Kioken Blocks Partners with Gutenslider Plugin

Kioken Blocks creator Onur Oztaskiran is teaming up with Niklas Jurij Plessing, a Berlin-based developer and author of the Gutenslider plugin, to improve both products under the same roof. Oztaskiran said the partnership is not an acquisition but rather a unification of efforts that may eventually result in combining under the same name.

“Our short term plan is to work on each other’s plugins to improve them according to our individual areas of expertise (me in design, marketing and user happiness, him in development and more technical stuff where I fall short), and then fully collaborate on plugins and themes,” Oztaskiran said.

Gutenslider will remain a standalone plugin and will not be merged into Kioken Blocks. Both products will share similar resources in terms of functionality and support. The team plans to work on porting their products to be ready for WordPress.org’s upcoming Block Directory. Pro users of Kioken Blocks will be able to use the pro functionalities of Gutenslider and the team plans to make Gutenslider work like an extension to Kioken Blocks.

“Gutenslider is pretty extensive at it is, and we thought it deserves to keep going as a standalone block and plugin, since it will be also available in the upcoming Block Directory for Gutenberg,” Oztaskiran said. “We will handle it as another product even though it is under the same roof as Kioken Blocks. We will continue adding new features to that block and improve the experience and Kioken Blocks will gain new blocks as well, but not as extensive as Gutenslider. There’s a possibility we could rename the block but that’s not the case at the moment.”

Oztaskiran said he sees a lot of possibilities in Gutenslider, because it is not just an image and video slider but capable of adding different types of block content on top of the slides, such as paragraphs, headings, images, galleries, products, and more.

“Since the future of Gutenberg, as we see it, is going to be shaped around the Block Directory in the editor, our plan is focusing more blocks on that directory, with the Kioken Blocks as a builder on top of them as a plugin,” Oztaskiran said. “The final goal is building an ecosystem for WordPress users who have adopted the new editor – products, plugins and themes with a streamlined interface and experience. Dev partnerships are the first step of it.”

Oztaskiran could not confirm if the product catalog will be combining under one company name. The final decision has not yet been made but he said it is likely that they will combine under the Kioken branding sometime in the future for marketing their WordPress products.

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16 Comments


  1. I didn’t know Gutenslider and looks like a great Block, already added to my website.

    Partnering with Kioken is great news, only good things can come from this.

    Can’t wait to see what they prepare for WP : )

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  2. I see they are using Freemius. I’m concerned about this since Freemius records the admin username and email address:

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    1. Isn’t Freemius Opt-In? Opt-in is required on wordpress.org anyway and also for GDPR. So I don’t see a problem. Or do I oversee something here?

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      1. That’s correct. And that’s why I opted out. I am still concerned though that this Company is collecting Admin usernames and email addresses for WordPress sites…

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  3. This is just a side comment, but when I first read this post’s title I wanted to know who Kioken was and both why and how they would block partners with a plugin!

    Well, as the old saying goes, time flies like an arrow but fruit flies like a banana! 😀

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  4. The company collects admin access? Are you kidding?

    Then most of the user won’t like it anyway.. Hope my concerns isn’t true!

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    1. @creatifytech That’s not exactly what is stated by Freemius. They state that when you accept their terms you are allowing them to collect the Admin username and email address for the site…

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  5. Hey guys,

    The plugin and Freemius does not collect any data without any consent. And the data collected, if you choose to opt in, is to determine the number of active installations on their side and user happiness control.

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    1. @onuroztaskiran With respect, I believe you are misinformed, Sir.

      When you activate Gutenslider, we are presented with a Freemius opt-in. If you click on “What permissions are being granted?” and then click on “Terms of Service” the Freemius page states: “The only sensitive data we store is the admin name and email.”

      I am not comfortable allowing a third-party (Freemius) to collect my admin name and admin email address. I believe this is a potential security issue if Freemius is hacked.

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      1. You are absolutely right. As the author of the plugin, I’ve shared this discussion with the Freemius community, since I care about that sensitive data and we should not be asking for that sensitive information.

        What “opted in” users mean to us in our Freemius dashboard, we see those opted in users, if they uninstalled the plugin, why they chose to uninstall, how many active installations, if they are happy so far etc. That is I think the actual reasoning behind the “opt-in” functionality.

        Maybe they do something about it in the close future. We are just using Freemius because they are the only best solution to allow us seamlessly and effortlessly integrate Pro version of our plugin to the users requiring it.

