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Have You Ever Paid for a Plugin? (40 posts)

  1. Kahil
    Posted 9 years ago #

    Do you people not read what someone posts????

    First, do not start accusing people of being warez pirates.

    Second, I said the same thing that whooami said! I said that getting paid to make one is good! If someone commissions you to make one, great! Donations good! There is no market for mass plugin production. Unless someone creates a unique plugin and then somehow makes it so that you have to have some sort of registration code that you get after buying, it makes no logical nor financial sense to start making plugins for profit.

    Ughhh... sigh... it seems as though people are just up to startin up high school drama crap. Read someone's whole post before you read one sentence, take it out of context from the rest of the post and then start flaming them.

  2. whooami
    Posted 9 years ago #


    youre getting defensive when you dont need to. No-one is skimming posts. The quotes are so that you know specifically what someone is replying to.

    On the contrary, you are the one that appears to be misreading.

    You were NOT accused of being a warez pirate.

    Your comment was however, similar to an argument a warez pirate might make.

  3. peiqinglong
    Posted 9 years ago #

    A bit off-topic, where would one go to request for a custom plugin to be made (willing to pay of course)?

  4. Chris_K
    Posted 9 years ago #

    @peiqinglong: I'd suggest either the WP Pros list or perhaps contacting folks here: http://automattic.com/services/wordpress-consultants/

  5. davidchait
    Posted 9 years ago #

    Thanks Joni!

    I disagree with Kahil strongly. "There is no market for mass plugin production." Depends on 'mass' -- if the few hundred users a year who download my plugins would become paid users, that's pretty good. The 'market' is there in terms of size (hundred-plus is a good start, thousands is better).

    "it makes no logical nor financial sense to start making plugins for profit." Well, not if your belief is that you can buy commercial plugins and then go give them away, no. And possibly from the other direction: it's not necessarily feasible, even if people like you didn't think it was your right to undermine commercial-thinking developers, people like me living in high cost-of-living areas of the US (let alone the world!) have a hard time making ends meet at $5-10 a pop. At least, not until I hit a few thousand paying users, then we'll talk! ;)

    Now, you also basically make statements that it isn't feasible because you could just give it away. That's not quite true.

    If you agree to the terms of the purchase of a commercial plugin, you are bound by those terms. Not all WP plugins are GPL, and they don't become GPL just because you say so, so redistributing a non-GPL (or other non-free license) plugin for free, modified or not, would be a violation of that license/purchase, and a violation of the law. Could you do it if you wanted to? Yes. Should you? No. Is it any different from software piracy for you to redistribute a plugin that you purchased as a commercial product? Nope, sorry.

    Should we get into an argument over whether or not plugins can be non-GPL? No, as it's been discussed and debated at length, and there really isn't clarity in the GPL on this subject. And this isn't a discussion of GPL -- it's a discussion of whether you would pay for a plugin. And I >think< you have actually answered you WOULD, if it were a custom piece, or otherwise unique (tell me if I'm wrong on that, not trying to misrepresent you).

    Of course, if it's unique, but interesting to more than just you, regardless of whether it is GPL, you don't HAVE to give it away for free. You see, that's a CHOICE when purchasing something that was GPL based. You can ask for the code, you can distribute it for free, but it isn't required of you -- you CAN let someone make a living off of GPL-derived work, or off GPL-related work.

    We can agree to disagree. I think the reason it's not financially feasible is because of the exact mindset of folks here who say they'd never pay for a plugin, but might on a rare occasion donate.

    If you would donate to EVERY author whose software you use, plugins or otherwise, you are helping maintain the OSS world. There is no such thing as a free lunch. Automattic wouldn't be a 'business' right now if it wasn't for WP, and WP has developed over the past few years because of many people outside the core team, who gave time for free. In a sense, much OSS has become like shareware of old, too much sharing, not much paying (or, not much feeling on the part of the users that they should pay, that there's a reason to, a benefit to... that by not paying/donating, they are actualy 'harming' the 'ecosystem'.

