Yesterday, I’ve closed another of my old plugin: Kau-Boy’s Opensearch. Yes, back in the days I had a prefix for all of my plugins, like many others. 😀
This was the fourth plugin I’ve published in the WordPress Plugin Directory. Its purpose was to add an OpenSearch description format to the site. Browsers back in the days would then offer the search of your WordPress installation to be added to the search field, browsers were showing right of the address bar. Around 2019 however, Firefox began removing this additional search field.
Chrome continued to offer the autodiscovery for searches, and would allow you to hit TAB after typing the domain name, which would then directly search on your page. This didn’t even require such an OpenSearch feature on your site. This autodiscovery was removed for quite a while for new pages, however. If you still want to use it, you have to add those website searches manually in the settings of both Firefox and Chrome.
As browsers were not supporting the functionality anymore and the plugin only had 10+ active installs, I decided to remove it. In the 13 years it was available in the Plugin Directory, it only got 1627 downloads. So it was always a niche plugin anyway.
As mentioned before, there is no real alternative, unless you want to set up those website searches manually in your browser. For some times you could find Firefox search add-ons, but it seems they have all been removed. Chrome seems not to offer any of them as well.
While I was checking for the current search options in Chrome, I’ve found some really useful search shortcuts. When you type
@tabs you can directly search for a currently opened tab, with
@bookmarks you can perform a search of your bookmarks and with
@history you can find recently visited pages. Firefox also has search shortcuts, but using different symbols you have to memorize.
Future plugin plans
Of my 13 plugins, I’ve now closed two of them and two more will follow in September and October. This gives me more time to focus on the remaining plugins and check them for compatibility with the upcoming WordPress releases. But I also have some new plugins in the making. So stay tuned!