Making WordPress.org

Opened 5 months ago

Closed 5 weeks ago

Last modified 5 weeks ago

#3239 closed enhancement (wontfix)

Plugin notifications

Reported by: tazotodua Owned by:
Milestone: Priority: normal
Component: Support Forums Keywords: 2nd-opinion


It's good, when someone opens a support topic in our plugins,
we should get email notification.

Change History (20)

#1 @tobifjellner
5 months ago

  • Component changed from General to Support Forums
  • Resolution set to worksforme
  • Status changed from new to closed
  • Type changed from defect to enhancement


Most welcome to meta trac.
I've got good news for you. The function is already there.

  1. Open the forum of interest, for instance https://wordpress.org/support/plugin/polylang
  2. Hit the button Subscribe to this plugin just above the search field.

I'll close this ticket as WorksForMe. Feel free to reopen it if I misunderstood your intention.

#2 @casiepa
5 months ago

Or if your email application (like MS outlook) has an RSS feature, just connect it to https://wordpress.org/support/plugin/polylang/feed

#3 @Otto42
5 months ago

Or if you have more than one plugin and have a favorite RSS reader, you can see a list of all your plugins' reviews and support forum posts here:


And a feed of the same can be found here:


For other users reading this, just substitute in your username to get your own view.

#4 follow-up: @tazotodua
5 months ago

Guys, I dont agree with you.

When I commit any stupid/minor change to SVN, i automatically get emails (i have never OPTED TO GET EMAILS WHEN I COMMIT CHANGES, NOT I HAVE OPTION TO OPT OUT!!! SURPRISINGLY!) and if that really useless/unimportant commits are emailed (without letting us to disable them),
Why the MOST CRITICAL AND IMPORTANT THING (while people submit support tickets into our plugins and discloses bugs) are not automatically notified to plugin-authors..

do you know how many plugin authors know what you have said ("Subscribe button" or "rss feed") ??
maybe 20%...

and thats why, if you look through the plugins' support forums, most plugin-authors dont even answer during first 6-12 months after opening the topic.

you cant imagine, how that simple thing causes to dipp the overall PLUGINS DEVELOPMENT.

so, my robust vote is that plugins authors should be auto-subscribed (without need to click that button), instead, if they want to Unsubscribe, then they can click that button to Unsubscribe.

#5 in reply to: ↑ 4 @SergeyBiryukov
5 months ago

  • Keywords 2nd-opinion added
  • Resolution worksforme deleted
  • Status changed from closed to reopened

Replying to tazotodua:

and if that really useless/unimportant commits are emailed (without letting us to disable them)

They are important for tracking purposes if the plugin has multiple committers, or if your account gets hacked and someone starts making changes on your behalf.

I do agree that plugin authors should be auto-subscribed to support topics for their plugins, unless they've explicitly unsubscribed.

This ticket was mentioned in Slack in #meta by lewiscowles. View the logs.

5 weeks ago

#7 @LewisCowles
5 weeks ago

Just to link in I feel this is important to have an option/facility for auto-subscribing.

@tazotodua I love your passion, had the same initial thought process, but maybe calm down a notch.


So I didn't know about meta trac either :S but here is a bit more information involving @clorith from the slack.

I fully accept auto-subscribing may not be the fix, but feel this is a problem, and could be leading to less than stellar outcomes from plugin support (even if just in a minority of cases).

Finding a solution way to update a support team automatically when a plugin is submitted, with a mechanism for them to then manually drop the reins if they don't help them, would help me.

The support request I received were actually two 5-star reviews, so it's not always about problems being reported, but opportunities for outreach to those using plugins.

Last edited 5 weeks ago by LewisCowles (previous) (diff)

#8 @LewisCowles
5 weeks ago

Oh to add more details, the plugin I'd submitted was originally someone else plugin from Github. I felt it would not be cool to put myself as the author or my business, so they are listed as the author and I am listed as a contributor.

That affects one of the methods suggested by @Otto42 (which is awesome & I'm going to look at).

