Removing plugin and theme names used as topic tags on the forums

Over a period of time, work has been undergoing to tighten the forums ship a little, one major pain point has been topic tags. These are keywords or phrases, intended to quickly summarize what fields a topic related to, much like you would use tags when writing a blogpost.

Unfortunately, with this field being a freetext input field, and forums being open to all, not everyone knows how to effectively use tags, what tags are, or even what tags exist to use them make sure they reuse existing ones.
There’s also tags not being used as they were just added alongside generic spam, and the associated spam topics have long since been removed.

The current progression

We’ve been cleaning up the tags over phases:

  • Lock the tag field so regular users can not create new tags, only re-use existing ones [done]
  • Remove empty tags, or tags that otherwise fit a predefined set of criteria [done]
  • Remove tags that are pluginPlugin A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. They can extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress websites. WordPress plugins are written in the PHP programming language and integrate seamlessly with WordPress. These can be free in the WordPress.org Plugin Directory https://wordpress.org/plugins/ or can be cost-based plugin from a third-party or theme names or slugs
  • Curate remaining tags into a predefined and maintainable list of tags
  • Implement a better tag-selection process for users

As can be seen, we’ve already removed a lot of tags (more than 600,000 tags were removed), and locked down the creation of new tags, we were seeing an increasing numbers of tags being created (more than 1000 new tags per week when we locked it down).

We are still sitting at more than 40,000 tags left at this point in time.

Next step: Slugs used as tags

The next step is to remove all tags that are using names or slugs of themes and plugins in the WordPress directory as a topic tag. This does not mean that the slug using in the address field to look at plugins or themes will be going away.

Plugin and themes have their own support forumSupport Forum WordPress Support Forums is a place to go for help and conversations around using WordPress. Also the place to go to report issues that are caused by errors with the WordPress code and implementations. https://en.forums.wordpress.com/. areas, so adding the name or slug of them to the topic is redundant. Most of the topics that do this are also created inside those support areas in the first place, further reducing the value of them.

The support team are aware that some authors follow these tags to pick up topics by users across all of the WordPress.orgWordPress.org The community site where WordPress code is created and shared by the users. This is where you can download the source code for WordPress core, plugins and themes as well as the central location for community conversations and organization. https://wordpress.org/ international forums, this is why this step hasn’t been completed yet, as we wish to make sure you are all well informed before this step is enacted.

Does this impact your workflow?

We would love to hear if this in some way impacts your workflow, so we can look into what approaches might help with the transition.

Please do note that there is no changing this cleanup process, as doing so means all plugins and themes need to be allowed, again making the idea of a valuable tag system and curated list pointless.