Join GitHub today
GitHub is home to over 28 million developers working together to host and review code, manage projects, and build software together.Sign up
WordPress has deleted this plugin and our other optimization plugins #4
For the record: the author of this plugin is 100% honest and has done nothing wrong. He is not politically, religiously or otherwise ideologically engaged. He is specialized in "white hat SEO" and has ran a business advertising / practicing "ethical SEO" since 1999. He is a neutral and non-political person, that does not look away and will speak openly, but otherwise is reserved in communication.
Why was the plugin deleted?
There has been a conflict since 2016. (see Origin of conflict)
WordPress has been blocking our accounts on WordPress.org, blocking posts for up to 72 hours. Users of our optimization plugins demanded timely responses, especially since our plugins are in beta.
For the purpose of our users and support quality we made a short post directing users to Github for help. As reason we noted that we were treated unkindly by WordPress. We believe that this is truthful and open communication that was required to provide quality service to the users of the plugins.
WordPress responded by deleting the plugins.
Origin of conflict
The origin of the conflict dates from many years ago. The first optimization plugin that we published was called Above The Fold Optimization. At that time, the original author of the plugin did freelance website optimization projects to cover costs of innovation projects. For that purpose a custom optimization plugin was created that was later shared publicly as Above The Fold Optimization.
The plugin enabled to achieve a real Google PageSpeed 100 score which was of high value for SEO. The plugin started as a quickly setup boilerplate plugin and based on user feedback it became more mature over time. It grew to 20.000 users.
The author originally believed that WordPress was happy with the free contribution to their platform and the high quality support that was provided. The author even helped users for free by logging in to their website for help. However, in 2016 - out of the blue and without apparent reason or motive - he became victim of a slander attack by a WordPress moderator.
The moderator smeared the author as a spammer by replacing a polite signature under 100 quality support messages with a link to anti-spam in ‘100 posts’, linking to a WordPress policy text that states that advertising in topics unrelated to your own plugins or themes is not allowed.
The following signature was removed:
The author was never warned. It was clear instantly that the action was not related to the signature itself, as the moderator ignored the same signature by other users. Almost all users were using a similar signature, which is simply a polite part of communication, and the linked policy text stated that it was allowed to advertise on the forum as a plugin or theme author.
As a plugin author, the signature was functional because with an optimization plugin, users often need to share private details about their website (e.g. their URL or even login). The signature made it more easy to send additional details and feedback, and it was also simply transparent towards users so that they knew who had responded to them.
The moderator spent several hours to replace the signature. It was therefor a remarkable action and it made it look as if severe spam / advertising had been removed.
Initially our decision was to try to undo the smearing effect by posting a polite reply to the moderator stating the fact that a plain signature was removed. That reply was first blocked and later deleted by the moderator and our WordPress account was blocked for 8 days so that we couldn't respond.
WordPress remained silent and never had the decency to contact the author about it.
This situation has been laying hidden in the grass unresolved for years, with WordPress keeping silent about it.
As a white hat SEO specialist with a clean reputation, a anti-spam link on 100 quality support messages that had cost a ton of effort and time, caused serious harm and wasn't acceptable. It made it look as if quality support was being provided for money / malicious interest. It needed to be addressed and due to lack of communication or response from WordPress we needed to address it publicly.
Looking back, it appears that WordPress may have intended to delete the plugin at that time and wanted to make the author look as a spammer to legitimate their action.
Why does WordPress want to delete the optimization plugin?
We seriously have no clue. We have made some guesses but we truly have no idea.
Was Google involved? Was it a rogue moderator? We learned in the past months that it wasn't a rogue moderator. The action came directly from WordPress or whatever is controlling it.
Was it political / does the WordPress author have an argument against the author of this plugin that he tries to act on in this way?
After the situation many users contacted us by email to express their support and urged not to give up. For that reason we decided to complete the planned Advanced Optimization plugin which has now be made available for free (this plugin is part of it). We had some funding related issues which caused a delay, but in the past months the plugins have been published.
New optimization plugins blocked for months
When the new plugins were ready WordPress blocked submission for months. This was very bad because the sooner the beta plugins could be used, the better for users and the faster the plugins could be improved.
Note: We have been very polite and respectful in our communication to WordPress at all times. We simply considered ourselves a guest on their platform and behaved as such. We also respect their deletion of the plugin as such.
Why were the new plugins blocked?
Reason 1: WordPress demanded that we remove our company name PageSpeed.pro, while we had used the name for years and it's an officially registered company name. There was no legal ground for the demand.
They provided the following reason:
It seems a bit odd to fear such a thing when Google has recently made a deal with WordPress to dedicate a team to optimizing the WordPress core. Also, we have a Harvard-degree lawyer on our team and Google has no right on our company name or domain.
