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

Rich Pedley elflop at googlemail.com
Mon Mar 2 16:50:39 GMT 2009

2009/3/2 Mike Schinkel <mikeschinkel at newclarity.net>:
> "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.)

I don't work, but yes if I was in the field of consulting I would
expect to earn in one day what has taken me several months via
donations. I don't need to rely on them, maybe I'm lucky in that

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

You can add a simple donation link to the readme and have it displayed
at WordPress.org

I see at as extremely unlikely that any other method will get into the core.

>> 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.

I've had experience, not much admittedly.

>> 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.

Mine is on the about page, though I may also add it to the help page
within the plugin.

>> 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.

Hmm. Not necessarily - 'adware' has been known to be some what
suspicious - the suggestion of putting ads into the admin side is a
similar concept. The perceived nature will be that it is adware (even
in a different format).

>> 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.

yes and no - depends on ho much they value the plugin. Considering
those that are likely to post on WordPress forums asking for help with
a plugin is a very small percentage compared to the number of users
out there  I don't see it as a problem. Though the WP forums aren't
that user friendly, especially for plugin developers - it would be
nice to have control over the threads that are about my plugin so I
can mark them as resolved etc etc.

I have far more control of my own forum.

If you download software and need support you quite often join a forum
- so can end up on many without realising it.

my mind is on a permanent tangent

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