Since upgrading to WordPress 2.7.1 I have discovered that my home page was loading extremely slow. Doing the most obvious I have discovered that one of my more useful plugins decided to go bad and start throwing errors in numbers that were quickly filling the error log.

A Classic Case of Good Plugin Going Bad due to the lack of support and updates from original author. Popularity Contest plugin by Alex King was one of the must have plugins on my blog but author stopped supporting it since WordPress 2.5

So the question is – how would you address it?

In my case I made every attempt to address the issue but my rather basic understanding of the PHP didn’t help here. I could hire someone to address the issue or search for a solution on the web.

Last time community came up with work around of the issue of Popularity Contest been incompatible with WordPress 2.5. Perhaps this time issue can be addressed in similar matter but I have seen it as opportunity to reevaluate how my blog uses its functionality.

I have decided to get rid of the plugin that is already proven to be unreliable and since not supported – will continue to contribute to issues.

A Decision To Drop it like a Rock!

Work arounds are fine and dandy but when peice of code on your blog has potetnial to be incompatible or even worse – already shows issues and it is no longer developed by author – it is the mostsensible action.

Because WordPress and majority of the plugins and themes are released under GPL, it is an issue we can expect to come up time and time again. Luckily we have seen how some other widely used plugins, such as “All In One SEO Pack” were taken over by different developers, when original author decided he couldn’t support it any longer.

But when it didn’t happen – your best option is to drop it from usage. Avoid any future possible issues!

Side effect of this action for me was evaluation of all the places that functionality of the plugin was used. Mainly the Tabs in sidebar. I have used it to pull the information on most read posts on my blog and with functionality been gone – I actually had to reevaluate it.

I was able to replace the “All Time Popular Posts” presentation by using comment counts but still in search of the function to be able to display “Most read Posts In Previous Month”. Also I have discovered some duplication in manual links provided by me and will be working on addresing it in next few days.

A Broken Popularity Contest Plugin in my case created a domino effect that forced me examine more closely some of the most clicked on links on my blog and opportunity to present even more relevant content! A Win-Win situation that goes to show that in every bad situation there is a good outcome!

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