The need for speed: Google dedicates engineering team to accelerate development of WordPress ecosystem
But what does this truly mean? Does it mean that Google was involved in the attempt to delete the Above The Fold Optimization plugin? Does WordPress try to make an attempt to clear their name by directing blame to Google? Was Google about to take legal action against our plugin in 2016 (for the use of the Google logo in the header image) and decided to first smear the author as a spammer to succeed?
We did plan to change the name so we already changed the name to Optimization.Team to reflect the target and purpose of the new company, a simple purpose of working towards enhancing knowledge and quality in website optimization technologies.
After 2 weeks, our first new plugin Web Font Optimization was published.
We initiated the publication of the CSS optimization plugin and that was also blocked for weeks.
Reason 2: WordPress demanded that our plugin namespace O10n needed to be renamed, which was impossible. They ignore our explanation that the plugins are designed to use the namespace to achieve single plugin performance when using 10+ optimization plugins. The PHP memory usage is of just 1 plugin etc.
They ignore this with a disrespectful comment and blocked the optimization plugins for weeks.
Evidence for censorship
Our posts on WordPress were censored and we were banned from the forum. There is evidence for censorship as WordPress literally deleted our comments to a user from the forum. As you can see, the user replied to a comment that was initially published.
This is all information that we have.
WordPress deleted all our optimization plugins.
If anyone could provide help or advise, that is very much appreciated. In essence they are hurting other people. We have provided the plugins for free, for the benefit of others.
This is plain B.S. I have been following your work for over a year when I first downloaded the Above the Fold Optimization plugin. I had been waiting for so long for you guys to release the set of optimization plugins.
When I first started looking into optimizing my WordPress core, I decided to pay for WP Rocket. I soon realized that it was a good plugin but limited in its customization options. I then stumbled upon Above the Fold Optimization.
I was absolutely floored at the level of detail, and the intricate granular customization options that this plugin provided. When you guys release PWA Optimization I was simply ecstatic. I immediately downloaded the entire set of optimization plugins.
I was 100% sure that this plugin would slowly get noticed for its amazing features, customization options, usability etc. Current optimization plugins just don't measure up. I can't help but suspect foul play in this case and it really pisses me off because the options currently available suck. I have been trying to spread the word to all my WP friends about your awesome plugins.
Honestly, the plugins you guys make are absolutely essential and are the best ones out there. I have tried everything and when i say everything I mean EVERYTHING. Nothing compares. To think that this project might be discontinued on a whim is very upsetting to me.
This set of plugins was going to blow, as soon as people keyed in on the fact these were the best optimization plugins out there, everyone would move to them.
I implore you...actually I literally beg you to NOT discontinue work on this project. My hope is that this can all get resolved. I really smell foul play. But this is coming from an honest user who has spent countless hours trying to optimize sites on WP, your plugins are the absolute BEST.
It would be a shame for these tools to become unavailable on a whim because of some corporate high power BS. The tech world pisses me off sometimes, so self righteous yet the exact same politics as everywhere else. Will updates still be available via github?
One of our partners has tried to appease the situation and it is now clear that the issue will not be resolved.
WordPress claims that they have been attacked (by the statement that we were treated unkind) and on that basis will never restore the plugins.
We did not (intend to) attack anyone, we have simply provided honest and open communication for the benefit of our users. It was a requirement to provide quality service.
In regards to the origin of the conflict WordPress argues that their signature rule needs to be obeyed and that they were correct to remove the signature. While that may be so, they didn't post the correct link, they linked to a anti-spam text. So they made a mistake and did so 100 times.
Their attitude was also very wrong. They were angry and aggressive. A polite response to the moderator, stating that a simple signature was removed, was deleted. They blocked access for 8 days after their action so that the author couldn't respond. Why? That can't be well intended. They certainly weren't serving or protecting users, they were attacking the plugin author.
For a white hat SEO specialist with a clean record, they caused direct harm. That could not have been accepted. The author needed to respond, and his choice was talking about it publicly, a choice that enables to resolve the issue in an intelligent way, with 'words'. It enables to get a more balanced perspective for the interest of any involved party.
A signature is something polite. While WordPress may have wanted to enforce their signature rule, they could have warned the author in a respectful and kind way. They were aggressive, angry and unkind. The author did not deserve such treatment for free support and solutions that users were happy with.
WordPress has now confirmed that they deleted the plugins for speaking truth. They don't allow our sincere 'words' on their platform.
Deletion of valuable optimization plugins causes harm to people. WordPress didn't serve the interest of users, they appear to intend to serve themselves in an attempt to protect their good name.
