Why I don’t sell my WordPress plugins

not-for-saleSo a friend of mine asked me an interesting question to other day.  They wanted to know why all of my WordPress plugins are free when I could be selling them, or at least selling a “pro” version of them.

There are actually a few reasons for this.

First and foremost… my plugins are free because WordPress is free.  It just seems to make sense (at least in my mind) that something designed to enhance a free product should also come at no cost.

The second reason is that I spent 5+ years working for a non-profit company that had a very limited budget.  Free was always preferable to paid, and I can very vividly remember the hours I spent looking for free alternatives or writing something myself for whatever poject was currently in production.  It was a huge pain in the ass.  Now that I’m in a position where I can offer free software, I’m happy to do it.  Maybe it will make someone else’s life easier.

My plugins are also a part of my resume.  While I’m not currently in the market for a new job, that doesn’t mean that won’t be the case in the future.  The more people using my code, the more feedback I get, and the more improvements I can make, and the better my code looks to potential employers.  Sure, I could charge for it, but why should I?  That would only mean that people looking specifically for a free plugin to do what they need will skip mine in favor of something else.

I also feel kind of guilty charging for something that I might simply get bored with and not continue to develop, or not update until a show-stopping conflict with a new WordPress release pops up.  A lot of my code is written when I have some downtime and need something interesting to do.  Only a few of the plugins I’ve written have been commission jobs that may require long-term support.

Donations are always appreciated, though.  🙂

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Nikki Blight – Web/PHP Developer