Are you wondering if you should install plugins that aren’t tested with your current version of WordPress?
Sometimes you’ll find the perfect plugin for your site, but it’s not tested with the latest WordPress version. Can you use it without breaking your website?
In this article, we’ll discuss whether or not you can safely install plugins that aren’t tested with the current version of WordPress.
How Does WordPress Get the ‘Plugin Not Tested’ Information?
Are you wondering how WordPress knows whether a plugin was tested with your version of WordPress, or who is responsible for testing it?
When submitting plugins to the WordPress plugin directory, authors are required to include a ‘readme’ file along with their plugin. This file is used by WordPress to create the page that has details about the plugin.
Plugin authors are responsible for testing their plugin with the latest version of WordPress and manually updating the version number in their readme file.
If you’re seeing the message ‘This plugin hasn’t been tested with the latest version of WordPress’, then that means the plugin author hasn’t updated the readme file with the latest WordPress version number.
It doesn’t necessarily mean that the plugin will cause WordPress errors.
Why Don’t WordPress Plugin Authors Update This Information?
Sometimes plugin authors don’t update their readme files even when they test their plugin to work with each new WordPress release.
In an ideal world, this information will be updated whenever a plugin is tested to be compatible with the newest WordPress update.
However, a lot of developers are usually busy with paid development projects. Since the plugins listed in the WordPress plugin repository are free, there’s less incentive for the developers to constantly keep plugins and the readme file up to date.
Should You Install WordPress Plugins That Haven’t Been Tested?
The short answer is, it depends on the plugin.
Just because a plugin author didn’t update their readme file doesn’t mean the plugin hasn’t been tested and won’t work with the latest version of WordPress.
Mostly it depends on the functionality of the plugin and how complex it is. For example, there are simple plugins that hook directly into the WordPress core and don’t need to be updated for years to function properly.
The ‘not tested’ message doesn’t say that the plugin has problems or security issues. It simply says the developer hasn’t recently tested the plugin or updated the readme file.
Here at WPBeginner, we do suggest installing plugins that haven’t been tested with the recent version of WordPress in certain circumstances. We thoroughly test the plugin to ensure it works how it’s supposed to.
If you’re reading one of our WordPress tutorials that’s been published recently, then this means the plugin is compatible with the latest version of WordPress when we tested it.
Another way to check if you should install the plugin is by going to the plugin development page. This shows you how active the plugin developer is.
Simply go to the WordPress plugin page and click on the ‘Development’ tab.
Here you can see when the plugin was last updated and recent changes and improvements to the plugin in the ‘Changelog’ section.
If the developer is actively updating the plugin, then it usually means the plugin is high quality and safe to use on your WordPress website.
On the other hand, if a plugin hasn’t been updated in more than two years, then this often means the plugin has been abandoned. In that case, you shouldn’t install the plugin since the developer is not actively maintaining it.
You can also click on the ‘Reviews’ tab to see other opinions and any complaints about it being incompatible.
If the reviews are recent and five stars, then it’s safe to assume that you can use the plugin on your website.
Finally, you can test the plugin on a local WordPress installation. This lets you see if there are any issues or conflicts without affecting your main site.
We hope this article helped you learn if you should install plugins that haven’t been tested with your WordPress version. You may also want to see our picks of the best email marketing services for small businesses and our comparison of the difference between domain name and web hosting.