An interesting article by Kobe Ben-Itamar discussing the DOs and DONTs of collecting user feedback for WordPress plugins and themes.
All WordPress plugin/theme sellers who sell their WordPress products through Freemius are added to a Freemius DEV Slack channel, where discussions about WordPress business best practices, as well as consultation sessions, take place on a daily basis. Just a few days ago, the creator of ‘WP Sheet Editor’ (and a few other great WordPress plugins), Jose Vega, came out seeking for some advice on whether or not he should ask for user feedback about his products. His plan was to incentivize them to provide their ideas of how their experience might be improved by offering free plugin licenses to users who come up with the best suggestions. We decided it was worth expanding on this topic, in the hopes of helping all WordPress plugin/theme owners understand the benefits and drawbacks, as well as how to best manage this kind of strategic move. Here’s Jose Vega’s original message from the Slack channel:
“Hi guys, I have an idea. I want to implement an ‘innovators program’ in my plugins. I will send an automated email to the customers, asking them to give me feedback (5 ideas) on how to improve the plugin (improve the UI, workflows, extension ideas, new
This is an interview with the creator of 'WooCommerce Builder for Divi' plugin, which had recently migrated it away from WooCommerce and started selling through Freemius. He immediately saw a staggering 57% increase in gross revenue, right on the 1st month.
Today we bring you a very pleasing success story: Abdelfatah Aboelghit created the great WooCommerce Builder for Divi plugin, and had recently migrated it away from WooCommerce and started selling through Freemius. He immediately saw a staggering 57% increase in gross revenue, right on the 1st month, so we decided to set up an interview with him to find out more: Abdelfatah, thanks for agreeing to answer my questions about you and your WordPress product business so soon, right after migrating it and selling through Freemius.
Let’s get started by getting to know you: where are you based and how did you first step into the world of coding WordPress products?
Hey, Thanks for having me! I’m based in a small village in Egypt. I’ve been in the WordPress coding products business for about 2 years now.
Before that, I was a pharmacist, but I’ve always been obsessed with creating websites for me and for my friends, using WordPress. I didn’t know how to write code at the time, until one day me and my friend wanted to build a very complex website which I couldn’t build with the available plugins, so we had to talk to a developer to do it for us. The developer
Daniel Carcamo tried submitting his premium theme for sale on the ThemeForest marketplace. He uses this guest post to share the entire experience, as well as his conclusions about WordPress product businesses and marketplaces in general.
Building your own Multi-Purpose theme from scratch can be a very tough project to take on. Getting it approved on ThemeForest? That’s a whole other layer of challenges that you’ll need to tackle. In this guest post, I’m going to share my entire experience of submitting a theme to ThemeForest’s marketplace. In February 2017 I started playing around with the idea of building my own Multi-Purpose events theme to be sold on ThemeForest. I knew, from the experience I gained of selling my own events plugin on CodeCanyon, that a complete solution was needed for customers who did not want to mix a plugin and a theme, but instead, wanted a complete solution in one single product.
Normally, when you need a website with an events functionality, you have to add various plugins to achieve it. This, in turn, can make your website slow and bloated, which is why I decided to build an event’s theme that had everything built into it.
By April I had already assembled my team of programmers and got to work. After weeks and weeks of testing and testing again, I felt that we had reached a point where we could submit the theme to ThemeForest for a review.
First Submission (Hard
I finally got to interview one of my favorite WordPress influencers - Miriam Schwab - CEO & Founder @ Strattic, a serverless security solution for WordPress (& other CMSs) & CEO @ illuminea, a top WordPress development agency. In this interview she's inspiring, as usual.
I’m super stoked to finally be interviewing Miriam Schwab, who is the CEO & Founder of Strattic, a serverless security solution for WordPress & Open Source CMSs. She’s also(!) the CEO of illuminea, a top WordPress development agency, and an inspiring woman in general. Miriam, thanks for agreeing to answer my questions! I know you’re a very busy woman, so let’s get started right away by getting to know you a bit – where are you based and how did you get acquainted with WordPress in the first place?
