A Rethink of our WordPress plug-in

A short while ago, I removed the WordPress plugin from the WordPress store. One of our customers suggested that it was significant enough to explain why in a blog post. I agree.

Firstly, if you currently USE the InLinks plugin, your site should be fine, although WordPress is likely to be telling you that the plugin is no longer maintained and, therefore, you should consider removing it. I would agree. Here are several plugins that should do the job that are being maintained, are free and have more than 100,000 downloads each.

To use any of these plugins instead of the InLinks plugin, just add the plugin as you would any other plugin and then add the JavaScript shown on the InLinks project for your site. Then remove or archive the old InLinks plugin to avoid the page unnecessarily trying to add schema and links twice to any given page.

Note – this is not an urgent task. The old plugin could work for years, but nobody can say how WordPress will develop, so the best practice would be to switch sooner rather than later.

Why did we remove the support for this plugin?

Apart from adding JavaScript code to your website, this plugin serves no other purpose. I originally envisaged the plugin might let you audit and write content directly in WordPress, Give you the ability to execute the JavaScript serverside and generally use the WordPress directory as a channel to market. However, I am the marketing guy and not the programmer! Fred was working on the core functionality of the main website, and I had not appreciated that changing the functionality of the main system would mean a massive overhead in maintaining the code in “WordPress plugin form” separately. I simply engaged a third-party programmer to build a plugin that did the basics. The basics – or “MVP” (minimum viable product, as we say in the trade) really was just adding the code, and then the programmer lost interest. That means that every time WordPress updates, the plugin says, “Not tested on this version of WordPress”. We stopped recommending the plug-in as the favoured way to install our code onto WordPress sites when this started happening, but some years later, we forgot that a number of early adopters would still be using the plugin. I apologise for not contacting these people before removing the plugin from the store.

Almost all our customers use WordPress, and so do we!

Do not worry; we will never stop supporting WordPress users! Inlinks.com is entirely WordPress driven. (After login, you go to the .net site, which is where the real technology sits). By removing this block, our team can develop and release new functionality faster. That is all.

Will InLinks produce another WordPress Plugin in the future? Possibly

If we return to producing a plugin again in the future, we will think hard about the long-term impacts. Right now, third parties are welcome to discuss how they might integrate with InLinks on some form of rev-share, but to be honest, the flexibility that the line of JavaScript offers makes our tool work across so many platforms.

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