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WordPress is great at scheduling articles (posts) to go live, but what if you want to do the opposite — schedule a post to disappear? For that you need an expiration plugin.

WordPress has no built-in feature that allows you to set an expiration date for a post or page. Isn’t a big deal for most content, but if you work with deals, coupons, events, or any other form on content with a limited lifespan then unpublishing posts is an important feature. It’s a niche need — which is why WordPress’ plugin ecosystem exists. So I wrote plugin to do the job: Post Expiration Date.

Post Expiration Date

Why Write an Expiration Plugin?

There are other free plugins in the WordPress directory that do this, so why write one? A few small reasons it turns out.

  1. Everything in the WordPress directory is old. All the other expiration products hadn’t been updated for at least a year and weren’t verified to work with WordPress 4.9.x so I doubted they would be compatible with WordPress 5.0 or into 2019.
  2. Everything was overly complicated.I wanted something that was set-it-and-forget-it, not loaded down with settings.
  3. Some plugins required WP-Cron. While this is a fine tool, it’s bothersome to see a simple plugin with a dependency. That’s another thing to maintain.
  4. It wasn’t too hard to do. WordPress plugins aren’t inherently complicated things once you know the WP conventions.
  5. The support offered by the WP directory team was excellent. They offered a lot of feedback throughout the plugin submission process. This slowed things down a bit but it was helpful to get thoughts from a third-party.

We’ll see where this goes. The plugin already has over 100 downloads and a number of active users (with zero promotion), so it’ll be interesting to see where it goes from here. If you have any feedback or notes please don’t hesitate to send them over to me.

I realize the plugin has shortcomings and it’s probably too simple and too limited for many people but it gets the job done for me. If I see downloads coming then I’ll keep rolling out improvement in the future!

August 21st, 2018

Posted In: Web Development

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