On Monday, Pippin Williamson announced that WordPress.org is changing their guidelines for acceptable plugin names for plugins submitted to the official repository.

Going forward, plugin developers will not be able to use a trademarked product name or term, company name, or other plugins’ name as their plugin’s name or slug — unless you are representing the company who owns the trademark or plugin in an official capacity or have written permission from the company.

If you fail to meet these guidelines, your plugin will be rejected. To verify you work for, own, or represent the company in question, you must submit your plugin using an official email address — {yourname}@{companyname}.com — rather than a personal one.

What Is Acceptable?

Because many plugins are created as extensions and add-ons for trademarked terms, companies, and popular plugins, some degree of flexibility is permitted for discoverability purposes.

One of the main points from the new guidelines is that using trademarked terms will likely result in an automatic rejection. However, there is more leniency with company and plugin names, which can be used in your plugin name, but not at the start of the name. For example:

  • WooCommerce Membership Subscription – rejected
  • Membership Subscription for WooCommerce – accepted

This will make it easier for WordPress users to identify official plugins from third party ones.

Pippin also points out that these are just guidelines; the final decision is made at the reviewer’s discretion. For example, in a scenario where the plugin combined two third-party services — e.g. WooCommerce PayPal add-on — common sense dictates that the plugin would be accepted.

If you want to guarantee that your plugin is accepted, Pippin recommends using your own brand at the start of your plugin name and slug — which is better for brand recognition, too.

Newly Submitted Plugins

The announcement also revealed that these guidelines will only be proactively applied to newly submitted plugins — the reviewing team doesn’t have the manpower to look through existing plugins in the repository.

However, if there’s a plugin in breach of one of your trademarks, you can submit a request via plugins@wordpress.org. One of the reviewers will then work with you to have the plugin’s name changed to comply with the new guidelines.

Final Thoughts

If you’re about to submit a plugin to the official WordPress repository, you need to be aware of the new guidelines. If you aren’t, and your plugin’s name fails to comply, your plugin will be rejected.

In my opinion, these changes are sensible, as it means officially released plugins will be more distinguishable from third-party ones. This makes it easier for developers to protect their brand and should help WordPress users’ find high-quality plugins.

What are your thoughts on the new guidelines? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Shaun Quarton is a freelance blogger from the UK, with a passion for online entrepreneurship, content marketing, and all things WordPress.

The post New Guidelines For Naming Plugins Announced By WordPress.org appeared first on Torque.

Share This