Hi! I’m based out of Jerusalem, Israel. I first encountered WordPress when I decided to leave my job in the field of intellectual property and go freelance. I started out providing copywriting and translation services, but my love for technology got me interested in the field of website building. In those days, the websites were generally either plain old HTML and CSS, or built on very expensive proprietary CMSs that only enterprise companies could afford. I started building websites for clients since there was a need, but I quickly realized my clients needed their own CMS so I didn’t have to be on call for content editing (please just add
This is the first edition of the “WordPress Products, Audited” series! It aims to help WordPress theme and plugin sellers optimize their products for more sales & conversions, basing the suggestions on data and on years of experience selling WP products.
Welcome to the first edition of our “WordPress Products, Audited” series. We’re thrilled (yes, thrilled!) to launch this series which will enable us to help WordPress theme and plugin developers to optimize their products (this time it’s ‘Elementor Addons’) for more sales & conversions in all possible aspects. Motivation
One of the key differentiators between Freemius and other popular WP eCommerce solutions that help WordPress plugin and theme developers sell their products from their store is our business model. Unlike EDD or WooCommerce which make their money from selling extensions, we make money only when our partners make money. This alignment of interests incentivizes us to proactively keep helping our partners with things like pricing strategies, business models, conversion rate optimization, marketing advice, branding & design, etc. If we can help a partner to gross more money, we directly benefit from it. As we keep doing those internal “audits” for our partners’, we noticed that many WordPress product sellers are making the same mistakes, when it comes to the way they present, position and price their products,
Most small / startup WordPress product creators just have enough resources to develop their product. That is why a service like Freemius is flourishing, because they take care of the business aspect of things for their customers. Today they are taking it a step further with their new "Got Your Back" special program.
Calling all WordPress product creators who are selling through Freemius – today we are officially launching the “We Got Your Back” program, which will help you handle all of the things you prefer to avoid in your business! I can see you doubting and sneering at what I just wrote in that 1st paragraph, but if you’re selling your WordPress plugins and themes with Freemius, then you already know that we were not kidding when we said that we would truly become your business partners and do everything we can to empower your business and to push it forward, simply because YOUR success is literally our success.
As you know, the Freemius service was created in order to handle everything that might be considered “meta” in running an online business that sells WordPress plugins and themes. In other words, everything that’s not about coding the actual product:
Taxes (EU VAT)
Decreasing the uninstall rate
As you can see, another thing we were not kidding about was when we said: “Your WordPress business headache?
Freemius announces, among other things, a fully-featured and reactive Embeddable Users Management Dashboard. This is going to be a lifesaver in reducing the amount of support WordPress product sellers have to undertake.
Release Notes is our periodic 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 April 2018 and November 2018. During the past six months we’ve shipped many powerful new capabilities, including several essential features which many of you have been waiting for:
Users Management Dashboard
Premium Changelog and Readme.txt
Customization of the Premium Slug / Folder-Name
The ability to offer Free Trials without a payment method from your site
I’m not going to cover all of it, only the major releases.
Users Management Dashboard
We are super proud to announce our fully-featured and reactive Embeddable Users Management Dashboard. Just to give you some background, our UX methodology is all about keeping things within the comfort zone of the WP Admin. Up until a few months ago, customers and users could only manage their account within their WP Admin. That was great, as long as they had the plugin or theme installed and activated on their site, but if they had to take actions, like canceling a subscription after the product has already been deactivated, this usually
In this interview David Aguilera, co-founder of Nelio Software, shares some precious business insights they've been able to reach in their growing company, just in time for WordCamp Barcelona 2018...
David Aguilera is the Chief Product & Quality Officer at rapidly growing Nelio. We met at the last WordCamp in Paris and, after chatting for a while, I figured it would be interesting to get his take as a WordPress product & services guy and publish it for the Freemius blog readers. David, thanks for agreeing to do this interview!
Let’s start by getting to know you a bit – what is your educational and professional background?
Thanks for having me. I’m really happy to do this!
I come from Barcelona, Spain – or, well, at least it was Spain when this interview took place because right now there’s this pro-independence movement in Catalonia and… nobody knows how it’ll all end!
This article will help WordPress product owners understand whether the freemium business model is the right way to go for their specific product, while also exploring the other popular models that currently exist.
Can the freemium business model benefit your commercial product in the WordPress ecosystem, i.e. help you sell more premium licenses? This article looks into the 3 most popular business models in the open-source ecosystem and specifically breaks down the arguments for and against the freemium business model in WordPress. Let’s try to understand if freemium is the right business model for your WordPress product! What Is a Freemium WordPress product?
