B.J. Keeton goes through Freemius' highlights as he sees them so you can make an educated decision about whether or not it is worth integrating into your WordPress plugin or theme.
Freemius may sound like a background character from Game of Thrones, but alas. Freemius is a WordPress plugin service with a really neat concept: you can sell your plugins and themes through the WordPress dashboard instead of using an external marketplace. You can also collect data about usage, activation, and deactivation that may help development decisions. Give Me Freemium or Give Me Death
It’s should not be surprising that Freemius is aimed at–drumroll, please–freemium apps. (Get it? Freemius…freemium? Hilarious.) Freemium is the catch-all for those apps that have a somehow-limited demo that you get for free and are prompted to upgrade to unlock its full potential.
Freemius’s whole shtick is that it offers free and freemium developers a toolset that not only gives them data on users’ activation and deactivation habits, and software usage and versions, but also has an integrated sales component within the plugin itself.
It’s a pretty neat concept, but does it work? And as a plugin or theme developer, is it worth the integration?
That depends. But I’ll do my best to go through the highlights as I see them so you can make an educated
3 things that went well over the past month and 3 things I screwed up. Let's do this.
This is another chapter in a series of posts that I write to keep you updated on what’s going on with WP Buffs from the perspective of its Founder. That’s me. I’ll keep it pretty simple. 3 things I screwed up and 3 things that went well over the past month. I want to tell you about all the solid stuff happening at WPB, but I can’t stand people who only post when they have good news. It’s like looking at someone’s Instagram account and being jealous of how awesome their life is when those pictures have been carefully curated from the best 1% of their lives.
As anybody who’s run a startup before knows, what it looks like from the outside may not reflect what’s happening on the inside. A company can easily look like it’s running smoothly when in reality, it’s going up in flames. Let’s start practicing some radical transparency.
I’ll be writing something quick like this every month so please subscribe to stay tuned in.
1. Remote Work Challenges
I’ve been doing a lot of traveling over the past month and continuing to run WP Buffs has definitely been a trial by fire. Between a week away from an internet
Kaspars Dambis has some legit issues he's raising regarding how confusing the user experience is with WordPress.com.
Every few month I need to use WordPress.com to create or update a site for a friend. And every time I get frustrated with how confusing and convoluted the user interface is. “Reader” is the default homepage
WordPress.com is about publishing so why do I get to see the empty “Reader” as my homepage? Getting to the actual site dashboard requires an additional click or even more if the site is not your default site.
Adding a new site is impossible
For logged-in users the only link to adding a new site is grayed out and hidden in the bottom left corner of the “Switch Site” section. I tried everything from visiting the homepage, my profile page to manually entering random URLs such as wordpress.com/new before I found that link.
Custom domain email settings don’t include MX records
The “Email” tab of the domain settings includes only an upsell for the Google Apps. Adding the MX records for an existing account is only possible under the individual domain “DNS Records” which is another three clicks away. Why not link to that section from the “Email” tab, too?
I already pay for a custom domain and
Michael Hebenstreit left his equity trading career behind to build a WordPress business. Today, he's making $30,000/mo, but it hasn't been an easy path.
Hello! What's your background, and what are you working on? Hi, my name is Michael Hebenstreit, and I'm a former stock broker and entrepreneur located in Frankfurt am Main, Germany.
I'm the founder and CEO of MH Themes, a WordPress theme company specializing in professional magazine WordPress themes for online magazines, news websites and advanced blogs.
Today, we're making around $360k in yearly revenue.
What motivated you to get started with MH Themes?
My background is very different from what I'm doing today. I started my career in the banking industry, working as a stock broker (institutional equity trading) for various banks and broker firms in Frankfurt am Main.
A few years ago I didn't even know what WordPress was, so of course I didn't have any idea how to code a WordPress theme. Nor did I have have any education in design, development, or IT.
However, I tend to get bored quickly, and I often have crazy business ideas (which usually don't become reality), and back in the early days I experimented with creating HTML sites for all kinds of things as a hobby. That was long before WordPress existed.
