I won’t link to the company website, or aide them by writing out the brand name. If you want to revel in the audacity of their claim, you can figure out how to get to the website based on the screenshots below.
Taking a bucket load of GPL WordPress themes & plugins and “re-selling” them for one low price isn’t a novel idea. There was another site that made the headlines a few years ago. (I won’t link to them either; hint: my hero reference below.)
I recall it sparking an interesting debate around what GPL product makers are actually delivering when they sell a digital license. Code? Support? Both?
There’s a shallow defense that a product developer isn’t selling code, but the support + the recurring updates for their product. Sprinkle in some closed source add-ons or a SaaS-level connection service the GPL plugin hooks into — now the product maker has more of a moat.
Today I received two DM’s from bot accounts introducing me to a new GPL Robin Hood turned marketplace reseller. Less hero, more villain for most, they at least admit it’s not stealing, but that products are purchased and re-sold to the buyer for a discount.
With an overall promise that 99.99% might work…wow.
As silly as it might sound, I buy 99% of the items myself from the oﬃcial sources and share the zip ﬁles exactly as I receive them. At times, the devs are money-minded so I have to ﬁx a few lines
of the code to make them work for you but that’s about it.Copy from the website
It’s bad business but could illustrate subscription fatigue in WordPress
(The website has not responded to my request for comment at the time of this writing.)
I have no doubt that this will not build a thriving business for them.
In fact, it won’t last long legally if brands like Yoast, Elementor, or Astra can drum up a takedown. Supporting this many products would cause their staff to buckle under the pressure, not providing support at all? Their merchant would shut down their account from all of the chargebacks.
I do wonder, however, how many customers that buy into this subscription (unknowing it’s bad for them) are doing it because they are tired of subscription pricing in WordPress?
WordPress product veteran Jonathan Christopher shifted from selling a subscription model to offering major version releases upgrade fees instead.
…the idea that subscription-based models are the /only/ way forward feels shortsighted to me, and despite my having built successful products on the backs of subscription models I feel like I was just going with the crowd in a very real way.Jonathan Christopher
Look, I know we’re already operating on the fringes in this post, so brace yourself while I push it a bit further: this is where Jetpack wins in the long-term.
Put yourself in to the shoes of the WordPress users Lesley Sim points out in this Twitter thread:
WordPress becoming the “largest CMS for the modern web” is not the North Star that will make it a platform users love. It just makes it the most used, until it isn’t, and frustrated users vote with their dollars for inexpensive closed-source Wix-like systems.
Back to Jetpack: it could be the life raft for users bailing to a competing hosted solution.
- Sick of paying 12 licenses to different vendors? Jetpack.
- Too many support cooks in the kitchen? Jetpack.
- Your favorite plugins getting consolidated into brands you don’t like? Jetpack!
You see where I’m going with this, and I’m sure Mullenweg/Automattic do as well. Jetpack could be the best experience for WordPress. Which would be at odds with what the WordPress.com CEO told me in his interview.
Jetpack vs. .com, anyone?
Think of our users
Stealing from the rich and then selling it on a potentially illegal marketplaces is not the answer we need for WordPress users to feel less burdened by our beloved software.
I hope those that buy into this program cancel, get a refund, and invest their money into the real developers of the software.
However, there’s a strong sentiment in the WordPress product maker community to raise prices to prove the worth of their wares. In my opinion, there’s a ceiling to that. The market will dictate it. When another product comes along doing it better, for more value, you’ll see a shift.
It makes me wonder how WordPress product companies can survive these days, with all the competition and in someone else’s sandbox?