For each one of you aspiring to create / sell WordPress plugins, there is always this time when you launch your first plugin.
This post depicts a brief history of how we started with our very first plugin for WordPress – Order Delivery Date. And how did we go about it’s pricing.
However, this post is not about how you should price your plugins. That has been widely discussed across various sites. You can find that here, here & here.
The first version of the plugin was a free version only. It was released for WP E-Commerce platform initially. There was no paid version. It took a bit of back & forth emails from the guys managing the WordPress plugins repository so that our first plugin was up to the WordPress standards.
After about 3 weeks, we released Order Delivery Date plugin for WooCommerce (again free/lite version). The difference between WP Ecommerce & WooCommerce versions was that the WooCommerce version of Order Delivery Date (Lite) didn’t have any settings in the admin. It would simply add the delivery date field on the checkout page.
The reason to not have Delivery Date settings in admin for WooCommerce version was to just experiment with it & make it different from WP Ecommerce version. That would allow us to get an idea if WooCommerce users are indeed interested in such a plugin or not & if yes, what else do they require in order to make the plugin more acceptable.
Another reason was also the fact that not many downloads were recorded for the free version of the WP Ecommerce Order delivery date plugin. So we did not want to invest too much time in the plugin’s first version for WooCommerce.
First Paid Plugin
As a few days passed by, we realized that the number of free downloads of the WooCommerce version of the plugin was far higher than that of WP E-commerce. This came as a big surprise.
We started receiving feedback from customers for adding more features to the plugin.
That’s when we decided to release a paid version of that plugin which would contain some settings in the admin – only for the WooCommerce version – to experiment.
The admin settings looked like as shown below.
This one was priced at $9. This was the first paid plugin we released. What a proud feeling it was (and will always be).
There was hardly any logic at that time behind the pricing of $9. The only thing we wanted to test was whether this is something people will pay for or not. And if yes, then $9 didn’t seem to be too big an amount.
That would give us a fair indication about how to go ahead with the Order Delivery Date Plugin & it’s future roadmap.
Once the initial $9 version was released, I wouldn’t say it received a ‘tremendous mind-blowing’ response, but it did receive a decent response. There were enough sales & inquiries to give an indication that there is indeed a market out there for this plugin.
We started adding more functionality to the plugin. We changed it’s pricing from $9 to $29.. and then later from $29 to $49.
With each price change, some major features were introduced in the plugin. When we moved from $9 to $29, there were 4 different sections in the plugin’s admin: Date Settings, Time Settings, Holidays, Appearance. When we moved from $29 to $49, we added the ability to add another field with the delivery date, Time Slots.
This is how the plugin interface looks right now.
This might not be the best user interfaces for the plugin, but it has evolved tremendously from it’s initial version.
So I should start with $9 for my first WordPress plugin?
No. Not at all. What I have written above is the path we followed & the experiments we conducted at various stages so far for the Order Delivery Date plugin.
It is entirely up to you to choose a price & the features you want to launch with. But you will have to keep on experimenting with both of them as you move forward.
It is a good idea to first launch a lite version which addresses at least one key problem for users. In our case, it would add the delivery date field on checkout page, for free. The only other way this was possible was using the WooCommerce Checkout Field Editor extension – which was $29 at that time.
Experimenting with the pricing & with the features at various stages is the key.
That plugin idea sitting in your brain is no good. Build it & Launch.