In a recent episode of the WP Minute+ podcast, Matt Medeiros sat down with Kim Coleman, co-founder of Paid Memberships Pro, to discuss the often-challenging topic of raising prices for WordPress plugins. Kim shared valuable insights into why WordPress companies should consider price increases, how her team prepared for the change, and the market’s reaction to the move.

Kim emphasized the importance of finding the right balance between providing value to customers and ensuring the long-term sustainability of your business. By carefully considering pricing strategies and communicating changes effectively, WordPress companies can successfully navigate price increases while maintaining customer loyalty.

As the WordPress ecosystem continues to evolve, plugin and theme developers must adapt their pricing strategies to remain competitive and support their ongoing development efforts. Kim Coleman’s experiences with Paid Memberships Pro serve as a valuable case study for WordPress professionals looking to make informed decisions about their own pricing models.

Key Takeaways for WordPress Professionals:

  • Regularly evaluate pricing against inflation, market competitors, and your target audience
  • Slowly increase prices over time to avoid a significant jump that may deter customers
  • Align pricing with the value your product provides and the type of customer you want to attract
  • Experiment with different pricing models, such as introductory pricing, to find the best fit for your product
  • Communicate price changes to customers in advance, honoring legacy prices and offering a grace period
  • Consider offering an enterprise-level plan to cater to larger organizations and agencies
  • Diversify your marketing efforts by attending events outside the WordPress community to reach a broader audience

Notes from Kim

PMPro v3.0

  • Over three years development: coordinating that work over such a long period alongside core maintenance
  • Intentionally moving paid products into free core product; Updating other products for compatibility
  • Backwards compatibility champion: Jason; Irreversible data changes on upgrade
  • Hard to know what exact features or settings we cannot deprecate without total visibility (SaaS products have that visibility, OSS don’t)
  • Jason’s sabbatical and Kim + David’s brutal push for a Beta release
  • The Release Candidate phase(s)
  • Challenges trying to work with an outside UI/UX person
  • Planning ahead for PMPro v3.1 (work is in progress) … 4.0 (work is in progress)

Pricing Changes

  • Always be experimenting with pricing.
  • Stopped running sales – none since Black Friday.
  • Always sold as a bundle. People need 3+ Add Ons in general. Make one decision, not several.
  • 2 years since last price change. Inflation. Offering legacy pricing. How to gracefully raise prices.
  • Raising prices is scary, especially when its going really well. The post-price increase quiet on new sales. Freaking out. Recurring income supports the lull.
  • Value pricing. Utility pricing doesn’t fit (can’t charge per “member”). Charging per “site” kind of makes sense. Plans to support buying additional licenses (we use a bespoke licensing system, not EDD / Woo).
  • Localized pricing + local discount codes based on IP address.
  • Being seen as “expensive” / pricing compared to similar products. Our free core plugin is more complete than their paid versions. The downside of OSS is that by the time they get to you, they’ve already gotten so much code for free – they don’t attach any value to what they have gotten so far. If it’s pay to get support, they’re bitter because “your code is broken” (their site is broken, skills lacking, setup incorrectly). If it’s pay for an Add On, they attach ALL the cost of the bundle to that single feature. Challenges supporting when they have one product, do you need to sell a core product support account?
  • You can’t compare one plugin to another just on price. The eCommerce platform you choose is a long term partner – who do you want to partner with – hard to switch later.
  • Zeroing in on the best buyer: building a membership site to get paid, our north star: the number of people that use PMPro to build a business that makes them enough money to live “replace their day job”.  Yes, people can use it for free content sites / lead gen. / intranets / HOAs. But the real focus is the DIY creator/expert/community builder + large scale associations.
  • Planning ahead for introductory pricing. Avoid the “always on sale” look or false scarcity. Introductory pricing aligns with our mission to 1. people get started for free. 2. make it as inexpensive as possible for people to get support + additional Add Ons / aimed at growth. 3. charge them full price once they have proven their model (year 2).

Important URLs Mentioned:

Join The Newsletter

Get your favorite 5 minutes of WordPress news for busy professionals every week — 100% Free! Join the WP Minute Newsletter below 👇


Similar Posts