Reminder: Developers Must Comply with the FORUM Guidelines

The forums team has notified us of an uptick in developers unnecessarily reporting posts and reviews. This post is to remind you that if you chose to use the WordPress.orgWordPress.org The community site where WordPress code is created and shared by the users. This is where you can download the source code for WordPress core, plugins and themes as well as the central location for community conversations and organization. https://wordpress.org/ support forums and review systems, you are required to comply with their guidelines.

This means abuse of volunteer services, or misusing the ‘report this post’ feature will result in formal warnings from the plugins team. If the behaviour persists, your account will be suspended and your pluginPlugin A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. They can extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress websites. WordPress plugins are written in the PHP programming language and integrate seamlessly with WordPress. These can be free in the WordPress.org Plugin Directory https://wordpress.org/plugins/ or can be cost-based plugin from a third-party closed. This includes directly asking forum moderators to remove reviews via SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform https://slack.com/. The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at https://make.wordpress.org/chat/. DMs. Yes, we know.

We know that sometimes people leave really annoying reviews that are frustrating and inaccurate. But attacking your users, calling them names, claiming they’re fake, and reporting the review is far less helpful than you might think. Bad reviews, reviews that should be support, and angry users are a part of maintaining a plugin. It’s the annoying part, and no one likes it, but if you’re giving your plugin away for use, people are going to have opinions.

A review is someone’s opinion of your plugin and the experience using the plugin.
A bad review WILL NOT BE DELETED. Negative feedback reviews will not be reviewed.

The only time a review is removed is when it is, of itself, in violation of the forums guidelines. Not liking your plugin is not a violation. It’s just someone who doesn’t like your plugin.
Please try to be more respectful of the volunteers’ time, and don’t needlessly flag forum posts and reviews for moderation. If you’re not sure if something is a violation, you can come to Slack and ask in the #forums channel.

Forums Status Update (Sept 12)

Subscriptions should be working again.

Feeds have _moved_ and I’m really sorry about that. Hopefully we’ll get an nginxNGINX NGINX is open source software for web serving, reverse proxying, caching, load balancing, media streaming, and more. It started out as a web server designed for maximum performance and stability. In addition to its HTTP server capabilities, NGINX can also function as a proxy server for email (IMAP, POP3, and SMTP) and a reverse proxy and load balancer for HTTP, TCP, and UDP servers. https://www.nginx.com/. redirect in there sooner rather than later but basically it’s this: https://wordpress.org/support/plugin/akismet/feed/

We’re using WordPress now, so any time you see a view you want to follow in RSS, slap `/feed/` on the end and it will probably work.

There’s also this URLURL A specific web address of a website or web page on the Internet, such as a website’s URL www.wordpress.org: https://wordpress.org/support/plugin/akismet/active however, as you will notice, there is no ‘feed’ for it. Those are custom (non default WP) views and are all support threads with Closed and Resolvedt filtered out, then sorted by last reply. We’re working on feeds for those and the old pluginPlugin A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. They can extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress websites. WordPress plugins are written in the PHP programming language and integrate seamlessly with WordPress. These can be free in the WordPress.org Plugin Directory https://wordpress.org/plugins/ or can be cost-based plugin from a third-party committer feeds. I want that back too. Right now, I suggest you use the per-plugin feed to get a list of your new bugs etc, and then subscribe to the post (or add it to favorites).

Sadly, ‘cost overruns’ have been the story of this migrationMigration Moving the code, database and media files for a website site from one server to another. Most typically done when changing hosting companies.. We had hoped to be done with everything by the 5th, but that proved a gross underestimate.

We know there are a lot of ‘smaller’ features everyone loves and have gotten used to making their lives easier that we’re now doing without. It sucks. Trust me here, the mods have ‘lost’ more tools than anyone else. This upgrade had to happen, though.

Also the reason I’m closing these posts to comments when I make them is I have no additional information to provide. Historically, if I leave them open people will posts complaints and rants (which I can do nothing about save sympathize), bug report (which we either already know about, or should have been posted elsewhere), or ‘thanks’ (which we all appreciate, but get spammy). And pinging me on SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform https://slack.com/. The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at https://make.wordpress.org/chat/. won’t get you any answers more than I’ve posted. This is what I know as I know it.

All I have for you now is a plea to be patient. This is a massive undertaking that for a long time was deemed impossible. But slowly, as we clean up the mess, things will get better and the pros of the move will reveal themselves. Like having Akismet actually catch spam for a change.

Please check Support Forums: Meta Trac before filing a bug report/complaint. And if you have suggestions for fixes, jump in and let us know! The bonus of being on bbPressbbPress Free, open source software built on top of WordPress for easily creating forums on sites. https://bbpress.org. now is that if there are plugins that can do what we need, we can actually use them!

