Matt on Plugins

Another one of those links in the WordPress dashboard caught my eye today. Matt Mullenweg has a post with the provocative title Plugin Authors Get No Love. He’s talking about the difference in attitude between WP theme and plugin creators.

It seems a lot of people are publishing themes with slight strings attached. Some insist on a link back to the designer’s site, some include advertising using the designer’s Adsense details. Apparently it’s claimed that the sky will fall if WordPress should start to insist that themes are released under the GPL licence, and that nobody will develop themes if they can’t have nice links and the like.

Matt compares this with plugin development, where GPL is normal, and yet development is extremely active.

It seems any of the doomsday scenarios people are expecting to happen to themes would have happened to plugins years ago.

Quite. One thing he mentions is that

Plugin authors almost never get links on the front-end of a blog

I’m sure that’s true. I’ve seen a lot of sites that are obviously using plugins, but there’s no obvious indication of which ones they’re using. I’m not sure if this is because the site owners are deliberately trying to keep their cunning methods to themselves, or if they just haven’t thought about giving visible credit to the people who’ve helped make their sites possible.

However, here at Losing it, things are different. I write about useful plugins now and then, and I have a prominent link to my Credits page where I highlight some of the plugins I especially like, and link to a list of all the plugins I currently use. But I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all the people who put so much time and effort into writing the plugins that make this site what it is.[1] Thanks, folks :wave:

[1] Well, you can’t actually blame those nice developers for the actual content. That’s all my fault. :tongue: