In a surprise move, Elementor has dropped support for the WordPress 4 branch, leaving ClassicPress users with no chance of receiving future updates. A worrying omen of things to come when other plugin developers do the same.
Unless you were following the Beta version of the upcoming 2.8.0 version, most people would not have been aware that Elementor was going to drop support for WordPress installations below WP 5.0.0 and will only ever support the latest 3 versions of WP.
That means ClassicPress users can no longer install Elementor from the WP repository and cannot update past version 2.7.6. For people who have purchased the pro version or third-party addons, they will be forever stuck on 2.7.6.
While there is still the option to use Beaver Builder instead, that will be cold comfort for users who have invested both time and money on their sites to build them with Elementor.
What is more worrying, however, is who will do this next? With WP moving further into new territory with its block system, plugin developers may soon be forced to make their code compatible with it. They are then unlikely to maintain two versions, one for WP 4 and one for WP 5 or greater.
The ClassicPress developers don’t have the resources to fork every plugin that no longer works on its platform. This leaves it in a vulnerable position, long-term. While there is no current mass movement by plugin developers, there most likely will come a time when there will be.
While there are plugins in the final stages of development that are designed specifically for CP, such as Classic Commerce and Classic SEO, they can’t continually play catch-up whenever a plugin drops support for older versions of WP. More developers may help, but that will take time to happen, with no current incentive for them to come on-board.
What Elementor has done is a bad omen of things to come, and one that is going to unsettle people who are tossing up whether or not to switch to ClassicPress. Let’s hope the resources are there if and when even more popular but complex plugins decide to go down the same road.