A couple times per year, WordPress plugin authors and owners get an email like this one:
WordPress 5.6 is imminent! Are your plugins ready?
You’re receiving this email because you have commit access or ownership of existing, open plugins hosted on WordPress.org. The next release of WordPress, 5.6, is scheduled for 08 December 2020.
We would like you to take this time to review your existing plugins and ensure their ongoing compatibility with WordPress. Once you’ve done so, you can update the readme “Tested up to:” value to 5.6. This information provides peace of mind to users and helps encourage them to update WordPress.
Here are the current “Tested up to:” values for each of your plugins:
The message goes on from there to list the plugins I’m responsible for and some notes and details about what’s new in the upcoming WordPress release.
In case it’s not clear, this is an important moment because the authors of tens of thousands of WordPress plugins are being asked to help ensure that when the many millions of WordPress sites out there upgrade to the upcoming release, that those sites continue to look and function as expected by their users. It’s an impressive example of how the WordPress developer community works together in the background to help sustain and grow the larger WordPress ecosystem.
For authors of widely used plugins, by the time this email goes out their plugin may already be fully ready, especially if they’ve been following or maybe even contributing to the development of the new WordPress core release. Some plugin authors rightly have an extensive automated test suite in place to confirm that every part of their plugin’s functionality works against the latest beta or release candidate version of the new version before it comes out.
Authors and maintainers of smaller plugins (like me) may not have the same infrastructure set up, and instead need to perform some manual testing of our plugins to ensure they’re ready.
So, here are the steps I follow every major release cycle to make sure my plugins have been tested and are ready for the new version.