WordPress’ Plugin Review Team continues to dig out from under a massive backlog that has grown to 1,260 plugins awaiting review. Developers submitting new plugins can expect to wait at least 91 days, according to the notice on the queue today.
“Currently there are 1,241 plugins awaiting review,” Automattic-sponsored Plugin Review team member Alvaro Gómez said earlier this week.
“We are painstakingly aware of this. We check that number every day and realize how this delay is affecting plugin authors.”
Although the backlog seems to be getting worse, Gómez published an update outlining new systems the team is putting in place to get the situation under control. He likened it to patching a hole in a boat, as opposed to simply prioritizing bailing out the water.
“During the last six months, the Plugin review team has worked on documenting its processes, training new members, and improving its tools,” he said. “Now, thanks to your patience and support, the tide is about to turn.”
The team has now onboarded two rounds of new members, with three more reviewers added recently, and has a system in place to make this easier in the future. After receiving more than 40 applications to join the team, the form will be closing at the end of September.
They also sent plugin authors still waiting in the queue an email asking them to self-check their plugins to meet basic security standards, as another effort to mitigate the growing backlog.
“We find ourselves correcting the same three or four errors on +95% of plugins and this is not a good use of our time,” Gómez said. “Once authors confirm that their plugins meet these basic requirements, we will proceed with the review.”
A new plugin called Plugin Check has just been published to WordPress.org for plugin authors to self-review for common errors, which will eventually be integrated into the plugin submission process.
“Once the PCP is merged with this other plugin that the Performance team has been working on, it will provide checks for a lot of other things,” Gómez said. “When this is completed, we will be in a better spot to take in feedback and make improvements.
“In the short term, we are going to ask authors to test their plugins using the PCP before submitting them, but our goal is to integrate the plugin as part of the submission process and run automated checks.”
So far plugin authors have reported a few bugs and issues with the plugin not recognizing files or giving unintelligible errors. These issues can be reported on the GitHub repo, which is temporarily hosted on the 10up GitHub account but will be moving to WordPress.org in the near future.