How to Sell WordPress Plugins: A Guide for Developers
Once you created an awesome WordPress plugin, a question that will come to your mind is how to earn money from it. Thus, “how to sell WordPress plugins?” is one of the most common questions that we get.
Unlike most other platforms that developer build software for, WordPress is open-source. This means you can not sell your plugin on the official WordPress plugin repository. So how to sell WordPress plugins and make money from them?
Well, there are ways you can start selling WordPress plugins and earn a good sum of money. In this guide, we will inform you about the different processes of selling WordPress plugins.
Pre-Considerations to Selling WordPress Plugins
As you already know, WordPress is an open-source CMS where people can build their website for free. All the plugins and themes that we see on the WordPress plugin repository are also free!
Such a huge number of free resources are one of the biggest reasons why WordPress rules the CMS platform with more than 60% shares. Overall more than 35% of all the websites in the world are built with WordPress.
Alongside the free version on the WordPress repository, you can also offer a premium version with advanced features. We call this “The Freemium Model”.
However, you can also sell a plugin exclusively as a premium plugin, not uploading it on the WordPress repository.
The Freemium model is one of the most popular ways of selling WordPress plugins, as it gives you more chances to be seen by people and earn money as well.
Step by Step Guide to Selling WordPress Plugins
There are two major ways of selling and earn money from your plugins. You can either sell the plugins on your own website, or you can sell the plugins on a third-party marketplace. Both ways have their pros and cons, which we will talk about later on.
But for now, let's get to know about the two ways you can sell your WordPress plugin.
1- How to Sell Plugins Using a Marketplace
Selling WordPress plugins on a marketplace means you can get exposure early on. Marketplaces have hundreds of thousands of buyers who are looking for plugins.
CodeCanyon is by far the largest and most popular marketplace to sell your plugin. However, you can also sell on other large marketplaces like Codester or Mojo Marketplace.
In order to sell on a marketplace, you have to create an account and upload your plugin on their website. The marketplace quality assurance team will then review and publish your plugin on their site.
While uploading a plugin on a marketplace be sure to ensure the following things to increase sales.
- Attractive Product Description: Product description is required to submit a plugin on a marketplace. A relevant, catchy product description increases the chance of sales.
- Product Image: Having better product images have a big impact on plugin sales. Highlight important parts with modern design to stand out.
- Demo Site: A demo site where users can see your plugin in action is crucial. Users like to know how your plugin can perform and a demo site gives you the chance to show them.
Due to the high number of visitors on the marketplaces, your plugin will have more chances to get noticed. However, all this comes with a price. For every sale on marketplaces, you have to share a big share of your earning.
If you decide to sell your plugins on your website or any other place besides the marketplace, the charges will soar even higher.
Why Should You Sell Plugins on A Marketplace
Marketplaces are popular among customers. After all, who doesn't like variety? And marketplaces offer a lot of them. And you should sell where are the customers are, right?
Selling WordPress plugins on your own website is risky. You have to promote your plugin heavily to get noticed and let people know about your plugin. Which requires a lot of money.
However, on a marketplace, you don't have to worry about spending a dime apart from the commission from your sales. And given the number of visitors marketplaces get, it's easier to start selling your plugins.
2- How to Sell Plugins from Your Website
Another way you can sell your plugin is by using your website. But there are more than one thing to worry about when it comes to selling plugin on your website. You'll have to attract people to your website, so you need a marketing strategy. You'll have to be extremely helpful for people to find and choose you.
And finally, you'll have to software licensing on your own. As soon as you start selling digital products, i.e. WordPress plugins, licensing becomes a major issue.
There are a couple of licensing service providers that can help you manage license.
- WooCommerce, the largest eCommerce plugin, also provides a licensing service.
- EDD or Easy Digital Downloads is another popular tool to manage licenses.
- CodeCanyon not only lets you sell plugins on their website but generates a license for your plugin.
- Appsero, a SaaS product that helps you manage your license in a better way. With Appsero you can handle your license from other providers, or generate new licensing.
Here is how you can manage your licensing and sell your plugin using Appsero.
Once the licensing method of your website is ready, you can now start selling plugins from your website.
Related: Appsero Introduces FastSpring Integration for Selling WordPress Plugins & Themes
Why Should You Sell Plugin On Your Company Website
Most of the developers sell their plugin on the marketplaces during their early days. However, with time, most of them divert from the marketplaces to building own website to host their plugins.
There are a couple of reasons that you should start selling WordPress plugins on your website.
- Marketplaces have an aggressive commission structure. You have to give a big cut of your revenue, just sell your plugin on their website. Also, you can not set the prices for your products on most of the popular marketplaces such as CodeCanyon. The editorial team of the marketplace will decide the price of your product.
- If you sell plugins on your own website, you can get the whole revenue, without any cut. Also, you can set the price of a plugin by yourself if you choose to sell it on your own website. This is a huge advantage over selling it on a marketplace.
- Last but not the least, selling WordPress plugins on your website gives you a brand identity. Whereas on the marketplace, you're just another guy selling a plugin.
Sell Your WordPress Plugins Easily with Appsero
Appsero lets you sell WordPress plugins easily. Appsero is a SaaS tool that was made for the WordPress developers, by the WordPress developers.
Appsero's features make every developer work easier by relieving them from any other task other than developing the plugin. Appsero can generate licenses from your plugins, and also manage your existing license on WooCommerce, EDD, FastSpring, or CodeCanyon.
Apart from managing licenses, this intelligent tool also boasts the below-mentioned features –
- Get analytics that are precise and insightful.
- Automatic plugin update deployment, as soon as you push a git.
- Deactivation autoresponder.
- Opportunity to register unlimited plugins and many more.
Now you can understand, how Appsero can simply release you from a lot of unwanted burdens.
Selling WordPress plugins maybe a bit complicated, but it is also a platform where you have a lot of opportunities. Over 35% of all the sites in the world used WordPress to build their site. That means you already have an enormous number of prospective customers.
If you decided that you want to start selling WordPress plugins, we hope our guide helped you do that. However, if you are not sure about anything in particular don't forget to ask us using the comment box.