Oxwall Store: Introducing Item Pre-moderation.

You have probably noticed our ongoing efforts to make Oxwall Store a better place for finding great plugins and themes for your new, shiny website.

Today I’d like to inform you that all new items (plugins and themes) submitted to the Oxwall Store will be reviewed by editors before appearing in public. We will try to make item approval time blazingly short, so users can get their hands on the new stuff as soon as possible.

What exactly do you review?

– We make basic quality and security checks.
– We try to evaluate how the item fits the overall Oxwall  user experience, look’n’feel, process flow, interface conventions, etc.
– We want to make sure an item provides substantial value, doesn’t fully duplicate (or steal) other items in the Oxwall Store.

Why do that?

Oxwall platform is open, and we are after the best possible user experience. That’s why quality check for the main resource is so important.

Without those checks (as we’ve seen on other platforms) quality deteriorates quickly. When that happens, not much can be undone without significant ecosystem shocks.

As an example, in worst cases a user finds themselves searching for a “contact form” plugin and finds 20 of them. Half of those can be discarded upon the first look (bad reviews, no support, confusing description and screenshots), another quarter will not work because the author didn’t bother to keep the item updated. Finally, 2-3 items may be identified, and they will satisfy roughly 60-70% of user’s needs. We will work to make this process shorter and the final prize (the one fitting item) better. Basically, we want to fight quantity with quality. If we don’t start now, it may be too late.

Users still use/buy without your checks

True to some extent, because in a lot of cases they have no alternatives. When we raise quality standards and improve Store inventory, they’ll know the difference. The approval process will allow Oxwall community to achieve the next step of quality and size, and prevent from ending up on a local maximum. With better software more people will want to choose Oxwall over other solutions.

Possible reasons for disapproval

Approval rules are based on clause 3 of the Oxwall Store Terms of Use. Make yourself familiar with those. Expect additions and corrections in future.

You don’t honor developers?

We do, but we honor users even more. If this measure helps users find what they want faster and easier — and will make developers and designers work harder — we are all for it.

In the end, a better average Store item means healthier and larger user community, which is everyone’s goal, including authors.

My item wasn’t approved. Now what?

We encourage you to process given feedback, modify your work and to resubmit your item. If you do not agree with our opinion, feel free to release the item elsewhere, like on your site. This is open source. We do not play dictatorship, we just want to keep the main resource comprehensive and easy to search.

Oxwall project is growing, so let’s take user experience on another level together. We’re on to something big here.

Thanks,
Emil
Oxwall team

9 thoughts on “Oxwall Store: Introducing Item Pre-moderation.

  1. Perhaps a Star Rating might be a place to begin with – or an Approved List and an Unapproved List – These developers often have a discreet feature that is needed by the community, and need the community feedback to make it more viable.

    Shutting the door on them will make it difficult for smaller developers to get started, offer less variety to the community and may discourage working on this platform altogether.

    Finding those developers that are deleted from the Store may be impossible for the end user – resulting in a poorer experience.

    I choose to run a few plug-ins that are questionable – because some of their features suit my need – I may never find the features I need again if they leave the Oxwall site.

    • Star Rating is but one of the first steps in bringing order to Oxwall Store. In general, it wouldn’t be good to always see the same set of items on the Most Popular Plugins page. On the contrary, the spotlight should be given to something new (that perhaps won’t go mainstream), but is still worth the attention because it was excellently made and is in immediate demand of a specific group. Every developer creating quality stuff should have a voice, no matter what they are working on – a new Photo Uploader for everyone or a small widget for User Dashboard.

  2. Its good to have this process. But I personally feel that the approval process is really slow.

  3. Reasonable comment. We are only setting up this process, so please bear with us. We will do our best to accelerate.

  4. Why to open a restaurant is you do not have waiters? was first necessary to examine the possibility of moderation, and after this do desitions like that. Started at the wrong side.

  5. Thanks Emil.

    I do understand. This was just my feedback to make it better.

    More Oxwall becomes open, the more it gets used and popular.

  6. Pingback: Paid items in the Oxwall Store: price vs quality | Oxwall Software Blog

  7. I enjoy what you guys tend to be up too. Such clever work and reporting!
    Keep up the amazing works guys I’ve you guys to blogroll.

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