Perhaps you should evaluate the same what happened to a too rigid Google Play Store... explore whether you can manage to create an alternate plugin store, dedicate it to free plugins and advertise it. Such form of misuse of power can only happen if there are no alternatives. So let's create one.
I try to stay out of politics and drama as much as I can, just writing to let you know that I've appreciated and relied on your plugin for a long time now. There are several very good commercial plugins which are not listed in the official WordPress plugin directory. Maybe that is the way forward? People who valued what your plugin did, will still value it and find their way to your new location/way of distributing the plugin.
This is pathetic. WP moderators are shit? All of them? This is a gold plugin. I've been using it for clients to make them achieve scores that were impossible without this plugin. I alone have done more than 100 installs. I'm totally with you guys. Don't stop this project. You guys are very close to success and if you don't give up now, you'll make history.
I've signed the petition.
You should also take this report into consideration: https://www.virustotal.com/#/file/5ba7afa5d601ce368bb69a2741c5d212c6e914ece342d56817c76b37f1144d56/relations
guys, I'm absolutely gobsmacked by this. I was speaking with another optimization plugin developer this evening & as I often do, I went to show him one of the latest super cool things being done by PageSpeed.pro in their latest new breakout plugins since moving away from the core ATF plugin. Hell, while I'm writing all this out, I just want to state for the record I had never even HEARD of a Progressive Web App until I began learning how to use ATF, much less
Anyhow, I was especially interested in the CP-CSS plugin, really wanted to show this guy that one as his plugin fully automates all of the processes performed by ATF (and the rest, for that matter). Lo & behold, I could NOT find the plugin when I checked the repo from within WordPress.
I thought I was doing something wrong in my haste. After our meeting, I went looking for the plugins again, thinking that Surely I had made an error ... User Errors are almost always the problem, am I right, folks? :) ... that's when I found this thread.
I'm angered & appalled at this treatment. I cannot think of a single reason why this turned out the way that it did. I've been using ATF for well over a year now, been eagerly awaiting this new era of singular per-task iterations. I'm just happy I was able to get the ones that were available until they pulled this crap. I have zero intention of letting go of them & truly hope that you will continue to support them. I know I'll do my part to support You folks who put all the passion & hard work into the most comprehensive PageSpeed Optimization toolset available.
Ugh, no wonder! This is one of the few plugins I always install whenever creating a new website, and this morning I couldn't find it! I decided to visit optimization.team, and it led me here. I am absolutely shocked that you guys (or anyone) would be treated this way.
Its really a big loss to the wordpress community. I have been following all your plugins since very beginning and they all are really match less. No match of all these features in WordPress repository and is a real above the fold optimization plugin.
This was referenced
Apr 18, 2018
First of all, thank you for taking the time to make the plugins, it has helped me greatly.
Second, I don't think the WordPress project as a whole wanted anything bad to happen to you. Sure, it does seem like the communication with the moderators could have worked better, but all in all they did after all enforce already existing rules. Whether one agree with the rules or not, the rules at least weren't made just to have a reason to delete your plugins.
I have no idea why your comments and plugins were taking so long to review, but I don't really think that it was an attempt at censorship. The deletion of the plugins is a bit weird though, but I'm glad they are available here on github at least. Thanks again for making them.
Thank you for your comments and support! We will do our best to maintain the plugins via Github.
If it was just about enforcing a rule, why did they leave the signature of other users untouched? That is not consistent and therefor it is a wrongful act.
WordPress posted a link to a different rule about not being allowed to advertise in topics unrelated to your own plugins and themes. They made that mistake 100 times.
WordPress made it look as if I had posted something else, an advertising banner of some sort. That caused direct harm to me and my business. It had a smearing effect.
Initially, I tried to undo the smearing effect by posting a polite comment stating the fact that a plain signature was removed. I could have left it at that but that post was deleted and my access was blocked for 8 days. That was a clear indication of wrongful intent from WordPress.
The moderator was agressive and angry. That didn't make sense after coming from a long period of providing high quality free support to users.
It made me wonder what was going on. It couldn't be just about a polite signature that almost all users were using as well.
WordPress didn't communicate, they did their slander attack and blocked me from communication. That is dishonest. Their motive must have originated in corruption.
Why corruption? Why could I have been a target?
Over the years I have helped to expose serious crimes in the Government and Justice department. For example, I have helped to expose the fact that the head of the Justice department in The Netherlands and many high judges were involved in raping young children. Some people claim that 'whistle blowers' (read: people who try to prosecute those pedophiles) have been killed by the Government. It has been going on for decades and not just in The Netherlands, also in the UK and other countries.
