Selling Your Premium WordPress Plugin: Videos to Watch

Updated Oct 24, 2013

If you’re actively selling premium WordPress plugins or looking to get into the plugin business, check out these videos of business owners sharing their advice. So far most are from various WordCamps hosted on WordPress TV.

I also posted on premium plugin business podcast interviews and posts on commercializing.

Creating and Selling Premium WordPress Plugins

I had the opportunity to talk with Daniel Espinoza at length at Pressnomics 2013 about this very topic. The guy has a ton of experience and knowledge to share. Luckily for everyone one of his WordCamp talks on the subject is now available.

Creating and Selling Premium WordPress Plugins [slides] (Grand Rapids 2013)

Description from the page on Whether you have premium plugins in development or are just thinking about building them this talk shares valuable lessons on how to design, build, support and sell your plugins.

Lessons Learned Selling Plugins & Themes

Dave Donaldson, co-founder of Max Foundry, goes through trade-offs between selling themes and plugins and explains why they landed on selling mainly plugins.

So You Want to Sell a WordPress Theme or Plugin [slides] (Atlanta 2013)

Key points:

  • Why premium themes are so much harder to sell than premium plugins
  • When competing with free you’re actually selling support, not code
  • Non-development tasks: Building your sales site, support system, mailing list and ads
  • User support strategies (email, forums, phone)
  • Plugin pricing
  • Avenues to drive traffic to your site
  • Branding and consistency
  • Auto-update options

Commercializing your plugin

Garth Koyle, co-founder of Event Espresso, an event management plugin for WordPress, has three recorded presentations from 2011.

Can you commercialize your plugin-WordCamp Detroit 2011-Garth Koyle-Event Espresso

As these three talks were all in the same year, some information is repeated but there are added tidbits in each new presentation. Here are some key points Garth touched on:

  • Analyzing the plugin repository to estimate the number of premium plugin customers for a specific market
  • Calculating your fixed and variable costs to estimate profits per month you can make from your plugin
  • Pricing your plugin
  • How to use Google Trends, Google Keyword Tool and Alexa to analyze search and traffic volume for the market you want to reach
  • Systems Event Espresso has put in place to manage the business: sales, support, hiring, affiliates, development, plugin updates, etc. You name it.

Decisions to make while running a premium plugin business

Shane Pearlman, co-founder of Modern Tribe, talks about his business and premium plugin Events Calendar Pro.

The Art & Science of Premium [slides] (Las Vegas 2012)

Key points:

  • Plugin marketplace vs. selling on your own
  • Using to test your plugin ideas
  • How a freemium model can work for plugins
  • Finding ways to get recurring revenue
  • Experimenting with advertising, landing pages, A/B split testing and using metrics
  • Plugin pricing, plans and using an add-on model
  • User support strategies

Side note: Isn’t it cool that two companies with multiple founders and competing products are both thriving in the WordPress premium plugin market?

More videos pop up occasionally, so I’ll update this post with any new ones I come across. Same goes for any existing videos I missed whether they’re on WordPress TV or elsewhere. Just let me know in the comments.


  1. Daniel Espinoza on May 8, 2013 at 7:56 am

    Hey Phil,

    Great collection of videos! I gave a similar talk two weeks ago at WC Mpls: Selling Premium WordPress Plugins
    Slides are at this link and the video should be on soon!

    • Phil Derksen on May 8, 2013 at 8:15 am

      Thanks for sharing the slides Daniel. I will definitely add your video to the list once it’s published.

  2. David on August 10, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    Hi Phil,

    Thank you for this overview. I am also in the process of promoting for the first time a WordPress premium plugin, the ‘Purple Heart Rating Plugin’.

    The process of building the plugin was rather easy, the marketing part is indeed cumbersome, as Dave Donaldson says. Not everyone is a marketing guru like Tim Ferriss or has a huge base of followers, or a friend with a huge base of relevant followers… :)

    @Daniel: yours is also a nice presentation, although looking only at the slide it’s sometimes hard to understand what you are trying to convey. But the way you describe your journey (quittig job and having big dreams) sounds familiar, although I have yet to quit my job.

    Best regards from Greece,

  3. […] from WordPress plugins, there’s not just one way to go about it. If you’ve gone through any videos, podcast interviews and posts on selling premium plugins you’ll see that revenue models vary […]

  4. MoreShares ForYou (@MoreShares) on March 3, 2014 at 5:00 am

    Nice overview. We have our first Pro Plugin ready to ship.
    Hope the above will help us sell a lot. Will start watching the videos tonight :) !

    P.S. Any advice about our plugin is highly appreciated.