regarding wp.org's plugin repository and paid plugins

Just wanted to ask if anyone has a link to the official policy they have regarding non-free plugins?

I usually don't give a damn what people upload there, I'm not the police but today I was looking for a vulnerability scanner before importing an old Wordpress site onto a new server and found 3 plugins that sounded quite nice:

1. http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/6scan-protection/ - no mentioning of payment as far as I can see, but then 5 months ago in a support thread they say that they mentioned a couple of times that scanning is free, fixing costs money: http://wordpress.org/support/topic/plugin-6scan-security-this-is-a-half-paid-plugin?replies=3#post-2648652

2. http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/gotmls/ - they say:

Updated definition files can be downloaded automatically within the admin once your Key is registered.
sounds fair, and registering is free but then when you click on "fix vulnerability" you realize you have to "donate" for that feature.

3. http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/kyplex/ - didn't even test this one but when you go to their homepage, there are a coupel of different paid plans :slight_frown:

I am sure there are more plugins like these but these 3 I actually checked and I can't find no mentioning inside any of their descriptions about paid plans and I checked the Notes and FAQ tabs too.

So does anyone know where you can report this? Or does anyone think I'm wrong? Maybe I simply overlooked the part where they state that you must pay?

What do you guys think, shouldn't the WP.org repository contain a warning label: kind of like a red ! which means: plugin contains paid components. That way, if you are looking for free features, you won't even bother with those.

  • Ovidiu

    ah, I must have missed that story, even though I'm subscribed to the wpmu.org feed.
    Just read the article and I completely agree!

    Dammit. I just wasted about 1h, searching for a plugin, reading all the descriptions, installing/activating and realizing they don't really help.

    I have solved my issue differently, I was just so frustrated and needed a place to ask for confirmation of my anger :slight_smile:

  • James Dunn

    Goodday @Ovidiu, @Kimberly, and others.

    I've seen quite a few - and actually use them - that have their FREE version (usually called LITE if they even denote it at all) in the WordPress repository. I don't really have a huge issue with it as long as it's clearly disclosed. However, it does bring to light an idea that it SHOULD be disclosed. My suggestions would be:

    1) WordPress institute a few new categories so you could filter them out - such as paid service, lite version, or whatever

    2) Require that the plugin developer prominently display this in the header image that so many are putting on their plugins now (such as 6-scan).

    I buy A LOT of premium plugins (about 1 or 2 a week) and always buy developer rights with them because I build for clients more than for myself. So, paying for something is not a huge issue for me. However, as @Kimberly said, I have always been under the impression that the WordPress repository plugins are supposed to be open source.

    I guess that the way they're getting around it is that the plugin is open source and they're charging for the service associated with the plugin. I have a developer "friend" in England that has his plugin in the repository, but the themes or whatever it is that the plugin handles are available for purchase at his website. But, with his plugin, you're not limited to what you buy from him; you can create your own and his plugin will work with them. Plus, I think you can fork his plugin and he's perfectly fine with it. He's after the design work, so he doesn't really care about any financial gain from selling a plugin.

    Just my 2 cents. ( :wink: @Kimberly.)

    Any more thoughts from any other members?

    James Dunn
    Athens, GA USA

  • Mustafa

    Hi,

    I guess this is not a wrong thing.

    For example: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/anti-splog/

    This is a free plugin but you need to api key for use it.

    For api key?
    You must be a WPMU DEV member, so you must paid :wink:

    Actually, these plugins not a only "plugin" because they're using a service under the plugin.

    (for example: I'm still talking about anti-splog plugin, they are running splog server for api access)

    I guess another scanner plugins works like this.

    So, I'm supporting this approach.

  • James Dunn

    Goodday all.

    I've been thinking a little more and wanted to add a little more to the conversation after reading the article that @Kimberly mentioned.

    A lot, but not all, of the plugins that I buy are from developers on the Warrior Forum. Some are good, some are (cover your eyes Kimberly) just pure CRAP. Then there are those that are good, but support is non-existent or dries up after a while. I've even got a few developer friends that are terrible at support.

    However, almost all of the plugins in the Warrior Forum promise the same thing - lifetime updates and lifetime support. However, few actually live up to that. But, the ones that do are absolute diamonds. I use one that produces customized Facebook pages and the developer continues to update and improve it. Another I use is to produce mobile websites. Unlike most WP plugins for mobile websites though, this one exports them as html files so you don't have the latency of a WordPress site on a mobile device. That developer has also continued to update and improve.

    Another that I use is for SMS texting. The developer of that plugin struggles sometimes with support, but his development side is outstanding. I pay a yearly fee (he has a monthly option) and get all the updates, upgrades, and support. Those updates and upgrades have taken his plugin to a full blown SMS marketing tool.

    If the first two I mentioned started charging today for monthly or annual support and updates, I wouldn't begrudge them a dime of it. They earn it with their work. However, there are a few that shall remain unnamed that have set up membership sites to "update and support" their WP plugins and after a few months of collecting annual membership fees, their support goes to pot. Those are the types that give the whole process a black eye.

    When I started a few years back, I was shocked that people would put their hard work up for others to use freely - it was a different mentality for me coming from a world where everything we used involved licensing. Anyway, it was an easy transition to open source tools.

    However, I also know that there are many plugins in the WP repository that are also pure junk. Actually, that may be a bit harsh. They were made for that developer's use and they decided to share them; however, they may have been so customized that they have limited usefulness in the rest of the world.

    I am very glad that the WordPress repository is now denoting plugins that have not been updated lately. At least we are less apt to try those. Like the OP stated, I would like to know up front that a plugin is not entirely FREE so I can use that in my initial decision. I may still use it (and pay), but I'd like to have that option up front.

    All that to say a second time - FULL DISCLOSURE - very visible and on the front tab.

    James Dunn
    Athens, GA USA

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