News

PluginSmart / Plugins365 : Scam, stay away!

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.

Pluginsmart

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.

Ayush Barua

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:

Pluginsmart: New Year

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.

Pluginsmart: Quora

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:

You can also contact him at [email protected] (also his Paypal email) or [email protected]. Not for insults, we should stay courteous, but maybe to explain to him why this is wrong.

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.

From Lightroom to Wix

Exporting images from Lightroom to Wix, or synchronizing a gallery in Lightroom with a gallery in Wix, does that sound like a cool feature to anybody? WP/LR Sync does it perfectly with WordPress already, of course. But I have been looking at Wix, and even though I don’t find it as interesting as WordPress as a platform for photographers, I guessed that some users might be interested in synchronizing Lightroom with Wix. It wouldn’t be like reinventing the wheel to adapt WP/LR Sync to Wix so if you are interested in this, please let me know (in the comments) 🙂

Migration to the Meow Apps Store

First, if you are using WP/LR Sync, this article doesn’t apply to it. For the WP/LR Sync upgrade, please check this: WP/LR Sync and the Meow Apps Store.

To comply with WordPress.org rules, changes in the code and how the plugin was distributed had to be made. If your license starts with the “F-” or “I-” it is not compatible with the new versions of the plugin (and the new licensing system). The plugin now requires being bought through the new Meow Apps Store. This link:

Meow Apps Store

Why? On WordPress.org, only the free plugin can be hosted, so it cannot be Pro anymore (I was forced to make this change, so you might have missed this message displayed in your WP which was part of the update). It is also a big change and investment for me, but WordPress.org is right, this is the way to go. This new store also comes with many features (keys, licenses, renewal, upgrades, cancellations, discounts, etc.).

For my existing users, to ease this upgrade, I made the price of my licenses cheaper or with more URLs. 

  • If you have a Forever license (starting with “F-“)
    If you got this license less than 160 days ago, reply to the welcome e-mail you received from Meow Apps (or use the contact form) with your previous license key and the e-mail you are using in Paypal. I will refund the previous payment. If it is more than 160 days, we are out of luck, but I will give you a 90% discount, and you can get any license your like.
  • If you have a Yearly license (starting with “I-“)
    If you got this license less than 160 days ago, reply to the welcome e-mail you received from Meow Apps (or use the contact form) with your previous license key and the e-mail you are using in Paypal. I will refund the previous payment. If it is more than 160 days, we are out of luck, but I will give you a 50% discount, and you can get any license your like. Also, don’t forget to cancel your current subscription in Paypal (click here if you don’t know how to do this).

If you really want to continue using the previous version of the plugin that works with your old license, you can still get it here: old versions of the plugins.

Thanks a lot for your understanding. It is best for the future, and currently a lot of work for me. My plugins will switch to this new store one by one.

WP/LR Sync 3.0 & Meow Apps Store

Big changes! WP/LR Sync has been perfectly stable for some time, so it was time to add a new feature in it: images ordering (within a collection / gallery). But the biggest change is that there is now a Meow Apps Store with a powerful licensing system. The rest of my plugins will also use it soon (and this is actually a requirement which has been asked to me by the WordPress team). By buying my plugins on the Meow Apps Store, you will be able to unregister websites from a license key, get invoices, manage your downloads, etc. So much more cleaner and less licensing issues.

What are the new licenses ?

There is basically two types. The main one is called simply “WP/LR Sync“. The license options are either Yearly or Lifetime. You will get all the following versions, like what you probably have with Adobe Cloud. The second one is “WP/LR Sync 3“, it is a forever license that doesn’t expire, but it is linked to that version.

Note that the little licenses are much cheaper than before, and now anybody running one website can currently get it for 9$ / year only. Get it quick, it is my recommendation 🙂

What about your current license

Are you using a former Forever?
Your license is linked to WP/LR Sync 2.x or WP/LR Sync 1.x. If you got it less than 120 days ago, just to get a new one (any of them) on https://store.meowapps.com. Then, contact me, with your previous license key (and preferably, the email you are using on Paypal), and I will refund you right away. If it is more than 140 days ago, I will provide you a 50% discount on the WP/LR Sync 3.0 license.

Are you using a Yearly?
If the last payment is more than 140 days ago, I cannot refund you (Paypal policy). So you would need to wait a few months, and get WP/LR Sync from the new store after that (or you can get it right away if you like). If it is less than 140 days ago, get a new one on https://store.meowapps.com. Then, contact me, with your previous license key (and preferably, the email you are using on Paypal), and I will refund you right away. Also don’t forget to cancel that previous subscription in your Paypal. With the new store, you will be able to control it directly from there (only for the new one, of course).

Your current license
Once it is refunded, the previous serial will stop working. Otherwise, it will continue to work, but my goal is of course to shut off the old licensing server.

Affiliation

If you are interested in becoming an affiliate and make some money selling my plugins, that is now possible. Create an account here: Meow Apps Affiliates.

Thank you!

I am working hard on making all this better. Handling thousands of customers, the support, the new features and all the other aspects is difficult but thanks to the support of many of you and your advices, I am able to find the best way to handle it all 🙂 So, big thanks for your kindness and for loving this plugin.

I recommend you to use WPEngine or SiteGround. They are both excellent hosting services and work perfectly with all my plugins.