I think it’s great to see what tools other people in your industry use day to day. You can learn new techniques, discover new apps, and improve your own workflow by looking. Coen Jacobs recently shared his setup, so I thought it would be good to share mine too. Even though pretty much we do the same thing, we’re both pretty different when it comes to workflow.
Most developers agree the donation model isn’t great (giving the plugin away for free and requesting, not requiring, a small donation as a sign of support).
Arguably the best alternative is freemium model (where you have a free plugin and build premium functionality plugins around it) which is growing in popularity and is used by plugins such as WooCommerce and EDD.
Freemium may not be suitable for all plugins however, as some may not have many features which you can make premium, or you may just want to avoid the burden of supporting users who’ve purchased a premium product (who’s expectations for support may be far greater).
One of my plugins, Download Monitor, has always been donation based and free on WordPress.org. Although there is space for a few premium extensions, I’ve not had the capacity nor will to build them yet. When I rewrote the core plugin however, I did take out a feature I deemed to be bloat and made it separate – but not premium, as I thought users would react badly to a previously core feature being made paid-for after an update. Instead I made it “pay what you want”.
If you are building a complex plugin, or one which needs it’s own database tables, you’ll likely be installing all kinds of things during activation or first run. Uninstalling your data however may be an after thought.
In this post I’ll explain techniques you can use to install and remove your data to keep things tidy, should the user decide they no longer want your plugin.
WP Job Manager is one of my side projects which I’m having a lot of fun with at the moment.
This week the plugin passed 20,000 downloads which is a nice milestone to reach – so far I’ve done little marketing and just built it up slowly, so it’s great to see it growing in popularity naturally (which also allows me to keep up with support and feature requests).
Contributing to a plugin you use (or use for client sites) can not only benefit the developer of the plugin, but can also benefit you (and other users) too. There are many ways to contribute to a plugin, not just in terms of development as well; anyone can get involved.
Premium Themes and plugins; if you sell them you’ll know that eventually most of them end up on file sharing sites which, in terms of the GPL, is perfectly legal but should you use them?
I was prompted to write this post after dealing with a shop owner whom had installed several plugins and a theme all downloaded from a dodgy file sharing site in this manner.