Waiting for 51 days

14 January 2024

I was ready to list Dashify on WordPress.org, which is the main place people discover and download extensions, but I saw something I didn’t quite expect.

Needless to say, Dashify is not launching this week.

Screenshot of the WordPress extension submission page, with a notice on the page saying there are 681 plugins awaiting review, and the expected wait time is at least 51 days

I was greeted by a notice saying there are 681 plugins awaiting review, with an estimated wait time of at least 51 days, for the initial review. If there are things we need to change, I do wonder, do we go back to the end of the queue, and wait another 51 days?

This is called platform risk, something that’s all too well known among people who create apps for the App Store, for Shopify, for Twitter, or for any other platform you can think of.

Why do people take on platform risk? It’s a tradeoff that’s often worth it. You get your app in front of a tremendous audience. There are at least 500 million sites on WordPress, with a significant portion using extensions. Some numbers I’ve seen are around 50 million. There are around a billion active iPhone users, and I’m sure most of those have installed at least one app from the App Store. Your app is just a search and a tap away.

Maybe I’ll get lucky and their estimate is higher than the actual wait time.

But, 51 days is a lot of time—enough time to get another thing off the ground. If I do that, however, it won’t be on a platform apart from the web itself.