[wp-hackers] Making money from GPL plugin development (Was: Advertising on plugin pages)

Peter Westwood peter.westwood at ftwr.co.uk
Sun Mar 1 22:26:19 GMT 2009

On 1 Mar 2009, at 21:50, Nathan Rice wrote:
> In the "give it away, charge for support" model, if you write an  
> easy to
> use, user friendly program/plugin/theme, you're undercutting your own
> profits.
> Whereas when you charge for the product, and give the support away  
> for free,
> then you have a greater incentive to write easy to use code in the  
> first
> place.
> It would seem that the best way to make the most money is to write a  
> program
> that is very useful and in high demand, but make sure that you don't  
> make it
> so easy to use that you end up making support unnecessary.  It's  
> almost like
> you have to purposefully inferior product in order to get a decent  
> return.

You don't have to only support your own plugins/themes.

To turn you argument on it's head:

By writing easy to use, user friendly products (plugins/themes) you  
are saying to your potential customer here is a can do person who  
solves problems in a user friendly way and understands my needs.  This  
is the sort of person who will be able to solve my problem with that  
overly complicated / poorly written plugin/theme that I am having  
trouble getting working _or_ this is the person I want to employ to  
develop my new high revenue site.

If you can show that you are capable, people will be willing to pay  
for your services.

In my personal opinion:

If you want to make money in the open-source world then you need to  
think of the code you give away for free, and the community  
interaction you make as an on-going job interview.

Show your potential customers the benefits you can give them.

Peter Westwood
http://blog.ftwr.co.uk | http://westi.wordpress.com
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