I could hardly believe my eyes: my profile page on the WordPress official repository site (http://plugins.trac.wordpress.org), the page that listed my plugins, has been erased from the face of the earth! Nearly ten plugins, which I personally coded, sweating long hours, have been removed. Thousands of bloggers have used my plugins; however, this has not prevented WordPress from deleting my page without notice.
Even though most of my plugins are now restored, I had to go through hell by removing all demo links going to my sites. You certainly don't want this to happen to you and your hard work.
Does this mean that you can't promote your business by contributing to WordPress? Well, it does not. You still can, and I will show you how to this.
First and Foremost: Contribute For Real
You will not get anywhere by creating useless posts or applications trying to squeeze in backlinks from the WordPress related sites. If you are building a plugin, it should be solving some real problems and help real bloggers. If you are creating a WordPress theme, it should be of a decent quality and not a replica of something that is already available out there.
So let's see how you can gain some good traffic and high quality backlinks while making useful contribution to the WordPress community.
What Not To Do
The first and most important rule: be gentle. Don't try to gain direct SEO benefit by submitting your plugins or themes to the WordPress repository. The links they have are no follow, and the staff will quickly remove your plugins, if they decide you are publishing them just for getting backlinks. So, in short, here's what not to do:
- Don't embed links to your site in your listings on WordPress.org. You can do it in some rare cases (e.g. when linking to the documentation) but usually just forget about links.
- Don't embed any keyword links in the user-visible part of your plugin or theme. The "user-visible" part means the part that will be shown to the visitors of the blog that uses your plugin or theme.
- Don't put any shady scripts or hidden links either.
- Don't spam the WordPress forum with links to your plugin page on your site.
Tips On How To Promote Your Site?
After all the "don'ts," here is what you can do to gain some traffic and SEO benefit from your hard work:
Have a page on your website specifically dedicated to your plugins or custom built themes. The page should be well-designed, show screen shots of your work, provide installation instructions and demo. You are not going to link to this page from WordPress.org, but you can link to it from other third-party sites that publish WordPress related news. The most popular of these sites is www.weblogtoolscollection.com. You can find other WP news sites by searching for "submit WordPress news" on Google.
Do put "white-hat" links in your plugins or themes. Here's what this means:
- If you are a plugin author, you can embed relevant links in the administrative part of the plugin. Of course, this won't give you SEO juice, but it will drive bloggers to your site making people aware of who you are and possibly referencing your work. These links can go to a page with examples or screen shots, to a PRO version of the plugin, to your services page, or to a related product that you sell. As long as the link is relevant and interesting for the bloggers who use the plugin, it will bring you direct visitors.
- If you are a theme author, there are two places to include links to your site. One is the "design by" link. These are allowed for listings on WordPress.org, so it's the primary benefit you get by publishing your WordPress theme. The SEO effect of these links is questionable, so you should not expect wonders. Other link(s) can be placed in the documentation file for your theme. Just like with the plugin, these can attract direct visitors, and eventually bloggers may share your site with their readers.
- Have a listing on WordPress.org. While you won't get links from this listing, most people will find your plugin or theme on that site. The more popular your plugin or theme become, the more people will comment on them, search them, land on your page, install them and use them. The official WordPress repository is the ultimate place to go for reliable plugins and themes, so you should make sure that your authentic work is listed there. A dedicated page on your site is for links from the third party sites; whereas, the listing on WordPress.org is for popularity.
If you genuinely help the WordPress community, you will earn good traffic and decent backlinks.
Thanks to Bob who contributed to this article. Bob is a software entrepreneur building tools for webmasters.