ClassicPress Plugin Directory


#1

Let’s kick off a thread about the logistics of a ClassicPress plugin directory. This is an opportunity to do things differently. For example, I would like to explore the idea of allowing premium plugins to be present and to have mechanisms for secure updates for them.

We could also explore the idea of allowing plugin authors to promote their plugins in a similar way to how people can promote their Tweets (higher placements in search). Currently the only plugins in the WordPress directory that are promoted are owned by Automattic, doesn’t seem fair…

Combined, these two things have the potential of funding ClassicPress into the future without the need for donations and without creating conflicts of interest.

This is also an opportunity to modernise the whole experience. Composer support for example?

Thoughts, ideas, doubts and everything else please!

General consensus so far:

  • All plugins should be present: free, freemium and premium
  • Plugins should be clearly marked as one of the above
  • Plugin authors should be allowed to promote their plugins, but promoted plugins must be clearly marked as such
  • We will not be collaborating with corePress, at least on an “official” basis

#2

As long as they are clearly marked as premium plugins, and can easily be filtered out of searches I don’t see why they couldn’t be included in the repository and allowed to promote themselves.

Despite what the WordPress Repository claims, there are so many plugins on there which are “free”, but with incredibly limited functionality and adverts and buy now links littered throughout the admin pages.

I’d much rather they could just declare themselves for what they are and let users make an informed choice before installing them.

And as you say, it would be a potential revenue stream for ClassicPress which will be required if the project takes off in a big way (hosting and bandwidth isn’t free).


#3

Completely agree - by law we will have to clearly display that a plugin is promoted. (ClassicPress Limited is a UK-registered not-for-profit and as a result we have to follow UK law, which is very clear on this part of online advertising)


#4

Good to know.

Not sure if they’d be included in that, but I also mean ones which are not promoted, but have features for which you have to pay. Having a mandatory tag for such plugins would be helpful.


#5

Good point - and a great suggestion


#6

I agree with what was said above, I see clearly 3 categories/tags Free, Premium and Freemium.

In my case, I run a Freemium plugin in the WordPress repo, and for me the only way to be sustainable to provide continuous development and support to a free plugin for the last 4 years was to start making some money 1 year and a half ago. Without the money part it would be just another plugin that isn’t updated in the last 2 years.

So we have to provide the necessary tools so the plugin developer community can also do their best.
There are already some Github issues talking about the improvement of the current plugin Add new section.

Thinks like category search, “Real” most popular plugins, Trending plugins, Recent plugins(to give some initial exposure to a plugin).

Regarding support, the current forum in the WordPress repo isn’t the best solution IMO. It is important to give the chance to authors to define their way of doing support.


#7

The Featured and Popular tabs in WP repo are pretty much useless as they never change, so Trending sounds like a good addition (as well as scott’s suggestion to allow people to promote themselves in search and possibly to Featured page? At least that way if it never changes, there is at least income to support ClassicPress).


#8

One area we can easily improve on WP is for CP to promote the idea of donations for free plugins. Yes, you can put a link in the readme, but it’s very much your problem and often more trouble than it’s worth.

If CP were to make donating “normal” - a standard donate button for installed plugins - with the backend handled by CP (maybe via a 3rd party until we have more resources) - and some way of tracking what users have donated to (badges etc) - we’d go some way towards adjusting end users’ attitudes to what support they can expect for a free plugin, we’d start to build a community of end users, and we could expand that into extra services offered by the plugin dev. (Several ideas there that need expanding).


#9

LOVE this suggestion.

The logistics will be a pain though, unless we distributed the money using crypto (ClassicCoin anyone ;)).

International bank transfers from us to the plugin author will quickly remove a decent chunk of the donated amounts.


#10

If the donation were listed in the plugin dev’s currency it’d “just” be a matter of calculating how much of the donor’s currency is required. We’d need some sort of reference scale too - £5 gets you a beer, that kind of thing.

We’d need to use a 3rd party for the money transfers - I’ve done it with the US and it was dramatically cheaper than what the bank wanted. If we batch currency conversions e.g. monthly we’d get a better deal.


#11

Our accountant will run for the hills if I tell him about this :wink:


#12

I find it difficult to have sympathy for accountants :wink:

One of the things I like most about this idea is that we can do it without first having to build the whole plugin directory.


#13

Why don’t we reach out to the people behind Elementary OS and see how they ended up implementing the pay-what-you-want structure in their AppCenter.

The link is to their blog post about their AppCenter.

Found out about them on Product Hunt yesterday, so that was timely with this discussion!


#14

I like the idea of the donations. We could also place it in the review system so if you gave him a positive review we could suggest a donation.

“The plugin author will love the review, showing even more gratitude with one of the donations below”

1 - Beer 2- Breakfast 3- etc


#15

Some more details about the AppCenter I mentioned above. I really like this approach:

They use Stripe Connected to handle all the heavy lifting on the monetization side of things, and Github for the plugin repo. I also like the crowdfunded approach of getting it built.


#16

I was thinking about that last night too when I extracted my list of plugins. I think “extra credit” should somehow be given to plugin authors who support CP and backwards compatibility. Kind of “rub Matt’s nose in it”, so to speak. All kidding aside- I think plug-ins that allow CP to forge a new way ahead will be worth their weight in gold


#17

It would be great to have a consistent way to indicate that a plugin is adoptable, and to search for same. Sometimes, you just want to move on from a thing… or, maybe you have a plugin idea that has already been started and abandoned by someone else, but you just don’t know about it. This would be in an effort to minimize the number of zombie plugins that reside in the repo.

About donations… I support donations for those who want to solicit via a button on their listing, but don’t feel this should be forced on everyone. If implemented, please consider a way to disable on a per-user basis. I don’t mind a simple button, but do not support the notion of suggesting a donation when the user gives a positive review, or in any other way accosting the user with donation requests.


#18

Related discussion:


#19

I agree with you on CP not being part and parcel of a donation thing. I do think the idea of some kind of search capability for especially good plugins that work with CP in a good way would be a GREAT thing


#20

From a business marketing perspective, and morally, it makes sense for ClassicPress to generate revenue if it is not doing so already. This would allow for everyone involved to hire, dedicate time and resources to keeping this alive and promoting it adequately so WP users know it’s out there. I could list a million ideas as to how to get the word out for free or low-cost ways, but as far as having an actual plugin repository it would make very good logical sense to have premium plugins listed that pay for placement or use (obviously keeping prices in line with what’s expected). Personally, I would have no issue paying for ClassicPress if I knew it would be maintained securely over the span of (at least) the next several years) and the price were easy to handle like Canva or Pocket or Calendly ($5 to $15 per month or in that neighborhood).

Open communication is key to the “new” ClassicPress plugin repository working and not ticking off programmers and developers - and you guys need money to keep this going and promote it to the extent that it should be (in my humble view). Most people know that premium supported plugins are often better than free ones, and those developers need incentives to do their work. Everyone knows the WP plugin repository is full of thousands of plugins that don’t actually do anything (Hello Dolly for example) or that simply don’t work or worse that might carry malware and many themes are the same way. Why not change that with ClassicPress and just be more transparent, let developers charge for premium support while asking for a cut off the top (as is reasonable and done everywhere in business). I’ve met many WP plugin developers over the years who couldn’t get any traction with WP so I think it’s fine. There are alot of ways to monetize this whilst still being open and transparent and not charging people unreasonably.