Read my last post? Please do so, as such it’ll give you an idea on how to get more reviews. But, with plugin reviews, whilst you welcome them, occasionally you get a few that you ask why they left them? In my experience as a developer, people are more likely to leave terrible reviews rather than glowing reviews, and often these are not your fault. This post is aimed at those developers who get bad reviews, and how to combat them.
Thankfully, the WordPress Repository have introduced a “right to reply”, allowing you to say if you feel the review was fair or unfair, and – more importantly – ask why. You shouldn’t reply to all reviews, and this post should tell you which ones you should ignore.
Reviews that are Personal, Insulting or Just Abusive
In all honesty, you shouldn’t reply to these reviews, but instead ask for them to be removed. WordPress’ Plugin Review Team does appear to take action against reviews that are genuinely abusive, so feel free to get rid of them.
I know this isn’t the meaning of the post, but feel it does need to be mentioned.
Reviews that Complain about an Incompatibility
Here’s the thing. WordPress has over 30,000 plugins and around 3,000 themes in their repository, there are also plenty more plugins out there on Github and themes out there as well. As such, there are a lot of addons, and it is completely impossible to be compatible with all.
As such, if you follow good coding standards, a plugin incompatibility may not be your fault. Furthermore, themes that promise integration with your plugin can override default functionality. This isn’t your fault, so feel free to ignore these reviews.
Reviews That Complain About a Feature Missing, Despite No Mention of Said Feature
One of the most frustrating things as a plugin developer, is reviews whereby the user completely misunderstand what the plugin does. It has happened a few times with WP Email Capture, with people leaving poor reviews due to the plugin not sending out email blasts.
At no point in the plugin’s documentation says that it does this, so it can be a bit frustrating. However, you should review your documentation should a number of responses all complain about the lack of a feature (or develop that feature!).
Complaints about Something You Have No Control Over
One of the Amazon Reviews of bbPress Complete complained that the book was poor because they weren’t a fan of bbPress. This was incredibly unfair as the review didn’t reflect on the quality of the book, but disagreements of the software.
To give you an example: I’m a Liverpool fan, though still recognise that Sir Alex Ferguson is one of the greatest managers in the game, even if most of his work was done with Manchester United. All because a user doesn’t like a piece of software, doesn’t mean that it’s terrible.
This one is unlikely to come up, as often people who install plugins are familiar with WordPress anyway, but this could happen every now and again.
Anyway, these are four types of reviews you shouldn’t lose sleep over, but what are yours? What has been the worst review you have received? Let me know what it was in the comments!