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Do You Use Premium WordPress Plugins?

Posted on by in Blog

The official WordPress plugin directory remains the best place to find plugins for your website. Many developers are also developing premium plugins. There are many free (lite) versions of premium plugins available in the official directory. This allows WordPress users to test their plugin and encourages them to purchase the more feature rich premium version.

It is clear that many developers are creating plugins solely for the premium market now. I’ve personally purchased more premium WordPress plugins in the last year than I have in the previous four. A quick look at the plugins being used on WP Mods reflects this.

As someone who tests free and premium plugins on a weekly basis, the number of plugins that are being used to power WP Mods changes all the time. As I write this article there are currently 37 plugins installed here. 27 of those plugins are free to download whilst 10 of those cost a fee. The cost of these plugins range from bargain plugins such as Better Recent Posts Widget Pro ($4) and UberMenu ($14) to more expensive plugins such as Gravity Forms ($39) and VaultPress ($15 per month).

It’s worth noting that whilst I have paid over $150 for a theme frameworks, I’ve yet to pay over $50 for a WordPress plugin. Most high end premium plugins add major functionality to your website or convert WordPress from a CMS into something else. I’ve not required a feature rich plugin for any website of mine in the past though I wouldn’t rule out purchasing one in the future if the project demanded it.

Do You Use Premium WordPress Plugins?

With over a quarter of the plugins being used on WP Mods costing money, it’s safe to say that I am a fan of premium plugins and I’m happy to pay for a plugin if it does something which I believe enhances my website.

I appreciate that not everyone feels the same way as I do. Many WordPress users don’t have the budget for purchasing premium WordPress plugins whilst others feel that plugins should always be free and will always look for a free alternative.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this issue:

  • Have you bought premium WordPress plugins in the past? If not, why not, and would you do so in the future?
  • How much would you pay for a WordPress plugin? Does it depend on your budget or are you happy to pay any price if it extends the functionality of your website?

I think this is an interesting subject so I’d love to hear your opinions on it.

Thanks,
Kevin

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Comments (47)

Comment by WP Mods says:

Thomas Frank I’m seeing great results with the pippity pop up plugin for increasing my newsletter subscription count. I’ve got it installed on my personal website too. The other two essential plugins for me are vaultpress (for backing up) and gravity forms.

Comment by WP Mods says:

Thomas Frank I’m seeing great results with the pippity pop up plugin for increasing my newsletter subscription count. I’ve got it installed on my personal website too. The other two essential plugins for me are vaultpress (for backing up) and gravity forms.

Comment by WP Mods says:

Thomas Frank I’m seeing great results with the pippity pop up plugin for increasing my newsletter subscription count. I’ve got it installed on my personal website too. The other two essential plugins for me are vaultpress (for backing up) and gravity forms.

Comment by WP Mods says:

Thomas Frank I’m seeing great results with the pippity pop up plugin for increasing my newsletter subscription count. I’ve got it installed on my personal website too. The other two essential plugins for me are vaultpress (for backing up) and gravity forms.

Comment by WP Mods says:

Thomas Frank I’m seeing great results with the pippity pop up plugin for increasing my newsletter subscription count. I’ve got it installed on my personal website too. The other two essential plugins for me are vaultpress (for backing up) and gravity forms.

Comment by WP Mods says:

Thomas Frank I’m seeing great results with the pippity pop up plugin for increasing my newsletter subscription count. I’ve got it installed on my personal website too. The other two essential plugins for me are vaultpress (for backing up) and gravity forms.

Comment by WP Mods says:

Thomas Frank I’m seeing great results with the pippity pop up plugin for increasing my newsletter subscription count. I’ve got it installed on my personal website too. The other two essential plugins for me are vaultpress (for backing up) and gravity forms.

Comment by WP Mods says:

Thomas Frank I’m seeing great results with the pippity pop up plugin for increasing my newsletter subscription count. I’ve got it installed on my personal website too. The other two essential plugins for me are vaultpress (for backing up) and gravity forms.

Comment by WP Mods says:

Thomas Frank I’m seeing great results with the pippity pop up plugin for increasing my newsletter subscription count. I’ve got it installed on my personal website too. The other two essential plugins for me are vaultpress (for backing up) and gravity forms.

