WordPress Plugin Review Team Adds New Members, Launches Error-Flagging Plugin

WordPress Plugin Review Team Struggles with Massive Backlog

The WordPress Plugin Review Team is facing a significant challenge as they try to tackle a backlog of 1,260 plugins awaiting review. This backlog has caused delays of at least 91 days for developers submitting new plugins. Alvaro Gómez, a member of the Automattic-sponsored Plugin Review team, acknowledged the issue and expressed the team’s awareness of how this delay is affecting plugin authors.

Despite the growing backlog, Gómez recently provided an update on the team’s efforts to address the situation. He compared their approach to patching a hole in a boat rather than simply prioritizing bailing out the water. Over the past six months, the team has been working on documenting processes, training new members, and improving tools. Thanks to the patience and support of the community, they believe the tide is about to turn.

To address the backlog, the team has onboarded two rounds of new members and recently added three more reviewers. They have also implemented a system to make future onboarding easier. After receiving over 40 applications to join the team, they will be closing the application form at the end of September.

In an effort to mitigate the growing backlog, the team sent an email to plugin authors still waiting in the queue, asking them to self-check their plugins to meet basic security standards. This will help reduce the time spent on correcting common errors found in the majority of plugins. Once authors confirm that their plugins meet these requirements, the review process will proceed.

To assist plugin authors in self-reviewing their plugins, a new plugin called Plugin Check has been published on WordPress.org. This plugin allows authors to identify and fix common errors before submitting their plugins for review. In the future, Plugin Check will be integrated into the plugin submission process, providing checks for various aspects of plugin development.

Gómez mentioned that once Plugin Check is merged with another plugin called Performance, it will offer checks for additional elements. This integration will allow the team to gather feedback and make further improvements. In the short term, authors will be asked to test their plugins using Plugin Check before submitting them. The ultimate goal is to integrate the plugin as part of the submission process and run automated checks.

While Plugin Check has been well-received by plugin authors, some bugs and issues have been reported. These include the plugin not recognizing certain files or providing unclear error messages. Authors are encouraged to report these issues on the GitHub repository, which is temporarily hosted on the 10up GitHub account but will soon be moved to WordPress.org.

In conclusion, the WordPress Plugin Review Team is actively working to address the massive backlog of plugins awaiting review. With the addition of new members and the implementation of Plugin Check, they hope to streamline the process and reduce waiting times for developers. By self-reviewing their plugins and meeting basic security standards, authors can help expedite the review process. The team remains committed to improving their tools and processes to provide a better experience for plugin authors.

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