Thanks.

#forums, #support

Forums Status Update (Sept 7)

Happy 4.6.1 day.

  • Reviews are back.
  • PluginPlugin A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. They can extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress websites. WordPress plugins are written in the PHP programming language and integrate seamlessly with WordPress. These can be free in the WordPress.org Plugin Directory https://wordpress.org/plugins/ or can be cost-based plugin from a third-party authors and contributors are listed as authors and contributors
  • RSS feeds for individual plugin forums are working
  • Topic subscriptions should be working. Existing subs are still being imported.

The direct urls to your reviews will be https://wordpress.org/support/plugin/akismet/reviews/#new-post — I don’t know if that’s forever.

The amount of data being imported is causing everything to take longer than expected, in order to do this without crashing the servers. Which would be bad. That’s also why some posts are showing out of order. This is the biggest bbPressbbPress Free, open source software built on top of WordPress for easily creating forums on sites. https://bbpress.org. install ever, I suspect…

ETA on everything? We don’t know. It’s all taking longer than we hoped.

Akismet has also been acting a prat and spamming people so if that happens, swing by the #forums slackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform https://slack.com/. The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at https://make.wordpress.org/chat/. and ask if they can have a look for you 🙂 Please ask nicely and offer coffee.

Forum Update Status (Sept 5)

Summary: A great many things have been improved. Paramount was getting the data over (done!), syncing review stars with their new post IDs (done), and making the forums run faster (in progress).

Support Forums Upgrade Status (2016/09/05):

Please note: There was no way to actually test this properly before moving over, so while this is frustrating for everyone, the moderators have had to be quite aggressive in deleting repetitive reports of what’s broken. If you’ve found something that isn’t on the bugs and broken things list, please leave a reply there. Otherwise the answer is “As soon as we can get it done, it’ll be done.”

If you want to be super helpful, please make sure your fellow developers read the posts 🙂

#forums

Plugin Reviews Disabled (And More about the Support Forums)

Reviews will be broken until about September 5.

This is directly related to the support forumSupport Forum WordPress Support Forums is a place to go for help and conversations around using WordPress. Also the place to go to report issues that are caused by errors with the WordPress code and implementations. https://en.forums.wordpress.com/. maintenance.

Per @jmdodd:

We’ll do our best to keep this window short, but for now the choice was between closing reviews for 4 days or closing all of the support forums for 24 to 48 hours.

The MetaMeta Meta is a term that refers to the inside workings of a group. For us, this is the team that works on internal WordPress sites like WordCamp Central and Make WordPress. team felt (and I personally agree) that it is far more important to have support forums than the reviews. And the support forums were unsustainable. So while this is a wrench in your plugins, it’s far far better than no forums at all for Labor Day Weekend.

Updated Sept 2 0233

From @otto42

Consider this an announcement: all pluginPlugin A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. They can extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress websites. WordPress plugins are written in the PHP programming language and integrate seamlessly with WordPress. These can be free in the WordPress.org Plugin Directory https://wordpress.org/plugins/ or can be cost-based plugin from a third-party/theme connections to the forums are currently considered broken. We expected that. It will take a few days to restore this, and that’s considered acceptable losses, for now. We will be working to fix these issues over the next few days, and it will be corrected as we get to it. In other words, we are aware of the issues and working to fix them.

Updated Sept 2 1628

You may have noticed you can’t do some things in the forums anymore. This is known. Please read Forum Bugs and Broken Things before you complain. Here’s a list of what you’re probably trying to figure out. ALL of these are being working on. Don’t fret. Enjoy your weekend.

  • Plugin authors can’t sticky
  • Plugin committer/author support views don’t work
  • Plugin authors can’t resolve threads
  • Pinned topics are unpinned in plugin forums
  • Plugin Authors aren’t labelled as Plugin Authors
  • Cannot subscribe to plugin forums

#forums, #reviews

Handling Bad Reviews

Note: Please note: This post was originally made in 2016, and some information is no longer accurate. There is a REPORT THIS POST feature now. If in doubt, go ask in SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform https://slack.com/. The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at https://make.wordpress.org/chat/.Slack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform https://slack.com/. The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at https://make.wordpress.org/chat/. in the #forums room

In general, the Plugin Review team is not the go-to recourse for bad reviews.  Instead, we have a totally brilliant forum support team! There’s some overlap of jurisdiction of course, and some of us are on both teams, but the point here is you should go to the right group to get the right help.

I’m also going to put this out there. You will get a bad review. Most of the time, it will not be deleted. So before you get any further in this post, know that the way you chose to respond, in public, to a 1-star review of your plugin is your own choice.