Okay, so first thing’s first – let’s start by defining what a freemium WordPress product is:
A “freemium” WordPress product is a plugin or a theme that, in addition to their free version, offersif you either paid add-ons or a premium version/service (like support).
After establishing a basic definition, which I believe most would agree with, I’d like to take a look at the advantages and the disadvantages of choosing the freemium business model for your WordPress products over the other available models. But first:
What Are Your Options As A WordPress Developer?
Let’s take a quick look at the 3 most common options WordPress developers go about distributing their products:
Free WordPress Products
Many in the community had a bunch of expectations leading up to WordCamp US 2018 in Nashville, especially concerning the Gutenberg project and the latest update on its implications on the WordPress business ecosystem. In this post, Vova provides an inside look into his experience and insights as a WordPress product creator.
There’s a lot that’s been going on lately in the WordPress sphere, but with WordPress, that would be true no matter when we say it. Nonetheless, I think that many people in the community had a bunch of expectations leading up to WordCamp US 2018 in Nashville. It seemed like many were eager to get several different burning topics clarified for others and for themselves, especially concerning the Gutenberg project and the latest update on its implications on the WordPress business ecosystem. In this post, I want to provide an inside look into my experience at WordCamp US 2018, as an attendee, as a WordPress enthusiast and a member of the community around it, but most of all, as a WordPress product creator.
— Freemius (@freemius) December 7, 2018
Transitioning From Speed Dating To Relationships (Expanding Your Professional Network)
First off, I’d like to share something personal which I believe those of you who attend many WordCamps can relate to. On the day before the official beginning of WordCamp US 2018, I got back to my Airbnb, and on top of being jet lagged and half asleep I was also disappointed in myself. I was only able to meet and chat with 3 or maybe
After losing so many credit card disputes no one could blame a WordPress product seller for assuming that their chances of winning are so slim. This free book is here to change both that assumption and the reality that created it.
We’ve learned that many WordPress plugin & theme sellers simply give up on dealing with Stripe or credit card disputes their customers file against them. After losing so many of them – who could blame them for assuming that their chances of winning are so slim? This book aims to change that by explaining why it is unquestionably worth your valuable time to battle and resolve those disputes, and also demonstrates what you need to collect and how you can do so. It uncovers the unique techniques we’ve developed at Freemius, which enable our company to proudly say we’ve achieved a huge increase in our credit card disputes wins success rate: they surged from 4% all the way up to 29.6%!
The book, titled: “11 Proven Techniques To Increase Your Credit Card Disputes Win Success Rate by 740%” by Freemius, has all of the knowledge and tools you need at your disposal in order to start winning those disputes (and chargebacks) and help you run a prosperous WordPress plugins or themes business.
Dev4Press was created in 2009 as a side project, and a lot has changed since then, except for one thing: it is still a team of one. Milan, the owner, shares the challenges & methods for growing it along the years.
My name is Milan, and I am the owner of Dev4Press, a company dedicated to WordPress and bbPress plugins development. Dev4Press was created in 2009 as a side project, and a lot has changed since then, except for one thing: it is still a team of one. In this guest post, I want to share my challenges and methods for growing a WordPress plugin.
Starting with WordPress
I have been developing plugins for WordPress for a long time now, starting way back in 2007. At first, I created a few small plugins to enhance a friend’s website. These plugins started to gain popularity in the WordPress.org repository, and that has soon expanded to small freelance jobs, which expanded to even more freelance jobs. I have quit my day job and started working full time as a WordPress freelancer.
Freelance work was bringing in money and with it came financial security. In the period from 2007 to 2011, I have created more than 100 plugins and themes for various clients and built complete websites. I was very comfortable with the work I did, and have even started rejecting job offers, choosing only the projects I found interesting.
First steps in selling WordPress plugins
In parallel, I continued to work
In this through piece Vova uncovers all the great techniques which were developed along the years at Freemius, acting as a WordPress products reseller, and have helped increase the wins success rate of credit card disputes from 4% all the way up to 30%.
