Many people have been asking me if I will release the plugins I write for wordpress and at this time I have no plans to…. but…. What if i released them and on install it checked your links, blogroll whatever to see if you had linked and if you did not then it automatically added it. Would this be any different then how wordpress automatically adds Matt and the rest of the gang to your blogroll without your permission. Am I missing something?

Also it may seem like I have something against wordpress or the developers but that could not be further then the case. I love wordpress and if it wasn’t for wordpress this site would never exist. Also the creator of wordpress, Matt Mullenwag, was on my radio show just not to long ago. But that doesnt mean I am not going to question there stance on links every once in a while…

So anyway my question is basically do you think it would be OK to release wordpress plugins that automatically add links to your blogroll?

By Jeremy Schoemaker

Jeremy "ShoeMoney" Schoemaker is the founder & CEO of ShoeMoney Media Group, and to date has sold 6 companies and done over 10 million in affiliate revenue. In 2013 Jeremy released his #1 International Best selling Autobiography titled "Nothing's Changed But My Change" - The ShoeMoney Story. You can read more about Jeremy on his wikipedia page here.

67 thoughts on “Links In WordPress Plugins”
  1. In my opinion, if you write them, and release them completely free, then you have full permission to request a link from them. It is how most open source software works. Either that, or offer a “$30 license removal” that they may opt into instead of linking to your site, forever reason they have against it.

    Just my 2 cents.

  2. I say, go ahead and have it automatically added. It’s not like it’s permanent. Just like the other blogroll links that WordPress adds, you can easily delete them.

    Similarly, developers have links hard-coded into their free themes – part of the condition of using the theme for free. In that regard, at least the WP developers don’t make you physically delete code from the pages.

  3. can you remove the links if you want to? I’m not familiar with wordpress plugins but if you have no way to remove the links b/c it’s not open source code then that just plain sucks. I’m glad i’m an ASP guy in this case.

  4. Hey Shoe, I did this very thing with a couple plugins I created. By default it adds my link to your blogroll but it also has an options page so you can turn that feature off. It’s not sneaky either, unless there’s no method of choice. Plugin creators beg for money all the time, the Adsense-Deluxe plugin will swipe Adsense money if you enable that feature. What’s the difference, a backlink is something everybody can afford and if the user doesn’t feel it’s worthy they can always turn it off. JMO

  5. it should be expected. its a form of payment, and the user could easily remove the link if they didnt want it.

  6. Offering a way to remove the link is what Sparm Karma does, imo if there wasn’t an option to remove it I probably wouldn’t use the plugin 🙂

    You’d still get tonnes of backlinks regardless. Just look at Wordpres themes that include links in the footer. Some people remove them, most don’t.


  7. yep. If you’re worried about it being perceived as underhanded I guess you could inform the user prior to download. i’ve heard that some theme designers have been banned from technorati or google for having mass amounts of inbound links from footers, though…

  8. I would have no problem with it adding your like, I put it there already, and if you are providing quality plugins, why not?

  9. I would release the pluggins and allow for the automatic linking. It’s just a more forced version of linkbait.

  10. I wouldn’t mind at all if using the method that James P. above suggests. Something automatic is fine, but I’d like the ability to remove it or move it to a different spot if I wanted.

  11. As Kanwal said I think a small checkbox on installation asking for permission would be ok. I’m sure lots of people would leave it checked. I personally wouldn’t 😀

  12. As long as you were upfront and honest about it I don’t see a problem, and certainly there is no difference than the WordPress default blogroll links…indeed, if you were upfront about it I’d suggest that it would be more acceptable, after all WP itself is meant to be open source, your plugin won’t be.

  13. The user could always just remove the link, the same way I always remove those links to Matt and the gang.

  14. Since I assume your link would have an anchor of Shoemoney, and since you are already going to rank for that term for eternity, the anchor text isn’t helping you a ton. Make it an image link and no one would probably complain a bit. Not that they should be complaining in the first place about the text link.

  15. I dont personally like it but as a plugin developer you have every right to request and insert a link as “payment” for your free plugin. Its something you created and give away so it should be up to you if you want to add a link and anyone who doesnt like it doesnt have to install the plugin

  16. Shoe made the plugins so he can do whatever he wants to do with them. If you don’t like it then learn php and write your own fantastic plugins.


  17. Hey James,

    I agree with your “sneaky” addition. People are so cheap when it comes to supporting their internet community. Adsense-Deluxe is an AWESOME plugin, and I give them props for implementing that feature.


  18. I think it’s obsolutely fine to have your link auto add itself onto people’s blogroll man. If people are really that disressed by it they can remove it, but it’s a decent blog so I can’t see that many people having a problem with it.

  19. I say why not you made the plugin, and as long as your open about it and have an option to remove the link its perfectly fine.

  20. yes its your plugin you should get somethign in return Just like the free wordpress themes people did it for links… not just for fun.

