At some point, when WordPress developers adopt Composer, they inevitably stumble upon the realization that it won’t work with commercial plugins. Some throw their hands in the air and mutter a few curse words before giving up. Others forge on with one of the less-than-ideal workarounds. Most commonly:

  • Check the vendor code in alongside custom project code
  • Create a separate private repository for each plugin and manually keep it updated as new versions are released
  • Solve the problem in a more elegant way and don’t let the rest of us poor schmucks know
  • If you’re Andrey Savchenko, you create Release Belt

A few years ago, we released a plugin called SatisPress that attempted to address some of the shortcomings and have been using it on various projects since. It’s a serviceable solution and picked up a few admirers on GitHub without any marketing, but as one internet commenter put it, “It’s a bit rough around the edges.” SatisPress also has a few hurdles of its own that don’t make it a great solution, particularly that you need to run a separate WordPress instance.

In the absence of better alternatives, we want Crate to be a great solution, but a great solution requires time and money to build and support.

We’ve done a lot of thinking about the problem and have even prototyped working solutions. At this point we're trying to gauge what level of interest there is in a project like this and determine if it solves a real problem or just scratches a personal itch.

If you have any interest, please register to receive announcements about future developments related to Crate.

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Built by the team at Cedaro, namely Brady Vercher, Brody Vercher, and Luke McDonald. We release quality, open-source tools for WordPress on GitHub and build themes and plugins for bands and musicians at AudioTheme and