Business Models for WordPress Plugin and Theme Distribution
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Business Models for WordPress Plugin and Theme Distribution

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Business and licensing considerations for making money off of WordPress plugins and themes.

Business and licensing considerations for making money off of WordPress plugins and themes.

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    Business Models for WordPress Plugin and Theme Distribution Business Models for WordPress Plugin and Theme Distribution Presentation Transcript

    • Business Models for WordPress Plugin and Theme Distribution What You Need to Know About the GPL Presented by Jason Coleman At WordCampPhilly, October 30th, 2010JASON COLEMAN ∞ CEO, STRANGER STUDIOS ∞ M: 610-334-8508 ∞ JASON@STRANGERSTUDIOS.COM
    • GPLv2 License • License.txt in root of your WordPress install. • Online at: http://wordpress.org/about/gpl/ • “intended to guarantee your freedom to share and change free software” • Free as in “freedom, not price”. But… • “These restrictions translate to certain responsibilities for you if you distribute copies of the software, or if you modify it.JASON COLEMAN ∞ CEO, STRANGER STUDIOS ∞ M: 610-334-8508 ∞ JASON@STRANGERSTUDIOS.COM
    • WordPress on GPLv2 • http://wordpress.org/about/license/ • “Part of this license outlines requirements for derivative works, such as plugins or themes. Derivatives of WordPress code inherit the GPL license.” • What Drupal said: http://drupal.org/licensing/faq/ • WordPress: “we feel strongly that plugins and themes are derivative work and thus inherit the GPL license”JASON COLEMAN ∞ CEO, STRANGER STUDIOS ∞ M: 610-334-8508 ∞ JASON@STRANGERSTUDIOS.COM
    • WordPress vs. Thesis • Required viewing: Mixergy Interview with Matt Mullenweg and Chris Pearson. • WordPress: Themes and plugins are “derivitive works”. • DIYThemes: No they aren’t. • Moot Point: There was also copied code in Thesis. • But: Fair Use applicable to using code? • End Result: Thesis moves to “split license”.JASON COLEMAN ∞ CEO, STRANGER STUDIOS ∞ M: 610-334-8508 ∞ JASON@STRANGERSTUDIOS.COM
    • How does this affect me as a WordPress developer? When the GPL applies to you and potential business models for your themes & plugins.JASON COLEMAN ∞ CEO, STRANGER STUDIOS ∞ M: 610-334-8508 ∞ JASON@STRANGERSTUDIOS.COM
    • Scenario 1: Contract Work • From the GPL FAQ: “when the organization transfers copies to other organizations or individuals, that is distribution. In particular, providing copies to contractors for use off-site is distribution.” • If you distribute your code to a client’s server or through contract to their ownership, GPL applies. i.e. They can (but don’t have to) redistribute the code. • SS-Ecommerce Plugin had a faulty license. • Solutions? – Host it on your own server? – Work with the GPL. • Let your clients know about GPL impacts.JASON COLEMAN ∞ CEO, STRANGER STUDIOS ∞ M: 610-334-8508 ∞ JASON@STRANGERSTUDIOS.COM
    • Scenario 2: Plugin for Non-WP Site • Examples: WineLog plugin. Disqus plugin. • I don’t need to GPL WineLog code do I? • No, just code distributed with the plugin*. – Access data through APIs. – Leave proprietary logic out of the plugin code. • Still have a better featured version of WineLog plugin running on WineLog WPMU install. • Use common sense. Be careful.JASON COLEMAN ∞ CEO, STRANGER STUDIOS ∞ M: 610-334-8508 ∞ JASON@STRANGERSTUDIOS.COM
    • Scenario 3: Selling Premium Plugins • Assume the GPL applies to .php files. • You can use your own copyright license for images, CSS, and javascript*. (split license) • Can use some kind of “modular architecture” to get around the GPL. (s2Member) • Remember: free as in freedom. You can charge for GPL code! • Phone Home or API Keys to unlock functionality. • Obfuscation • Charge for “other stuff”.JASON COLEMAN ∞ CEO, STRANGER STUDIOS ∞ M: 610-334-8508 ∞ JASON@STRANGERSTUDIOS.COM
    • Business Models: Theme Co’s • DIYThemes • StudioPress – Personal Option: $87 one – GPL Themes time fee. • Use on one website. – One time $59.95-$84.95 fee for framework. • Forums • Lifetime upgrades. – $24.95/subtheme (“turnkey design”) or $249.95 for • 30-day money back framework and all subthemes. guarantee. – Developer’s Option: $164 – Unlimited sites. one time fee. – Free support forums. • Unlimited uses. • Access to beta versions. • Client Site OptionsJASON COLEMAN ∞ CEO, STRANGER STUDIOS ∞ M: 610-334-8508 ∞ JASON@STRANGERSTUDIOS.COM
    • Business Models: Plugin Co’s • s2Member Pro • WP e-Commerce – Start with the free version in – Base plugin is free. the WP directory. – Charge for “premium upgrades”. – Charge $69 (single site) or $129 (unlimited) for added – Free support forums features and modules for PayPal Pro (checkout on your – Premium Support own site). – Consulting? – I believe free version also includes affiliate links.JASON COLEMAN ∞ CEO, STRANGER STUDIOS ∞ M: 610-334-8508 ∞ JASON@STRANGERSTUDIOS.COM
    • Business Model: Paid Memberships Pro • $60 for plugin + 6 months access to support forums and updates. • $10/month for support and updates after that. • Includes compatible theme. • Download just plugin code or bundle with latest version of WP, recommended GPL plugins, etc. • Affiliate links for Payment Gateways.JASON COLEMAN ∞ CEO, STRANGER STUDIOS ∞ M: 610-334-8508 ∞ JASON@STRANGERSTUDIOS.COM
    • Discussion • Business Models – What to charge for? – How much to charge? • GPL – Using it. – Abusing it. • Anything else?JASON COLEMAN ∞ CEO, STRANGER STUDIOS ∞ M: 610-334-8508 ∞ JASON@STRANGERSTUDIOS.COM
    • About Jason Coleman • Stranger Studios: www.strangerstudios.com • WineLog: www.winelog.net • Membership Plugin: www.paidmembershipspro.com • Blog: therealjasoncoleman.comJASON COLEMAN ∞ CEO, STRANGER STUDIOS ∞ M: 610-334-8508 ∞ JASON@STRANGERSTUDIOS.COM