Coding Stephan

Wordpress plugin REST in peace

In January 2017 I released a plugin for Wordpress called WP REST API - filter fields it had a somewhat limited reach (2000+ active installs according to the stats), but people where using it. It was a plugin on the wordpress rest api (which was also a plugin at that time), it allowed the user to tell the server which fields from the api they wanted back. Because I wasn’t changing the api, I was only filtering the output (after everything was retrieved from the database), this didn’t make it much faster, but the resulting data to transfer was smaller (which was a big thing 4 years ago).

Ten awesome reviews ⭐️

Reviews screenshot

Even though my plugin only got ten reviews they where all FIVE-STAR ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ reviews (without paying people to write a review). So at least ten people really liked my plugin and took the time to write a review. That feels like an accomplishment! Some quotes:

Best REST API plugin ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Austin Passy

YOU ARE A GOD ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Alex Hall

Got noticed

In October of 2017 a Wordpress core developer K. Adam White, referrenced my plugin in the core trac from Wordpress.

Implemented in core

After some lengthy discussions they implemented my functionallity in the core of wordpress and released it in the 4.9.8 release (15 dec 2018). Everybody can use this functionallity without installing my plugin. I thought that would be the end of my plugin, and everybody would just migrate over to the build-in functionallity.

Update to kill

Today someone opened an issue on the github page of the plugin, which I though no one was using anymore. That made me release a new version that does a version check and adds a notice to the admin panel. And just disables the functionality if you’re on wordpress 5 or higher.

This is probably the only way to say goodbye to users. There is no such thing as, Supported Until version x in Wordpress plugin land.

Looking back

It was a fun experiance to create a plugin for wordpress that people where actually using. I don’t like the fact that to publish a plugin for wordpress, you have to put the files in their SVN server. That feels so nineties. If I would ever build myself a new plugin for wordpress, I would definitly set it up on Github again, but would then automated everything (testing/publishing, any good guides available?).

I hope I didn’t disappoint the users from my plugin by actually creating an update to shut it down, but the build-in version is so much better. It filters the fields before a single post is retrieved from the database, and only retrieves the needed fields.