WordPress for iOS Was Blocked From Updating Unless it Agreed to Add In-App Purchases for .Com Plans [Updated]

Apple is requiring the WordPress for iOS app to implement in-app purchase options for its .com plans, and prevented the app from getting updates until the development team agreed to add the feature, WordPress developer Matt Mullenweg said on Twitter today.

WordPressStoppedByIAP Feature
Mullenweg says the WordPress iOS App was "locked" and to push updates and bug fixes, the company had to agree to add support for in-app purchase plans. There was an update released 19 hours ago after three weeks of no updates, so it appears WordPress has committed to introducing Wordpress.com in-app purchase options.


WordPress.com offers several paid plans for WordPress.com hosting, priced from $4 per month to $45 per month based on features, storage, support, and other parameters. There are also enterprise options that start at $1,700 per month.

WordPress.com plans allow users to set up a custom domain, access email, build full websites, and more, but it is separate from the WordPress platform. Right now, you can create WordPress.com sites in the app, or add a self-hosted site that uses standard WordPress for management purposes, but there's no option to use the app to set up the WordPress.com paid features in the app.

WordPress is a website platform that is the backbone for many websites on the internet. It's a free, open source tool that anyone can use and customize to meet their needs. WordPress.com, meanwhile, is a separate hosting service with the aforementioned paid plans.

Mullenweg says that the WordPress team isn't sure how to implement support for in-app purchases for the WordPress.com sites given that the WordPress app supports sites built on the WordPress platform. The team is mulling introducing a new name for the app or allowing other hosts and plugins to support in-app purchases for their plans.


According to Apple's App Store Review Guidelines, apps that offer access to paid digital content or services need to use the in-app purchase system. Apps that operate across several platforms can let users access content, subscriptions, and features that they've paid for outside of the ‌App Store‌ (like on WordPress.com), but Apple's rules say those items must also be available as in-app purchases in the iOS app.

Apple considers WordPress to be a multiplatform service, which means it can offer its content or services purchased through the WordPress.com website in the WordPress app, but an in-app purchase for those services must also be available. The WordPress app and WordPress.com offerings been available for several years now, so it's not clear why Apple didn't previously require WordPress.com in-app purchases to be made available in the app.

Apple told MacRumors that it approved the latest update of the WordPress app and is working with WordPress to bring the app into compliance with the ‌App Store‌ Review Guidelines.

Apple's request that WordPress implement in-app purchases comes as Apple faces scrutiny from antitrust regulators over its ‌App Store‌ purchase policies, and amid a fierce fight with Epic Games over in-app purchase fees.

Update: As it turns out, the WordPress app was in violation of Apple's ‌App Store‌ policies because there were references to upgrading to paid plans within the app's help system that linked to the WordPress plan option on the web, something which was not made clear when reports about the WordPress app being forced to implement in-app purchases came out.

According to Apple, it asked WordPress to add in-app payment options because there was a payments plan section that did not include in-app purchases. Apple and WordPress have now come to an agreement that has seen WordPress remove payment option references from the app, so it is now in compliance with the ‌App Store‌ rules.

Apple in a statement said that the issue with the WordPress app has been resolved:

We believe the issue with the WordPress app has been resolved. Since the developer removed the display of their service payment options from the app, it is now a free stand-alone app and does not have to offer in-app purchases. We have informed the developer and apologize for any confusion that we have caused.

Top Rated Comments

buckyballs Avatar
48 months ago

Are we just going to report on every single app that didn't know they were supposed to support in-app purchases for digital services?
"were supposed to"

or

"were bullied into"?
Score: 68 Votes (Like | Disagree)
5105973 Avatar
48 months ago

Are we just going to report on every single app that didn't know they were supposed to support in-app purchases for digital services?
Sure, why not. It would give us a sense of the scope of the issue for developers and major companies like Wordpress. As a consumer with my foot in the door to multiple platforms, I am interested in seeing where the future of the App Store is going. It was a rude shock for Fortnite players to wake up and find that their investment in the iOS version of the game is totally gone.

I don’t play Fortnite but what about the other apps I do use? Are we seeing stirrings of a rebellion that will quickly be put down and all will continue as it has always been? Or will contributors to the App Store start abandoning it?

