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So You Want to Sell a Theme or Plugin (WordCamp Atlanta 2013)
So You Want to Sell a Theme or Plugin (WordCamp Atlanta 2013)
So You Want to Sell a Theme or Plugin (WordCamp Atlanta 2013)
So You Want to Sell a Theme or Plugin (WordCamp Atlanta 2013)
So You Want to Sell a Theme or Plugin (WordCamp Atlanta 2013)
So You Want to Sell a Theme or Plugin (WordCamp Atlanta 2013)
So You Want to Sell a Theme or Plugin (WordCamp Atlanta 2013)
So You Want to Sell a Theme or Plugin (WordCamp Atlanta 2013)
So You Want to Sell a Theme or Plugin (WordCamp Atlanta 2013)
So You Want to Sell a Theme or Plugin (WordCamp Atlanta 2013)
So You Want to Sell a Theme or Plugin (WordCamp Atlanta 2013)
So You Want to Sell a Theme or Plugin (WordCamp Atlanta 2013)
So You Want to Sell a Theme or Plugin (WordCamp Atlanta 2013)
So You Want to Sell a Theme or Plugin (WordCamp Atlanta 2013)
So You Want to Sell a Theme or Plugin (WordCamp Atlanta 2013)
So You Want to Sell a Theme or Plugin (WordCamp Atlanta 2013)
So You Want to Sell a Theme or Plugin (WordCamp Atlanta 2013)
So You Want to Sell a Theme or Plugin (WordCamp Atlanta 2013)
So You Want to Sell a Theme or Plugin (WordCamp Atlanta 2013)
So You Want to Sell a Theme or Plugin (WordCamp Atlanta 2013)
So You Want to Sell a Theme or Plugin (WordCamp Atlanta 2013)
So You Want to Sell a Theme or Plugin (WordCamp Atlanta 2013)
So You Want to Sell a Theme or Plugin (WordCamp Atlanta 2013)
So You Want to Sell a Theme or Plugin (WordCamp Atlanta 2013)
So You Want to Sell a Theme or Plugin (WordCamp Atlanta 2013)
So You Want to Sell a Theme or Plugin (WordCamp Atlanta 2013)
So You Want to Sell a Theme or Plugin (WordCamp Atlanta 2013)
So You Want to Sell a Theme or Plugin (WordCamp Atlanta 2013)
So You Want to Sell a Theme or Plugin (WordCamp Atlanta 2013)
So You Want to Sell a Theme or Plugin (WordCamp Atlanta 2013)
So You Want to Sell a Theme or Plugin (WordCamp Atlanta 2013)
So You Want to Sell a Theme or Plugin (WordCamp Atlanta 2013)
So You Want to Sell a Theme or Plugin (WordCamp Atlanta 2013)
So You Want to Sell a Theme or Plugin (WordCamp Atlanta 2013)
So You Want to Sell a Theme or Plugin (WordCamp Atlanta 2013)
So You Want to Sell a Theme or Plugin (WordCamp Atlanta 2013)
So You Want to Sell a Theme or Plugin (WordCamp Atlanta 2013)
So You Want to Sell a Theme or Plugin (WordCamp Atlanta 2013)
So You Want to Sell a Theme or Plugin (WordCamp Atlanta 2013)
So You Want to Sell a Theme or Plugin (WordCamp Atlanta 2013)
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So You Want to Sell a Theme or Plugin (WordCamp Atlanta 2013)

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  • 1. So You Want to Sell aWordPress Theme or PluginDave DonaldsonCo-founderMax Foundry
  • 2. Things That Make You Go Hmmm• Going to pose a lot of questions• Hard lessons learned• The goal is to make you think
  • 3. Things We’ve BuiltThemes PluginsLiftoff MaxLandingVenture MaxSalesMarketeer MaxSqueezeTenenbaum MaxA/BFolio MaxButtonsPanorama MaxButtons Pro MaxInbound MaxGalleria
  • 4. Things We’ve Actually SoldThemes PluginsLiftoff MaxLandingVenture MaxSalesMarketeer MaxSqueezeTenenbaum MaxA/BFolio MaxButtonsPanorama MaxButtons Pro MaxInbound MaxGalleria
  • 5. Things We Never ReleasedThemes PluginsLiftoff MaxLandingVenture MaxSalesMarketeer MaxSqueezeTenenbaum MaxA/BFolio MaxButtonsPanorama MaxButtons Pro MaxInbound MaxGalleria
  • 6. Things We Currently SellThemes PluginsLiftoff MaxLandingVenture MaxSalesMarketeer MaxSqueezeTenenbaum MaxA/BFolio MaxButtonsPanorama MaxButtons Pro MaxInbound MaxGalleria
  • 7. Congratulations• You can maybe design a bit…• …and can write some code to go with it…• …and you can do it in your parents’ basement.• Sweet! You’re gonna be filthy rich!