In the past few months, I’ve stumbled across multiple online discussions among WordPress plugin and theme developers on how hard it is to win Stripe/Credit-Card Disputes. So much so, that many developers gave up on dealing with them entirely, as they feel it isn’t worth their time. We were in the same boat when we just started Freemius, averaging at about a 4% success rate. Over the years, we managed to develop various and unique techniques that helped us increase our Credit Card Disputes winning success rate by 740% (from 4% to 29.6%), and almost without losing any PayPal Dispute and recovering most of the Chargeback. Over the years, we managed to develop various unique techniques that helped us increase our Credit Card Disputes wins rate by 740%.Tweet
Since I couldn’t find a benchmark for the Avg. success rate of winning CC Disputes (Credit Card Disputes) in the WordPress ecosystem, I conducted a poll on Selling WordPress Products (a great Facebook group for WordPress product people selling plugins, themes, and SaaS), to gauge the market. Here are the results:
I got 34 responses
We put together a special list of the best Black Friday/Cyber Monday offers we could find for essential WordPress products. Grab 'em while the coupons are valid!
For Black Friday and Cyber Monday of 2018 we have compiled a list of special deals and promotions, offered by our partners. While we may be biased here at Freemius, as the re-sellers of all the products below, we can guarantee that all of them are kept to the highest standards of digital WordPress products and their technical support. You can rest assured that when buying any of the products here you are making a great Black Friday purchase! In the table below you can find all of the promotions available at the moment, as well as some relevant details about each deal: the discount percentage, the type of discount you’ll get if you use the coupon presented next to it. Thanks for your interest and we hope some of these products can help make your WordPress website better!
Rui Guerreiro recently marked two important occasions to his commercial WordPress plugin operation: WP Mobile Menu just hit 40k active installs on the official WordPress.org repository and he recently quit his day job to work on it full-time. This is an interview with him.
Rui Guerreiro is the creator of WP Mobile Menu, a user-friendly, dedicated and responsive WordPress menu plugin which has just hit 40k active installs on the official WordPress.org repository, while Rui himself has recently quit his day job to work on it full-time. To mark these occasions – we invited him to have a chat about the successful operation he has been quietly running. Rui, thanks for agreeing to do this! What’s your background story? How did you end up with WordPress?
Thanks for having me for this interview. I appreciate it.
I’m Rui and I’m 38 years old. I have actually been programming since I was 14 years old.
I worked in the Banking industry as a software developer for about a decade, where I worked mainly with Java, Cobol, DB2, and AS400. Working with senior engineers and dealing with Big Data was really important for my evolution and has helped me reach my current knowledge and perspective about software development.
In 2011, due to the banks’ crisis and since I was employed as a consultant through an external company, I was forced to move away and decided that it was an opportunity to go ahead and start something new as a Freelancer, as
An article that exposes several practical (tested) tricks that help sell WordPress plugin/theme licenses to enterprise companies for much higher prices than the ones set for the standard site-owner.
According to a study commissioned by WP Engine, 57% of enterprises use WordPress. Is your WordPress plugin or theme business ready for enterprise clients? I’m not pretending to be an enterprise sales expert, but, during my 10-year journey as an entrepreneur, I had my fair share of experiences selling software to Fortune 500 companies and learning from some of the top salespeople in the world, like Kris Duggan. Those experiences taught me fundamental principles that are kind of trivial but are unfortunately not yet adopted in the WordPress plugins and themes business economy.
In this blog post, I’ll expose you to several practical tricks that help sell RatingWidget licenses (a plugin business that I’ve built that was the catalyst to creating Freemius) to large organizations for thousands of dollars a year. That’s 20x, 30x, and sometimes even 50x the price an average customer pays. And the beauty is that it requires almost zero operational changes, and can be accomplished even by a one-man-show operation.
So, if you’re running a premium plugins business or a theme shop and would like to win those mega customers, then this post is exactly for you!
Buttonizer is a "floating action button" plugin for WordPress websites with one purpose: to help increase user interactions and conversions on websites. In this interview Jeroen explains their team's methods so far and what they plan to do to increase their reach even further.
The following success story comes to us from The Netherlands, where Jeroen and his team are running Buttonizer, a great-looking “floating action button” plugin for WordPress websites with one purpose: to help increase user interactions and conversions on websites. Jeroen, thanks for agreeing to share your WordPress plugin business story with us! Why don’t we kick things off by getting to know you a bit – what is your background and how did you get into the WordPress business sphere?