I am not going to keep putting money into iPhones and Apple Watches and iPads if the app ecosystem dries up. That’s the reason I didn’t buy a Windows phone despite finding them very interesting.

I don’t think Apple will lose the App Store overnight but I am interested in spotting a trend as it starts.
Score: 66 Votes (Like | Disagree)
555gallardo Avatar
48 months ago

Who in there right mind would use WordPress anyway?
Only majority of internet, Apple partly included. Just because you can't use it and seemingly even don't want to based on the way you reacted, it doesn't mean everyone else is wrong on their mind.
Score: 53 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jjdodders Avatar
48 months ago
The greed jumped out. To expect a 30% cut of ALL online subscription services that have an iOS app is way too much.
Score: 37 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JPack Avatar
48 months ago
Really shows the extent of the issue. Developers aren't eating all the costs. Consumers are the ones that end up paying more to support Apple.
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Grohowiak Avatar
48 months ago

Are we just going to report on every single app that didn't know they were supposed to support in-app purchases for digital services?
The can was opened.
Next stop gov regulations cause I don't think apple will budge. Shareholders wouldn't be happy.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

maxresdefault

Apple Announces 'Let Loose' Event on May 7 Amid Rumors of New iPads

Tuesday April 23, 2024 7:11 am PDT by
Apple has announced it will be holding a special event on Tuesday, May 7 at 7 a.m. Pacific Time (10 a.m. Eastern Time), with a live stream to be available on Apple.com and on YouTube as usual. The event invitation has a tagline of "Let Loose" and shows an artistic render of an Apple Pencil, suggesting that iPads will be a focus of the event. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more ...
iPhone 15 Pro FineWoven

Apple Reportedly Stops Production of FineWoven Accessories

Sunday April 21, 2024 6:03 am PDT by
Apple has stopped production of FineWoven accessories, according to the Apple leaker and prototype collector known as "Kosutami." In a post on X (formerly Twitter), Kosutami explained that Apple has stopped production of FineWoven accessories due to its poor durability. The company may move to another non-leather material for its premium accessories in the future. Kosutami has revealed...
Apple Vision Pro Dual Loop Band Orange Feature 2

Apple Cuts Vision Pro Shipments as Demand Falls 'Sharply Beyond Expectations'

Tuesday April 23, 2024 9:44 am PDT by
Apple has dropped the number of Vision Pro units that it plans to ship in 2024, going from an expected 700 to 800k units to just 400k to 450k units, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Orders have been scaled back before the Vision Pro has launched in markets outside of the United States, which Kuo says is a sign that demand in the U.S. has "fallen sharply beyond expectations." As a...
iOS 17 All New Features Thumb

iOS 17.5 Will Add These New Features to Your iPhone

Sunday April 21, 2024 3:00 am PDT by
The upcoming iOS 17.5 update for the iPhone includes only a few new user-facing features, but hidden code changes reveal some additional possibilities. Below, we have recapped everything new in the iOS 17.5 and iPadOS 17.5 beta so far. Web Distribution Starting with the second beta of iOS 17.5, eligible developers are able to distribute their iOS apps to iPhone users located in the EU...
iPad And Calculator App Feature

Apple Finally Plans to Release a Calculator App for iPad Later This Year

Tuesday April 23, 2024 9:08 am PDT by
Apple is finally planning a Calculator app for the iPad, over 14 years after launching the device, according to a source familiar with the matter. iPadOS 18 will include a built-in Calculator app for all iPad models that are compatible with the software update, which is expected to be unveiled during the opening keynote of Apple's annual developers conference WWDC on June 10. AppleInsider...
Provenance Emulator

PlayStation and SEGA Emulator for iPhone and Apple TV Coming to App Store [Updated]

Friday April 19, 2024 8:29 am PDT by
The lead developer of the multi-emulator app Provenance has told iMore that his team is working towards releasing the app on the App Store, but he did not provide a timeframe. Provenance is a frontend for many existing emulators, and it would allow iPhone and Apple TV users to emulate games released for a wide variety of classic game consoles, including the original PlayStation, SEGA Genesis,...