#9 follow-up: @tazotodua
5 weeks ago

I think I am going to be a mad, I am the only person who thnks that is is quite important to be auto-subscribed, when we get hundreds of mails from every website without minor things, and we dont get a mail for the most important event (when someone reports bug of our plugin).

the mentioned solutions "that we should setup our RSS client" or similar things are not solution (how much percent , who doesnt read this topic, know that hey can signup with RSS and do those manual steps..).
while WP can solve that quite comfortably for all, and even include link to unsubscribe. well, i cant understand, really.

Last edited 5 weeks ago by tazotodua (previous) (diff)

#10 @Otto42
5 weeks ago

  • Resolution set to wontfix
  • Status changed from reopened to closed

Let's just go ahead and clear this whole issue up once and for all.

  1. You can subscribe to your plugin's support forum posts with one button press. Clicking the subscribe button on your plugin's support forum view will cause it to email you all the posts made in that forum. Reviews too.
  1. You are not automatically subscribed because most plugin author's don't actually want those emails. Heck, I certainly don't. I use RSS feeds and other means to keep up with things. Email-by-default is sort of something we don't want to do, because of people not knowing how to unsubscribe, and because the forums get a heck of a lot of traffic. The last thing we want is for people to mark our emails as spam.
  1. You get committer emails by default, and there is no opt-out for that. If we are hosting a plugin for you, then one of the things we do is to email you commits made to that plugin. This is a security issue, primarily, because if you are not the one making those commits, then you *really* need to get the emails when that commit happens, to inform you of what happened. If you did make the commit, then that's just confirmation that the commit happened correctly. If you don't want this, then don't be a committer on the plugin.

#11 in reply to: ↑ 9 @LewisCowles
5 weeks ago

So you'd be totally against any mechanism other than subscribing every dev that is listed as a contributor to every support request, Even if there was another way to automate the same process but to a perhaps use a url supplied deliberately by developers instead?

I'm pro people needing to be updated. I was unaware of the RSS option, and subscribe button not being auto-activated for things I've submitted. I can also see the counter-argument that for a lot of developers and businesses using WordPress this might not be the only way to achieve the thing we want, whilst accommodating others as well.

I think both sides maybe need to take a break and come back at this when cooler heads are prevailing. It seems like knee-jerk to knee-jerk and honestly a bit of la-la-la not listening on the fact that there are two pluin authors here that have said we (accepted a minority) have a problem. I stopped being sold on emails being the answer after a chat in slack, but I'm definitely not sold that the button, or RSS are solutions either.

Mark as wontfix if you like (I just changed the status) it removed, but please leave open so that you're honestly representing "We don't care about this" as opposed to "It's been solved" because it hasn't.

Last edited 5 weeks ago by LewisCowles (previous) (diff)

#12 @LewisCowles
5 weeks ago

  • Resolution wontfix deleted
  • Status changed from closed to reopened

#13 @Otto42
5 weeks ago

I'm against automatically subscribing people to email lists by default and then giving them an opt-out. If we email you then it should be because you asked us to do so, or because we require it for other reasons.

Emails for commit confirmations are important for security. You cannot opt-out of those.

Emails for forum posts should definitely be allowed to be "off" and therefore should not be "on by default".

Considering how easy it is for any user, including plugin authors, to click a single toggle button to start getting emails, then it is not a burden nor a chore of any kind for plugin authors to simply click the button to subscribe to their support forums and start getting emails if they choose to do so.

Automatically clicking that button for them, and subscribing authors by default, is a choice that is wrong because a) it means we're sending a huge amount of potentially unwanted emails and b) not the most common choice. Most plugin authors do not subscribe to their own forums. It is each authors choice whether to get their support forum posts, and we offer multiple ways for them to do that. We should not be forcing an opt-out on them for forum posts, and we certainly should not be emailing authors things that might get emails from the WordPress.org systems marked as unwanted spam.

So the answer is a flat no. We're not going to auto subscribe plugin authors to emails from the support forums.