    So, I agree with you questioning financial feasibility ON THAT GROUNDS, that anyone who feels that they love WP, love the plugins they use, but wouldn't pay a cent, because after all "it's free software", don't feel there's a 'need' to financially support such developers. Thus, self-fulfilling prophecy. ;)

    To the best of my knowledge, Automattic has salaried employees. I'd bet there's a lot of WP development at this point whose 'cost' is being paid for, is being underwritten in many ways, some direct (support for some big installations of WP-MU or something), some indirect (I don't know for a fact, but I'd hazard a guess there are indirect sources of cash there).

    Contrast that with much of the 'secondary market' of themes and plugins goes greatly unsupported, with donations and purchases too few and far between. One or two in the plugin side of things has broken out and developed and sold suites of plugins with paid support and help. I'm likely going to HAVE to follow that model in the year to come -- I have no choice, with users not donating enough, but the support emails come and go. (Joni, thanks to you for being a supporter both in words, and in donations!)

    So, I'd agree that there are issues with making money in OSS, but the issues are of education and self-responsibility in the era of OSS. If the software is good and useful, pay for it -- or, if you can contribute back (forums, support, coding, etc.), give back in 'bartering' methods.

    Just because it's "free software" doesn't mean someone isn't paying the bills. In my case, I underwrite most of what I do with my day job. In the case of WP core, I'd presume by now much of it could be underwritten by Automattic. Heck, most important Linux development these days are full-time-employed people at major companies, either the Linux resellers (redhat, et al), or custom software or hardware developers (who contribute free drivers, free enhancements, but because they are leveraging the 'free' software in other ways... Go look at the TomTom GPS free downloadable bits, for instance...).

    <off the soapbox>

    (and the odds are I'm so busy with the job that DOES pay my bills for the next week that I won't be reading this potential-for-a-flamewar actively... anyone can feel free to write me offline in support, or disagreement! ;) )


  6. whooami
    Posted 9 years ago #

    well said.

  7. stevenmedleycom
    Posted 8 years ago #

    I think this topic really is all about morals vs money, both sides have valid points. i do agree that if one thinks a plugin, theme, etc.. is good or finds it to benefit them then indeed do donate. customizations should be considered business, after all how do the people coding these customizations benefit from helping YOU among everyone else if they do not charge? For plugins that are not custom made, it is my OPINION they should be nice enough to share with the world, if its useful people will donate, however the people who do charge are doing so with valid reasons, they work hard to develop something that will help the community, YOU, and if you want it, you can pay for it, if not then dont. My opinions are just that, OPINIONS, everything ive said in the post is MY OPINION. as for whos right and whos wrong, the answer to both questions are one and same, NO ONE IS RIGHT AND NO ONE IS WRONG.

  8. Kaloyan
    Posted 8 years ago #

    I am planning on making a commercial WordPress plugin. I've published plugins that are open-source and free, which help the average WordPress customers. In the mean time, if a build a plugin which functionality in general will be used by "commercial" means, then I myself I do not see any issues w/ releasing with a proprietary license and for a price.

  9. freerobby
    Posted 8 years ago #

    I find extraordinary hypocrisy in Kahil's argument that "custom jobs are different from mass sales."

    I had an artist approach me to write a customized plugin that would require dozens of hours of work. There is no chance she could have afforded it. Instead what I did is build something more extensible so that I could sell it to multiple artists at a reduced cost. At the end of the day I made the same amount of money while pleasing more people and allowing it to be more affordable.

    So tell me, Kahil, where was my great sin in making "mass sales"?

  10. Joni
    Posted 8 years ago #

    Excellent point, FreeRobby! And a great way to give your client what she needed and wanted, while helping to build your reputation and create something that others would benefit from as well. Sounds like a win-win situation.

    And my take on donating to plugin authors is simple. Especially if it's a plugin that a web design client of mine wants. I've made my money on my client's web site, by building it for him, by finding out what features he wants and by hunting down those plugins that will do the job. Sometimes I can't get the thing to work, and I go to the plugin developer for help. Most of the time, they are very responsive. Sometimes it is a case of PICNIC (Problem In Chair, Not In Computer). Sometimes it is a bug or some other reason it wouldn't have worked for me but for the intervention of the plugin developer. I always hit their Donate or Wishlist buttons. To show my appreciate for the effort they took to help me. Time is money, after all.

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