Commercial WordPress Theme Directory? What About Plugins?

Joost de Valk thinks WordPress.org should have a section for commercial GPL-compliant plugins, like the new one for the themes. I couldn’t agree more.

Of course, we plugin authors get to host our own plugins on wordpress.org, and we can get links back to our site etc. But where’s the page for commercially supported GPL WordPress PLUGINS Matt? Don’t you think it’s time you started treating the plugin authors the same way as the theme authors? Or do we have to start a theme war for that first?

On the GPL, Themes, Plugins & Free [Yoast]

Theme developers seem to get more attention than plugin developers, and have for a long time. It’s sad. There are a lot of amazing plugins out there (including mine, of course…), but their developers are by and large not as well-off financially as the theme developers. You have giants like WooThemes selling $80 themes, that are now GPL compliant, but the plugin developers are pretty much just collecting a few donations here and there.

How many plugins do you have installed? Can you imagine how much time and effort goes into each of them? Would WordPress be the same without All in One SEO Pack, WP Super Cache, WP-PageNavi, or WP-Polls? Can you imagine how much time is spent answering support emails? A lot.

Now I’m in an interesting situation, I spend time developing my WP125 plugin, which is closing in on 30,000 downloads as I write this, and far more time answering the daily support emails that pour in. People are using this ad management plugin to monetize their sites with paid ads or affiliate banners, but what am I getting out of all the work I do on it? A few donations here and there, but I can go for a few months sometimes without seeing a single $10 0r $20 payment coming in.

Obviously I’d like to get a bit more out of my work, so I can invest more time improving the plugin. I’m currently thinking out a strategy to take WP125 commercial, while remaining GPL compliant and keeping the same great features available for free to WordPress users. A bit more support from the WordPress project would be welcome though.

  • http://tdhedengren.com TDH

    Matt Mullenweg responded to this in my short interview on the Blog Herald. Basically, they are alread seamlessly integrated. Lacking the promotional page though.

    More here: http://www.blogherald.com/2009/07/03/quick-interv

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/redwall_hp redwall_hp

      Except theme developers, such as WooThemes, can charge money for access to the download for their GPL'd themes. If you want to be in the plugin directory, you have to upload your files to their repository, where everyone can download them.

      • http://tdhedengren.com TDH

        Exactly, but the same applies to themes should they open the directory.

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