Plugin Life Cycle

Our WordPress environment offers many unique, high quality plugins that enhance the functionality available in ECU’s various WordPress environments. Our goal is to ensure that the plugin life cycle is as long as possible. The process of requesting, adding, maintaining, and removing plugins from our WordPress installations is outlined below. Changing plugins is a labor intensive and disruptive process for our users. We aim to minimize this outcome as much as possible.

Whenever we receive a request for a feature, we work with the requester to identify the needs the requested plugin fills and then work with the requester to evaluate all of the potential solutions for meeting those needs. We reserve the right to select the solution that is both the least intrusive and best long term solution for maintainability, scalability, and security.

Possible solutions include:

  • Third Party Plugins (Free/Paid)
  • Custom Built Plugin
  • Custom Solution Outside of WordPress

New Feature Request

To request a new feature, fill out Plugin Request form. Selection is based on the purpose of the feature. Potential solutions are evaluated and include third party and custom built plugins.

Review

All plugins must meet the evaluation criteria found below.

  • If a plugin is acceptable, it is added in the appropriate environment and the requestor is informed.
  • If a plugin is unacceptable, the requester is informed of why it is not acceptable for our WordPress environment.

Implementation

Implementation varies depending upon the solution identified.

Maintenance

All plugins are periodically checked to ensure that they meet the evaluation criteria identified below. If it does not, it is scheduled for removal according the removal process below.

Removal/ Replacement

If a plugin must be removed, a replacement plugin is selected if possible. This may require users to modify or migrate some of their data or content. To minimize the impact of plugin removals, third party plugins will be limited. A scheduled removal date is set and affected site owners are notified. Generally the removal date is set for four weeks after the notification is made. During those four weeks, the plugin can be switched with the replacement plugin. Site owners are notified of the scheduled date of removal via the following methods. Note: In certain situations where security is a concern, the plugin removal schedule may be shortened.

  • email is sent to all affected site owners
  • message is posted on the main page of the WordPress site
  • message is posted on the dashboard of affected blogs.

Evaluation Criteria includes:

  • Compatible with the latest version of WordPress
  • Works in multi-network installation
  • No known security vulnerabilities
  • Does not replace/alter/duplicate core WordPress functionality
  • Does not duplicate existing plugin
  • Does not allow upload of CSS or JS
  • Fulfills a campus-wide need
  • Meets our web standards
  • ADA compliant
  • Actively developed
  • Good rating by users

Preference is given to plug-ins where we subscribe to a service that keeps them updated.