WordPress.org

Ideas

Remove Sponsored Themes from WordPress.org

  1. kyte
    Member

    12345

    I say they can get those themes anywhere, let the creators host their own themes. If people want to have them (if they are good enough), they can, but why should Matt and co host them, pay for the space, and let others make money off of them, which is effectively what they are doing.

    I dont think Matt is saying there can't be sponsored themes, just that they shouldnt be on wordpress.org. And I agree with him.

    [edit] Additionally, the non-sponsored themes are also very good, so lets not get carried away with thinking just because there's money involved, that somehow they are better or more worthy. They aren't.

    Posted: 12 years ago #
  2. Matt Mullenweg
    Inactive

    12345

    xmodulo, I find the suggestion that ad-bundled themes are somehow better very insulting to the many designers who have put tons of time and effort into themes without sneaky SEO ads, and to the developers of WordPress who have done the same.

    Finally, we're not banning sponsored themes and people can still make them and distribute them --- even sell them! I just would rather it not be in our collective backyard here. They're welcome to do it on their own site, or if their themes are really that much better create a site with nothing but sponsored themes.

    [edit] Looks like kyte and I said almost the same thing.

    Posted: 12 years ago #
  3. kyte
    Member

    12345

    GTMA and all that stuff. I'm very sensitive about themes and making money, even though in this case its the reverse of my previous situation.

    Posted: 12 years ago #
  4. flammable
    Member

    12345

    I'm very much against people being taken advantage of, just because they don't know better. New blog owners won't know to remove those links, and almost certainly wouldn't insert those links by themselves.

    I have no problem giving credit to authors, but this isn't fair.

    Posted: 12 years ago #
  5. ceejayoz
    Member

    12345

    I believe they should only be permitted with a) full disclosure b) the option to remove them.

    Themes that do not disclose their sponsorship and tell users how to disable the sponsorship link shouldn't be allowed on here.

    Posted: 12 years ago #
  6. jeremycherfas
    Inactive

    12345

    A warning would be fair, but as has been said, many people won't know what to do about a sponsored theme. So an outright ban strikes me as fairer still. The theme authors will still be free to place them elsewhere for download.

    Posted: 12 years ago #
  7. cwiltgen
    Member

    12345

    This is pretty silly.

    First, remove all the self-serving, Google-juicing default links from built-in themes. Until then, this proposal can't be taken seriously.

    I don't understand how someone who's presumably going to rake in millions from WordPress.com (on the backs of others, mostly) would waste time on proposals that attempt to penalize theme authors.

    Posted: 12 years ago #
  8. h4x3d
    Inactive

    12345

    it was so clear that hso was voting this down, don't be silly. sponsored themes are simply taking the piss. there are so many other ways to make money than by selling backlinks. problogger tells you how. my vote for removing sponsored themes (nothing by the author's link).

    Posted: 12 years ago #
  9. HarryRAR
    Member

    12345

    Personally I think sponsored themes are a horrible idea and I see no reason why wordpress.org should support them. I strongly appreciate the fact that WordPress is a free piece of software and that it has a supportive community of people willing to give away the themes and plugins they write. The focus of wordpress.org should be that community; if people want to distribute sponsored themes, let them find somewhere else to do so.

    The real answer, mind you, would be to find a better way for theme designers to earn a little money for their efforts. Sponsored themes seem like the wrong answer to me, although I don't have a better solution.

    Posted: 12 years ago #
  10. jpozadzides
    Member

    12345

    xmodulo said, "Sponsored themes are generally much better quality"

    You sir, are wrong. That statement is baseless.

    Matt,

    Though I'd like to elicit a strong emotional reaction in favor of banning themes, I don't believe it will solve the problem. In fact, it may exacerbate it.

    If a ban went into effect, and I were a theme author who was currently selling sponsorships and admitting it, I'd simply change my methodology such that the new themes always appear to be coming from the sponsoring client.

    At some point, the waters become so murky it's almost impossible to tell which themes to ban and which to allow.

    I would suggest the following as alternatives:

    • Sponsored themes, with NO hidden content, should be allowed to remain - so long as initial disclosure of sponsorship is made - but should be labeled as carrying advertisements. Call them AdverThemes or something like that.
    • High quality themes, with high quality sponsors, could theoretically still be valuable to users. While I personally would not take the risk of linking to unknown sites, some people have a higher risk tolerance. I do not have the right to prevent them from taking this risk any more than I could stop them from gambling in Vegas.
    • Any theme - sponsored or otherwise - containing hidden information should be banned. There should be a ZERO tolerance policy in effect as the ramifications for users can include being banned from search engines. Knowingly allowing themes that cause real damage would be tantamount to supporting it.
    • Themes submitted without full disclosure that are later proven to be sponsorships should be banned as well.
    • Someone(s) fairly prominent and with a pristine reputation should issue a fair and balanced educational message conveying both sides of this issue which should be referenced for people to learn and evaluate.
    • Plugins should be evaluated identically. Sponsorships should be disclosed and labeled, and hidden anything should be banned. For example...

    I therefore have to vote "no" to the general ban concept.

    John Pozadzides
    Founder, http://HTMLHelp.com
    Personal, http://OneMansBlog.com

    Posted: 12 years ago #

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