Skip to:
Content
Pages
Categories
Search
Top
Bottom

Why Plugin Developers Should Charge Money


  • gregfielding
    Participant

    @gregfielding

    Buddystream is a popular plugin that would probably be a heck of a lot more popular if there weren’t so many bugs. It needs active developer follow-up and much more frequent updates, but we can’t fault @blackphantom or anyone else when they are doing this for free. On the contrary: thank you guys for getting it this far!

    And maybe that’s the point. For example, if Buddystream cost a mere $10 and included a lifetime of upgrades, the developers would have collected tens of thousands of dollars (versus a few hundred donation bucks). Sure, there wouldn’t have been as many downloads at first. But the plugin probably would have received a lot more attention and time and have become much more stable and powerful than it is today – which certainly would attract a lot more downloads.

    And I’m not just picking on Buddystream here, this applies to dozens of popular BP plugins and hundreds more WordPress ones.

    I’m all for free, open-source technology. But with so many slow-moving and abandoned free plugins, it has become impractical to depend on it when I am building a community that actually intends to function as a business. WordPress and Buddypress evolve weekly. With this example, so do twitter, facebook, linked-in, and others. Making Buddystream work once is a hobby, but maintaining it through the years probably requires some financial incentive.

    @sbrajesh, @travel-junkie and others are doing a great job at this. They’ve taken some heat from time to time because they charge money, but I can depend on them for their products to work and always be up-to-date. And, they provide great service.

    As a plugin consumer, I hope that more plugin developers follow their lead.

Viewing 7 replies - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)

  • modemlooper
    Moderator

    @modemlooper

    Here’s my 2 cents. Free doesn’t work in the long run. WordPress is free but Automattic makes a good revenue back on wordpress.com. That’s my philosophy with open source as well. You should give back in some form but that doesn’t mean every thing. I will have free stuff but then monetize other things that take a significant amount of time to develop.

    They could offer pro and lite versions and only give support to paying consumers. No right or wrong way. But I’m with ya some of these plugins get started then dropped and nobody else creates competing versions. BP-privacy was a perfect example that set privacy back a year. It’s out now but people really had faith in Jeff’s plugin and waited and waited and waited.

    BuddyStream is a great plugin but I have never used it because it doesn’t work 100%. This is one of those plugins, like privacy, that needs to work or it makes your site look amateur.

    I really don’t get why people DO NOT charge for intense plugins. The math is so simple you’d think people smart enough to code would understand. You are getting nothing now, zero, zilch, $0. If you charged $25 bucks for it with support and 500 of the 7500 who’ve downloaded bought it you’d have $12,500 in pocket minus the freeloader support headaches. Even if 1 person paid you’d have more than zero, zilch, $0.

    There’s one more issue. Who’s to say a users pays and then plugin is not working 100%. Not good. Would buy a new car that didn’t go out of first gear in hopes FORD would fix it?

    For whatever it’s worth, I think it’s a great time to start a BuddyPress plugin biz. But if you sell something then you should give back to BP in some way by either giving free themes or lite plugins.


    Pisanojm
    Participant

    @pisanojm

    As most of you know, Peter is the brains behind the Buddystream plugin, I’m just volunteering to help him keep momentum and the plugin development focused. It is indeed a tough sell to get anyone to pay for a plugin in an “open-source” immersed project like WordPress. Peter (@blackphantom) is considering some ways in which to monetize this project, but is it indeed hard keep focused on the project when it is less than 1% of what you do on a weekly basis.

    I even look at wpmudev and get so frustrated with them (as a paying member) of that site… they come out with a plugin that is “half good’ and then it takes months and sometimes “never” before they get it to where most people would use it or the deliver the functionality everyone is clambering for after the initial release… I can honestly say that since 6 months since I joined them, I’m not using any of their plugins because I’ve found better, works better for me, alternatives elsewhere.

    The forward movement on the Buddypress plugin itself is like sitting at a 40 minute red traffic light and a mirror of what people experience with related plugins here. There are good people volunteering for this, but again no one (except JJJ) is getting paid for any of it as I understand it… thus, the product, in my opinion, moves and advances at such a slow pace… and unfortunately many get off the train and give up on it while they are waiting…..

    I asked Peter about making a PRO version, I think this plugin could support it as it seems to be essential to many of us… he is considering it. We are at the point where frankly money will make the development move faster, it is a very good motivator. I personally, don’t make any money off of this plugin, but rather have given money to it and help Peter because I want to see it go forward.

    The biggest issue I’ve seen with the plugin development with the BP business is SO many variables in configurations lead to something working on one machine just fine and not working at all on another… many times for no good reason and other times simply because the end user has no clue what they are doing.. Frankly, there should be a warning with BuddPress- “You may not REALLY know enough about computing and coding to make this work like you think it will/should”. “If you are not at least a power user with WordPress, PHP, HTML, FTP, and SERVER-SIDE MANAGEMENT, you might want to find somebody else to set this up for you”. -kidding aside, it’s not really as “out of the box easy” as people think it is when looking at the propaganda for it. In the end it’s still the best product out there…. for now.

    Support may be the way to go and/or a premium version for us… I don’t know. We will see which direction, if any, BuddyStream takes in the future.


    modemlooper
    Moderator

    @modemlooper

    I’m thinking about creating a BuddyPress marketplace. What I’ve noticed is developers are worried about dealing with support. This would be a place to sell add ons and themes and users can get support. Also I think it would be beneficial for users of BuddyPress to have a central place to get paid quality plugins that are tested to work together without fail.

    If any developer is interested in selling their plugin/ theme through a BuddyPress “app store” let me know


    gregfielding
    Participant

    @gregfielding

    That would be a great idea @modemlooper.


    pcwriter
    Participant

    @pcwriter

    @modemlooper

    A central app/plugin/theme store would be a great addition to the BP community!
    The site could be monetized by taking a commission on sales (I think that can be done with PayPal Pro, but not sure).
    You could throw in an affiliate program too (I remember seeing a $39 WP plugin that looked well-stocked with features for that).


    modemlooper
    Moderator

    @modemlooper

    I bought a URL, I guess its on. O.O It will be open to anyone who wants to sell through the site. Creating a job board on it as well.


    pcwriter
    Participant

    @pcwriter

    Cool! Keep us posted…

Viewing 7 replies - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
  • The topic ‘Why Plugin Developers Should Charge Money’ is closed to new replies.
Skip to toolbar