After an amazing period of collaborative thinking, writing, and iterating, the support team is happy to announce the publication of the revamped support guidelines!
The new guidelines have been simplified, reducing the size and mental load of reading them for end users substantially, while also removing any outdated sections that are no longer relevant.
Most of these changes do not require much explanation, but there are some where some caveats apply, due to what I shall call the “guideline statute of limitations”.
In addition, the guidelines have previously been changed as needed, often more “behind the scenes” than what we would like, and the team will strive to do better, and ensure that any changes are communicated clearly moving forward.
Do not post about commercial products
The review process is here receiving a notable change, where previously any plugin 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 or theme that is “upsold” (marketing is added in any way to sell products or services) on WordPress.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/ could have reviews for what they feature also impact their reviews, this is no longer the case.
As the ecosystem has evolved, this guidelines has had to evolve with it, and where large plugins, or in some cases marketplace plugins, exist and promote both their own, but also third party solutions that solve user problems, it is not fair to judge them on a third party they do not control.
This means that any review needs to be about the code that is published on WordPress.org, the immediate purchasing experience (this means buying it, downloading it, refunding it) is what may be reviewed. The notable exception is Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions, or equivalent. Given the nature of these, where the code and experience lies within an external provider, it is natural for these to be symbiotic with their plugin or theme counterpart, and as such are seen as a whole.
Please note that this is a substantial change in procedure for the moderators as well, and only applies to new reviews created after October 16th 2023. The reason for this being that it is unreasonable to moderate hundreds of thousands of existing reviews, which were at the time in alignment with the guidelines.
Do not create multiple accounts
Although the support team does not allow individuals to create multiple accounts, this is not new, we do allow companies to register a brand account, so long as it comes with a verifiable company email address.
Although it is preferred that everyone use their personal account when and if possible, as users generally respond better to what isn’t considered a “faceless corporation”, the team also acknowledges that there is safety in anonymity when supporting users; as made obvious by the amount of tools recently introduced to ensure moderators on WordPress.org can interact and carry out tasks with anonymity in mind as well.
This means that as an individual, you may only have a single account that is yours, but you may also have a branded account with your employer for these use cases.
Get familiar with the changes
That’s the two main notable points, what’s next? Getting familiar with the changes of course, which you can do by reading the guidelines.