Our goal with the WordPress.org repository is to have a good place for users to get plugins that fulfill their needs. The reviews are an extension of that, and should viewed as a way for users to educate other users on their experiences. Also a review is about an experience. If someone’s experience with your product is poor, that doesn’t make their review invalid. And to go back to that previous statement, the way you react to those poor experiences is going to impact your reputation, and that of your plugin, a heck of a lot more than that review.

Now, that said, we have a few ‘common’ types of problems with reviews. This post is going to help you handle them and explain when you should call for help, as well as from whom. Later on we’ll be adding it to our documentation, once it’s refined as best we can make it. Please remember, we do not want to make a ‘rule’ for everything. That just invites people to play rules-lawyers and tip over everyone’s cornflakes.

Here’s how you do it and when and why.

First off… How to add a tag!

99.999999% of the time, you’re going to be adding ‘tags’ to posts. This is so easy, you may kick yourself for missing it. On a post, look on the right hand side, under About this Topic and you’ll see a section for Tags

Tags are listed on the right hand side of a post

This is a free-form field where you can add any tag you want. Anyone can add any tag. The forum moderators have an easy way to know who added what, though, so keep in mind we do monitor that. If you want to add a tag to a post and reply, add the tag, press the Add button, and THEN come back to reply. It works better.

Tag abuse (that is calling moderators needlessly) is not okay. Be smart. Be thoughtful. Remember that every last member of the forum and plugin teams is a volunteer. We’re not being paid by Automattic to do this.

The spam review

This is easy. Don’t reply, just add the tag modlook to the post and walk away. The forum team will delete it. If you think it may not be obvious spam, add the tag spam as well.

The sockpuppet review

When a person (or group of persons) makes multiple accounts with the sole intention of leaving reviews on their own plugins (or leaving poor reviews on their competitors), this is called being a Sock Puppet.

This behavior is expressly NOT welcome on the WordPress Forums as it is spamming. But it comes in two flavors:

  1. Someone 5-star spamming their own plugin
  2. Someone 1-star spamming their competition

Both are bad behavior. Both will get plugins removed from the repository and a stern email from us. If you’re doing this, stop right away. Contact your team and tell them ‘Don’t do this!’ Also keep in mind, asking everyone in your company to 5-star review your own plugins is gauche. I mean, really. You’re stacking the deck on purpose and that’s not beneficial to anyone.

Again, do not reply! Add the tag modlook AND sockpuppet to the post and walk away.

The attack/troll review

These are the worst. When someone attacks you and the review seems like all it exists for is to make you feel terrible, you’re going to have to take a deep breath and walk away. An attack is a troll, regardless of how the original poster (OP) feels, they’ve basically been a troll. They’re writing something they know will make you mad and hurt and angry, and they’re doing it on purpose. That’s a troll. And you shouldn’t feed the trolls. You won’t win, and you’ll just make yourself look bad.

Again, do not reply! Add the tag modlook to the post and walk away. These are usually pretty self evident after all.

The review that should have been a support post

This includes the sub-genre “People who submit 1-star reviews in order to emotionally blackmail you for support.”

We all get them.

  1. Reply with a link to the support section of your plugin (or directions on how to get support, or even a note that you don’t provide free support) and remind them that next time, they should ask for help before reviewing.
  2. See if you can fix the problem, but give it no more or less priority than you would any other support request.
  3. If you can solve it, ask them to modify their review. If they go back to https://wordpress.org/support/view/plugin-reviews/PLUGINNAME and scroll to the bottom, they can edit their reviews!

You’ll notice we’re not telling you to tag the post? Right now we can’t move a review into the support forums and vice versa, so there’s really no point. The forum moderators won’t do anything about it except say “Well, that does suck.” If we could move them, we would, but right now we technically don’t have that ability.

The review about your premium/pro version

If you upsell your plugin’s pro version in the free one, and someone leaves a bad review because the pro version they bought, on the basis of your free one, is bad, congratulations. The review stays. You opened the door with your upsell, encouraging them to do this, and that experience reflects on your plugin as a whole.

If you do not upsell, and there’s no direct link between the free and pro version, or the plugin having the issue is a premium only add-on, tag it modlook and someone will come take a look.

The review about someone else’s plugin

This one can be fixed! Reply and let them know it’s not your plugin, it’s the other one, and then tag it modlook and then use the tag wrongplugin (all one word) to let the mods know what’s going on.

But I really need a plugin moderator!

Okay. So you think you’re an exception? Use the tag pluginmod and a plugin admin will come take a look. Be prepared, though, as we generally will perform a full review on your plugin and any and all guideline violations will result in your plugin being removed until you fix them. Including using too many tags.

#guidelines, #support