In 2010 I became interested in online marketing and SEO, and at that time I launched
Ryan Sullivan comes on the show and shares some insights on how and why he created WP Site Care, and how being completely upfront with his customers has helped his business immensely.
Ryan Sullivan is the founder of WP Site Care, a business that helps service and maintain WordPress sites. In this episode, we talk about building a business that meets a need and defines expectations, some great tools for running a support business, and what customer care really means. Show Notes
Elegant Themes spill the beans on which type of content you should invest in creating or publishing.
When you’re creating a content strategy for your business or personal projects, there are a lot of things that you have to take into account. A few of those things are the topics that you handle, the keywords that you choose, the content promotion you’ll apply and the post frequency you want to stay loyal to. Nevertheless, choosing between short-form or long-form articles is a thought that’ll keep you busy as well. In this post, we’re going to explain the difference between short-form and long-form articles. Besides that, we’re also going to show you why long-form content is more useful when we’re talking about articles as one of the types of content you produce.
Difference Between Short-Form & Long-Form Articles
Image by vladwel / shutterstock.com
Short-form articles are obviously easier to create. To create short-form articles, you’ll have to invest less time and energy. The minimum number of words that short-form articles should have (if you want them to rank well in search engines) is 300.
Although that might sound like a big number at first sight, 300 words are usually too little to talk about a certain topic in an as readable
Cart abandonment in e-commerce stands on a whopping average of 69.23% of site visitors. If you're selling premium WordPress plugins you've undoubtedly come across this problem, too.
You’ve got your products ready, with a proper checkout in place and have customers visiting your premium WordPress plugins or themes online shop. They spend time checking out your products, adding some of them to their shopping cart only to abandon it without actually completing the purchase. Frustrating? Yes.
The end of your relationship? Definitely not!
In this article, I want to discuss the recurring issue of cart abandonment by prospects who might actually be in need of your WordPress solutions but for different reasons do not complete the purchase. I will also show you what ways are available to us, as WordPress product sellers, to automatically recover & win back a significant part of those lost carts, without investing much time or thinking about it too much.
Have I mentioned it’s all automated?
Why Do Users Abandon Your WordPress Plugin / Theme Checkout?
It’s important to first understand what are the possible reasons that might drive your prospects to abandon their loaded carts.
As I’m writing this, I’m remembering the last time I had abandoned a loaded cart:
I was looking to buy a drone and had been doing my reading and online research for
This one is from 4 months ago, but it has some great lessons to be learnt if you're planning to build a WordPress-based company.
I’m going to talk about lessons learnt building a WordPress product. This article expands upon my last WordCamp talk. Both my products are SaaS and both are built on WordPress.
WordPress I hope you all know about.
SaaS has different meanings for different people. For me, it describes a subscription business model for a packaged service.
So for example, my SaaS Superscribe sells subscription access to an email marketing tool.
Superscribe is my second WordPress SaaS. I’ve been making lots of mistakes since the start. This talk is going to go through 10 of the main mistakes I’ve made.
This is going to be the talk I wish I’d listened to at the start of my journey.
It’s a mix of everything from business to development to life.
My aim is that at the end of this talk anyone here with only a basic understanding of WordPress will be able to use WordPress to create a product business that has a high chance of success without burning you out.
1. Nobody cares
I’m starting with a harsh reality. This is so important to understand.
Because it’s a hard truth it’s often ignored. I’ve ignored it a lot in my time. I’ve seen many product builders
If you’re involved in the WordPress community and follow WordPress news you've no doubt heard about the Gutenberg project. If you haven’t heard about it, get ready. Gutenberg will fundamentally change WordPress for everyone. But what does Gutenberg mean for the future of WordPress themes and plugins?
If you’re involved in the WordPress community and follow WordPress news you’ve no doubt heard about the Gutenberg project. If you haven’t heard about it, get ready. Gutenberg will fundamentally change WordPress for everyone. What is Gutenberg?
