Health Check & Troubleshooting – Upcoming release of version 1.5.0

The upcoming release of the Health Check & Troubleshooting 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 Plugin Directory or can be cost-based plugin from a third-party will contain various changes which affect users, and support providers alike, which is why we’re sharing what’s to come early.

What’s changing

The Site Health status screen on a WordPress 5.1 installation

The features that are now part of WordPress coreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress., and have been since version 5.2, are being removed. Maintaining them two places makes no sense, and is an added burden on the plugin maintainers. To make the transition as smooth as possible though, it’s being done in stages.

With the release of the plugin version 1.5.0, the elements found under Tools > Site Health will use core, and extend on it where possible, instead of adding a separate menu point for the plugin it self.

For users on older versions of WordPress, they will still get the custom plugin menu point, but the Site Health check screen will now instead provide them with details on why this feature has been removed, and providing them with an upgrade path to instead update their version of WordPress.

This leaves the Debug section still in the plugin, but the intentions here are to remove it as well in an upcoming release. That said, the extended output from phpinfo() which was accessible form there, has now been moved to the Tools menu item within the Site Health screen instead, to be more in line with the plugin standing on its own feet.

Why these changes?

Maintaining the same behavior across both WordPress core, and the plugin, was not scalable. For this to work the plugin would have had to be a first class citizen, where all new checks and debug data landed first, before even being considered for core. As this was not the case, core sped ahead of the plugin, leaving plugin users with a poorer experience.

As this was not ideal, and made for a lot of needs to create backwards compatible functions for features core had introduced, which were not there in older releases, a decision had to be made.

On the positive side of things, not having to maintain these specific areas gives a lot of room for improvements on the various other features of the plugin which have also taken a back-seat for a while. Although features like the Tools section for PHPPHP PHP (recursive acronym for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor) is a widely-used open source general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited for web development and can be embedded into HTML. Compatibility checks, and the Troubleshooting Mode function right now, they could be improved on to make for an even greater user experience, and to account for even more scenarios, and that is where the focus will be going forward.

🚀 So off we go, into the horizon, great things ahead!