I released two plugin updates that were a bit painful. The first is for WP to Twitter – and has been coming for quite a while. In this release, I removed support forms and all of the promotional materials for WP Tweets Pro, which I’m no longer selling. I think that the reasons for discontinuing WP Tweets Pro are pretty well known at this point; but suffice to say I don’t trust Twitter enough to continue to develop for their API (Application Programming Interface).

I’m not shutting WP to Twitter down completely. As long as the API continues to work, I’ll continue to provide security, PHP (Hypertext PreProcessing), and WordPress compatibility updates. Just no more feature development.

The second project I shut down is Access Monitor, my accessibility testing plugin for Tenon.io. I haven’t seen an update from Tenon.io in a couple years, and they’ve been closed to new subscriptions for well over a year. Given that, the growth path for Access Monitor doesn’t exist, and there’s little reason to pretend I’m going to continue to develop for it.

I will not be continuing development on Access Monitor. I have not yet closed the plugin, but I will before too long.

Need a replacement testing plugin?

During the last two years, Equalize Digital has continued to develop their accessibility testing plugin for WordPress, Accessibility Checker. It’s a completely different direction from Tenon.io: their tests are built into the plugin. If the company shuts down, the plugin still works. This is an aspect of open source freedoms that I think is incredibly powerful, so that’s my recommended go to for a replacement accessibility testing plugin for WordPress.

How do you feel about this, Joe?

Well, thanks for asking. It’s kind of tough, honestly.

WordPress has just hit its 20 year anniversary, and apparently I’m celebrating this by shutting down projects. But this moment is bittersweet for me. Although I’m shutting down projects that I’ve poured a lot of time into (far more than I ever earned), this is giving me a welcome opportunity to focus.

I’ve learned an enormous amount about programming and project development in the last 15 years that I’ve been building plugins. I’ve learned an awful lot of this the hard way, of course. Wild ideas like “maybe you should consider a possible revenue stream” and “don’t just build everything you think of and then give it away” have crossed my mind a few times…

What’s next?

Removing some complex projects gives me a great opportunity to improve focus on my other goals:

  • Contributing to WordPress. Now that I’m sponsored by GoDaddy, I’ve been able to significantly increase my time spent working on making WordPress Accessible.
  • Development on my accessible events plugins: My Calendar and My Tickets. I have a long list of improvements to make in the next year.
  • Continuing development on WP Accessibility. I’m implementing stats tracking to inform users what WP Accessibility is doing for them.

And, of course, running my accessibility consulting and development business.