Plugins on VIP VIP platform specific

This document is for sites running on VIP.

Learn more

Overview #

Here at VIP, we maintain a list of plugins that have been reviewed and approved by our engineers.These pre-reviewed plugins help speed up review for your projects on VIP and ensure the 3rd-party code you’re using is safe and scalable.

There are 3 different “types” of plugins on VIP:

  • The Shared Plugin repository, which is reviewed and maintained by the VIP team
  • The Reviewed Plugins list, which are reviewed and recommended by the VIP team. These plugins are not maintained by the VIP team.
  • Custom Plugins developed by your team and added to your theme.

↑ Top ↑

Shared plugins #

The Shared Plugin repository is collection of plugins that are reviewed and maintained by the VIP team. As a VIP developer you will have read access to our shared plugins repository, which contains some Automattic plugins as well as plugins from our Featured Partners. There are two ways to activate a shared plugin: from your VIP Dashboard or in your theme’s code. We recommend choosing one method and sticking to it to make it easy to determine which plugins are enabled for your site.

Note: On VIP Go, shared plugins are not necessarily available automatically – see the mu-plugins repo for what’s available out of the box.

Activating a Shared Plugins from your Dashboard #

Simply navigate to Plugins and Services in your VIP dashboard, find the plugin you’d like, and click “Activate.”

Activating a Plugin

↑ Top ↑

Activating a Shared Plugin In Your Theme #

Once you have SVN access to your VIP theme, you will also have read access to the Shared Plugins repository. To test these plugins in your development environment, use your username and password to check out a copy of them from using Subversion. To match our environment, they should be checked out to wp-content/themes/vip/plugins/ and not wp-content/plugins/ like you would normally.

svn co

To load plugins from the shared plugins folder, you can use the following function call:

wpcom_vip_load_plugin( 'zoninator', 'plugins', '0.6' );

Note that the third parameter, `$version` specifies the specific version you wish to load.

↑ Top ↑

Updating Shared Plugins #

We maintain two versions of each shared plugin at any one time, allowing you to upgrade to new versions at more of your own pace. We very much recommend you always use the latest available version which you can find by looking in the shared plugins repository itself.

New versions are announced through the VIP Lobby and the oldest version is deprecated simultaneously. Older versions are removed one month after a new version is committed, giving you plenty of time to test and upgrade.

There are two ways to go about updating your plugin, depending on how the plugin was activated (via dashboard or theme):

  • If the plugin was activated by dashboard, you will need to deactivate it on the dashboard and activate the newer version with code using the wpcom_vip_load_plugin helper function. For example, if we want to update Co-Authors-Plus to the latest version, we would stick the below in our functions.php:
    wpcom_vip_load_plugin( 'co-authors-plus', 'plugins', '3.2' );
  • If you’ve already activated your plugin by code, we would need to add or update the third parameter in the wpcom_vip_load_plugin helper function that you used to activate your plugin. For example, if we wanted to update an old version of Co-Authors-Plus to a new version, we would change the line from:
    wpcom_vip_load_plugin( 'co-authors-plus', 'plugins' );


    wpcom_vip_load_plugin( 'co-authors-plus', 'plugins', '3.2' );

If you need assistance, or would like to request an upgrade, don’t hesitate to open up a ticket with us.

↑ Top ↑

Reviewed Plugins #

Each time we review a plugin (or a new version), we update this list of Reviewed Plugins. You can bundle any VIP Reviewed Plugins into your theme, and they won’t need to be reviewed. To use a plugin on this list, simply commit the plugin to your theme in a single commit, letting us know in the message that it’s a reviewed plugin, and we’ll get it deployed. Please note that we do not maintain these plugins, so your team will be responsible for updates.

If an open-source plugin you’d like to use is not on this list, please open a ticket to ask us to review (more details on that here).

Activating plugins that you bundle in your theme is as simple as placing them into a plugins directory, and loading them within your functions.php like so;

wpcom_vip_load_plugin( 'custom-plugin', 'my_theme_directory_name' );


↑ Top ↑

Custom Plugins #

These are any plugins that you develop yourself and bundle in your theme. These will always be reviewed according to the same process as your theme – you can read more about plugin review here.

If the plugin is around 1,000 lines of code (excluding CSS), you can commit it to the deploy queue as part of your regular work. If it is larger, please zip the plugin and submit it via tickets for review.

Once your plugin is approved, add it to the “plugins” directory within your theme directory. To activate it, use wpcom_vip_load_plugin in functions.php with ‘my_theme_directory_name’ as the second parameter, e.g.:

wpcom_vip_load_plugin( 'custom-plugin', 'my_theme_directory_name' );

Ready to get started?

Drop us a note.

No matter where you are in the planning process, we’re happy to help, and we’re actual humans here on the other side of the form. 👋 We’re here to discuss your challenges and plans, evaluate your existing resources or a potential partner, or even make some initial recommendations. And, of course, we’re here to help any time you’re in the market for some robust WordPress awesomeness.