On WordPress Plugins and Obsolescence

by Michael on May 18, 2008 · 1 comment

This is a quick note to WordPress users our there… I have always felt that you should never rely on a plugin to do something that can just as easily be done by hand, especially when it comes to content creation.


Now I have an example to back this up:

wp-Table

This is a slick little plugin that creates fancy html tables. The problem, as stated at the top of the download page, is that:

This plugin do not support WordPress 2.5. Currently I don’t plan a new version…

This means that anyone that has relied on this plugin in the past has a choice to make:

(1) Don’t upgrade beyond WordPress 2.3.X
(2) Upgrade, stop using the plugin, and lose all of your tables
(3) Go back and hand-code your tables before upgrading

Fortunately for me, I only played around with this plugin briefly, and had only one table to fix. But if you had relied heavily on this plugin, you’d be in a pretty tough spot right now.

While plugins can a great tool, it’s important to remember that you’re dependent on the developer to maintain compatibility going forward. Thus, when it comes to content creation, you’re better off biting the bullet and future-proofing your articles from the very beginning rather than relying on third-party add-ons.


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Blaine Moore June 10, 2008 at 3:16 pm

Wow…all the plugins I install either do something behind the scenes or change the template in some way, and I add them in a way that the feature just disappears if the plugin does. Would have never occurred to me to use a plugin for in-content edits in a post, although I suppose I do have a few pages that work that way (my sitemap, contact form, etc)

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