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WordPress version compatibility
BuddyPress shines brightest when run on the newest available version of WordPress – we optimize for the latest and greatest. For this reason, the BuddyPress team strongly recommends that all WordPress installations be kept up to date. However, we strive to maintain support for a number of legacy WordPress versions – generally, four or five major versions.
Near the beginning of each development cycle, we reassess BuddyPress’s minimum required WP version. Our rough guidelines are as follows:
If a WordPress version became obsolete over a year ago, it’s a candidate for removal. See https://wordpress.org/news/category/releases/ for a list of WP release dates.
If a WordPress version’s use slips below 5% of all WP installations, it’s a strong candidate for removal. See https://wordpress.org/about/stats/ for information about WordPress version usage.
What do we mean when we say that BP “supports” a given version of WordPress? Roughly:
BuddyPress should run error-free (ie, without fatal errors or PHP notices) on the WP version.
If a new version of BP includes a feature that requires a very recent version of WordPress, the feature should be gracefully disabled on earlier WP versions.
The WP version will be included in our automated testing builds.
By extension: When we “drop support” for a version of WordPress, it means we stop including it in our builds, stop answering support questions related to that specific WP version, and stop putting function_exists() checks (and the like) targeting that version when building new BP features. Dropping support does not mean that we will actively try to break older versions of WP
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