17 Comments

  1. David McCan
    · Reply

    Some projects like Drupal aggressively discourage premium versions, but I imagine that the WordPress tolerance of the freemium model is partially responsible for its success. However, this also creates a tension that is a big gray area.

    Although it has been talked about, the guidelines are not always clear where plugin and theme authors can advertise: in the Customizer (where / how)? On the general plugins page? On the plugin’s settings page? On the post edit page? On the update page? And what about on WP.org? Maybe we should have a tab for Premium services?

    This might be a good time to standardize some rules. Perhaps in this case, for one-off blocks, have some guidelines and allow a button on the block context menu or block sidebar?

    However it is done, it would be nice if the advertising / upsell rules were standardized.

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  2. Bastian
    · Reply

    This new block directory will end up like the theme and plugin ones, where it’s near impossible to find anything that doesn’t try to aggressively upsell you something. Mark my words.

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  3. Benjamin Intal
    · Reply

    My issue in the guidelines is this line:

    “8. Must not promote other blocks, plugins, or themes.”

    WordPress businesses should be able to promote in the Block Library. The “How” should just be standardized so that it will not get out of hand and to make things clean and non-obtrusive.

    What I suggest is to allow a few types of promotional messages which include a link.. kind of like a donation link that we currently have right now in themes and plugins, but you can change the text to some extent. It can be a simple note like “this block is part of xyz plugin” in the block description or the bottom of the inspector for that block.

    There are also a number of comments in the GutHub PR mentioned in the announcement post.

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  4. Josh Pollock
    · Reply

    On the other hand, would the idea of not having an upselling route turn WordPress businesses away?

    I don’t think so, but it will be messy. We’ll all figure out a away around the rules like we always do.

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  5. richard Ginn
    · Reply

    Even with blocks what is so wrong with a premium version??

    Since Modules are the same things as blocks these two plugins have a FREE and a premium version:

    https://wordpress.org/plugins/supreme-modules-for-divi/
    https://wordpress.org/plugins/miguras-divi-enhancer/

    Not all plugin developers can work for free.

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  6. Anh Tran
    · Reply

    I agree with Gowdy. This is the perfect time for defining rules for the block directory.

    I’d suggest WP.org provides an universal way to create a place for upsells or promotional messages. Something like admin notices. And it should be restricted to use the same code that WP.org provides. That way, users see the promotions the same way, thus, can provide the same experience if they use other blocks, while still provide a way to fund businesses.

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  7. Rod Olman
    · Reply

    Does it really matter if there are any guidelines or rules, if they are selectively enforced?

    Look at the many time Yoast SEO has breached the rules – the latest one being the hard-to-close Black Friday banner that took over the admin area – and gotten away with it, saying it was a “mistake”.

    Rules for thee, rules for Matt’s friends.

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    • Justin Tadlock
      · Reply

      Making a small but important clarification on the above comment: the Plugin Review Team makes decisions and enforces guidelines for the plugin directory. This is not something Matt does.

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      • Claudio B.
        · Reply

        the Plugin Review Team makes decisions and enforces guidelines for the plugin directory.

        In theory yes, but e.g. rule #4 “Code must be (mostly) human readable” is not enforced also after several notices for many plugins. The supplied code for block is often unreadable, no links to github or similar, still the plugins stay online. This will be even worse with a block repository.

        Similar with rule #11 “Plugins should not hijack the admin dashboard.”, many also major plugins just do not care about this rule, as we all know.

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  8. Matija Srček
    · Reply

    When I’m happy with the plugin or theme I always try to find out more about the product without ads telling me to do so. I think that unobtrusive link to developer website would be sufficient starting point for anyone interested in possible premium offering.

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  9. Álvaro
    · Reply

    Besides up-sells in plugins (and / or blocks) and themes, I would love for everything to gain the transparency that has been missing for years, particularly in featured plugins. There is no reason why the featured plugins section has plugins that sell services, one of which is even installed by default with WordPress, when, at the same time, there is such deep resistance to (other) plugins and themes looking to up-sell premium versions.

    Guidelines and exposure should be the same for everyone.

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  10. pierre
    · Reply

    Personally I like the way Joomla handled this with their plugin directory, with tagging to mark whether the extension is commercial or free.

    Also, if a plugin has some aspect of frontend display to it, there should be a requirement to have a working demo of the plugin.

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  11. Luke
    · Reply

    Here’s a mock-up of how we could allow freemium blocks: https://carb.is/2020/01/block-business/

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    • Justin Tadlock
      · Reply

      Great idea and mockups! I know the Theme Review Team had floated the idea of making some tags to handle something similar (never got to UI and UX planning). However, that project stalled out. Getting new tags put on .ORG and into core is tough. It would be worth it for something like this though. It needs a lead dev to champion it.

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  12. Joe Shift
    · Reply

    I suppose I’m fine either way. One thing is for sure: the block directory will grow faster if business interests are allowed in some capacity.

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