Josh Pollock has a lot of thoughts on WordPress plugin distribution on WordPress.org.
WordPress.org probably shouldn’t become an eCommerce platform and I don’t think it’s the right place to be upselling plugins and themes. It could, however, better facilitate paid support as a way to encourage businesses that create themes and plugins to make a distinction between no-cost software and free support.
Doing so will help make end-user’s expectations clear, while providing motivation for developers to freely distribute their code.
He gives a number of specific recommendations as well:
- Move ratings to the WordPress admin, using oAuth to sync them with WordPress.org, to lower the barrier to rate plugins.
- Use WordPress.org for distribution, but remove the development layer (with SVN), so that developers can define their own development repos in the plugin headers.
- Allow plugin authors to opt-out of support on WordPress.org, especially as it’s sometimes used by users to gain leverage for free support.
I think Josh makes some really good points. I don’t agree with every bit of his article, but it is a great conversation starter that I think should be used as a starting point for a broader conversation.