Thank a Plugin Developer and Mind Your Manners

In 2009, when the WordPress repository passed the 4,000 plugin mile marker, Matt Mullenweg declared January 28 to be “Thank a Plugin Developer Day.”

It’s an official WordPress holiday. If you have a few minutes, please join in recognizing the hard work that makes WordPress a platform that can literally do anything.

To celebrate take a look at the plugins you use and love, visit the author’s site, find their contact form, and drop them a note thanking them. (Or Paypal!) Look for the links in the plugin directory to “author homepage” and also to donate directly if they’ve specified a Paypal address.

While we’re thanking developers, here are a few tips for interacting with people who create free plugins:

  • If you have occasion to email a plugin developer, your first sentence and/or paragraph should include something to the effect of: “Thank you for your time.” They’ll be much more likely to listen to any of your suggestions or requests for help.
  • Don’t publicize complaints about a plugin developer on Twitter if they aren’t able to release a plugin as expected. They have to pay the bills some way and sometimes that’s more important than making you a free plugin.
  • If you’re asking for support, please offer to pay or consider a donation.

The WordPress repository now has 12,884 plugins. This represents thousands of hours of people’s time. I know it may be frustrating if a plugin doesn’t work the way you expected, but if you remember these simple tips, you’ll be able to interact with developers in a polite way that will help them to help you. Now go send some Thank You’s! :)