Should You Install Plugins Not Tested With Your WordPress Version?


Often our users ask us about the warning that a plugin is not tested with their version of WordPress. Should you install plugins that plugin? or find another plugin? In this article, we will discuss why you should install plugins not tested with your version of WordPress? What does it mean and how you can help the WordPress community?

When you install a plugin from WordPress admin area, you may see a warning that a plugin is not been tested with your version of WordPress.

Plugin compatibility warning

How WordPress Gets Not Tested Information?

The official WordPress plugin repository is the largest collection of free and open source WordPress plugins. When submitting the plugin, authors are required to submit a “readme” file with their plugins. This readme file is then used by the plugin directory to generate plugin page.

The readme file contains the “tested up to” tag which is used to display the information. Plugin authors are expected to keep this information up to date.

This means that with each release of WordPress, plugin authors should test their plugins and update the readme files for their plugins.

Why Don’t Plugin Authors Update This Information?

Many plugin authors don’t update their readme files at all even when they test their plugin with the latest version.

In an ideal world, we would like all plugin authors to update this information. But we don’t live in an ideal world.

Remember that these plugins are free, and you are not paying authors to download and use them. Plugin authors feel less inclined to update the readme file with each release. They are usually busy with their full time jobs and paid development projects.

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Should I Install These Plugins?

Yes, you should. Just because a plugin author didn’t update their readme file doesn’t mean that they have not tested their plugin or that the plugin doesn’t work with the latest version of WordPress.

If you heard about a plugin on WPBeginner, then you can safely assume that we tested the plugin with the latest version of WordPress. If the article, you are looking at was published fairly recently, then this means that the plugin is compatible with the latest version of WordPress.

On the other hand, if a plugin has not been updated for more than two years, then this means that most probably the plugin has been abandoned. In that case, you should not install the plugin.

It would be interesting to note that many plugins that haven’t been updated for more than two years actually still work very well. However, you should install them at your own risk.

How You Can Help?

You can install the plugin on your WordPress site and test it out. If it works as expected, then come back to plugin’s page. Login with your username and password. Next, scroll down to the bottom of the page where you will see the compatibility section.

Vote for plugin compatability

Simply choose your WordPress version, plugin version, and then click on the Works button. By doing that, you are letting other users know that you have tested the plugin, and it works as promised.

You can also contact the plugin author and kindly ask them to update their plugin’s readme file

What to do When a Plugin is Broken?

Once again, we would like to remind our users that if it is a free plugin, then the plugin author has provided it on as-is basis. There is no warranty, not even the implied warranty of fitness. But the question is, how you can help the community deal with broken plugins?

Instead of leaving a harsh comment on the plugin’s support thread, you can leave a constructive and helpful feedback. See our guide on how to properly ask for WordPress support and get it.

Before doing anything, try installing the plugin on different live or local WordPress install. Make sure you are able to reproduce the same error on other installs as well.

Once you are certain that the plugin is broken, simply describe the error in a support thread and leave it for plugin author or the community to respond. If you do not get a response, then you can try reaching out to the plugin author. Most plugin authors have contact information on their profile pages.

If these steps fail, then you should feel free to visit the plugin’s page and vote the plugin broken under the compatibility section.

We hope this article helped answer your questions about whether or not you should install plugins not tested with your version of WordPress.

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