Comment by Thomas Frank says:

@[285639173280:274:WP Mods] fortunately the lightbox plugin was only $18, so I’ve decided to save it in case I need it for a client site or a new project I end up doing down the road :)

Beside the plugins listed in your post, what other ones do you use and recommend?

Comment by Thomas Frank says:

@[285639173280:274:WP Mods] fortunately the lightbox plugin was only $18, so I’ve decided to save it in case I need it for a client site or a new project I end up doing down the road :)

Beside the plugins listed in your post, what other ones do you use and recommend?

Comment by Thomas Frank says:

@[285639173280:274:WP Mods] fortunately the lightbox plugin was only $18, so I’ve decided to save it in case I need it for a client site or a new project I end up doing down the road :)

Beside the plugins listed in your post, what other ones do you use and recommend?

Comment by Thomas Frank says:

@[285639173280:274:WP Mods] fortunately the lightbox plugin was only $18, so I’ve decided to save it in case I need it for a client site or a new project I end up doing down the road :)

Beside the plugins listed in your post, what other ones do you use and recommend?

Comment by Thomas Frank says:

@[285639173280:274:WP Mods] fortunately the lightbox plugin was only $18, so I’ve decided to save it in case I need it for a client site or a new project I end up doing down the road :)

Beside the plugins listed in your post, what other ones do you use and recommend?

Comment by Thomas Frank says:

@[285639173280:274:WP Mods] fortunately the lightbox plugin was only $18, so I’ve decided to save it in case I need it for a client site or a new project I end up doing down the road :)

Beside the plugins listed in your post, what other ones do you use and recommend?

Comment by Thomas Frank says:

@[285639173280:274:WP Mods] fortunately the lightbox plugin was only $18, so I’ve decided to save it in case I need it for a client site or a new project I end up doing down the road :)

Beside the plugins listed in your post, what other ones do you use and recommend?

Comment by Thomas Frank says:

@[285639173280:274:WP Mods] fortunately the lightbox plugin was only $18, so I’ve decided to save it in case I need it for a client site or a new project I end up doing down the road :)

Beside the plugins listed in your post, what other ones do you use and recommend?

Comment by Thomas Frank says:

@[285639173280:274:WP Mods] fortunately the lightbox plugin was only $18, so I’ve decided to save it in case I need it for a client site or a new project I end up doing down the road :)

Beside the plugins listed in your post, what other ones do you use and recommend?

Comment by WP Mods says:

I used Foobar on WPMods for a few months. It’s a great plugin however it seemed to cause some errors with some browsers.

Yeah I’ve bought a few premium plugins, and themes, that didn’t live up to expectations. I don’t mind too much if they’re cheap but if a plugin cost around $50 and was really disappointing, I’d ask for a refund.

Comment by WP Mods says:

I used Foobar on WPMods for a few months. It’s a great plugin however it seemed to cause some errors with some browsers.

Yeah I’ve bought a few premium plugins, and themes, that didn’t live up to expectations. I don’t mind too much if they’re cheap but if a plugin cost around $50 and was really disappointing, I’d ask for a refund.

Comment by WP Mods says:

I used Foobar on WPMods for a few months. It’s a great plugin however it seemed to cause some errors with some browsers.

Yeah I’ve bought a few premium plugins, and themes, that didn’t live up to expectations. I don’t mind too much if they’re cheap but if a plugin cost around $50 and was really disappointing, I’d ask for a refund.

Comment by WP Mods says:

I used Foobar on WPMods for a few months. It’s a great plugin however it seemed to cause some errors with some browsers.

Yeah I’ve bought a few premium plugins, and themes, that didn’t live up to expectations. I don’t mind too much if they’re cheap but if a plugin cost around $50 and was really disappointing, I’d ask for a refund.

Comment by WP Mods says:

I used Foobar on WPMods for a few months. It’s a great plugin however it seemed to cause some errors with some browsers.

Yeah I’ve bought a few premium plugins, and themes, that didn’t live up to expectations. I don’t mind too much if they’re cheap but if a plugin cost around $50 and was really disappointing, I’d ask for a refund.

