Theme/plugin authors & website owners accepting criticism

(Miroslav Glavić) #1


So as it happened in WPChat, it happened in before they said no more and all over different forums…

theme and plugin authors (not just in the WordPress environment) are asking for feedback/reviews.
Even website owners would ask for a review.

Why ask for the feedback if all you want is butt kissing feedback?

I am not going to say “it is so amazing, the best theme/plugin/website I have ever seen in my entire life”, Go ask your mother for that. She is supposed to like everything you do.

There was a plugin in the directory that added a banner for business card with affiliate link on top of my plugins list.

I mention that on my review, then I reported it to It got taken down, the author came back to the thread on the forum (not on this site) and asked me if I reported the plugin, I told him yes. He wrote a 10 paragraph bitching at me.

If you are going to put a banner with affiliate link that is NOT anything to do with your business then, that’s against the rules.

If you ask for feedback for your theme, I am going to tell you my opinion on what could be improved. Maybe move the menu from there to here.

My standard question on any plugin review request is: Why would anyone use your plugin over the other 100 that do the same thing. It is a legitimate question.

Most theme authors, plugin authors and website owners are capable of accepting criticism however that tiny minority tends to be the loud one that really want to just get their rear ends kissed.

Last year I spent over $7,000 in themes and plugins for my own sites and well over that for clients (they paid for their themes/plugins).

Isn’t there a manual someone could write for theme and plugin authors that if they ask for feedback, that part of that feedback it might not be “hey it’s a great plugin/theme”?

Is it an ego problem? Just because they created something that they should be put on a pedestal to be worshiped like WordPress GODS?

I have met with many of the authors of the themes and plugins, I even paid for tickets for them to go to their country’s WordCamp.

(Leland Fiegel) #2

Personally, I welcome any and all criticism. I can’t guarantee that I’ll act on it, but I will if it’s something that I think makes sense. I believe pretty much any reasonable person would agree.

Sure, some people get needlessly defensive over deserved criticism. For example, a plugin author who plasters ads and notifications all over the admin certainly deserves criticism, but may respond with something along the lines of “it’s free so you can’t complain” and refuse to make any changes.

In your case, however, I feel it’s more of an issue with tone rather than an actual problem with criticism.

For example, in a thread seeking a business partner (that happened to involve Envato accounts), instead of adding something constructive to the conversation, you made a totally baseless claim.

Is it a possibility? Sure, but it wasn’t suggested in any way by the thread starter. You then said “Learn to accept criticism.” when the thread starter pointed that out.

That’s not “criticism” at all. That’s just taking a thread off-topic.

Here’s another thread, Marketing for my awesome new WordPress plugin, that we both happened to respond to.

The thread starter said this in response to my feedback…

…and this (initially) in response to yours:

I could go on.

This seems to be an ongoing pattern with you. Instead of asking why people can’t accept criticism, maybe you should ask why so many (totally unrelated) people seem to take issue with your specific brand of “criticism.”

Anyway, if you can’t figure it out on your own, all I can say is…WP Chat membership is a privilege, not a right. :wink:

(Miroslav Glavić) #3

actually THAT thread starter wasn’t the reason for THIS thread starter. it is technically speaking someone that has been going on at me via facebook. twitter and my e-mai box.

(Kobe Ben Itamar) #4

When I ask someone for feedback I expect them to try and be as honest as they possibly can. THat said, I do the same when people ask me for criticism, and I also like to try and have it be constructive criticism.

I do not expect anyone listening to my feedback to always to be persuaded by my line of thinking on a matter, and I certainly do not expect them to fully “put down their guard” and immediately open up to what I have to say.

Providing constructive criticism / feedback is a skill that has to be practiced and honed. I can say it did not come easy for me, and that I still have not perfected it. Not even close. But, being aware of it certainly helps me not come off as a jerk :slight_smile:. This short piece explains the difference between being assertive and being aggressive quite well.
For people receiving feedback - the difference can be huge.

(Ben) #5

Personally I love some constructive criticism. Anything that can help me improve my products is good. That’s why I ask for feedback on my new themes on this forum.

However I am inclined to agree with Leland. I’ve only seen you interact here on wpchat but I think that you can come across as blunt/ rude/ argumentative. As Leland said, it’s your tone that’s the problem. I often agree with what you’re saying, but not the way you’re saying it.

(Gerasimos) #6

Let me start with the obvious. Constructive feedback is the only way forward.

I’ve been silently reading most of the threads in here (most of the times I have nothing to add, hence the silence) and I agree with you 99,99999% of the times. But. I guess since you started this topic, you are open to criticism as well.

I have to concur with the majority. There’s a problem with your tone. Whenever I read one of your replies, on top of your replies (just to visualize things, I’m a designer, I can’t help it) I see a watermark reading “You suck, your product sucks, your method sucks, go home, next!” :joy:

For example, in this thread your #1 questions is:

“your plugin is awesome according to whom?”

It’s awesome, according to him, what’s your problem anyway? It’s his baby. Do you know how much time he’s put into it? No. So you’re completely off-topic right off the bat. You don’t know the author personally but you do make it personal. Why? Is the fact that someone called their plugin awesome an indicator of looking for butt kissing feedback?

Again, I don’t have a problem with that. Someone else? meh… possibly. People seek advice on their products/services in here, not on how to man up.

And again, you don’t know who you are dealing with. Just provide your feedback and move on. Everything else is noise. Noise that you create and have no idea about the impact it might have to the post author.

Let me tell you a little story. I started my WordPress themes business almost 5 years go so I can pay a (mid) six-figure debt. 50,000 paid users later, everything’s back to normal. Debt paid. Sorry, no drama here. In order to achieve that, especially in the early days, I would email almost every customer asking for feedback in order to improve our themes. It really worked. Most of them would ask for improvements here and there while others expressed their concerns about the whole operation altogether. One of them actually told me that “I wouldn’t last very long”. Did I give a rat’s hat about comments like this? No. Why? Because I didn’t have the time to deal with random stuff like this. If I had to deal with this kind of feedback 20 years ago though, well, I’m sure I would have just given up. End of little story.

All I’m saying is next time you press the reply button, have in mind that you don’t know who you are talking to. Stick to the facts and just provide your valuable feedback. I’m saying valuable because, from what I read, you are a professional paying serious money for your tools.

I hope you are not like this right now because as I said, I agree with you most of the times. Just do not create unnecessary noise :slight_smile:


I’m relatively new to WordPress, but from the standpoint of an observer I often get the impression that there’s an unspoken agreement of sorts to not breach the facade of value and functionality attached to a product, even if said product is horrible. Developers who benefit from this approach do seem to freak out a bit once they finally get a customer who doesn’t let the abundance of (faux)positivity surrounding the developer cause them to feel intimidated or question their own negative experiences. Ego definitely plays a part in all of it.

Personally, I appreciate your approach. It’s refreshing to see people get right to it despite the pressure to coddle rather than holding accountable,

(Yash Chandra) #8


I have read your responses to a few posts. I will say that your feedback/criticism is usually right but your tone is wrong. People on the internet who don’t know you may not like your tone even though your feedback is honest and constructive. The tone makes it destructive. Remember, we don’t know who you are as a person. So we cannot overlook the tone because it is human nature to see the bad first and ignore the good. If my own family member is brutally honest to my face and uses a rough tone to give me good feedback, I will probably not mind that. But because of the “Stranger” factor, it is better to stick to a milder tone while providing constructive feedback or criticism.