Download Monitor is old. Around 8 years old in fact and was one of the first plugins I made for WordPress, back in the time before custom post types and all the other luxuries developers enjoy today.
It has been rewritten 4 times, seen well over 100 releases, and been downloaded 600,000 times. The latest ‘v1’ reboot has been praised and I often receive nice comments from users even though development has slowed of late.
But but therein lies the problem; time. The biggest, most exciting projects I’m working on (WP Job Manager, and WooCommerce at Woothemes) take up most of my time, so without sleeping at my desk I don’t have sufficient time to maintain and grow the plugin.
So rather than let it die a slow and neglected death, I’ve taken the difficult decision to abandon the project.
But Don’t Worry, It’s Being Adopted
Developer Barry Kooij (previously with Yoast and now a coworker at Woo) will be taking over the development of the plugin going forward.
The repositories have been transfered and work has already begun on the next version, so it looks like the plugin will be going for a few more years after all. Good luck to him!
With Download Monitor off of my plate, I can now focus on my other projects which are really taking off in a big way and demanding more of my focus. I’m really excited about it’s future, and I’m happy that Download Monitor is in safe hands.
I’m happy to announce I’ve finally flipped the switch on WPJobManager.com, a site which I’ve been working on for a few months now in my spare time. I felt it was about time that I had a better sales platform and a dedicated place for the plugin which has been steadily growing in popularity during the past year.
Up until now I’ve been selling add-ons via Gumroad. It’s a fun service, and it’s easy to use, but it lacks the flexibility I need. In particular I’m talking about licences. Without some kind of licencing system I have no way to verify a customer when it comes to updates and support, the sale is one off (something that’s not sustainable with this type of product), and I have no way to limit distribution of my plugins.
Therefore, I made the decision to switch over to WooCommerce (what else?) and have a proper marketplace for the plugin. Hosted on DigitalOcean and powered by WordPress and WooCommerce, WPJobManager.com is now live.
Keeping on top of the blogging was sometimes difficult, but got easier towards the middle as I got into a routine. Towards the end the difficulty increased again as I ran out of interesting topics to cover, but I got there in the end.
Building plugins is fun, especially the smaller ones. Today I thought it would be a good challenge to build one whilst documenting the process; I’m actually writing this post as I plan and build the plugin itself with the hope of having it finished by the end of the day.
What am I building? A small post-series plugin so I can group all of my #WTBFB posts and allow navigation between them on my blog.
Love it or hate it, if you make plugins and want any amount of exposure you are going to need to use WordPress.org – the exposure it provides (so your plugin is searchable via the WP dashboard), and the convenience of it’s plugin updates, make it necessary.
I don’t dislike WordPress.org, but there are several aspects I’d love to see improved and made customisable. Here’s my wishlist.
Before you release your plugin on WordPress.org it’s always good to spend a little time polishing the final product; not only does this make your job easier in the long run (so you don’t have to fix it later), it gives a better first impression to new users.