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The most catastrophic WordPress plugin update ever done

luc45 profile image Lucas Bustamante ・1 min read

ExactMetrics, the owner of the most popular Analytics plugin in the WordPress repo, acquired GADWP in May 2018, the second most popular Analytics plugin.

One week ago they released an update that stripped down the Free version of the plugin while adding intrusive, non-dismissable marketing notices on the admin panel to upgrade to their paid platform.

The result of this was catastrophic. In 1 week, the rating of 21st biggest plugin in the WordPress repository plummeted from 4.5 to 2.5 average, earning a whopping 500 reviews of 1 star in just one week.

This catastrophic result was achieved with only 14% of their users having upgraded. As soon as more users upgrade to the latest version, this rating will plummet even more.

Since ExactMetrics owns the most popular plugin anyway, it seems they were willing to sacrifice this one. If they are able to convert 5% of their user base, that means 5 million/USD/year. It's not public how much they paid to acquire this plugin, but maybe it was a calculated risk.

Anyway, this seems to enter the hall of most catastrophic plugin updates ever done. Thoughts?

https://wordpress.org/support/plugin/google-analytics-dashboard-for-wp/reviews/

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Discussion

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A very risky move that can negatively impact not only on the plugin in question but the whole brand. Personally, I did not like the way they wanted to monetize by removing some trivial features such as the possibility to choose a range of dates.