Guidelines for Plugins that Include Company and/or Product Names in the Plugin Name

Note: This document is from 2015 and some information is out of date. Please refer to the Plugin Developer FAQ and the detailed plugin guidelines. In the case of any inconsistencies, the current documentation (i.e. NOT this one) are correct.

A common point of confusion is that this document talks about 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 names and permalinks. The two are not the same but due to changes in how the directory processes display names (that is, your display name is what generates the permalink), the use of prohibited terms for permalinks is extended to plugin display names at the time of submission.

Also a number of trademark owners have changed their enforcement and rescinded permissions we had to use certain terms in both names and permalinks. As this is an ongoing and regularly changing list, we do not yet have an up to date list of all prohibited terms.

Should you receive an error on submission says to remove a term entirely from your Display Name, the correct action is to do so. Those are not mistakes, they are changes we have been legally required to make.

When submitting plugins to 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/ repository, there are a number of guidelines for what is and is not acceptable. One of those guidelines has to do with the name of your plugin, especially when it includes the name of a company, trademark, or product.

If you have submitted a plugin and received a rejection email that started with something like the quote below, it means you need to adjust the name of your plugin.

We’re no longer accepting plugins that include a trademarked product name or term as the name or slug of a plugin. Nor are we accepting plugins that include the name of another plugin at the beginning of the name/slug.

Before you submit your plugin for review, take the name of your plugin into consideration and try and pick a name that will not be rejected. To help you choose a better name, here are a few guidelines to keep in mind.

Your plugin includes the name of a company, trademark, or product

Take WooCommerce as an example.

The following names will be rejected:

  • WooCommerce – Product Add Ons
  • WooCommerce – Better Stats

We will, however, accept the following (if not already taken):

  • Product Add Ons for WooCommerce
  • Better Stats in WooCommerce

One of the key points is that your plugin’s name cannot start with the company/trademark/product name.

Here’s another example. Stripe Payments will be rejected. Payment Form for Stripe will be accepted (if available).

You work for the company whose product’s name you are using

You are permitted to submit plugins that include the company/trademark/product name If you work for the company owns it.

For example, if you work for PayPal, you may submit a plugin named PayPal Payments.

In order to have your plugin approved, you must submit the plugin from an official company account. This usually means the email address on the account is {yourname}@{company}.com If you submit it from a non-company account, your plugin will be rejected.

You do not work for the company but you have permission to use the company/product/trademark in your plugin’s name

In this case, we will ask you for proof of written permission from the company that explicitly states you have permission to use the name.

For example, if you wish to submit a plugin called Gravity Forms – CSV Exporter, you must have proof of written permission from Rocket Genius, Inc. to include Gravity Forms in the name.

Please provide proof with your initial submission, otherwise it will be rejected.

Edit: Sadly, we can no longer accept ‘permission’ for names, as revocation means we have to remove the plugin permanently. Since that’s a disservice to your users, we feel it’s better to have a universally acceptable plugin slug from the start. If you submit “Gravity Forms – CSV Exporter” the slug will be automatically changed to “gf-csv-exporter” for you. In cases where we cannot pick an acceptable slug, we will email you with proposed solutions.

Questions, Feedback, Comments

If any of this is unclear or you have comments or questions, feel free to leave them below.

Update 1

There was some confusion as to some of the guidelines regarding trademarks, company names, and product names.

To help clarify:

1. If your plugin name includes a trademarked product name or term, you must be the owner of that trademark, work for the company that owns the trademark, or you must have permission from the owner to use it.

2. If your plugin’s name includes the name of a company or the name of a company’s product, you may not use their name at the beginning of the plugin’s slug. “WooCommerce – Product Addons” is not permitted. “Product Addons for WooCommerce” is permitted as a display name.

3. These guidelines are specifically at the slug of the plugin (wordpress.org/plugins/this-is-your-slug). The slug is auto generated based on the name you enter when submitting your plugin. After submission, you can still alter the exact name that is displayed on your plugin’s page via the readme.txt file.

Edit: As of 2018, the slug (aka permalink) is generated by the display name, which means display names that contain prohibited trademarked terms will be prevented from submission. We apologize for this inconvenience.

Note: these are not 100% hard-fast rules and there are always exceptions. It is up to the reviewer’s discretion how strongly they wish to enforce these guidelines. To best ensure your plugin is approved in a timely manner, however, do your best to follow these guidelines.

#guidelines, #policy, #submissions

Plugin Submission ZIP files

This comes up now and then so I thought we should have a quick post about what 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 zip should be when you submit.

Keep in mind, if we email you and tell you we cannot download or open your zip, please don’t just say “Well it works for me!” The fact is, we’re smart people. If we cannot get the zip to open, there actually is a problem. Check the link and check the zip. Attach the zip to your email reply.

It should be a zip file

I know, that’s obvious, but we actually force you to send a zip for a number of reasons. I strongly urge you NOT to use anything fancy like winrar to compress it, because that can make your zip un-openable on Mac or Linux boxes. Protip? We all use Mac or Linux.

Use a real URLURL A specific web address of a website or web page on the Internet, such as a website’s URL www.wordpress.org

Don’t use localhost. Don’t use your dev environment. Don’t try to upload the zip. It’s a link to where your zip is publicly accessible. No more, no less.

Be very careful when you use ‘free’ upload sites. If they open up a dozen popups, we’re not going to risk them. We don’t like viruses.

Speaking of…

The link should be one that’s accessible to NON-logged in users

Bitbucket folks, this means you, eh? If you’re using GitHubGitHub GitHub is a website that offers online implementation of git repositories that can can easily be shared, copied and modified by other developers. Public repositories are free to host, private repositories require a paid subscription. GitHub introduced the concept of the ‘pull request’ where code changes done in branches by contributors can be reviewed and discussed before being merged be the repository owner. https://github.com/, you can link us to the zip they make UNLESS you’re including submodules. Surprise! Github’s autogenerated zips don’t include that. Drives me nuts. I know.

Test the URL in an incognito window, just to be sure. It takes a second and you’ll see exactly what we see.

The zip should be only the plugin

It should be exactly what you would upload manually to WordPress to test (which you did test, right?) because that’s what we are going to do! Don’t include themes or other zips or required plugins. All of those requirements should be accounted for in your plugin by making checks and properly informing users as to what they need to do.

By the way, please don’t nest your zips. Seriously. We see a lot of zips that have a readme.txt and then a second zip file. That means we have to open the zip, extract the other zip, check that it’s right, and then upload it.

#guidelines, #submissions