Deprecating Shared Plugins on VIP Go

This page covers common questions that have come up during the deprecation of shared plugins on the VIP Go platform.

Why are we making this change?

Shared plugins were previously part of the VIP platform. On WordPress.com we introduced shared plugins to reduce the need for repeated code review and to ensure we provided easy access to the plugins of our recommended partners.

Despite our best intentions, shared plugins have introduced a number of challenges:

  • New versions are not code reviewed in a timely manner
  • Updating plugins requires coordinated testing across all sites
  • Plugin versioning has resulted in a large amount of legacy code on WordPress.com

With VIP Go we think we can provide a more flexible approach and we are now retiring shared plugins on the platform.

What do we need to do?

The VIP team will create a Pull Request (PR) on the GitHub repository for your site, this PR will add the codebase for any shared plugins currently activated on your site (either in code, or via the UI) into your repository. We will also open up a related issue detailing the changes, and a Zendesk ticket too… we want you to be well informed!

Once the PR lands, please test it and merge at your convenience. We will go through and merge all unmerged PRs two weeks after they have been created.

Why is it best practice to load plugins using wpcom_vip_load_plugin()?

Loading plugins via code ensures you have the same plugins active on all your VIP Go environments, it allows you to test and maintain a consistent configuration across all your VIP Go environments and your local development.

What will happen to the current VIP plugins screen in wp-admin?

The custom VIP Plugins admin screen will be retired once all sites have been updated, and we will revert back to the standard core plugins UI.

Can we change the PR or modify it after deployment?

Absolutely. The file we dropped into client-mu-plugins can be removed or changed at your convenience. If you want to bundle the logic in your own them or plugin you are free to do so.

We do require that you keep the code for plugins you are using in your repository, so please do not revert to using the codebases in the shared-plugins directory.

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