Support » Everything else WordPress » How to promote free plugin?

  • Hello,

    Our first plugin was uploaded few days ago, was downloaded 38 times and still has “fewer than 10 active installs”.

    For key phrases in plugins search result, our plugin is placed on 42 page! (after plugins totally not associated with searched phrase).

    Additional one plugin associated with searched phrase, but without any rating, with shorter description (with less occurencies of searched phrase) is placed on 22 page.

    Few questions
    – How user can find our plugin on WordPress directory at this stage?
    – If users dont want free plugin, maybe will be better to develop premium plugin first, remove features and releasing as free plugins and then directing users to WordPress.org (i know plugins with many downloads are placed high in results)?
    – Are there any statistics available for developers? Will be good to know how many people has viewed WordPress.org plugin page.

    Personally I have experience with premium plugins and this feels like free plugins are hardest to get downloads than premium plugins.

    • This topic was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by  77 Solutions.
Viewing 4 replies - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
  • Moderator Jan Dembowski

    (@jdembowski)

    Brute Squad and Volunteer Moderator

    How to promote free plugin?

    You don’t.

    *Drinks much more coffee, coffee is my friend*

    Sorry about that, I’m just recently awake and went through the spam queue.

    Why did you release a plugin here? I mean, what was your motivation?

    If it was to contribute to the community then AWESOME! Thanks, that’s the best.

    If it was for market exposure then you are Doing It Wrong™ and may want to consider hosting your plugin somewhere else.

    Our first plugin was uploaded few days ago, was downloaded 38 times and still has “fewer than 10 active installs”.

    That’s probably accurate. A download doesn’t mean that users left it on. I try plugins on my test installation all the time. 9 times out of 10 I deactivate it within a day. That will lead to your download count going up but the install count being low.

    – How user can find our plugin on WordPress directory at this stage?

    They’ll find it if they need it. Please don’t look to game the search engine used here. Gamification is a well established and hated thing here.

    – If users dont want free plugin, maybe will be better to develop premium plugin first, remove features and releasing as free plugins and then directing users to WordPress.org (i know plugins with many downloads are placed high in results)?

    That’s not a question for these forums and if the topic goes there I will close it. I’m not being obtuse, rude or even terse. These are support forums for an opensource software platform. Business advice isn’t for here.

    – Are there any statistics available for developers? Will be good to know how many people has viewed WordPress.org plugin page.

    You can reach out to the plugins team via plugins [at] wordpress.org for that definitive answer but I am 99.44% sure the answer is “No”.

    The available stats are here for your plugin.

    https://wordpress.org/plugins/css-injector/advanced/

    Personally I have experience with premium plugins and this feels like free plugins are hardest to get downloads than premium plugins.

    Back to my real question.


    Why did you release a plugin here? I mean, what was your motivation?

    It’s an important question.

    Your plugin is a “Custom CSS Injector” and while I’ve not installed it (yet) the stock WordPress installation comes with a CSS editor built in. And there are many custom CSS plugins out there.

    https://wordpress.org/plugins/search/custom+CSS/

    The ones with more download hits pop up first.

    Thank You for reply @jdembowski.

    Why did you release a plugin here? I mean, what was your motivation?

    My motivation is to get users of our open source software, not to making it for no one.

    Your plugin is a “Custom CSS Injector” and while I’ve not installed it (yet) the stock WordPress installation comes with a CSS editor built in. And there are many custom CSS plugins out there.

    We want to introduce more “unique” plugin soon, but Im not sure it will change anything. User will search “OUR UNIQUE PHRASE” and see (but propably not) our plugin with functionalities which are looking on 2 number digit page.

    Please check this:
    https://wordpress.org/plugins/svg-support/ (“custom css” phrase – second page of results)
    https://wordpress.org/plugins/ns-custom-css/ (same phrase – page 21, no ratings, no active installs, shorter description, less keywords in description)
    Our plugin: page 42 (yesterday plugin was called CSS Injector and was placed on 92 page and was changed for this reason to Custom CSS Injector).

    The ones with more download hits pop up first.

    Plugin with most number of downloads is on second page of search results.

    I do not want to be misunderstood but many of most popular plugins was promoted by their developers in commercial way (paid articles etc.) and want to just understand how can optimize my plugin description to get user which will be really interested my plugin without external interventions.

    I dont believe user prefer less optimized, ads-full plugin (placed higher in search results) than ours (>> Im not talking about plugins mentioned above! <<), He just dont know about existence of our plugin.

    Hi @77solutions,

    I’m the developer of SVG Support, the plugin you cited as being listed for the search term “Custom CSS”… I’d like to just say that I have not contributed to marketing my plugin at all. It has become popular completely organically based on users needing/wanting it.

    One of the main features is allowing you to target elements within the SVG using CSS, so it makes sense that it would rank for that search, even though I do not care about search terms so much when I write the plugin description in the readme.

    I launched this plugin years ago, and it was a very slow process to gain popularity. Only in the lats year or so it has grown exponentially and has gained recognition by people blogging about using SVG in their sites.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is, this repository is for free, open source software to help WordPress users. I do not and have not paid for any commercial advertising of the plugin.

    It’s exciting to watch more users adopt your plugin organically anyway.

    EDIT: Sorry, I didn’t answer your original question directly, I wouldn’t really know other than making sure your plugin is useful and has a need, is easy to use, description is well written and clear and write posts about how to use it.

    I honestly saw very little usage in the early years. In October 2016 I had just 30,000+ active installs, which took years to achieve. Now, I have 100,000+, this past year has grown exponentially.

    As for statistics, there isn’t a lot to go off. I just check the popular plugins pages to see where my plugin is sitting, which is in order of active installs. I then log it’s position in plain text file… very old school.

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by  Benbodhi.

    @benbodhi Thank You for reply.
    So we are waiting for more installs. 🙂

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