#14 @Otto42
5 weeks ago

  • Resolution set to wontfix
  • Status changed from reopened to closed

#15 follow-up: @LewisCowles
5 weeks ago

@Otto42 Please calm down. There is no need to immediately respond, this issue is over a year old.

I've dropped the auto-subscribe to emails. It doesn't fix the problem, and neither does RSS or the button because it's not being highlighted.

If there is some data to show that most plugins are receiving support, I've yet to see that. All I can speak to is I was not aware, even though I was aware of a subscribe button.

I watch a lot of WordPress.TV talks by people like Mika Epstein on plugin development, I've heard of people saying to check-in, but never approaching this issue of how to know when to check-in.

RSS might be great for some. Some might know about the subscribe button. Email may not be the only answer (although it is what subscribe does).

You keep closing this issue but it's not solved. The solutions so far are YMMV.

Can you please re-open as I don't want to be in some childish opened, closed circular.


Last edited 5 weeks ago by LewisCowles (previous) (diff)

#16 in reply to: ↑ 15 @tazotodua
5 weeks ago

I agree with @LewisCowles .
Maybe the solution (at least) could be the following (@Otto42, maybe this is something what you will agree with):

when submitting a plugin, you get the automatic email confirmtion ("your plugin was submitted. please wait for review.. etc..etc."), and can you tell me, is that junk mail needed? Dont we know that already, while we submit the plugin, that "X plugins are under review" and we have to wait?

however, we are emailed that unnecessary mail.

And now, what's about the unnecessary email, instead (or in addition) you sent an email:

"Welcome.. Please wait till your plugin is reviewed...blabla...

Note, if you wish to stay up-to-date to support request and corespondenses on your plugin, click "Subscribe to forum" button here -- http://wp.org/link-to-checkbox"

thus, at least, make people to look attention to that subject, and let them know where they can do that.

this is "one-time" email, upon plugin submission.
and if you still say that you are not going people to educate (I bet >80% of plugin commiters dont know what subscription methods), then it means there is happening something behind this that we are not aware of.

#17 follow-up: @Otto42
5 weeks ago

when submitting a plugin, you get the automatic email confirmtion ("your plugin was submitted. please wait for review.. etc..etc."), and can you tell me, is that junk mail needed? Dont we know that already, while we submit the plugin, that "X plugins are under review" and we have to wait?

Yes. The primary purpose of that email is to tell you that the plugin was submitted successfully, and to inform you of what the system chose for the plugin's "slug". If the slug it chose was incorrect, then you can reply to that email, and the reviewers can change the slug before approval. The slug cannot be changed after the plugin is approved, so having it tell people what the slug will be and giving them the chance to communicate with the reviewers before final approval is important.

So yes, that email exists for a very good reason.

#18 in reply to: ↑ 17 @tazotodua
5 weeks ago

Replying to [ Otto42]:
1) btw, that could be done by javascript, uppon submitting the plugin, the slug may be shown at that moment (and if submitter wanted, he could change the slug there in a field). however, ok, we can avoid arguing about that, just:
2) what about the email about letting people to know "how to subscribe to support forum" ?

Last edited 5 weeks ago by tazotodua (previous) (diff)

#19 @alpipego
5 weeks ago

I am also with @tazotodua and @LewisCowles on this one. I see a great imbalance between "We have to send you this email because we say so" and "If you want emails for this, figure it out yourselves".

This exact thing has happened to me with my first plugin, and it was rather embarrassing that I didn't respond to a support thread for ~2 weeks.

I don't see how subscribing and giving the option to unsubscribing is worse than bad developer onboarding.

#20 @LewisCowles
5 weeks ago

Hopefully we'll get some data from the tweet & reddit post I just made

Traditionally I've done more private development so I've neglected public plugins. I want to move into more public quality, focused plugins. Even if they only offer basic/reduced functionality with extension points, so I can more easily use wp-cli and investigate growing an audience. Being able to provide support and outreach is critical to that.

Last edited 5 weeks ago by LewisCowles (previous) (diff)
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