1. robert@trupela

    Over the years I have used several of MaxBlogPress’s WP plugins (especially in the early days whilst I was getting a grip on functions, php and hooks) and found them to be reliable, well maintained and fulfilled a clear and useful function. It’s a shame that the author never acknowledged the complaints that surfaced as a result of the persistent and sly marketing style by removing the forced opt-in mechanism.

    I think it’s paramount that WP enforce the “rules of engagement” and would welcome a much stricter policy as to what gets accepted into the repository.

    I totally agree with the removal of such plugins from the repository – but I can’t help feel a tinge sad that a great contributor to WP (via his plugins) has been ostracised from the community.



  2. Jonathan Dingman

    Hope this teaches other people to make something free, truly free.


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  4. Pawan Agrawal

    After getting the end users email address, the marketer would send email marketing messages sometimes daily without an easy way to unsubscribe.

    We send at least one email every sunday for our MaxBlogger Stories blog. It’s a pure content blog where other bloggers share their success stories. I also usually send other helpful emails. Yes, I agree I send promo emails for other softwares/products but they are all reviewed for high quality and I suggest them as recommendation. That would be very valuable for bloggers who are interested on such stuffs. For the rest they can unsubscribe anytime from the newsletter without any obligation and continue to use our plugin.

    By the way, who said there’s no easy way to unsubscribe? There is unsubscribe link in each and every email we send. User just have to click the link and confirm. That’s all. It’s totally automated and instant.


  5. Pawan Agrawal

    Not only is the forced opt-in a terrible way to do anything, but it acts as a usage restriction of the plugin which violates the terms of being hosted on the plugin repository.

    WP plugin repository requires the plugin to be licenses as GPL and we are already complying with it. There’s no restriction. If a user don’t like anything in our plugin, then they are welcome to edit and use it. The optin is there to support the plugin. People only see the optin form, they didn’t see the free support, free updates and free bug fixes we provide at our own expense.

    There’s a support link right inside the plugin to make the user easy to ask for support. How many plugins have you seen with so much dedication? People are afraid to put such link easily accessible because they don’t want huge numbers of questions and support request coming there way. We dared to that and we are proud to provide such service at no cost.


  6. Pawan Agrawal

    I think Bobby Ning sums up the reasons for removal quite well as does Otto in the WPTavern forum.

    Check this link again here:

    I have replied Bobby’s and other people comments. They are posting with their own assumption without verifying the fact. Please either don’t post or post the truth only.


  7. Pawan Agrawal

    If you take away the marketing and phone home aspects of his plugins, it looks like they provide good functionality

    The marketing aspect is for supporting the development of the plugin. It’s totally optional as I give the option to opt out instantly at any time the user want.

    I had two option while developing the pluign. Either make the plugin a paid plugin or find out some other way to support the plugin. I chose the second one. I know lots of people don’t have money to pay for the softwares. (I also fall in the same group) If adding an optin form makes the plugin free and people can get advantage of getting free support, bug fixes and updates then what’s wrong with that?

    Regarding the phone home functions… it was actually a feature added for the user. It costs us more in hosting fee and don’t serve any benefit to us. It was developed just for the users convenience.

    In the past there was no automatic notification and automatic installtion for the plugins. We custom developed such features for the support of our user. Talk about dedication. At that time no other plugin developer had thought in that way. I think we were the only one who provided such easy features to users.

    Later, wordpress built its own wordpress directory and then provided update notification and automatic install to the wordpress users. Those codes are there as it is from the past. Our plugins now gets updated by wordpress repository in the same way as other plugin does.

    Also, there’s still one more unique feature in our plugins. Our plugin have custom notification bar in our plugin’s setting page where we alert the user about important updates. There’s still no such feature available in other plugins.


  8. Pawan Agrawal

    I wonder how long it will be before someone who really valued the plugin ends up creating a fork, minus the marketing stuff and submits that to the repository as a replacement

    It won’t take much time to create a fork removing the the optin form. The question is the guy who will release the fork can continue to support the plugin? It might work today but what about the future?

    I have spent a couple of years full time in this maxblogpress project. I know it takes a lot of work to support a plugin. WordPress evolves and old plugins no longer works. We have released numerous updates to our plugins and gave support to thousands of our users. Can the guy who release the fork can dedicate their time to support it? That’s the question. May be releasing a fork means making the plugin die for forever.


  9. Pawan Agrawal

    @robert@trupela – Robert, the plugins are still reliable, well maintained and fulfilled a clear and useful function. Requiring the optin don’t make the plugin bad. In fact it will give you a sense of security that the developer is doing something to support the plugin. It’s not going away because of the lack of the time of the developer. It will here to stay.

    Regarding the marketing perspective, if you are still in our newsletter list, you might have noticed that whatever we promote or recommend are of high quality. I often get lots of emails from product developers to promote their products and I always turned them down if they are not of good quality.

    However, if anyone don’t like our newsletter and if they see that we don’t provide any value then there’s always an unsubscribe link at the bottom of each and every email we send. The unsubscribe is automatic and instant.


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  11. Andy Beard

    When Pawan first released a plugin with his unluck code, I wrote a post celebrating his ingenuity & for good reason.

    At that time the majority of plugin authors were supporting thier work with paid links, even WP Core developers. It was a breath of fresh air and a real alternative.

    A small price to pay for access to some plugins with solid useful functionality.

    I still stand by that post and I can’t see how that violates the GPL

    At the time most WP “pro” themes weren’t GPL

    Is the plugin directory soon going to remove all WP plugins that force an RSS subscription within the dashboard, or themes that do the same.
    Many don’t even have a way to switch the widget off other than modifying the code, which defeats the purpose of using plugins from the repository & using the update functionality.


  12. Jeffro

    @Andy Beard – Having a paid link in the plugin has nothing to do with the GPL. But it does have something to do with the guidelines for being hosted on the repository. Two different things.


  13. Andy Beard

    You misunderstood me

    Until October 2007, the WordPress community, even core developers were living off paid links. With plugin developers it wasn’t necessarily paid link within the plugins (there was one I know of) but paid links on their websites.

    Pawan introduced his locking method in February 2008, and I first saw it implemented in a plugin for Blogrush Feb 22nd which added a custom feed you could control for syndication.

    Pawan’s implementation might not be perfect, I think a lot of problems could have been solved by making it extremely clear in the description before installation that an email sub/registration was required, but if you take it a couple of stages further it would allow even paid plugins and themes to be GPL and stored/scrutinized by the WordPress community on WP.org

    It is a far better solution than calls to private update servers which may or may not be secure (remember that WP build that got hacked) and a far better end user experience.

    Pawan didn’t break any previously published written rule, and from what I can see from all the calls to ban him, there were quite a few people defending him.

    Pawan was a whole year ahead of paid themes going GPL


  14. Pawan Agrawal

    @Jeffro – Well Jeffro, can you please point which guideline I broke? I made sure to comply with all the guidelines for listing the plugin.


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