Today I saw something in the WordPress support forum that quite literally shocked me. A user posted that they where going to contact a lawyer and sue the developer of the WP Super Cache Plugin because according to them the plugin messed up their website.
I’ve learned over the years that you have two options when you experience a problem with a plugin:
- You can complain about it, and get upset or
- You can reach out to the plugin developer.
Any worth while developer will support their plugin.
WordPress Plugin Developers Owe You Nothing
Okey, that may sound a bit harsh, but it’s true and I don’t know how else to say it. WordPress is available for free, and it’s supported by a large community of volunteers that keep the project going. WordPress is open source.
The success of WordPress is, in my opinion, entirely based on the fact that its given away, and supported by helpful designers and developers around the world. At the end of the day, if you accept the risk of using WordPress to run your website, including the use of plugins. If you have a WordPress issue you simply reach out in the forums or contact the developer.
There Are No Guarantees Online
The fact that the Internet works as well as it does seriously impresses me. Have you ever stopped and realized just how amazing the Internet is, and how many people keep it running? I would argue that most people just use the Internet without any thought as to what’s involved to keep it going. Often times the technology industry is a thankless industry.
People on the street don’t walk up to us designers and developers and say “Wow! Thanks so much for contributing to the Internet, we appreciate you”. People simply consume content, watch videos, send tweets and poke people on Facebook and when they have a tech issue they freak out and have a temper tantrum like a 2 year old. Sigh…
The Internet is only as good as the people who make it, the people who build networks, administer servers and the folks who create websites and web applications. Most of it is provided to us at no cost outside of having to pay our Internet Service Provider.
I get tired of people who expect this technology to run perfectly, and in this case a person who uses a free CMS, and a Free Plugin, then threatens to sue because they experience an issue. Threatening a lawsuit when you don’t have a binding contract between you and the developer of a free plugin is ridiculous.
Sometimes the wi-fi goes down, your computer crashes, you loose data, it happens.
Otherwise get over it. There is a constant inherit risk in using the Internet, and there are precautions and preventative measures you can put in place to minimize the heart ache when something goes wrong.
Ya know like backing up your website, and Database for example.
What About Premium Paid Plugins?
In this case you still can’t sue the developer. The best case scenario is to go after a refund. What you are paying for when you purchase a premium plugin is not the plugin itself, but access to documentation, an update period and support.
You would have to be virtually ignored by the support staff to warrant a refund. Majority of the time issues are solved, and plugins are updated.
But, then again there are always a few bad apples.
Respect Goes A Long Way
You should understand that most of the plugins available for WordPress are free. These free plugins depend on donations and constructive feedback to make them better. There are no guarantees that all plugins work with all themes and versions of WordPress.
The word “impossible” comes to mind regarding the possibility of a WordPress Core, Theme and Plugin utopia, it’s just not possible.
Plugin developers devote many hours building and supporting their plugins and probably don’t make nearly what they should for their efforts. Many of these developers are spending their free time contributing plugins.
So, I ask everyone to be mindful and respectful of the plugin developers that work so hard providing great plugins for a great CMS.
In closing I say “Thanks!” to all of the developers out there that are making free plugins and providing support. I appreciate your hard work, and my website benefits because of what you do.
What are your thoughts?