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Our new Installer plugin is finally here, making it possible to install commercial themes and plugins easily from within the WordPress admin.

A long time ago, we started on an ambitious project, aimed at unifying the install and upgrade process of WordPress plugins. It’s ready and you’re very welcome to download and try it.

Our Vision – Discover and Install Commercial Themes and Plugins from the WordPress Admin

The idea behind Installer is to make commercial themes and plugins feel just like free ones from WordPress.org. We’re talking about being able to:

  • Find
  • Install
  • Upgrade

I’ll be the first to admit that it’s a mess today. I’m admitting it, because we’re part of that mess. Paid themes and plugins cannot appear on the WordPress.org repository and enjoy its automation. We need to put our code on our own server and deliver it to paying customers. That’s how it is.

Unfortunately, this reality causes a mess to everyone involved. We have to spend considerable time hooking to the WordPress ‘plugins’ mechanism and getting it to know about WPML updates. We have to write code that goes in our server and in the plugin. That’s a lot of code to maintain.

You, our dear client, have to learn a new trick for every commercial theme or plugin that you buy. Since every author chooses to invent the wheel in a different way, each commercial piece of code has a different admin screen and handles updates a little differently.

Installer should change all of that. It hooks to the themes and plugins screens just once and opens them to different software sources. This way, wpml.org becomes a software source and other repositories will follow (we’re communicating with folks and working on that). Then, we can remove all that junk code from WPML. It’s not needed anymore. No more ‘subscription key’ or anything of that sort.

Our server, wpml.org, has started talking in the same language as WordPress.org talks. You will login to it from one admin screen, where you can (in the future), login to other software sources. Then, all upgrades appear normally in the ‘plugins’ screen.

Why we really like it:

  • Lots of code gets removed from WPML
  • A lot more functionality is added for installation and upgrades
  • The stuff on WPML.org can be reused for different software sources

Installer Helps Theme and Plugin Authors

If you’re writing commercial themes or plugins, we warmly invite you to talk with us about using Installer. It’s made for you.

You can give your clients all the nice functionality of auto-install and upgrades, without having to write a single line of code to make it happen.

For Installer to work, your server will need to communicate using a standard protocol. We have reference code that you can use and we’ll help you adapt it for your subscription system.

If you’re hosting your work on a larger system, which you don’t fully control, let us know and we’ll talk with the admins of that system.

Download and Try

First, you should download and install Installer:

Download Installer

For now, the ‘old’ subscription mechanism is still available inside of WPML. Just ignore it. Installer overrides these hooks and the ‘subscription key’ will not matter anymore.

After you install and activate Installer, go to Installer->Repositories. You’ll see the new WPML repository. Enter your login to WPML.org. Don’t worry, we don’t save your password as plaintext. We ‘salt’ it and save it encrypted.

Once logged in, you can install and get updates automatically.