Plugins are the best way to extend the functionality of WordPress. Tens of thousands of these plugins are available on the official WordPress.org plugin repository. Many others exist on their own sites or as projects on GitHub. Washington State University has an organization account on GitHub where several WSU built plugins are maintained.
The ability to install these plugins directly to sites on the WSUWP Platform has been disabled. Instead, a deployment workflow using version control is defined to provide an awareness of all code level changes. This helps maintain both the security and performance of all sites on the platform.
If you would like to add a new plugin to your WordPress site at WSU, please send a request to Web Communication for consideration. All suggestions for new plugins will go through at least a preliminary review. As long as the plugin meets a set of defined criteria, it can likely be provided as part of the platform.
It may make sense to develop a WSU managed plugin with similar or more specific functionality. Discuss the plugin in one of the WSU Web Slack channels or during weekly Open Labs to see how others in the WSU web community would find it useful.
An ideal WordPress plugin meets the following criteria:
- Has an open source license that is compatible with the GPL v2 (or later) license.
- Has an open development process and a well defined path to contribution.
- Solves a very specific need and does not contain a large amount of code.
- Passes a full code review by Web Communication or other trusted members of the web community.
In some cases plugins that do not meet the above criteria will be added to introduce important features. While these plugins don’t necessarily follow the best code practices, they may provide a valuable enough resource. The trade off is the overall effort of ongoing maintenance that WSU must accept.
There are many places to purchase paid WordPress plugins. If you find a paid plugin that you would like to add to your WordPress site at WSU, please communicate with Web Communication before doing so.
There are a handful of plugin vendors that go out of their way to meet a version of the criteria above and we’re more than happy to vet these for inclusion in the WSUWP Platform. We’ll work with you to identify the proper processes for upgrade, support, and upstream contributions.
Unfortunately, the majority of paid plugins do not meet the criteria laid out in the previous section and it is often the case that we will not be comfortable introducing and supporting this code on the WSUWP Platform. In all cases, we’ll do our best to determine an alternate approach.