What To Do When A WordPress Plugin Dies?

It goes without saying that we should all be using actively supported software, especially for mission-critical tasks.

For any number of reasons that formerly dependable plugin (assuming WordPress) has reached its end of life. Typical examples are:

 – The developer can no longer maintain their passion project.

 – The plugin is unprofitable 

 – The plugin is sold and rolled into another plugin.

In all of these scenarios you have a limited amount of time before something goes wrong and your site breaks. To fix the issue, it’s best to determine what other solutions there are and the level of effort it will take to implement. For example, an image gallery plugin is standalone and replacing it might be low effort, low complexity activity. Conversely, replacing a payment gateway tied to a member portal is a high effort, high complexity solution. 

In the latter example, a WordPress specialist should be able to help identify replacement software and architect a solution for the developer. Once a solution is identified, the next step is to begin working on the updates on a staging server to avoid usability issues for the end-user. This may also be a good time to implement technical fixes such as broken links, 

Finally, multiple rounds of testing are needed to ensure all functionality is working as expected. Testing should be done on the most popular browsers and devices configuration based on the site’s analytics. 

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