So, that’s a valid question, a valid request that every developer would make. WordPress is free (as in freedom) and the community puts in a lot of efforts in sharing useful content. This content could be in any form ranging from quick tips to powerful plugins.
Free Themes & Plugins on WP.org
The official theme and plugin repo has thousands of free themes and plugins. Every user, including me, downloads and uses these plugins on personal and client sites. Sometimes, I will download multiple plugins and themes to check the one that fits my requirements. Some times, I might even modify any theme or plugin to meet my needs. That’s all possible because of GPL.
How can you help developers?
Quick answer, by providing feedback. User feedbacks are important for every product. Be it Facebook or a free WP theme/plugin. User reviews help the developers fix issues, improve the functionality, provide better features and a better product. So, next time if you like or hate something about a theme or plugin, share it with the developer.
Why write a review?
As I mentioned earlier, reviews are great to improve a product, they are good for bug fixing as well. If you have got any complaints, be kind. If you don’t like it, tell the developer what you don’t like.
Other than that, your reviews will help other users. A 4/5 star rating for a theme/plugin assures others that it’s a good theme/plugin to use. It makes it easier for new users to narrow down their choices and pick the right one.
The current state of reviews
Even the most popular themes and plugins with over a hundred-thousand downloads hardly get a 0.1% reviews of the download count.
How to write a review?
In order to rate a theme/plugin or write a review, you need to login to your WordPress.org account. If you don’t have one, I request you to sign up. Once you are logged in, go to theme/plugin page and click on “Reviews” tab. That will take you to review page where you can click the green “add your review” button.
Now, you have a form to submit your review and ratings. It’s that easy!
Be careful, reviews are not support threads
Sometimes users post a question or keep complaining about an error in review section. That’s not the right place. Here’s an example of how things can go wrong:
Editor is a really really good theme on WordPress.org but some user posted a 1-star review when actually he wanted to ask a question:
Here’s another example of WP Job Manager plugin where a user complained about plugin in the review section. The problem seemed to be a conflict with some other plugin.
Okay! What are you doing next?
I confess, even I haven’t written a review about a lot of themes and plugins that I have used. So, I am doing that today. Are you?