Support » Developing with WordPress » Developing a plugin with premium features

  • Hey folks!

    Since a few weeks I’m developing a quite complex WordPress plugin. This is the first time I develop such a plugin, so I’m a bit unsure about the guidelines.

    The plugin should contain a free and a premium version. In the free version everything is functional, but the premium version adds some features to the plugin. For example the branding in the frontend is removed and certain options are available. Is this basically allowed?

    In the guidelines it says that this is allowed as long as all source code is available.

    The concept is that the user can enter a license key. This is then sent to an API interface, which validates the key and returns the result. A function within the plugin checks the status of the license and, if the license is valid, enables the additional options.

    I am very grateful for your help! 🙂

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  • The plugin should contain a free and a premium version.

    Considering that your plugin must have a GPL compatible license to be in the plugin repository, and that license says that the user gets all the source code, then it makes sense that you would want to have a different codebase for the two versions or it would be a simple matter of removing the check for the license key before being able to run the premium code.
    You can’t sell a license key from within your free plugin, and you can’t contact external sites without user opt-in.

    Thread Starter Jonas Marlo Lörken


    Thanks for your answer, Joy! 🙂

    You got that right. I think I will publish a free version over WordPress and sell a premium version for some money. Is it allowed to tease features in the free version that would be available in the premium version or is that against the guidelines?

    More precisely, a feature should be visible but not available with the indication that it is a premium feature.

    I’m not part of the plugins team, so you need to either read the guidelines carefully, or ask them directly or on Slack #pluginreview.
    You can see existing plugins with admin pages that promote their premium versions, but I don’t know that they have non-working features, as that is a lot of clutter and could get you bad reviews.

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