  • 8. THINGS TO KNOW UP FRONT
  • 9. Things to Know Up Front• Themes: – It’s a commodities market – All about great design – Lots of competition – Extremely hard to stand out from the crowd – Many companies compete on price
  • 10. Things to Know Up Front• Plugins: – Not quite the commodity that themes are – Only a few plugin-only companies – Much easier to find a niche – A little easier to stand out from the crowd – Need to have the engineering chops
  • 11. Things to Know Up Front• What people are really buying is support and upgrades• You are always competing with free
  • 12. YOU’VE BUILT IT, NOW WHAT?
  • 13. You’ve Built It, Now What?• Building the product only gets you half way there: – Gotta build the website – Gotta setup analytics – Gotta setup e-commerce – Gotta setup forums – Gotta setup Google Apps – Gotta setup email campaigns – Gotta setup Adwords campaign
  • 14. SUPPORT
  • 15. Support• Don’t bother charging for your product if you aren’t going to offer support• How long will you offer it? 1 year? Forever?• Is it 24/7 or only between certain hours?
  • 16. Support• Do customers have to activate a license key to get support?• Did you build that into the product?• Don’t underestimate how long this will take to implement and test
  • 17. Support• Email – Fine to start, but doesn’t scale – Email is already hard to stay on top of – What email address? – Yours or a support alias?
  • 18. Support• Phone – Maybe for priority (paid) support only? – What number will people call? Your cell? – Google Voice is good for this
  • 19. Support• Forums – Might be best to go this route first – bbPress is good for this – Or maybe an external service like ZenDesk – Is it publicly available or for paid customers only? – If for paid customers, you’ll need to integrate the forum software with your e-commerce software
  • 20. PRICING
  • 21. Pricing• Try to avoid competing on price• How much will you charge?• Will you use tiered pricing?• What about multisite pricing?• Ask potential customers how much they’d be willing to pay
  • 22. Pricing• You must consider the costs of supporting your product for a customer who uses it on multiple sites.• Example: each site might use different plugins that cause different conflicts with your plugin. That gets expensive to support.
  • 23. MARKETING
  • 24. Marketing• How will you drive traffic to your site? – Email – Social Media – Adwords – SEO – WordPress.org
  • 25. Marketing• Email – Very important – Can be very effective – Collect email addresses ASAP – Have you ever run an email campaign? – Use MailChimp, Campaign Monitor, etc
  • 26. Marketing• Social Media – Can help raise visibility – Time your posts properly – Should NOT be your only marketing – If Twitter is your marketing strategy, good luck with that
  • 27. Marketing• Adwords – Ever run an Adwords campaign? – It’s an art all by itself – And extremely time-consuming – And can get expensive – Know that Google always wants you to spend more money
  • 28. Marketing• SEO – Takes time for Google to grant you authority – The more quality backlinks the better – Avoid doing scammy things – Identify your major keywords – Use tools like HitTail to help you
  • 29. Marketing• WordPress.org – Utilize its high search engine ranking – Build a slimmed-down free version and put it into the repo – The free version helps you gain traction – Then upsell your paid version within the free version
  • 30. BRANDING
  • 31. Branding• For many people it’s an afterthought• Think about your branding early• Affects all of your marketing
  • 32. Branding• Max Foundry: – Plugin names intentionally start with “Max” – Plugin websites all look similar, yet different – Same with the plugin logos
  • 33. AUTO UPDATES
  • 34. Auto Updates• No worries for plugins in the wordpress.org Plugin Repository• Commercial plugins require more work• Critical to customers because they expect it – It’s part of what they paid for
  • 35. Auto Updates• A couple options: 1. Roll your own – Lots of work, tedious – Code on the internet, Google it 2. Use WP Updates – Makes it very easy – Not free
  • 36. Auto Updates• WP Updates – 3 easy steps 1. Upload your plugin version 2. Download updater class 3. Add 2 lines of code
  • 37. Auto Updates• WP Updates – 1 gotcha – Version numbers – 1.10.0 should be more recent than 1.9.2 – But not in WP Updates
  • 38. TAKEAWAYS
  • 39. Takeaways• It’s a lot more than just building it• Everything takes 2-3x longer than you think it will• It’s hard work
  • 40. Thanks! Dave Donaldsondave@maxfoundry.com @arcware

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