It’s almost inevitable that as a WordPress plugin gains popularity, it will receive a bad review. How plugin authors handle and respond to bad reviews is crucial, especially in a public forum. Mika Epstein, who helps review plugins before they’re added to the directory and is a dedicated support forum volunteer, gives advice on how to handle and respond to bad reviews.
Bad reviews are classified as those written as spam, trolling, emotional blackmail for support, and those that should have been a support post. Since the plugin review system is powered by bbPress, plugin authors can add tags to reviews in order to draw a moderator’s attention. The tags include:
- Modlook – This tag notifies moderators that a particular thread needs their attention. If you think a review is spam, don’t respond to it. Instead, add the Modlook and Spam tags and let a moderator decide if the review should be deleted.
- Sockpuppet – If you suspect a review is part of a spamming campaign where a group of people are marking a plugin as one or five stars, apply the sockpuppet and modlook tags to the review.
- Wrongplugin – Add the wrongplugin tag to the review if you believe it’s for a different plugin. The team can move the review to the appropriate place.
- Pluginmod – Add this tag to a review if you need an administrator’s attention. This usually results in the team performing a full review of your plugin. If it’s determined that it breaks any of the guidelines, it will be removed until they’re fixed.
Developers who host plugins in the official directory should make note of these tags and use them when necessary. The tag system is generally unknown to the public but it’s a great way for moderators to keep on top of the forums and reviews.