A new editor that makes it easier to create beautiful and rich post layouts sounds like a great idea. While the current editor works quite okay it is getting a bit dated and falling behind the competition. Gutenberg is a much-needed response to modernize the editing experiencing in WordPress.
Gutenberg is currently in beta and available as a plugin in the WordPress plugin repository. If you haven’t
Pricing a website can be hard for the freelancer, but it can be even harder for the client. This article tries to answer the big question a lot of clients have.
So you need to buy a car. You start by setting a budget and picking a make and model you like. Determine if you want new or used. Do some research online; perhaps you consult a Kelly Blue Book. Then, armed with a good idea of what you need, what you’d like, and how much you can spend, you go to the car dealer. You shop around a bit. But you know for sure, if you want a Ford Fusion, you’re paying between $20K and $25K. There’s a sticker price and most dealers will stay within a few thousand of that. But what about website cost? Pricing a Website is Hard – for Everyone
There is no sticker price for websites. There’s no Kelly Blue Book or MSRP. Web developers don’t talk to each other and determine how much “a website made by X with these features” will cost.
Because of that, if you need a website, you can’t be as prepared as you are when you buy a car. Instead, your process is closer to this:
Determine you need a website
Look at other websites to figure out what you like
Checkout Squarespace or Wix or WordPress.com to see if you can do it yourself
Talk to someone you know to get a recommendation for a web developer
This seems a bit
This is the latest Freemius product cycle release, including some exciting features focusing on conversion optimization & saving dev time.
Release Notes is our monthly update that highlights the recent product improvements we’ve made, so you can easily stay up to date on what’s new. Here’s what we launched between June-August. This product cycle focused on three main objectives:
Saving developers time
We are getting many feature requests, so before we dive into the release notes, I’d like to take this opportunity and give you a little insight into our feature prioritization process and road map.
Freemius is fundamentally different than Easy Digital Downloads or WooCommerce. The alternative platforms’ business model is based on maximizing the number of add-ons they sell to their customers, simply because that’s how they make money. Their revenue isn’t dependent on your business’ success, as long as you are still in business. When monetizing with Freemius, developers are treated as our partners, not customers. We intentionally set our business model as a revenue share, inherently aligning our interests with yours – our partners. Our success relies on yours, so we do everything we can to help your business succeed by empowering you with the full
There's only about a month left before Google starts scaring even more visitors away from HTTP sites. If you haven't migrated yet, time is running out.
You've probably been hearing a lot about the importance of HTTP to HTTPS Migration. If you haven't yet migrated your WordPress site to HTTPS, time is running out for you. Recently, Google began sending emails to many people who use Google's Search Console. These emails were informing site owners of an upcoming change that would negatively affect their websites. This warning was a reminder of a blog post Google wrote in April of 2017, in which Google said, "Beginning in October 2017, Chrome will show the 'Not secure' warning in two additional situations: when users enter data on an HTTP page, and on all HTTP pages visited in Incognito mode."
This is what the warning looks like...
Every site will need to migrate to HTTPS at some point to avoid having the NOT SECURE warning shown to its visitors. This will affect your site, even if you don't sell anything.
Even if you do sell items, and you've already implemented HTTPS on your shopping cart pages, you aren't safe. All pages of your site should migrate to HTTPS to avoid this problem.
WHY DO I EVEN NEED HTTPS?
Your immediate need is to prevent your website visitors from leaving your site because they believe it to be insecure.
WordPress is evolving, can the old recipe for success still work?
I was recently interviewed by IndieHackers about how I grew my side business from $0 to $5k per month (on average) and on the back of that I got asked (by a wannabe entrepreneur) a great question. The question has prompted this post. While most blogs will focus on things that’ll draw in customers to their products, my blog here has tended to be about my transparency as well as blog posts like these. Mixed in with some of your standard ‘top 11 plugins to do [xyz]’.
