Update May 2th 2018: The PluginsMart was shut down but reborn under the name of Plugins365.
I have been noticed about this scam thanks to one of my customers. He bought one of my plugins on the PluginsMart website and couldn’t use it. My plugin requires a serial in order to be used, and without it, it is not possible to update to the latest version neither. My customer quickly realized that something was wrong, actually looked for some information about this scam then contacted me.
I am not sure what else to do but writing a post, sharing it, and reporting the wrongdoings of PluginsMart is the least I can do.
What is PluginsMart?
It is a website made by Ayush Barua. The website has been obviously created with a theme and not even properly all set up, but it is enough to lure customers. Ayush got premium versions of many plugins (torrent, nullclub, etc…) and sell them, for cheaper.
He actually doesn’t hide the fact that he didn’t develop any of them. And I feel like he thinks of himself as some kind of Robin Hood. Except that he is taking money from customers and give them nothing in exchange. Furthermore, when you buy a plugin for 5 dollars, in order to get future updates, you need to continue paying him. In many cases, it is actually not even cheaper than going through the official website.
Can he do this?
He might say that: “Oh, I can do this, it is GPL”. While it might be kind of true for a few of those plugins, it is not for most (and my Pro plugins have a different codebase and license). Moreover, he is also stealing content (description of the plugin), images, logos. For example, here is the Membership Plugin on CodeCanyon:
… and on this website, PluginsMart:
That’s… totally illegal.
How does it promote his website?
He probably gets links and juice from such campaign:
But I also think he talks about his website wherever he can. I couldn’t find mentions on StackOverflow, but there are probably many. I found his Quora profile, which was interesting. Basically always the same kind of answers, mentioning his website to get plugins for cheaper.
I am pretty sure you can find more, don’t hesitate to share in comments.
What can we do?
Obviously, if you plan to buy a plugin or theme, don’t use his website. You would give money to someone who stole those plugins (he definitely didn’t buy all those plugins). In that case, wouldn’t it better to steal those plugin directly instead? You wouldn’t get the latest version, support, or anything.
I think the best way is to report his profiles (Quora, Facebook) and to make sure customers and companies using WordPress know about this. I didn’t look much but here are a few:
I am not a legal professional, but simply put, I think this website (and morality) is not good for anyone. Even for Ayush if he wants one day to have a real career in the IT world, that will look terrible. The money spent my customers should be invested in the development of the plugins, and the support.
If it was morally acceptable, an infinity of similar websites would already exist, and that would be the end of WordPress. As you know, many of its contributors are actually living through those premium plugins.
If you have any bits of advice, ideas or anything to say, let me know in the comment and I will update this article accordingly. Don’t hesitate to share it around.