Bloom Gets Forked, Some Might Say Proper Forked. (ahem replace with uc)
So another day in the WordPress sphere and a heady one at that. It has come to pass that LeadPages has forked the widely popular premium plugin Bloom from Elegant themes. It’s perfectly acceptable to fork a plugin granted, how has it been done by LeadPages though? Well take a read below of just how LeadPages have ‘Forked’ this premium paid for plugin.
The Bloom Plugin By Elegant Themes
The Bloom plugin allows you to create great looking email opt-in forms on your WordPress powered website, built by Elegant Themes and with a rather large user base. With the option to add fly ins, pop ups the ability to add opt-ins at the bottom of posts and much much more. It’s a really popular plugin and one that is used by a fair amount of people. In fairness the video above does a pretty great job of explaining what Bloom can do so that’s the Bloom plugin briefly covered then!
Then This Tweet Appears From Elegant Themes
— Elegant Themes (@elegantthemes) August 25, 2015
Well the tweet announces the fork it’s a tweet no doubt seen by many now, it’s doing the rounds and creating a bit of a storm to say the least. With various comments on WTF, how dare they and then others who support forking etc. Take a look at the tweet and read the comments to see what I mean.
I Was Intrigued To Say The Least
So I immediately found the fork and installed it. I downloaded the plugin from Rapidology which is where this fork is actually located. So I head on over visit the website, as you would come to expect from LeadPages the landing page is pretty darn sweet. There’s even a lovely YouTube video:
As you can see from the video above it does everything that the Bloom plugin does, as you would have thought. That’s great of them to give something back to the WP community right? A plugin very different from the original and forked for others to enjoy and such. But it’s not any different, not on first looks anyways, it’s just been rebadged and passed off as a freebie.
You Have To Sign Up For An Activation Code To Get It To Work
Yep, you read that right. You have to physically sign up via email to receive an activation code to get the plugin to work. Great huh? I mean a plugin that gets forked ‘think WooCommerce’ from JigoShop which did cause some controversy however it was not quite done in the same way.
So essentially all they have done is fork a plugin to get people to visit Rapidology sign up via email for an activation code (thus increasing there email subscribers). On face value this just seems like a really subversive and shi*ty thing to do to someone elses work. OK GPL aside and such yes forking is encouraged in fact LeadPages has put the code up on GITHUB for others to fork as well.
A quick skim through the Rapidology landing page actually reveals the purpose of this plugin that has been forked, namely to encourage clicks through to LeadPages premium plugin itself.
What About The Plugin Itself
Well it installs like any other (apart from the activation code method) and is easy to use. So great I bagged a premium plugin for FREE yay! What cost is free? Well take a look at the below for the cost of this fork:
The above is an example of a typical opt-in form by using the Rapidology plugin. Notice the rather large and blatant ‘Powered by Rapidology’ mark underneath? Yeh? Me too, so what we have here is a link that actually goes back to https://www.rapidology.com/?utm_campaign=rp-lp&utm_medium=powered-by-badge
What Do You Think? Is It Just A Callous Marketing Ploy? Is It The Best Thing To Happen Ever?
The above is just my own personal opinion. I see one company that has obviously spent some time creating something that caters to bloggers needs. Investing countless hours in development up for sale on a website and generating revenue that goes to the upkeep of the plugin along with new features and such.
I then see one company who has taken an existing plugin, stamped their label on it, built a landing page to download it, an email activation service to gather email addresses and added a comparison section to encourage people to buy LeadPages.
What do you think? Do you think it’s a bit of a piss take? I mean you have to have an opinion right? You all for it? Or denounce it like Father Merrin. Either way let me know with a comment.