While I still think of myself in the “Levelling Up” stage, I tend to forget that actually I’m in a very enviable position amongst people who want to do the same. People who have an idea, or want to start their own business.
So I wanted to chart back my revenues all the way back to 2012. Showing the monthly income, which sources and how I have pivoted and entered new markets to keep being able to operate my own business.
Back in 2012
I launched my first WordPress Plugin. In fact, it was a Joint Venture at the time, and not long after I launched my own plugins (under my own standalone CodeCanyon account). That’s why there’s two colours of bars in the first chart. The light green
If you have a WordPress business of any kind you should follow Primož, and specifically read this interview with him - packed with insights & predictions about the WP themes market.
I’m finally getting to interview one of my favorite figures in the WordPress community. He’s a dev & CEO at ProteusThemes and also one of the friendliest people I got to meet, so before he becomes completely unreachable – here are my WordPress product and business-oriented questions for Mr. Primož Cigler: Primož, thanks for agreeing to answer my questions! Why don’t we kick things off by getting to know you a bit – where are you based and what did your life look like before you entered the WordPress world?
Hi, thanks for having me here on the Freemius blog, it’s a great pleasure!
I’m coming from a small country, Slovenia, which can be found in central Europe, East of Italy and South of Austria. It’s a hidden gem, but every year more popular as a tourist destination. I live and work most of the time in the capital – Ljubljana.
Hmmm, my life before I entered the WordPress world. Do you think I still remember these ancient days?
As far back as I can remember, I had a mindset of an engineer. From the childhood on, I was creating and building things and I enjoyed spending the days in my grandfather’s garage, building kites or
This is a major shift. Great news for plugins/themes authors as the potential reach increases. At the same time WP.com vs WP.org lines are more and more blurred.
For many years, WordPress.com has been a simple way for people to create their own beautiful WordPress website in minutes. But that simplicity came with a tradeoff — WordPress.com did not offer built-in support for the thousands of third-party plugins and themes that helped make WordPress the world’s largest and most open web publishing platform.
Now, we’ve made a significant change to the WordPress.com Business plan: you can access and add third-party plugins and themes built by the WordPress community. It’s the simplicity, speed, and expert support that you’ve always loved about WordPress.com, plugged in.
People love WordPress because it is totally customizable. With support for plugins and third-party themes, WordPress.com Business users will be able to connect their sites to great email and social media tools, ecommerce solutions, publishing and subscription services, and more.
This is a big step for us, and there’s a lot more work to do — over the coming weeks and months, we’re going to be working with partners and developers to help make the experience even easier for you to install and use these plugins and themes on WordPress.com.
The "WordPress Plugin Business Book" is an invaluable source of information for plugin devs looking to turn their side-project into a sustainable business(es).
Top selling WordPress plugins make somewhere between 20-80 times more, per year, than an average WordPress plugin! Your plugin’s sales aren’t going to just skyrocket on their own, so as s a company that’s focused on helping WordPress product developers explode their sales – we decided it was time to publish an action-oriented business book that focuses on the business and entrepreneurial side of developing and selling WordPress plugins.
We’re giving this book away for free to WordPress developers who wish to learn all of the best practices and modern ways to run successful WordPress plugin business(es)!
If you’ve been in the WordPress plugin development field for a while you know that there’s MUCH more to it than just writing a few PHP functions and deciding on a cool name for your plugin. If you’re going to create a prosperous business around your premium WordPress plugin – there are a few additional things you’re going to need to know and take care of:
Your business model
Payment gateways and checkout
Coupons and discounts
Handling taxes, internationally
A progress report covering how we are doing and the general ups and downs of a free WP Theme and Plugin provider.
Continuing our series (is 2 a series?) of progress reports this post shares the rundown of our last month of going live, what we have been up to, whats the traffic doing and more. Focus, and where to place it.
This has been the biggest struggle this month, and to explain why I need to share a little about where im coming from.