  21. Hmm, probably wouldn’t go over to well, especially if the blog it’s being installed on is not directly related to topics that Shoemoney covers. It’s not that Shoemoney isn’t worth linking to, but its nice to have the choice of what your plugins are doing.

  22. This would be the way to go.. put the links in by default, but give the people the option to remove the link.

  23. That just leaves a hole for a new competitor to enter through. I’m interested on seeing who’ll take on WordPress.

  24. I see no problem with it as long as that function can be disabled via the control panel.

  25. Honestly, I would release them but without the automatic linking function. I think your blog is known everywhere anyway, so no point to do any link baiting. You’re doing a good job anyway.

  26. Definitely OK I think. I don’t see anything wrong at all with wanting to get some return for your time and effort.

  27. Doesn’t necessarily have to be sneaky. He could be completely upfront about the link prior to someone downloading it. It is then up to them to make an informed decision.

  28. It wouldn’t help shoe rank higher, but more backlinks and possibly higher pagernk can’t hurt when negotiating rates with advertisers.

  29. It will be good if you code plugin that will auto adds links to blog roll , but option to delete them if user dont link to link will be good.We can see there are huge number of wordpress blogs with default links still active , so this show they are many people who dont know or care to remove those links.

  30. Adding that link justifies the time and effort you put into that plug-in development, but anyone who knows how, would probably remove it

  31. Per another comment: Sneaky way to get links? There is nothing sneaky about it, so long as that is disclosed in the agreement. XSS exploits? Now, that is sneaky. Don’t let the link nazi’s twist your brain. It’s the same nonsense as when all the “white hat pariahs” were looking down their nose at black hat… until most everybody realized what they were doing was actually gray hat… oh well 🙂

  32. Lets be serious…
    You burn your brain cells to create something that is of financial benefit to me, and all you ask in return, is that it carries a link crediting you for the effort. A link that costs me absolutely zip to provide. Now let me see this is a really hard question…NOT!
    Please send mine to

  33. I think it’s perfectly ok. As long as it’s stated before the install or near the download link so I know it’s gonna happen. I certainly wouldn’t mind since it’s already on my blogroll. But even if it wasn’t, I don’t mind giving a little love to plugin developers.

  34. I’m all for it if it’s disclosed before downloading the plugin. I think most folks would be happy to have a useful plugin in exchange for a link. Either pay or link.

  35. It’s similar to what some car dealerships do… They slap their logo/name on the back of your car or license plate frame unless you request otherwise.

  36. It’s a paid links scheme..
    The difference is you’re not paing with money, but you’re paying with a plugin.

  37. I completely agree. I mean, people ought to get some recognition out of their hard work…just like Matt and the gang do (by auto adding themselves).

  38. Sup Shoe… hey I think it’s a great idea. If you have something that people want, it’s simple supply and demand and since you are in no hurry to supply it yet people want it you can ask your price and since thats not money but a link I think it’s a great idea and I’d be happy to be pay that price.


  39. i don’t see anything wrong with automatically adding your link to the blogroll, as long as there is some sort of warning that this will happen.

  40. if someone installing it didn’t customize the settings and be sure it’s what they need then they deserve to get their PR leaked.

  41. I would suggest you to release the plugins. waiting for them…..

    Hey i didnt know that u r a coder too…. interesting :p

  42. You may include it as part of a usage agreement but I would bet that it would be a moot point as most people would already have it listed anyway.

    Personally speaking, I make it a point to check out shoemoney’s latest exploits on my lunch hour on the days that I can wait that long. Great info. Always.

  43. >>So anyway my question is basically do you think it would be OK to release wordpress plugins that automatically add links to your blogroll?

    I think there is no sense to do it. Who wants not to know which links are in the blogroll? I think nobody does.

  44. Backlinks don’t cost anything. The person is getting a good plug-in for nothing? Where’s the fire?

  45. ” see if you had linked and if you did not then it automatically added it”

    Sounds fair to me – you wrote the plugin, you get something in return 🙂

  46. I think its OK to have the plugin pre-packaged with backlinks to your site , but it should be relatively easy for the user to remove them if the choose to.

  47. If the plugin is Free than you have the right to ask for link back as you work hard to write a plugin and you should get some reward in return.

    If the users dont want to add blogroll link than there should be a Fee for it.

  48. I don’t know where we can go with it. The blogroll should stay a place where you place your favorite blog. If it can help to save 5 seconds for someone to use the blogroll. Well go ahead 😀

  49. I wouldn’t have a problem with this, as you are already on my blogroll anyway. I wouldn’t like it if a plugin had links to a heap of crappy blogs though.

  50. i feel that developers have the right to add it, however, they need to mention it openly that they will be adding it, not adding it secretly hidden. So it is up to the user if they want to use it or not. i have noticed some wordpress template, the designer secretly callback to a server to pull link dynamically and add it to the blog user footer hidden in div. This is shady.

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