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

When submitting plugins to the 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.

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.

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 plugin 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 URL

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 GitHub, 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