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  6. I understand Plugin Developers want to offload some of the administration of a plugin and some of the administration of the users of the plugin. I encountered Freemius previously and it rattles me a little bit that a lot of plugin developers are jumping onboard with them perhaps not fully knowing what data is collected, how it is stored, how it is safeguarded and potential for future marketing or hacking.

    The Freemius opt-in only appears AFTER the plugin is activated. This is a little unnerving since users don’t expect other third parties to pop up for tracking their license and storing their sensitive data.

    In regards to “opted-in” users, even if you opt out and then uninstall the Gutenberg plugin, the users are presented with a list of answers and are asked why they are uninstalling the plugin. So, because of this questionnaire when deleting the plugin, I believe Freemius installs hooks into the plugin even if you opt-out during activation.

    Freemius scares me because:

    1.) their opt-in appears AFTER plugin activation
    2.) they collect Admin usernames and Admin email addresses
    3.) they present their nag screen when deleting the plugin (even after opting out)
    4.) and “Goodness knows!” what else is being tracked

    It’s just too big brother for me.

    I hope Gutenslider succeeds and has a great partnership with Kioken. I just want you to know what some of your Users perspectives may be…

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    1. Trust me, I’ve had very loooong conversation with the founder of Freemius on why disable that consent add-on with the integration of it to my plugin, and he explained to me why it is at the end still beneficial both to users and me.

      I for one hate those nags in any WordPress add-on or theme as well (:facepalm:). I was so compelled to disable that integration at first, but I was convinced otherwise by Freemius community.

      I totally understand your concerns, and I believe someday soon those concerns will be addressed.

      Cheers!
      Onur

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    2. Hi Marcus, this is Vova from Freemius. I don’t think that this discussion should be here, but let me just address your concerns:
      – We do NOT collect any information without an explicit, opt-in, consent. So if skip the opt-in, we do not collect anything.

      – When a user opt-in, the data is collected for the developer. We don’t use/abuse it. The reason an email address is collected when a user opt-in is to have a direct communication channel, which has many benefits, both to the user and the developer. For example, if there’s a security issue in a product, developers can email their users directly to warn them to update before announcing it publicly. You can learn about more use-cases here.

      – The purpose of the deactivation feedback form (the “nag screen”) is to help developers understand why users uninstall their product so they can improve the product. Also that window is absolutely optional and you can just skip it.

      – As the CEO of the company, I know that we only track what we say 🙂 There are no hidden terms.

      If you have any additional concerns/questions about Freemius, feel free to contact our team directly via [support AT freemius DOT com]

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      1. I don’t think that this discussion should be here,

        Why is that? Not thinking the discussion belonging somewhere specific isn’t a validation in itself and also, merely up to the mods.

        Marcus addresses valid concerns that in my opinion adds value for other WordPress users. If you stand by your product, the Tavern is the perfect platform to address these concerns and make people understand your point of view. It can build trust. On the other hand, taking a discussion away from the public eye, is never a good idea for trust concerns.

        Also I do not see Marcus primary concerns addressed entirely. Why are admin usernames and e-mailadres collected (opt in)? Can someone that installed the plugin use a different e-mailadres not being associated with the admin account? I fail to see goal binding here.

        I believe the feedback from Marcus can lead to a better product and experience for all parties. Data collection is a hot issue. Every critical question about this should be embraced

        So, because of this questionnaire when deleting the plugin, I believe Freemius installs hooks into the plugin even if you opt-out during activation.

        Opting out (aka not opting in) means there should be no “nag screen” in the end. At least from a user point of view. It’s confusing at best. Even if it can be skipped. That’s just my opinion.

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      2. Hi Bianca,

        One clarification, when a user opt-in, the user’s first and last name are stored, not the username. And yes, you can later modify the email address. The purpose of automatically capturing it is to save you time entering it manually. And again, this is absolutely optional, so you can skip the opt-in.

        The purpose of keeping track of the name and email address simply to allow developers getting in touch regarding potential security updates, feature announcements/updates, promotions, etc.

        The deactivation feedback form is not a “nag screen”. It’s a mechanism that volunteeringly allows users to cast their feedback on why they uninstall so developers can improve their products, making them better. It’s a common practice in the software industry, and again, this is optional and you can skip it with one button click.

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  7. I stopped using Freemius after Freemius Patches Severe Vulnerability in Library Used by Popular WordPress Plugins.

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