Trust Issues

Our WordPress Business News Roundup for the Week of October 3

Cory Miller asks, “What can we do to better support our plugin developers and product owners?” Katie Keith offers some clues with the story of her WordPress/WooCommerce agency and product shop, Barn2 Plugins. Dan Knauss and Nyasha Green talk about microaggressions, the Active Install Growth Data story, and US federal legislation aimed at Open Source Security. In an increasingly “demon-haunted world,” how can we know who is doing what with the hardware and software tools we use? Ben Gabler, CEO and Founder of, is in our Member Spotlight.

Active Install Charts Removed from Plugin Repo

In reaction to as-yet-unpublicized details about the abuse of active install data in the plugin repository, the charts displaying that data have been removed from plugin pages in a move expected to be temporary. Important (and familiar) questions are emerging as this story unfolds. While we wish many things had gone differently, the questions that will help the most and move plugin businesses forward have to do with the things they (and anyone in the WordPress community) are always free to do. Most of all, “What are winning growth strategies for plugin owners that aren’t dependent or overly focused on single measures of success — whether they use the .org repo or not?” READ →

From the Post Status Archive:

Trust and Distrust: Microagressions, Active Install Growth Data for Plugins, and Open Source SecurityPost Status Excerpt (No. 70)

In our weekly chat for Post Status Excerpt, Nyasha Green and I take on three big, unavoidable issues in the WordPress community — touching briefly on one that looks like an iceberg dead ahead that no one is paying attention to. All of these issues deal with trust — how it can be harmed and the difficulty (and necessity) of repairing it: 1) racism and microaggressions, 2) the sudden removal and uncertain fate of the active install growth chart in the plugin repository, and 3) open source and security. Briefly discussed: emerging US federal policy that aims to secure open-source software. Zero-trust architecture might work well for networked machines, but human relationships and communities need trust. (Full Transcript) LISTEN →

Going from Agency to Products: The Story of Barn2 — Post Status Draft 125

Katie and Andy Keith started out as a WordPress agency almost a decade ago and then tried to break into WordPress products, first with themes and then plugins. Challenges arose with reliable project management on the agency side while they tried to establish a foothold in the WordPress plugin market after a first attempt with themes. The WooCommerce Extensions Store is where their business took off. With niche extensions that had no competition, they ranked very quickly. Other ideas for plugins solved problems in custom development projects for clients. Eventually, the Keiths developed a formula for evaluating new plugin ideas. Learn from their challenges and successes — there are a lot of interesting details that only come from experience. Hosted by Cory Miller. (Full Transcript) LISTEN →

Post Status Member Spotlight: Ben Gabler

Ben has been in the hosting industry for twenty years with a few notable stops along the way at HostGator, HostNine, GoDaddy, and StackPath. He’s been a fan of WordPress since its early days. In fact, his company HostNine was one of the first companies to auto-install WordPress on a hosting account. READ →

Collaborate. Don’t be afraid to work together! We need to see more partnerships in the WordPress space so we can all work together to provide the ultimate win: customer success.

Ben Gabler, CEO and Founder of

Open Source Communities: You May Not Be Interested in CISA, But CISA is Very Interested in You

United States national security interests are poised to become more invested in and engaged with open-source projects classified as public infrastructure. From Log4j to the Securing Open Source Software Act, how did it all come together in 2022, and what may lie ahead? READ →

  • When the Free Rider is GovernmentChinmayi Sharma argues our digital infrastructure is built on open source, and it cannot provide adequate security so governments should help out.
  • Open Source Software Security Summit 2: 10 areas of focus to improve OSS security
  • A proposed amendment to HR 4521, the America COMPETES Act of 2022, would authorize the creation of a set of Critical Technology Security Centers inside the Department of Homeland Security through CISA, including one focused specifically on open-source security.
  • The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee held a hearing on Log4Shell and open-source security in February. GovTech did a nice summary of the event, but there are many details in the speakers’ prepared statements worth reading or viewing. (Speakers include David Nalley, Apache Software Foundation • Brad Arkin, Cisco Systems • Jen Miller-Osborn, Palo Alto Networks • Trey Herr, The Atlantic Council) The Q&A is worth a listen. WATCH →

This article was published at Post Status — the community for WordPress professionals.

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