How to make money by submitting a free version of your WordPress plugin?

Developing and selling plugins is an amazing way of earning money from online. There are some plugin developers are exists in the world who has earned a huge amount of money by selling their plugins. Some of the plugin sellers become millionaire by selling their plugin.

is currently the most popular CMS application written in PHP and it has a huge market worldwide. In future also, the market of WordPress plugin will exist and continue for at least 10 years in the market and there is a great opportunity of making money from plugin selling and developing business.

Here I want to ask you, can you make money by distributing your plugins for free of cost? What if I say yes, you can.

Are you thinking am I kidding? Believe me, I am serious. After you read this article from start to the end you will also believe that distributing plugins in free of cost also may be profitable. It will not help you to make money directly, but indirectly it can help you to make money. Lots of plugin developers are already earning huge amount of dollar. So why should you not try this technique?

Why do you need to market your plugin?

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For example, Yoast SEO, WooCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads already earned millions of dollar by selling their premium extensions or plugins that work with their main plugins and still in the market with the growth. So you can think that how big is the market state and market demand for plugins.

How are some plugin developers earning money from their free plugin?

There are thousands of free plugins are already available on official plugin directory of . Do you think all of those plugins are not making any profit as they are available in free of cost? Now think again.

I have name three plugins in this post already. Yoast SEO, WooCommerce, and Easy Digital downloads are available in free of cost. But how are the plugin developers earning this huge amount of money? Actually, the developers of these plugins also developed some great add-ons or plugins that work with their free plugins. There are some important or exciting features are only available in the add-ons and not in the main free WP plugins. So users eager to those add-ons plugins and many of them buy.

There are lots of WP plugin developers just run a trick to sell their premium version of free plugins with the help of the free plugins. In this tricks, they distribute their free plugin. Well, they also have a premium version of the same plugin. Many of us who work with plugins may notice that in the options panel of the plugins there are some options are disabled or locked.

We may find in that types of plugins that a message telling us to buy the premium version of the plugin to unlock all the disabled features. Many of us buy the premium version to fulfill our requirements.

How can you make money by distributing your plugin is free of cost?

After you read the above content, you have the idea of making money with your free plugin. NowI is going to tell you about it in details.

If you are a plugin developer and you can develop amazing premium plugin then there are three great ideas of making money. Below are the three ideas:

Disable some features of the plugin and offer those in premium

Here first you have to disable some feature from the free version of your same premium plugin and then distribute it in free of cost. In the free version of the plugin, in the options panel, there will be options of the premium version of that plugin too, but it will be disabled. For example, they can’t focus in input box or text area box. You can show a message near these disabled options to buy the premium version of the plugin to unlock the disabled options.

In your message, attach the link of the premium version of the plugin from where the user can buy the premium version of the plugin. The users who really need the premium features can buy your plugin. To me, this is a nice way of selling premium plugins.

In this process, your main target is to sell your premium plugin with the help of your free plugin by letting peoples know about the premium plugin from the free plugin.

Sell premium add-ons for your free plugin

Another thing you can do just like I have discussed what Yoast SEO, Easy Digital Downloads and WooCommerce plugins are doing. Like these plugins, you can also develop the add-ons of your free plugins. But the add-ons will not available in free. You will make these premium and peoples have to buy these add-ons to use it.

In this case, peoples can use your free plugin forever. But they have to pay for your premium add-ons. They can buy your premium add-ons whenever they wish.


Distribute free plugins to promote and make a brand

Well, we can see most of the plugins available on official plugin directory doesn’t provide any premium version and also doesn’t have any premium add-ons. So does it means the developing time taken by them just waste of time?

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But think again? Why are they distributing their plugins without making the profit? What may be the reason behind it?

Actually, with their free plugin, they are actually creating their brand in the market. Thus there business or brand name promoted to peoples which reflect in their overall business. There are chances for them to be hired for the project in future.

So with this way you can also develop and distribute free plugins. Generally, a free plugin with useful features can be download and used by thousands of peoples. If you provide your brand name or business name, link to your website, contact details then there are a chance that within thousands of your plugin users few want to higher you. Thus you will get a chance of making money.


So in this post, I have discussed how free plugins can help you in making money or can increase the sale of your premium plugins. With this way, you will make more profit by selling your premium plugin.

There are companies who use this technique as their market strategies. Lots of companies share their products in free of cost on official plugin directory and most of them found this technique

In this article, I have actually taught you three great market strategies to make more sale of your plugin. These are the part of marketing or more specifically the part of digital marketing. So here in this post, you have introduced to three great marketing ideas of selling themes.

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I hope, after reading this complete article you know the importance of free plugins for plugin developers. You have realized that all the free plugins are not the waste of time.

I hope you get new ideas for making the profit in plugin selling and developing business. Now you can also try these tricks in your life and see what happens.

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