10 Comments


  1. Whether it is needed or not, it’s only fair that plugin developers be treated equally, unless they can’t write a haiku ;)


  2. The commercial theme repository was (I assume) created as the WordPress theme industry was deemed to be unacceptably biased towards non-GPL themes. However this does not seem to be the case with plugins. I don’t know of any popular non-GPL plugins but until recently I could rattle off the names of a whole stack of non-GPL themes, most of which were far better than their GPL counterparts.

    So no, I don’t see much point in a commercial GPL plugin repository.

    I already have plugins with commercial features in the repository. Since they’re 100% GPL they’re already in the repository. Moving them to commercial repository may give them more exposure, but I can’t see that benefiting anyone but myself. A decision to create a commercial plugin repository should be based on how it benefits the community, not how it benefits greedy plugin developers. If encouraging plugin developers to create better plugins by allowing them to monetize them whilst still having them promoted by WordPress leads to improved plugins across the board, then sure, a commercial GPL plugin repository may make sense, but I doubt it would.


  3. While I think themes and plugins should be treated equally, there just doesn’t seem to be the same market for commercial plugins like there is for commercial themes. Have you ever seen a “plugin club”?

    Like Matt said in this interview, commercial plugins are already in the plugin repository. Akismet is the only one I can think of, although I’m sure there would be others as long as they’re 100% GPL compatible.

    Not sure if there is enough demand pay-to-download (or otherwise commercial) GPL plugins that would warrant its own dedicated page on the plugin repository, like there is now for themes.


  4. If you have the choice of developing a plugin and giving it away and putting it in a commercial repository who, in their right minds, would do the former?


  5. The question and the third answer doesn’t really have anything to do with eachother.
    There ain’t commercial themes in the repository either.
    What they have done is page which display sites that sell GPL themes.
    There is no sites that sells GPL plugins as far as I know. But I think at least Matt should recognize the possibility of this.


  6. Obviously, when people are rewarded for their effort it encourages them to refine and improve their software. I’m all for plug-in developers selling commercial GPL plug-ins and it only seems fair that wordpress.org would promote them like they have started doing for commercial GPL themes. Themes seem to get most of the attention but many website are built around the functionality of one or two plug-ins.

    I guess a good question would be: What’s the harm of creating a commercial plug-in page on wordpress.org?


  7. Just to try to clear some things up:

    If you have the choice of developing a plugin and giving it away and putting it in a commercial repository who, in their right minds, would do the former?

    They are not talking about offering a commercial “repository” …just links to people that offer commercial support for their theme (and hopefully plugins eventually). I’d still give my plugins away because that lets them be in the wordpress.org repository (allowing for one click updates, update notices, etc). People selling their plugins cannot have them in the WordPress.org repository whether they’re GPL or not, because Matt has stated that he does not foresee there being any method to sell plugins or themes on WordPress.org in the future.

    The commercial theme repository was (I assume) created as the WordPress theme industry was deemed to be unacceptably biased towards non-GPL themes. However this does not seem to be the case with plugins. I don’t know of any popular non-GPL plugins but until recently I could rattle off the names of a whole stack of non-GPL themes, most of which were far better than their GPL counterparts.

    So no, I don’t see much point in a commercial GPL plugin repository.

    Again, this isn’t another repository. However, putting that slight difference aside, there are plenty of plugin developers that are wanting to start charging for support. I myself am one of them, and so it Joost (http://yoast.com/on-the-gpl-themes-plugins-free/). Joost has popular plugins like Sociable, Breadcrumbs, and Google Analytics for WordPress. I have things like Twitter Widget Pro. Neither of us wants to charge for our plugins, but we want to charge for support. The problem is that once a plugin gets popular, you start to get TONS of requests to work on it. People actually think they are entitled to have you fix a glitch or add a feature. The problem is, that takes a lot of time and nets you $0. If I were to fix every issue and add every feature that came as a request, my family would starve because I couldn’t do anything else. If I can charge something for support, I can better justify spending more time on them. I actually have plugins that I don’t want to release because I know that as soon as I do I’ll be getting a flood of support demands.

    Now, having said all that, I can do all that with the current plugins repository and without a commercial plugins page. However, it seems to me that plugin developers who offer commercial support for their plugins should get the same treatment as theme designers that offer commercial support for their themes.

    You can read more detail on my position at http://wpinformer.com/gpl-themes-love-plugins-suffer/


  8. I know I was quite wordy in my last reply, so I’ll try to keep this one short:

    Whether it is needed or not, it’s only fair that plugin developers be treated equally

    I guess a good question would be: What’s the harm of creating a commercial plug-in page on wordpress.org?

    I agree.


  9. I’m not sure why Matt says that the plugin repository has commercial plugins in it already. There’s the software-as-a-service plugins like Akismet, sure. There’s also at least one zero-cost-with-paid-modules plugin (WP e-Commerce), but you can’t get the paid modules in the repository. I don’t believe there’s anything like Shopp in the plugin repository, a GPL plugin that the developer will only distribute to buyers.

    What’s the harm of creating a commercial plug-in page on wordpress.org?

    Exactly. There would definitely not be any harm, and I think it would even bolster the number of people offering such plugins. I’m not sure why there hasn’t been the same kind of controversy about plugins as there has been about themes — not that I want that controversy, but I often stumble across commercial non-GPL plugins (like WishList) and wonder. Now that we are getting plugins like Shopp and Gravity Forms (as well as the commercial GPL plugins that Joost is planning), we may have a demand for such a page — and the existence of such a page could in turn introduce other plugin developers to the idea of commercial GPL plugins as a business model.

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