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

Mike Schinkel mikeschinkel at newclarity.net
Mon Mar 2 16:10:01 GMT 2009

"Rich Pedley" <elflop at googlemail.com> wrote:
> I've just bought a netbook with my donations - and not 
> the smallest or cheapest either.

Saying it could only buy beer was a euphemism. The reality is your donation income isn't sufficient to support a plugin developer without alternate full-time income. US$1000 is peanuts, I make that in less than 2 days doing consulting. IOW, plugin development (currently) is at best a hobby, not a career unless it is done as a way to market consulting services which some people would prefer not to do (myself included, really.)

> already available for plugins

Where is said functionality?  I've never seen any requests for donations that operate in the manner I was suggesting.

> yuck - suggested amounts will deter more people if 
> they are pitched too high, and if pitched to low 
> would restrict your income. Much better to allow 
> people to specify what they want to give.

I think setting a suggested amount would increase likelihood of donation but honestly I don't know statistically would which works best but I'll bet your don't either. My suggestion was just a starting point for discussion.

> another yuck. If plugins did this for me I'd probably 
> delete them and go find another. A simple donation 
> link within a plugin page on the other hand is fine.

Then a global "don't show me plugin donation requests" would work for you.

> I also don't like the idea of third party adverts in 
> the admin side - to me that has moved away from GPL, 
> and towards 'ad supported'. I don't install ad 
> supported software locally, why should I use it in 
> the back end of WordPress?

FWIW, I lean towards no ads because it would probably lead to too much focus on ads and not enough on functionality but not because I have an ideology against ad-support. If you don't use something of value simply because it has ads it seems you are harming yourself more than anyone else.

> set up your own forum, and use that - much much easier. 
> Point people at that instead. they also get to see the 
> support you do give, when given freely anyway.

This requires the user to proactively search for the forums and signup, which most won't ever do. 

Plus I personally find having hundreds of support forums mostly with little or no traffic to be a total pain in the rear as a user of plugins. I don't want to have hundreds of forum accounts and at hundreds of domains. YUCK.

-Mike Schinkel

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