Static WordPress Community

Licensing / monetization plans

copied from a chat with @frans, who’d shared a link about a frustrated FOSS dev

Leon Stafford, [19 Jan 2021 at 10:35:40 am]:
Just read through the follow-up post by the Raccoon guy and can definitely empathise! A lot of pressure for me to monetize. Planning to go back on wp.org using Freemius once I’ve stabilised all add-ons and code and shipped first Lokl release.

People can still grab the plugins for free from within Lokl, but I’d expect many will then get interested in Lokl and start using it, which will make me happy and promote the SSGs anyway.

I’ll need to spend some time on a script to strip out the Freemius stuff when building for Lokl.

I’ll also publish those freemius-free builds privately to Patreon supporters

I’ll also need to recreate a bunch of licenses in Freemius for anyone who’s paid in the past (still have a list of those in my customer.io lifetime alumni account)

One last thing I need to consider is the git repos. I’d like them to remain usable without any extra Freemius steps for activation and such. If that’s not easily possible via WP_CLI or other automation, I may need to go the other route and keep repos clean and inject the Freemius code as part of building for wp.org.

Thinking out loud, perhaps it’s possible to have Freemius SDK within the repos and strip it out as part of the composer build step, but I know of some users that want to use the projects directly with Composer and they’re now also on Packagist, so unsure of that.

Will ask Viktor Szepe for his thoughts…

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An alternative to publishing builds on Patreon (not very scalable) will be to provide my patrons with licenses. That would be at a lower cost than buying via regular route, but I like having Patreon supporters as it feels like going on a journey together and they support all my FOSS work at once, not per project, as it would be when buying a WP2Static, Static HTML Output or Simpler Static license.

Hey @leonstafford , I would highly encourage you to get back to a proper paid plan for a stable Wp2Static plugin.

While it’s awesome to have a free plugin to raise users’ interest in the product but for premium addons and premium support, there must be a paid offering as it was before.

Currently, most of us are confused about the future of this plugin and some of us are still waiting for a proper stable version. All doubts arise because we know that it’s damn difficult to make a product sustainable without a proper monetization plan.

So, once you are sure that you want to fully dedicate your time to making WP2Static sustainable and ready to provide premium support ( which usually means to answer doubts/queries/questions within 12-24 hours via a private support channel), you should certainly start licensing/monetization.

Looking forward to this.

Best.

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Thanks @nanowhiz.

The way you’ve mentioned your frustrations and desires is helpful and reinforces recent pull to get back to offering a typical WP plugin paid version (whilst not giving up on my open source outputs).

A lot of it is to better empathize with users, both their support challenges, but also their successes/the value the plugins provide. Credit to Seth Godin’s The Practice for inspiring me to rethink some things… well, that and being broke are good motivators :smiley:

Tracking technical discussion here: https://github.com/leonstafford/wp2static/issues/746

I can’t speak from experience with this as I’m only for the first time trying to build a site that this sort of tool would actually be useful, but over the years I have used and observed various different paid and free services.

I tend to find that the devs want a more traditional pay for it to get it model, even with the freemium because often the free version is only useful for evaluating the existence of features. Give this model enough time and I reckon someone will resurrect your obsolete GPL release and make it work.

As of right now I am going through the tutorial on creating the workers and what not, and from my perspective what I would pay for is a way to streamline all of that - just pay $20/year (or whatever) to automagically have your site being served with workers (or pages - haven’t looked too closely at that).

Can’t speak as to how this might work with the other services besides Cloudflare, but the model offering something to people accustomed to paying (e.g., the people using CDNs and what not) that makes their lives easier seems like winner, but like I said: I really don’t have experience with this beyond being tiny enthusiast.

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Many thanks, @openletter!

Re what you mentioned, you may be interested in StaticWeb.io, which @john-shaffer has developed and uses WP2Static for seamless deployments to an optimized S3 / CloudFront.

I went to bed last night, still pondering monetisation options, then got a US$30 donation (first via Ko-fi.com). Just that amount per day would be enough to keep me afloat and working on the projects at the moment, but not there yet.

This got me thinking to if I just boost exposure/adoption of projects 10x, then I can survive on donations and this same promotion work would need to happen were I to sell licenses, too. Either way, I need to ship stuff and have confidence to spread the word.

Another reason I want to be able to prove the donation model can work is to set a model that others can follow. If we all have to sell sell sell, capture emails, monitor churn, etc, then it’s not really inclusive and widens the gap between those who can’t afford or even access some of the Western world’s targeted services. I have brilliantly skilled friends in Indonesia, for example, who can’t open a Stripe account. I’ve experienced all manner of nightmares myself using PayPal in different countries. Web hosting is usually $5/month, for a decent VPS. Cheaper with some if you pay in advance, again, giving more advantage to those already in a more fortunate position. That’s one of the areas I need to promote WP2Static and friends more as solutions to the large population who can’t afford $5/month out there.

I don’t wish to martyr myself and become bitter if I don’t achieve this, but I’ll hold on as long as I can with donations alone.

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