Premium vs Free Plugins

You get what you pay for

joost de valkOur friend Joost De Valk posted back in Nov 2012 about selling premium WordPress plugins and it’s caused a bit of a stir among our community so I thought I’d invite you all to leave a comment here and tell us your experiences of buying WordPress plugins. Do you have a favourite premium plugin you just couldn’t live without or do you think all plugins should be free? Are you an author of premium plugins and if so why did you choose to charge for your code?

Some questions to consider:

What are the benefits of paying for a plugin?

Is support usually better for premium plugins vs free?

Do premium plugins help WordPress grow as a platform or detract from its evolution?

If you do not buy premium plugins, why not?

Please leave your comments below and tell us what you think.

2 thoughts on “Premium vs Free Plugins

  1. I’ve bought premium plugins lots of times before and they usually are of a high quality and usually have much better support. That’s not universally true though.

    There are some really excellent free plugins, like Yoast’s SEO for WordPress, WooCommerce or Wordfence.

    I don’t think there is anything wrong with charging for plugins and I think if anything it helps WordPress because it helps create businesses whose sole focus is WP (like my own biz).

    We build free plugins to give back to the community and premium plugins to help us pay our bills and the wages of the person who’s going to answer the support emails!

  2. I have to say that in this particular article Yoast really hits on a major painpoint. WordPress really suffers from badly coded plugins and themes. Paid plugins tend to have higher quality of code and in the end, a paid plugin will probably save you money and time. (however I have still encountered badly coded premium themes/plugins)

    When you really start developing in wordpress and you want to create something more than a blog, you really feel the pain of the lack of standards for wordpress themes and plugins. We are at a point now where WordPress powers big sites and yet many wordpress themes and plugins are created without considering extensibility, usability or any kind of integrity. I personally think that the belt needs to be tightened and there should be a stricter standard for what can be a wordpress plugin or theme. If you look at wordpress itself, its a very nice piece of software, however if you are developing a website, how much does it depend on a certain theme or plugin? Ususally a lot! So why is it ok that we are basing the success of our websites on software that isn’t up to par?

    I think the only way wordpress can be taken seriously is if the plugins/themes are coded at least half as well as wordpress is!

    How many times have you installed a plugin and you have no idea where it’s settings are? Or how many times have you been baffled about what certain options do because they aren’t explained, or (and this sucks the most) how many times have your plugins started a fist fight? I for one, do not enjoy fixing other people’s plugins!

    Everyone hates apple for making it so difficult to submit to the apple store and yet the quality of apps is usually pretty stunning. I think wordpress needs to be a little more like apple in this respect and cut the fat. If I have to pay for plugins that work well, I don’t have an issue with that.

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