Comment by WP Mods says:

I used Foobar on WPMods for a few months. It’s a great plugin however it seemed to cause some errors with some browsers.

Yeah I’ve bought a few premium plugins, and themes, that didn’t live up to expectations. I don’t mind too much if they’re cheap but if a plugin cost around $50 and was really disappointing, I’d ask for a refund.

Comment by WP Mods says:

I used Foobar on WPMods for a few months. It’s a great plugin however it seemed to cause some errors with some browsers.

Yeah I’ve bought a few premium plugins, and themes, that didn’t live up to expectations. I don’t mind too much if they’re cheap but if a plugin cost around $50 and was really disappointing, I’d ask for a refund.

Comment by WP Mods says:

I used Foobar on WPMods for a few months. It’s a great plugin however it seemed to cause some errors with some browsers.

Yeah I’ve bought a few premium plugins, and themes, that didn’t live up to expectations. I don’t mind too much if they’re cheap but if a plugin cost around $50 and was really disappointing, I’d ask for a refund.

Comment by WP Mods says:

I used Foobar on WPMods for a few months. It’s a great plugin however it seemed to cause some errors with some browsers.

Yeah I’ve bought a few premium plugins, and themes, that didn’t live up to expectations. I don’t mind too much if they’re cheap but if a plugin cost around $50 and was really disappointing, I’d ask for a refund.

Comment by Thomas Frank says:

I bought a few premium plugins for my latest blog redesign. I got a $12 plugin called FooBar that completely replaces HelloBar (so it actually saves me money since HelloBar charges a monthly fee). I also got a cool AJAX contact form. Unfortunately, I also bought a couple plugins that I didn’t end up using, like a cool, over-the-top lightbox plugin that ended up being really slow. Too bad you can’t try before you buy…

Comment by Thomas Frank says:

I bought a few premium plugins for my latest blog redesign. I got a $12 plugin called FooBar that completely replaces HelloBar (so it actually saves me money since HelloBar charges a monthly fee). I also got a cool AJAX contact form. Unfortunately, I also bought a couple plugins that I didn’t end up using, like a cool, over-the-top lightbox plugin that ended up being really slow. Too bad you can’t try before you buy…

Comment by Thomas Frank says:

I bought a few premium plugins for my latest blog redesign. I got a $12 plugin called FooBar that completely replaces HelloBar (so it actually saves me money since HelloBar charges a monthly fee). I also got a cool AJAX contact form. Unfortunately, I also bought a couple plugins that I didn’t end up using, like a cool, over-the-top lightbox plugin that ended up being really slow. Too bad you can’t try before you buy…

Comment by Thomas Frank says:

I bought a few premium plugins for my latest blog redesign. I got a $12 plugin called FooBar that completely replaces HelloBar (so it actually saves me money since HelloBar charges a monthly fee). I also got a cool AJAX contact form. Unfortunately, I also bought a couple plugins that I didn’t end up using, like a cool, over-the-top lightbox plugin that ended up being really slow. Too bad you can’t try before you buy…

Comment by Thomas Frank says:

I bought a few premium plugins for my latest blog redesign. I got a $12 plugin called FooBar that completely replaces HelloBar (so it actually saves me money since HelloBar charges a monthly fee). I also got a cool AJAX contact form. Unfortunately, I also bought a couple plugins that I didn’t end up using, like a cool, over-the-top lightbox plugin that ended up being really slow. Too bad you can’t try before you buy…

Comment by Thomas Frank says:

I bought a few premium plugins for my latest blog redesign. I got a $12 plugin called FooBar that completely replaces HelloBar (so it actually saves me money since HelloBar charges a monthly fee). I also got a cool AJAX contact form. Unfortunately, I also bought a couple plugins that I didn’t end up using, like a cool, over-the-top lightbox plugin that ended up being really slow. Too bad you can’t try before you buy…

Comment by Thomas Frank says:

I bought a few premium plugins for my latest blog redesign. I got a $12 plugin called FooBar that completely replaces HelloBar (so it actually saves me money since HelloBar charges a monthly fee). I also got a cool AJAX contact form. Unfortunately, I also bought a couple plugins that I didn’t end up using, like a cool, over-the-top lightbox plugin that ended up being really slow. Too bad you can’t try before you buy…

