Take Over an Existing Plugin

You want to take over someone else’s plugin? That’s cool! We actually greatly prefer this to forking, especially if the plugin has been abandoned.

Alert: Not all requests will be approved, even following a successful review.

Before You Ask Us… Before You Ask Us…

Please attempt to contact the original developer, as they can give you access to the plugin. We recommend trying:

  • email
  • leaving a comment on the plugin support page
  • opening a GitHub issue

We expect you to make all reasonable efforts to reach out to them. If the plugin page says the plugin has no active developer, then you’re fine.

If you do get in touch with the developer, ask them to transfer ownership to you. They can do this on their own.

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Update The Code Update The Code

If you can’t get in touch with the developer, go ahead and send us the request at plugins@wordpress.org, with a completed, updated, version of the code. We expect you to ensure the plugin abides by all our guidelines and has any security issues you find resolved.

If your plugin is a major upgrade, you must provide an upgrade path. Just wanting a name-slug is not sufficient reason to take over a plugin. We care deeply about our users, and violating their trust in us by breaking their existing sites with your upgrades is to be avoided at all costs.

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The Re-Review Process The Re-Review Process

After we receive your version of the code as a zip, we will review it and test it. If we feel the code would be accepted today as a new plugin, and that you are capable of sustaining the code in a secure manner that adheres to our guidelines, we will contact the original developer on your behalf and give them your information, explaining that you want to take over development.

Should they reply, we will honor their decision. If they don’t reply, we give them 7-14 days and then either hand over the plugin, or ask you convert the plugin into a fork. In most cases, we’ll do everything we can to ensure the original plugin author has been notified, but sometimes that’s just not possible. We do our best to respect them as much as we respect you as a developer, and honor their wishes with their work.

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Why Requests are Denied Why Requests are Denied

In cases where we deny an adoption, it’s usually for the following reasons.

  • The requesting developer does not have the experience we feel the plugin requires
  • The requested plugin is deemed high-risk
  • The existing developer is a company or legal entity who owns the trademark
  • The requesting developer has had multiple guideline infractions

There are rare cases where the plugin has been given to new owners, but they have not yet deployed code. In general, if you’re told that a specific plugin is not available, there is a long history concerning the plugin preventing us from permitting takeover. In those cases, we recommend you submit your plugin as a fork.