Support » Plugin: Whoosh Traffic » This is a con

  • This plugin should not be in the WordPress Plugins directory since it’s a COMMERCIAL product and costs $40 and more to use. Don’t get fooled people!

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  • Moderator mordauk


    This is not a con nor is it against any plugin repository guidelines. It is perfectly acceptable for plugins hosted here to tie into a paid service. They even make this explicitly clear in the description:

    The plugin description does indeed clearly state that the service is not free, and while it may be (was) technically acceptable for inclusion, I can see how it might cause someone to wonder about the spirit of intent, when taking into consideration that:

    A) A paid subscription is required to use the plugin.. (putting aside for a moment, the 30 day free trial offer)

    NOTE: Our plugin requires a paid Whoosh Traffic account in order to see your rankings.

    B) The author has a vested interest in the non-free service required for the plugin to function

    I’m a software engineer living in Austin, Texas. I co-founded my own startup, Whoosh Traffic!,

    While calling it a con might be a bit strong, as a casual observer I can see how it might inspire a head scratch or two.

    Moderator mordauk


    It’s no different than Vault Press, in terms of it requiring a paid subscription.

    While I’m not missing your point, I think that example may not be the best of comparisons. What with the VaultPpress service being developed and offered by Automattic and all. Kind of has a pretty big tie-in already..

    I’m just pointing out the obvious, which to me, and apparently in this case to @justintyme as well, is; that upon closer examination, a “free” plugin that essentially has no value to a user (beyond the trial period) appears to be just a clever marketing ploy to promote a subscription service. I understand your viewpoint, too. You’re a developer.

    plugin that essentially has no value to a user (beyond the trial period)

    I might be wrong, but I remember a discussion similar to this some time ago when it was pointed out that a plugin author may not later cripple even a premium feature that had been working when the plugin was first installed. As I recall, even Akismet does not work from the very beginning until you get a key.

    Moderator mordauk


    There’s a difference between SASS models that have a free plugin but still depend on the service and a plugin that offers features for free but then others that must be unlocked. This plugin is a case of the first, and that is fully allowed on the repository.

    Moderator mordauk


    As an example, any plugin that ties into Mail Chimp falls in the first category. The plugin is completely useless on its own, but becomes functional when you tie it into the 3rd party’s API. Even though Mail Chimp has a free plan, the specific spot the plugin falls into the repository guidelines is no different than this one (Whoosh Traffic).

    a free plugin but still depend on the service

    The fact that the plugin is “free” is irrelevant since the only *useful* element that is free is the first 30 days of service the plugin facilitates…but that is a fine point, and as I recently heard someone else say, “I do not have a dog in this fight!” Also, I just looked at the plugin’s description page and I also took a look at the site where the 30-day coupon is used for signing up, and I find nothing deceptive anywhere.

    Case closed, eh?! 😉

    Basically this is still a fraud to me. Sure, you can download FREE plugins that tie into WPML, MailChimp or other non-free plugins, but don’t think you can compare this product with those “tie-in” plugins.

    A 30-day free trial is just what it sounds like, a carrot in front of your nose that will move once you take the first bite. To me that’s PAID SOFTWARE and should NOT BE AVAILABLE in the WordPress Plugin Directory!!

    Go sell your COMMERCIAL SOFTWARE on your own site and stay away from the FREE PLUGIN directory!

    And yes, I do pay for certain (good and valuable) plugins in case anyone thinks I’m nothing but a free-rider… I like HONESTY and placing your products where they belong! Should WPML offer its plugin free to use for a day and an hour in order to get it listed in the WPPD? Don’t think so! That would be just a con as this particular case.

    Moderator mordauk


    As part of the team that reviews and approves plugins for this repository, I can tell you that this plugin is 100% compliant with the repository regulation. Like it or not, it is.

    Then I guess it’s about time those regulation should be reviewed instead. Commercial products don’t belong in there (like it or not), the WordPress project’s aim is to provide community-built FREE software. Are you going to tell me a year later that WordPress itself is no longer free apart from a 30-day trial??

    Moderator mordauk


    No, WordPress will not stop being free.

    This is a service ware plugin.

    Let’s look a bit closer at a different example.

    Take DropBox. It is a paid service that provides file storage and syncing across devices. There are plugins on that allows you to easily pull files from your DropBox account into your WordPress site. The plugin is free, the service is not.

    This plugin for Whoosh is no different: it is a paid service offered completely outside of WordPress that just happens to have a free plugin that you can use to integrate it with your WordPress site.

    Plugins that integrate with Mailchomp, Campaign Monitor, PayPal, Stripe, etc, are all exactly the same.

    Moderator mordauk


    Point 6 of the guidelines explain it:

    I would agree if plugins as such would actually add value without even using those services, but it doesn’t. Therefor in my opinion such plugins belong on the services wevsite (since users of those services need it). What we have here is a “clever” marketing tactic that tries to “trick” people into buying a specific service through a plugin that at first glance could be observed as being free.

    If a “free functioning plugin” means that it installs, creates a menu and a setup page on which you need to enter a key or user credentials to be able to do anything beyond just that then I keep my humble opinion that the regulations should be reviewed again very thoroughly.

    Otherwise, in this case virtually any plugin could create a “birtual service” that requires a key before you could use the plugin. Even though there’s not real service actually doing anything more then providing a key / licensing. The least this “Whoosh” could do is to offer a very basic free service while you can pay for more options if you want to. In such case, yes I would have no problem in it being listed in the WPPR.

    Moderator mordauk


    What we have here is a “clever” marketing tactic that tries to “trick” people into buying a specific service through a plugin that at first glance could be observed as being free.

    No, there is no such trick here. A trick would imply that they don’t make it very clear that it is a paid service, which they clearly do:

    NOTE: Our plugin requires a paid Whoosh Traffic account in order to see your rankings. Join hundreds of other customers, from bloggers to Fortune 500 companies, who use and love Whoosh Traffic. Sign up at with coupon code ILOVEWP for 30 days free!

    It is clear this thread will go no further so I am closing it. If there are any further concerns or feedback anyone wishes to leave, you are welcome to email plugins(at)wordpress(dot)org

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