Thank you for this opportunity! My main focus is online marketing and data analysis. I have studied Economics and not Computer Science, unfortunately. Me and two friends started our own company in web design and online marketing back in 2013. We needed a suitable CMS to work with that quickly adapts to market changes and also has enough options to change the front and back-end. WordPress turned out to be the best option.
In addition to web design, we were also constantly working on improving the conversions and interactions on our websites. 2013 was a turning point for the number of mobile website visitors. The only problem was that a mobile visitor was less likely to convert properly
Founder of OnTheGoSystems (makers of WPML and Toolset), Amir Helzer, lays out why they recently moved from Lifetime licenses to annual automatic renewals for their products and he explains why he warmly recommend you consider doing the same for your WordPress products.
My name is Amir Helzer, founder of OnTheGoSystems (makers of WPML and Toolset). In this article, I’m going to lay out the reasoning behind our recent move from Lifetime licenses to annual automatic renewals for our products. I’ll also explain why I warmly recommend you consider doing the same for your WordPress products. We need to get paid for our work. Clients need peace of mind. Automatic renewals offer exactly what both developers and the clients need. Since 2010, we’ve been making a living developing, selling and supporting WordPress plugins. Our plugins, WPML and Toolset power around 1 million WordPress sites and our team is made of around 90 members. Every decision that we take about pricing has serious implications and we make these decisions only after careful considerations.
I believe that there is no “right way” to price and sell things. It all depends on what you’re selling and the relationship that you expect to have with your customers.
WPML and Toolset are both ‘infrastructure’ plugins. Once you build a site with them, it’s hard to switch over to alternatives. Of course, this is nice for us, but it also means that
An interesting WordPress plugin creator from France shares his entrepreneurial strategies, and talks about how he took SEOPress from a mere idea to a sustainable business in one year, while working full-time at a web agency.
This time we are interviewing an exciting entrepreneur from France. Benjamin Denis is the creator and owner of several WordPress plugins, who focuses (when he’s not working full-time at a web agency) on building and growing SEOPress – a WordPress plugin (freemium) that helps website owners optimize their SEO. Benjamin, thanks for agreeing to provide an inside look at your WordPress product operation. Why don’t we dive right in – how did you get into the business of ‘SEOPress’?
Everything started back in August 2016, when I was looking for a plugin idea to develop. I had already had two freemium plugins (WP Cloudy and WP Admin UI), and with the experience gained from them, I wanted to go further. So, I hopped on the official WordPress repository and grabbed the most downloaded plugins, noticing that the SEO topic was very frequent on the list.
My main (future) competitor is Yoast SEO (an ‘All in One’ to a lesser extent) who was, and still is, dominating the rankings. So, why attack these two behemoths? After having used this plugin on more than 50 WordPress sites, the more the updates came together the less I and my customers were satisfied:
There’s an old saying “in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes”. The United States has a number of tax laws on the Federal, State, and Local levels that WordPress theme and plugin developers need to be aware of. Scott DeLuzio is a former accountant who has made the transition into WordPress plugin development, so he's the best person to take advice from on this matter.
There’s an old saying “in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes”. While the former can be put off with exercise and a healthy diet, the latter can’t be avoided quite as easily. The United States has a number of tax laws on the Federal, State, and Local levels that WordPress theme and plugin developers need to be aware of. This post will talk about the tax implications of things like outsourcing work, incorporating your business, and sales taxes. As a former accountant who has made the transition into WordPress plugin development, I’m familiar with how complicated the tax issues that developers face can be. I’ve even developed a plugin to assist with 1099-MISC reporting for affiliates and multi-vendor marketplaces called WP1099. As a freelancer, and small business owner, I know how difficult it is to keep track of ever-changing tax laws, so this cheat sheet was written to help you understand what you need to do to stay compliant with the tax authorities.
Incorporating Your Business
Many people with a WordPress theme or plugin business consider the job a “side-job” and tend to treat it as such. Unfortunately,
If you plan on capturing the attention of the thousands of users browsing the WordPress.org repository daily, an intro video for your plugin is a must-have. If you're going to make a video - make it a good one! This article critiques and helps learn from several successful plugin intro videos from the WordPress.org repository.