SiteCreate is a project I started to fill a void since moving away from my previous project (an elite ThemeForest author) and initially I wanted to try and step away from WordPress and have some fun by building a HTML page builder, which I did and I think its rather spiffing if you want to check it out. But, launching a site to share a neat tool no-one will use quickly became a side note as I just couldn’t shake the urge to go back to my roots and whip up some WP stuff.
What does this mean for August? Well, read on to see what we did.
Hello CodeCanyon & WordPress.org
August saw the release of our 1st WP plugin, a super-niche affair we whipped up to solve a problem we where having (making documentation easily navigable and downloadable for offline reading), and seeing as we thought some folks may find it useful too we released SiteCreate Documentor for
Project Managers can make your Discovery process even easier. I wrote about how I support my team during Discovery.
We’ve talked about the importance of the discovery phase before, and now we’re here to share the role of a project manager during this endeavor. Your development team plays a crucial role in the process of discovery. They’ll handle digging into the existing technology, researching tools and methodologies that will ultimately be a part of the project, and strategizing the best way for the project to get done. At Zao, we make sure to dig into the client’s short and long term business goals. We lay a solid foundation not just for an immediate technological upgrade, but for our client’s long-term success as well (particularly as their company grows).
You may think your project manager won’t have a major role in discovery, but that’s all wrong! Having a solid PM on your team can help elevate the process, making sure you have all the info you need to catch red flags, scope appropriately, and manage the details.
The basic project management stuff
While your discovery phase may look a bit different than your typical project, it still is a project!
Your project manager can handle tasks for discovery, which can include everything from scheduling meetings,
Copycats turned the early success of Primož Cigler's WordPress business into a liability. Read how he's rebounded by changing his strategy — and even his role.
Hello! What's your background, and what are you working on? Hi, my name is Primož Cigler.
My co-founder Jaka Šmid and I run ProteusThemes, a theme shop for niche, local business WordPress themes. Our clients are people who build and maintain WordPress-based websites for small- to medium-sized businesses.
Today, ProteusThemes is making around $16,000 per month, but it has been a chaotic roller coaster for the last 4 years. We were hitting over $40,000 per month as early as 2013, but changes in the industry pushed us back to where we are today.
Nevertheless, the foundations are now stronger than they were when we experienced those revenue highs.
What motivated you to get started with ProteusThemes?
ProteusThemes goes back to August 2012. I was just about to enter my last year of study of astrophysics, so I had some spare time, and I was ready to start a new side project.
I've always been a better engineer than a designer, so I emailed Jaka (whom I met on a local webmaster forum) requesting that we join forces to create a WordPress theme and sell it as a digital product. He was interested. I still occasionally look at that email with lots of joy and nostalgia. We were students with
Too much cash. Geez, tough problem to have, I guess :)
A start-up often tipped as being one of the country's next "unicorns", Envato, has more cash than it needs to keep growing, so it has decided to make the unusual move of sharing its profits with its staff. The bootstrapped online graphics marketplace was founded 11 years ago in the garage of Collis Ta'eed's Bondi home with his wife Cyan, their long-time friend Jun Rung and two years later his brother Vahid Ta'eed. Since then it has emerged as one of the most profitable tech start-ups in the country.
In the 2016 financial year the company recorded $US29.4 million ($37.1 million) in net profit. While it is yet to file its 2017 numbers, it is expected that profits will be similar.
Envato chief executive Collis Ta'eed said he wasn't aware of any other start-ups having profit shares with their staff, partly because many are not profitable.
"We've been profitable for pretty much as long as we've been around, and we're bootstrapped, so last year at our 10-year anniversary we stopped and reflected and thought about what we're doing and where it's going and with us being profitable enough, we'd always wanted to reward the staff and people who contribute each year," he said.
Automattic brings super basic ecommerce to self-hosted sites. Currently requires using the WordPress.com editor and only works with PayPal. Surely the first step in a longer plan.
