13 Comments


  1. Hi,

    I think people prefer to go buy directly from the vendor because of the promised support. How do you handle support for users who buy products through the app?

  2. Ted Clayton

    The basic idea of a plugin that interfaces the users Admin to a 3rd-party repository, directly analogous to WordPress’ own plugin & theme repositories, is very, very good.

    I’m a tad ‘perplexed’ that this crucial plugin could not be placed on the WP plugin repository. But ok, if you say so. Still, I doubt that the ‘download-it, upload-it’ drill is the hangup. Hey, I watch users crawl through concertina-wire and live ammo for things they want, every day.

    So tho I do believe there is a clear stroke of genius at work here, many a genius has discovered that one brilliant stroke is often not the done-job.

    The competition – free stuff on the real WordPress – is fearsome. Yeah.

    But let me underscore: If your plugin was available from WordPress, I would have it on pronto and wind down this evening giving it a good scan. Not because I’m going to buy stuff (r u kidding?), but because the idea is genius-cool.

    Concept is great: Execution/deployment needs … another stroke.


  3. I think the fact that to make a purchase you basically wind up creating an account with each plugin or theme company is ironically, probably part of the problem. Having a centralized place to get the best plugins and themes is a great idea — it really is — but the whole reason to do that as opposed to just using it for discovery and then buying it directly from the other company, is the easiness of a single-user sign-on.

    The Expression Engine community — which admittedly basically 180-degrees different from the WordPress community in everything from licensing to attitude towards paying for plugins — has a plugin repository known as Devot-ee (http://devot-ee.com/) how it works is that plugin developers give a cut of sales to the Devot-ee staff. As a result, some developers sell their plugins for less money on their own sites. Yes most developers I know still end up buying all their plugins through Devot-ee.

    Why? Why would people be willing to pay more? Convenience. Not only can someone do one purchase for the plugins they need for a certain site, they can also transfer licenses directly from their dashboard. So if you’re working on a client project and you know you need X number of plugins, you can purchase said plugins and then transfer them to the client. Support takes place from the vendors themselves. In this way, it’s really no different than any other marketplace.

    WP App Store could probably do well if they allowed for that sort of ability — or if they were able to work on setting up special plugin bundles (like get Backup Buddy, Gravity Forms and a WooThemes theme for $X). But for me, I know I’d want a central way of managing my plugins and purchases without necessarily having to bother with creating an account and separate login for the plugin maker himself — unless of course it’s automated to the point that it can share login info a la OAuth.


  4. The take away I have from this interview is that it looks like playing middle man between commercial themes/plugins and customers does not work. There are two primary reasons I can think of that had so many people excited about an app like store 2 years ago. The first are the guidelines for getting into the official repository. Some companies/themes were not able to get into the repo and thus, fueled the idea of a seperate repo not controlled by WP.org. The second, even though they have, it doesn’t appear that the WordPress.org repository will list commercial plugins. In fact, I know of at least a few big plugin author names that are behind the scenes partners of WP App Store.

    It’s interesting to see that most people are happy with going directly to the vendors site and purchasing what they need. Apparently, that’s not a problem. Discovery is. The marketplace is vast and there are new themes and plugins launched what seems like every day. An excellent directory that made it as easy as possible to discover all of this new stuff would be a problem solver. Sites like http://themesorter.com/ exist as a discovery tool with coupon codes to boot granted their interface/design could use some work/simplification.

    @Christina Warren – So if you don’t create an account with each vendor you purchase an item from, how will they provide you support? Or, is the app store supposed to be the ones giving the support? Ben mentioned that most of the vendors listed take advantage of their post pack API so that when you purchase and create an account through the app store, those same credentials are created on the vendors site. Seems like that would be good enough?

  5. Michael

    My two cents:

    The Apple app store is successful because it’s a toy store. People like browsing and finding cool stuff to play with.

    For WordPress themes and plugins, however, 99% of the time, users are looking for something that fills a specific need. The “browsing” experience doesn’t really exist (again: for most people, not all). You get your site working, and there’s no need to peruse a store every so often.

    All that said, I think there still could be a place for the WP App Store. It’s a lovely site and plugin, and I’m interested to see how it evolves.

  6. Ted Clayton

    @Jeffro

    The second … [reason] playing middle man between commercial themes/plugins and customers does not work [is] … it doesn’t appear that the WordPress.org repository will list commercial plugins.

    It’s going to be pretty basic, that the plugin cannot be overtly commercial, itself.

    Not and gain entry to the WordPress.org repository … which success will require.

    Really, the plugin has to be available on the Official repository. Otherwise, hey …

    So, get the commercial functionality out of the plugin, and do it elsewhere.

    Get the plugin on the Repo, as a neutral interface, to allow discovery.

    People know better than to mess with plugins that can’t be on the Repo.
    =====

    We have a clear & dramatic precedent for the role of the Repository, in the Linux/Debian/Ubuntu world. ‘Everything’ is in the Repo. Everything, that is, that ordinary people & customers should be messing with. There are only a few, narrow contexts in which it is “responsible” to get stuff outside the repository.

    [Guess where Apple/Firefox got the repo idea … ]

    Once the repository-paradigm became established, then it quickly became pragmatic reality, that anything that can’t get into the repository is, ‘by definition’, bad news.

    Once it’s a Repo-World, there are reasons for things not being in the repo … and they ain’t pretty. There is plainly a positive-feedback effect that reinforces & drives an ‘in-repo-ok’, ‘not-repo-bad’ effect.

    The “execution” of this idea needs to be modified, so as to allow the plugin to be hosted on the official WordPress.org repository.

    Otherwise, the product is not only missing out — it’s actually ‘suspect goods’.


  7. Well, this is disappointing, seemed like a good idea just year ago. It seems like a biggest problem so far is the fact that you are not in WP plugin directory, also i do agree with @Micheal that browsing Apple Store is fun itself, browsing WordPress plugins store not so much.


  8. Have you looked at integrations with hosting companies that preinstall plugins and offering a revenue share?


  9. Just curious (don’t shun me for saying this), but why limit your self to just WordPress? Like Christina Warren mentioned about Expression Engine. Why not make an app store for other open source CMS’?

  10. Ted Clayton

    @Zane Matthew

    [W]hy limit your self to just WordPress? … Why not make an app store for other open source CMS’?

    The WordPress App Store is for WordPress plugins that were made “for” WordPress.

    Plugins are “extensions” of the program they plug into. They don’t run on other software.

    A WordPress plugin (or ‘App’) plugs into only WordPress, and needs WordPress. Now replace ‘wordpress’ with ‘Expression Engine’.
    ===

    Now … if Expression Engine et al adopt/incorporate the WordPress plugin API, their users might then be able to directly use WP plugins.


  11. I will have to take a look over what you have on offer, some of the wp ‘stores’ are generally full of pretty stuff thats not necessarily coded in a particularly good way…

  12. Rob

    @Jeffro – on Devot-ee the user account is created on the Devot-ee site and not the vendors site – though some vendors run their own sales sites as well. Vendors get their own support forum on Devot-ee or can provide a link to their own external support site. Devot-ee also creates addon licence numbers where they are required.

    For the end user (developers purchasing free/commercial addons) it’s a one stop shop for virtually every EE addon available, you can create different lists of addons to enable quick/repeat purchasing and download all purchased items in an order in a .zip archive if you want.

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