It’s Time WordPress Establish Some Rules For Freemium Plugins

I’m not against developers providing “freemium” plugins in the official WordPress repository. By freemium, I mean a plugin that has some functionality restricted to entice you to purchase a license or premium version. Heck, I used to sell such a plugin myself.

But I do think it’s time for WordPress.org to enforce some general rules about how it’s handled. Two changes I would like to see that I think would be relatively easy to establish ( if not to enforce ).

  1. Take Apple’s lead in flagging apps that offer “in-app purchases” in the plugin directory. That way it’s immediately and visually discernible which plugins are fully functional and free and which are up-sellers. Ideally this would include the ability to hide freemiums in search results if desired.
  2. Nags to “upgrade” or “join” or respond to a survey–or any other sale related nag–should only appear in certain areas of the site. Obviously the plugin admin page is a reasonable place for the nags to happen. Maybe on the dashboard. But I should not experience nags on every page of the admin area. For example, the Types plugin:
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