Wednesday, May 18th, 2022

Astra WordPress Theme in the Bad Books

I’ll be honest; This is not the typical type of post I write. I don’t do news articles. Some of you would probably say stick to review you heathen, and I would understand. I think I need to write this as a user of wordpress.

Because it affects the users.

this morning, i was on reddit, I’m there often, trying to learn/help something new. I found something that caught my eye.

The reddit link pointed to an article on Search Engine Journal titled WordPress suspends Astra theme – affects 1 million users.

Curious, I read the article, If you want, see for yourself.

I do not have a screenshot of the code in question, I have taken a screenshot of the SEJ article:

Root of the matter:

This leaves over 1 million users (Active install of Astra theme) in the darkness.

in happy times

Not too long ago Brainstorm Force (the people behind the theme) celebrated 1+ million installs; Actually, it was on July 14th he posted About this:

“Celebrating 1 million active installs! The highest number of achieved any WordPress theme. ,

View posts on WP Astra

Unfortunately, for BSF (Brainstorm Force), this festive milestone has been cut short.

Q&A with William Patton from the WordPress Theme Team

I’ve asked instead of guessing and misrepresenting William Patton (theme team representative) Some questions for fact-checking.

Question. When did the theme review team find out?

Tomorrow around noon. The topic was suspended, and the author was contacted 2 hours after first viewing.

Q. So effectively, were they (dare I say it) breaking the law by not providing a disclaimer?

Yes, it’s been mentioned more than once that a lack of disclosure makes it possible to break a law or step on the wrong side of certain rules.

I don’t know the specific law details exactly, but it sounds pretty bad. One person mentioned that this might be considered ‘fraud’ under some rules, but I don’t know enough about whether or not it is.

NS. However, there is an implication, I mean, if a user is not aware of the fact that themes will benefit if they buy through theme recommendations, that’s bad, isn’t it?

NS. Some may say that 5 weeks is a long time to suspend a subject, what do you think?

astra
Screenshot from the founder on Facebook.

When we looked at it initially, we saw 5; However, we could have made the wrong calculations. However, the decision to go with five weeks seemed to suit the situation.

Q. Where was any other course of action discussed?

We discussed contacting them earlier, but based on past experience with authors in the top 10 list, it was decided not to be effective.

When they have a large user base, theme authors work hard to make no changes and claim that changing things with such a large number of users can have a negative impact on their business.

We have begun discussions with other teams about alternative ways to handle disciplinary actions, as currently, we only have the option of suspending or repeatedly asking nicely. Asking nicely doesn’t work as often as it should

> Have you ever seen anything like this before?

Basically, a similar situation happened about two years ago (various subject authors).

After we’ve added that guideline, Astra Adds First Affiliate Tracking Code – he added the code 18 months ago, He added more over time.

wrapping up

Whatever you think about the situation, whether you are a theme/plugin developer, it will be hard to lose your WordPress.org presence.

With the freemium model accounting for (my guess) a large percentage of Astra Premium theme purchases, there’s no doubt it will affect their bottom line.

That said, let’s not beat around the bush here.

From my personal point of view, I will never use Astra again. Hey, this is my blog, and this is my idea, right?

I can’t trust a company that:

a) Openly went against the guidelines put forth by the review team.

b) kept adding more despite the guidelines.

Come on, seriously?

Adding this without a disclaimer?

Well, I’d be surprised if it didn’t proceed; ahead, Its only a matter of time.

I have seen several people on Twitter saying that it has left users in a state of flux, especially with WordPress 5.5 due later this month.

The simple fact of the matter is:

Caught Astra, whether you agree with it or not, Guidelines are there for a reason.

NS Top ten that William mentionsWell, they ruined it for every other theme/plugin developer/company, It is their actions that have bought into these guidelines.

over to you

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