No matter what you use your Jetpack-powered site for, you want it to be successful — and profitable. But making money from your site has traditionally been a challenge if you don’t have the time to set up an online store. Well, now it’s easier to take payments for your products, services, or charity. Starting today, Jetpack Premium and Professional customers can add a Simple Payment Button to any post or page, and start taking payments with PayPal in just a few clicks.
To add a Simple Payment Button to your site, you’ll first need to add or edit a post or page in the WordPress.com Visual Editor. Click the drop-down arrow on the left, then choose Add Payment Button.
On the new screen that appears, you’ll be asked to add details for what you’re selling, an image (if you choose to include one), price and preferred currency, and finally the email address for your PayPal account (where the money will be sent).
You can also allow customers to purchase more than one of this product — for example, if you’re selling handmade goods or food. Just toggle on Allow people to buy more than one item at a time to make it happen.
When you’re finished,
Thoughts and advice from Povilas Korop, founder of QuickAdminPanel, a tool for the Laravel framework, on selling products to developers.
Some marketing truths are universal. But if you find yourself selling to developers, buckle down, because you'll be facing some uniquely challenging obstacles. I should know. Two years ago I switched from being a developer myself to being the founder and CEO of QuickAdminPanel — a code generator for the Laravel framework that I needed to market and sell to developers. It was a hell of a lot harder than I’d ever anticipated. There are a number of reasons why.
Obstacle 1. Developers love to write code, not buy code.
Unlike most people, developers are capable of building tools for themselves. In fact, developers love building tools for themselves, even if it means reinventing the wheel.
"Why should we use your bug tracking tool, when our team has super special needs, and the only option is a custom-built system?"
"Why should we use any of the hundreds of project management systems that exist? We only need 5% of those features, so we should build our own. And we’ll even get to try out new framework X!"
Get used to hearing reasoning like that. Rarely are developers cool with buying software that they can "easily" create themselves.
ThemeForest is a powerful marketplace with millions of potential buyers. Let's look behind the scenes how it works for the authors.
With WordPress being used by over 28% of all websites, the space can be very competitive! A big dilemma for a lot of new WordPress theme developers is whether or not they should go out on their own or distribute their work on an already established marketplace. Today we have the pleasure of interviewing Henry Rise, the CEO of ThemeREX, a Power Elite Author on ThemeForest. He’s going to share with us his first-hand experience of having sold themes on ThemeForest for five years, and some of the pros and cons to the platform. If you are still contemplating which route to go down, hopefully this can help you make a more informed decision. ThemeForest + WordPress
For those of you who might not know, ThemeForest is owned by Envato, and is an online marketplace where you can buy and sell HTML templates and themes for popular CMS products like WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal. According to Alexa they are listed in the top 1,000 websites in the world and receive millions of visitors each month. They are definitely one of the largest marketplaces of its kind.
As of writing this, there are over 10,000 WordPress themes available on ThemeForest. They have what you might call a “need each
Short story on SaaS in WordPress, echoing recent WooCommerce moove.
SaaS (Software as a Service) solutions have been very popular for the past decade. Surprisingly, WordPress seemed to be relatively underpenetrated compared to the rest of the industry. However, the recent WooCommerce move to a straight renewal process might be the first sign of growing trend in the WordPress universe. It’s been more than a year since we founded and launched Weglot, a new SaaS plugin for multilingual in WordPress and I wanted to share some thoughts and views on this topic.
SaaS is a way of delivering applications via the cloud, as a service, paying a monthly or yearly fee for it. Users do not need to install and maintain software, they simply access it via the Internet. Instead of selling software as a good, it shifted to services, freeing users from implementing and maintaining it.
SaaS solutions are currently used in almost all business areas, (HR, Support, Accounting, CRM, Management, Financials, etc.). Famous examples include popular and successful solutions like Salesforce (CRM), Box (online workspace storage) or Zendesk (support).
If you’re looking at existing SaaS solutions in WordPress, you’ll mainly find them at each end of the chain