Comment by Thomas Frank says:

I bought a few premium plugins for my latest blog redesign. I got a $12 plugin called FooBar that completely replaces HelloBar (so it actually saves me money since HelloBar charges a monthly fee). I also got a cool AJAX contact form. Unfortunately, I also bought a couple plugins that I didn’t end up using, like a cool, over-the-top lightbox plugin that ended up being really slow. Too bad you can’t try before you buy…

Comment by Thomas Frank says:

I bought a few premium plugins for my latest blog redesign. I got a $12 plugin called FooBar that completely replaces HelloBar (so it actually saves me money since HelloBar charges a monthly fee). I also got a cool AJAX contact form. Unfortunately, I also bought a couple plugins that I didn’t end up using, like a cool, over-the-top lightbox plugin that ended up being really slow. Too bad you can’t try before you buy…

Comment by Jarkko says:

I use plugins only at my own sites but nowadays I have changed them premium versions. I have no specific reason to that but I feel more secure when I know there’s some support available if something goes wrong.

Comment by Kevin Muldoon says:

I think that’s great that it’s exploded. A few years ago there were some great plugins that hadn’t been updated in several months or even years; frustrating the WordPress community.

Premium plugins are usually updated more and the developers have an incentive to do so.

Comment by Jon Donley says:

Ditto to what Paul said. Premium plugins that let me juice up client sites are often the most economical and efficient way of using resources. I’d say half of my must-have plugins are now premiums, and they’ve made me a lot of money. I think the reason that I, like Kevin, have bought at a higher rate in the past year is that the premium plugin market has exploded, and coders are outdoing themselves to stay on the edge.

Comment by Josh Kohlbach says:

It’s an interesting point that Praveen brings up. Regardless of price, I think it’s the plugin builder’s job to ensure they get more out of it than they pay because budget is really an important factor.

Really helps when people can see that spending money can help them make money. Paul touches on this below too…

Comment by Kevin Muldoon says:

I appreciate budget is the main reason some WordPress users don’t invest in premium plugins. Hopefully we can help those people out through competitions etc on WPMods. :)

Comment by Kevin Muldoon says:

I think the market is heading that way Paul. As you pointed out, time is money. I spent about the whole day yesterday changing some things on WP Mods.

Whilst I do like doing things manually so that I understand them better; if I had found a suitable plugin I wouldn’t have hesitated in clicking the buy now button.

Comment by Paul Kaiser says:

I will buy a premium plugin if I think it will save me time and trouble. I bill at $50 / hr, so if I can’t build the functionality I need in an hour, $25 for a plugin is a no-brainer. I wish more folks operated this way — I love coding plugins and would love a riper market.

Comment by Praveen Gowda I V says:

I have not bought many premium WordPress plugins before, not because I don’t like buying but I am still a student and don’t have much money to invest in premium plugins.
I have come across so many premium WordPress plugins which would be so useful for me, but it is always the price which is a roadblock but I am planning to buy quite a few of them in the future.

When it comes to price of plugins, if the plugin really gives a very essential functionality and there are no better alternatives then I am ready to buy.

Comment by Dave Clements says:

Absolutely, especially in the online world where people are anonymous and they don’t have to feel bad about not tipping anyone. I’m with you though; if it’s only a few bucks it’s almost always worth buying.

Comment by Kevin Muldoon says:

Yeah there is nearly always a free alternative. I rarely think twice about clicking the buy button for any plugin I need that is under $20.

I wouldn’t say that premium plugins are better than the free alternatives though support is usually (I stress usually!) much better and the plugin is usually updated more often too.

I think it’s good that many plugin developers are going down this route as we have seen that the donation option for developers just doesn’t work. I’ve seen amazing plugins before that were hugely popular and the owner got less than $10 in tips a month. Tipping just doesn’t work.

Comment by Dave Clements says:

I e bought several premium plugins – most in the range of $20-50, though I’ve also bought a $200 plugin for a client’s site before. Unless you’re serious about blogging, I think that there’s ample free solutions for 99% of your needs.

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