid one, WP Recycle also has a revenue sharing mechanism in place.
Also, when WP Recycle takes up a given plugin, it won’t simply recycle and revamp, but also support it.
WP Recycle: Obvious Limitations Of The Platform
So, will every plugin be accepted? Obviously, no. To quote PluginChief:
We will look over every plugin submitted and do whatever we can to address it, but we can not guarantee we can get into every plugin and offer it on PluginChief.
In other words, not every plugin that is submitted will be renewed. This is fairly understandable — there is no point taking up e.g. a post formats plugin simply because WP itself supports the functionality. Similarly, if a plugin is poorly coded or offers a feature that is now provided by several other modern-day plugins, I doubt if there is any sense in taking it up.
Thus, to put it simply, WP Recycle intends to ‘save’ plugins that either offer features which are still in demand, or have code that deserves to be saved.
Is WP Recycle The Savior of the Plugin Repository?
The idea behind WP Recycle is awesome, and on a personal note, I’m quite happy and do really hope that WP Recycle goes on to become a successful venture.
Each time I visit the WP plugin repository, I realize that the number has increased since my last visit (in stark comparison to one of my favorite CMS Habari’s repository, which, sadly, more or less manages to remain static). This increase in number is obviously a good sign: however, more often than not, a vast majority of such plugins are dropped within a few years. The outcome? A repository that is populous in terms of quantity, but half of the plugin populace is semi-defunct. The idea of WP Recycle can not only help re-invent old plugins but also serve as a great step towards improving the overall quality of the WordPress plugin repository.
What do you think of the WP Recycle initiative? Got any old plugins of your own? Head over to the WP Recycle page and submit them for consideration! Oh, and before you do that, don’t forget to leave a comment here!
Sufyan bin Uzayr writes for various magazine and blogs, and is the author of "Sufism: A Brief History". He blogs about technology, Linux and open source, mobile, web design and development, typography, and Content Management Systems at Code Carbon. You can learn more about him, follow him on Twitter or friend him on Facebook and Google+.