The Best Way of Selling WordPress Themes and Plugins

Professional freelancers, businesses, and online stores serious about their trade opt for premium WordPress themes and plugins. So, if you are an entrepreneurial programmer, selling WordPress themes and plugins can be profitable. 

Suppose you have completed the product development part. You have a WordPress theme with unique features that match the target audience’s needs better than what exists in the market. Now it is time to release the product to your customers. 

But what is the best way of selling WordPress themes and plugins? You can sell independently on your website. Or you can do it on one marketplace exclusively or multiple marketplaces. 

In our opinion, selling on different marketplaces is the best option as it exposes your products to a wider audience. Because you reach a larger audience and can potentially make more money from your theme or plugin.

Let’s give an overview of each option. 

Selling WordPress Themes or Plugins on Your Website 

Some entrepreneurial programmers find success by striking out on their own. For others, selling independently can be a career-killing mistake. 

What should you expect if you choose to sell WordPress themes and plugins on your website? 

1. Complete control over prices

The freedom to set prices is one of the reasons developers choose to handle things on their own. You evaluate the market pricing structures and put a price tag on your products as you see fit. 

You can manipulate the prices with different models, testing to see what attracts more potential buyers and generates desired profit margins. 

Even though popular marketplaces offer competitive prices for WordPress themes and plugins, sellers are not involved in the pricing process. 

But even as an independent seller, you will probably not charge too high than what is in the marketplaces. Customers are extremely sensitive to prices. 

2. Keep all of your sales

Since you’re dealing with customers directly, you keep 100% of your WP theme and plugin proceeds. But let’s not forget you’ll be taking care of everything, and this can reduce your potential profits. 

For example, you’ll need to invest heavily in marketing strategies. These can include the use of Ads and campaigns, banners, affiliate marketing, paid reviews, social media, and SEO. 

3. Easy to manage affiliates 

When you sell WP products like themes and plugins independently, you can recruit affiliate marketers to sell the products on your behalf. 

You will pay commissions for those successful campaigns, and the terms of payment is something you can control. 

While some marketplaces partner with affiliate marketers to promote their products, the plugin developer doesn’t determine the commission percentage. 

4. Establish a recognizable brand

Selling WP products on your website is worthwhile, especially for developers interested in becoming more recognized in the industry. A strong brand can influence audience perception and drive advocates to your business. 

You will establish goodwill with people and make it easy for them to recognize you. That way, they are more likely to purchase from your business when you release a new WP product. 

When you list products in the marketplaces, they can be highly successful. However, the developer remains anonymous in most cases. 

5. Build relationships with clients 

Another reason why you might want to sell plugins and themes independently is to build your email list. With access to the email addresses, you can deliver personalized messages to them. 

This is an excellent way to nurture your relationship with the buyers. Third-party platforms don’t offer you this opportunity. Instead, you’re growing the email list of the marketplaces. 

Selling WordPress Themes or Plugins on One Marketplace Exclusively 

You’re spoiled for choices when it comes to marketplaces for selling WP themes and plugins. Most developers prefer third-party platforms because they take a lot of hassle out of the way. 

Nevertheless, the WP marketplaces claim a significant share of the sale, typically up to 30%. That’s if you sell exclusively on a particular platform. 

Otherwise, the fees can increase to 50% or more. In either case, the percentage of the fees charged drops as you sell more copies of your product. – Of course, unless you sell with us at WP Opti, our marketplace has the lowest fees on the market for theme and plugin developers.

Here’s what to expect when you sell on a WordPress theme or plugin marketplace. 

1. Significant traffic 

While the revenue sharing conditions can be a turnoff, marketplaces expose your products to many customers likely to convert. The top-rated third-party sites usually generate a lot of traffic. They take away the stress of having to figure out how to get people to your product. 

You can make sales even from the first day of listing. Of course, this does not mean you will submit your products and get approved immediately. The approval process can take weeks, depending on the marketplace size. 

Also, selling on marketplaces can mean battling against stiff competition. Your products can easily get lost in thousands of others. 

You will still want to make people notice your themes or plugins through marketing to increase your chances of driving sales. It is better than to list your work and wait. 

2. Multiple payment options 

When selling independently, you will take care of payment processors and invoices. Testing and setting up a safe and secure system customized with the services you want takes work. 

With marketplaces, you don’t have to worry about that. The sites offer customers a variety of payment systems for convenience.

3. No website maintenance is required 

The third-party sites control everything to ensure their websites are always functioning properly. They have a team to watch out for things that can break the site or identify areas that need improvement. 

Things like server crashes, poor loading speed, payment processing errors, email not working, and sign-up form not working can cost you sales. 

But that would be the least of your problems when you list WordPress themes and plugins in the marketplace. 

4. Customer support covered

At least for some part of customer support.

Responding to customers in real-time is crucial. For example, customers can run into payment issues or have concerns about credit card rejection, refunds, and chargebacks. 

You often still need to answer customers’ questions about the product you just sold them.

If you own a shop, you’ll need a customer support team to handle the problems or answer questions the customers may have. Third-party platforms take that burden off your shoulder. 

Selling WordPress Themes and Plugins on Multiple Marketplaces

Having your WP products on multiple marketplaces is arguably the best way of selling WordPress themes and plugins. 

Here are reasons to back up our statement. 

1. Reach more potential customers 

A marketplace can be touted as the biggest, but that doesn’t mean all buyers rank it as their number one option. Customers have preferences. 

Thousands or millions of shoppers may not be visiting that exclusive site you chose for selling. Limiting yourself to one platform could mean not giving these people a chance to see your products. 

2. Increase sales

As mentioned earlier, if you are not selling exclusively, the platforms can charge high fees of up to 50% or more. You may think it is better to stick to one marketplace to keep your costs in check. 

However, opting for multiple is worth it, as you will likely close more deals. Most developers using multiple marketplaces enjoy higher profit margins. 

Please note different sites have different designs, feel, and rules. These might affect sales in one way or another. If a customer dislikes anything and moves to other platforms, you want your products to show up at each place they search. 

3. Enhance credibility 

Informed buyers usually compare WordPress products on different marketplaces before purchasing. Put yourself in the shoes of the buyer. 

If every site you visit there’s a particular must-feature theme or plugin, it is easy to assume that product is popular because more people like it. As a result, you may start trusting it. 

In contrast, when customers cannot find your WordPress products anywhere apart from where you listed them, they can develop the wrong impression. They can doubt the quality and reliability of your product.

4. It is safe

WordPress marketplace rules are subject to change at any point. The last thing you want is to receive a notification that you’ve been kicked out of a marketplace. Reason – you acted inconsistently with the new policies. 

Perhaps you got the interpretation all wrong. Whether the ban is permanent or temporary, it can hurt your business. 

Selling on at least two or three platforms means your business can still run even if another site decides to shut the doors for you. 

Wrapping Up

Developing great WordPress themes and plugins is just a piece of your success puzzle. How you go about selling these products also matters. 

Selling on your website looks appealing. However, this takes a lot of work, and you won’t have an audience like those listing products in the marketplaces. Also, it will likely take more time to attract the attention of potential customers. 

While marketplaces give you no control over your prices and keep a significant portion of sales, they simplify things for you. Their audience is massive and probably ready to buy. In all fairness, their benefits outweigh the drawbacks. 

We don’t recommend selling on one marketplace exclusively, as it limits your reach and profits. Even though selling on multiple platforms attracts higher fees, you’ll likely gain.

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