I have been victim of many attacks over the years, both private and on my business. They include intimidation and threats. The attacks were stupid but nevertheless, it isn't a nice thing to have a Justice department trying to harm you for their crimes. A neat elderly woman who tried to prosecute a pedophile judge didn't dare to leave her home for months after she was literally spit in her face on the streets by Justice department employees (this was before 'the internet'). She was verbally threatened by the district attorney and her attempts to start a legal case against the judge, who had raped young boys, were dismissed. The judge received early pension and went free.
My position has been a bit different than for others who were easily intimidated and get rid of. Besides that the internet (Twitter etc) makes it harder to get away with certain actions, I founded a 500k reader city marketing platform (which I never abused, it was neutral and essentially ran by editors). So it appears that they have been imagining me as an enemy that they couldn't attack and intimidate as they've done with others. However, over the years they simply started doing those things any way and this situation with WordPress may be a result of it.
WordPress may have done what they did to serve corrupt people. It may not be possible to prove such a link but I believe that deleting a valuable plugin for posting a polite signature is clear evidence that something isn't right with their motivation. They weren't serving WordPress users.
Our original plan was to improve the updater process with a new innovation that will make it easy and reliable to update the plugins. The current (temporary) situation is simply because the plugins were setup as a quick bridge between our planned Advanced Optimization plugin (environment based optimization vs per page based) and our old Above The Fold Optimization plugin. The update system hasn't been addressed thoroughly yet, the current situation is therefor temporary during the beta phase.
The independent plugin format has several advantages which includes that feedback is being focused on each optimization area (e.g. CSS optimization related issues, feedback, feature requests). It will keep the Github forum dedicated to "CSS optimization" enabling the plugins and optimization knowledge to enhance more quickly.
So this has been our motivation to create the new independent optimization plugin format.
The author of https://github.com/szepeviktor/w3-total-cache-fixed has recently made a suggestion to publish the optimization plugin core as a Github module. That may improve maintainability on shorter term.
I'd really like to get to using the new plugins but there's so many and it seems so much more complicated to deal with due to Wordpress blocking you.
Without being on Wordpress's repo is there any real reason to keep the plugins all split up? It just seems to make it much, much more difficult to maintain the plugins in wordpress for no real benefit. Not installing a couple plugins that I won't use (and anyone using the old plugin probably used at least like half) doesn't seem worth the splitting up personally.
Is there at least a release set planned somewhere where you can just get all of them at once?
Thank you for your feedback! It is very much appreciated.
We recently made installing many optimization plugins more easy.
Step 1: Install Github Updater and first optimization plugin
Installing and updating the plugins is possible using Github Updater. It is easy to install one of the plugins. You simply need to download the Github Updater plugin (zip file), install it from the WordPress plugin admin panel and copy the Github URL of the plugin into the Github Updater installer.
Step 2: Install other optimization plugins with a single click
A recent update of all plugins contains a easy single click install button.
Update information is available in Github's Releases tab.
In regards to maintenance of the optimization plugins, we recently added a new plugin:
Just to understand, currently the only issue that the wordpress moderators have a problem with is the namespace? If it is just that can't you just do what they want? I appreciate your plugins and I believe they add a real value to the WP ecosystem. However aren't those rules for everybody or are they just for you? Let's try please once more to find a solution to this. Everything can be solved with discussion and good will.
We don't know what the true motive could have been to delete the plugins but it may be that they had been waiting for the moment to do it.
As communicated, the official reason stated by WordPress is that they claim to have been "attacked".
The message that we posted was short and simple. It directed users to Github for support. As reason we stated that we had been treated unkindly by WordPress. It was not an attack.
Our support posts were blocked for 72 hours and it had been going on for months. We did initially wait to see if the issue would resolve over time, but it didn't. It caused harm to the development and to the users.
One of our partners from the U.S. has reached out to WordPress but after an initial conversation it ended up with WordPress stopping to respond. The conclusion was therefor that the deletion is irreversible.
What could have been the motive?
A far-fetched theory: if WordPress is smart and potentially good intending, would they want to make the plugin / the author into a poster child for free speech?
In reality: we don't know and have no sound basis for a theory.
It is important to understand however that we did not have a choice in this. We responded and we tried to do it in a well manner. It has been WordPress who caused this situation and it was WordPress who chose the result: deleting the plugins.
what a bunch of fucker, sorry for my language, but like, your plugin is amazing and he do the job, a lot's of plugin on wordpress are outdated, not working, not update and else. and they remove you guy...
what kind of jerk and like didn't wordpress have the necessary mass to like counter any attack...
but does any solution exist for the auto update instead of wordpress, cause i know some plugin that i guess don't use the wordpress system to update itself no?