If you haven’t yet noticed, online video is changing the way that we learn and make our buying decisions. The ability to use video as an interactive storytelling medium makes it one of the best ways to encourage your potential customers to engage with your brand. You don’t need to take my word for it. Check out the following stats: 87% of online marketers use video content.
After watching a video, 64% of users are more likely to buy a product online
Video on a landing page can increase conversions by 80% or more.
The average CVR for websites using video is 4.8%, compared to 2.9% for those that don’t use video.
The average user spends 88% more time on a website with video.
It’s safe to say that if you’re not using video in your plugin marketing, you’re missing out on a significant amount of leads and potential users for your products.
In this article, I’ll cover a few different ways that you can leverage the power of video to grow your user base and increase your revenue. If you’re already using video, I’ll also include a few tips and tricks to improve the quality of your videos to give you the competitive edge. Let’s get started!
The founders and CEOs of the most popular page builders: Beaver Builder, Elementor, Divi Builder, and Visual Composer share their thoughts, and Vova provides some precious advice for plugin & theme devs who want to be prepared for Gutenberg.
I just returned from two weeks of intense traveling, which started with WordCamp Riga, where I gave the opening keynote – A Crash Course On Building A Sustainable Plugin/Theme Business in The Subscription Economy spiced up with a trip to Nashville for WordCamp US. While I’m tempted to write about how awesome my trip was, the friends I met, yadda, yadda, yadda – the usual WordCamp recap – after Matt Mullenweg’s State of the Word at WordCamp US, where we watched a 15 min live demo of the “Future of WordPress”, I decided that it’s time we covered Gutenberg from the perspective of the commercial products space. Here’s the live demo by Matias Ventura, the project lead:
Matt Mullenweg: State of the Word 2017Get Link to Video
Since my expertise is in monetization and does not specifically relate to the WordPress editor, I decided to reach out to the founders and CEOs of the most popular page builders: Beaver Builder, Elementor, Divi Builder, and Visual Composer.
Luckily, I had spent a few days with the Visual Composer team at Riga, and I know the Elementor team before Elementor was even born. Robby and I hung out together
Katie Keith already talked about how her business transitioned from building sites to selling plugins on the WPTavern before. Now she shares the story of how Barn2Media successfully tripled its WordPress plugin sales while decreasing the support burden.
Katie Keith and her husband Andy co-founded Barn2Media in late 2009. Initially dedicated to designing WordPress websites for clients, they envisioned building their business around selling products since early on. After a few failed attempts, in 2016, they managed to successfully shift their focus over to developing premium WordPress plugins. Their plugin business has been doing so well that, within a year, it was generating more income than their original client business. With such a remarkable journey behind her, Katie joins us to look back and share the lessons learned along the way. Katie, thank you for agreeing to do this interview and share your story. Let’s start by getting to know you better. What can you tell us about your background?
I graduated in 2002 with a first class honours degree in Philosophy in English – nothing to do with computers or the web! I had no idea what I wanted to do for my career and tried several jobs until I found something I enjoyed.
All my jobs involved building websites in some way. My first job after graduation was writing Help pages for a software company, and I was responsible for the non-technical maintenance of websites for other
There's almost no public information on plugin and theme acquisitions in the WordPress ecosystem. Part I in this series is looking to change that by sharing Phil Derksen's vast experience, especially after his recent acquisition.
If you’ve been following the WordPress products space, it’s hard to ignore all the plugin and theme acquisitions going around. While it’s a common thing, surprisingly, there’s almost no public information on the topic. In the past few months alone I was contacted by 4 different developers who were interested in selling their plugin/theme business and didn’t know where/how to start the process. So, since M&A (mergers and acquisitions) are an integral part of a healthy and maturing ecosystem, I thought we should host a series of posts, shedding some light on the topic through guidelines and best practices, based on the acquired experience of people who have done it. To kick this series off, we asked Phil Derksen to share his vast experience here, so others interested in selling can get an idea of what steps to take and what the process might look like.
Take it away, Phil:
I’m the founder of WP Simple Pay, a WordPress plugin that lets you accept one-time and recurring payments using Stripe. I formerly acquired, re-built, and eventually sold Simple Calendar, a Google Calendar events plugin, in June 2017. I also built and sold a Pinterest sharing plugin