Pro Plugin Directory has a New Owner

I’m pleased to announce that I’m the new owner of Pro Plugin Directory. I got in touch with Steven as soon as I heard it was for sale via email, as I believe in the potential of the project, and have been quietly following its progress since launch. After an initial higher offer by another interested party (there were more than 20) fell through, mine was picked as the next best.

The next step was to setup an Escrow for the funds, wait for those to arrive, and then transfer the domain and site files. The whole process went about as smoothly as these things can (thanks again Steven!), and PPD is now hosted on my SiteGround VPS.

I should say a little about who I am, because some of you might not know me. If you do, it’s probably because I (like Steven) run a theme shop.

I’ve been fascinated by the idea of buying websites since around 2012 when I bought my first (non-WordPress related) site on Flippa. I’ve bought a few sites since then (nowadays I try and stick to what I know: WordPress) and they haven’t always worked out but I’m excited to build on the traction Steven has managed to create for PPD and turn it into something truly valuable for the community.

What does all this mean for the directory? In the near-term, not much will change. In fact, things will stay exactly the same, as I’ll spend the next few weeks getting to grips with the existing processes and making sure I understand exactly how everything works. Then I hope to start adding features and ramping up the marketing efforts. I have a few ideas about what I can do to make PPD an even better resource (the aim is to make it the go-to place for commercial plugins), but would love to hear in the comments what you would you do in my shoes.

Another reason I was interested in PPD is that I’m working on a new, related project that I’m hoping to launch in January. Keep your eyes peeled for that!

Oh, and if you’re a plugin developer and haven’t submitted your plugin yet, with the buzz around the site steadily growing, now would be a great time to add your plugin.

 

Looking for Someone to Take Over Pro Plugin Directory

Pro Plugin Directory is for sale. I was so excited about the idea, being surprised that nobody had done it in 12 years of WordPress, that I started the project without making sure I would have time to grow it. And I don’t have time to grow it. Now I want to put it in the hands of a capable person in the WordPress community that can bring it to its full potential.

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jeff-chandler-interview

The Community Interviews Jeff Chandler of WP Tavern

WordPress interviews are generally uninteresting. Why? Because there is only one Barbara Walters. And she’s not a member of the WordPress community.

So when Jeff Chandler, the man behind the legendary WP Tavern news site, agreed to my request for an interview, I was afraid — afraid of asking a very interesting person the same old boring questions that I’ve seen deflate other interviews.

Then I had an epiphany. Enter WP Chat, where I asked other WordPress people to come up with their best questions for Jeff. And they did…

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7-things-your-premium-plugins-must-deliver

The 7 Things Your Premium Plugins Must Deliver

You have this amazing idea for a WordPress plugin – or a twist on an existing idea – and you can’t believe no one else has thought of it.

True, there may be competitors, but you feel they’re doing it badly or focusing on all the wrong things. Maybe they’re not including the proper features, or their performance is atrocious. But your competitors’ plugins are selling like hotcakes!

No, you’re going to develop this plugin the right way. Wait until users see what you bring to the table; it’s going to be spectacular.

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Freemium WordPress Pros & Cons

Pros and Cons of the Freemium Business Model for WordPress Plugin Developers

In the last few years, the WordPress premium plugin industry has exploded into life. In my opinion, the growth of premium plugins is responsible for revolutionizing the WordPress platform more than any other single factor in recent years — premium plugins make powerful, sophisticated functionality available to all.

It hasn’t always been this way, but these days most WordPress users won’t flinch at the idea of dropping $20 – $50 or so on a few top quality plugins. Love them or hate them, the Envato marketplaces are one of the big reasons behind this – today, CodeCanyon alone lists more than 3,700 premium WordPress plugins.

With lucrative rewards on offer, the quality of the average WordPress plugin has skyrocketed. This can only be a good thing for WordPress users.

The downside of the premium plugin era, however, is that the market is now more competitive than ever before. As a result, many exceptional plugin developers are unable to make a good living from their plugins.

If you’re one of the struggling developers, this can be incredibly frustrating, but what can you do? Well, one of the more popular strategies is to give a plugin away for free by listing it on the WordPress repository, in a bid to drive premium plugin sales. In other words, the so-called “freemium business model.”

But is this a good idea? It seems counter-intuitive, so does giving a plugin away for free really work?

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How to Fix “Notice: The called constructor method for WP_Widget is deprecated”

Are you getting this error notice on your WordPress site after updating WordPress to 4.3? Let me show you how to fix this error. It can be fixed with one line of code in your WordPress config file.

Notice: The called constructor method for WP_Widget is deprecated since version 4.3.0! Use __construct() instead.

I’ve had a few of our customers at churchthemes.com report this error without any idea of how to solve it, so this is a quick guide for WordPress site owners to make the error go away. Because more than 2,000 plugins are affected, I am sure that thousands of WordPress users are seeing this error notice about the deprecated style of constructor.

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rating-your-own-plugin

Authors Rating Their Own Plugins: A WordPress.org Epidemic

Every now and then I see an interesting new WordPress plugin on WordPress.org. Naturally, as I do with many products, I check the reviews. I want to know how its users like it before deciding to try it. More than once (many times, actually), I see a review from the plugin author themselves. Seeing this always makes me cringe and I’m sure I’m not the only one.

So why do I call this an epidemic? Well, I just pulled up 25 plugins at random in the official plugin directory and found that 8 of them (32%) had been reviewed by their maker. And how do I know they rated their own work? Because it says “Plugin Author” on their review. The featured image for this post shows you what I found. Not surprisingly, they’re all 5-star reviews.

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refunds

Offer Refunds for Your WordPress Plugins and Themes

Editor’s Note: This is an updated version of an article originally published on my personal blog in 2013. It’s something that can’t be said enough so it finds a new home here after I shut my blog down. After almost two years of having a money back guarantee and providing refunds at churchthemes.com, I can say that it is still worth it.

I prefer stores with refund policies that give me peace of mind before buying. Amazon, Target, Home Depot — they’ll take back pretty much anything without a hassle. This not only benefits the customer but it benefits the store as well. Any loss from refunds is built into the cost of doing business so their is no real loss. They don’t just break even either. They make more money by maintaining happy customers. Happy customers come back to buy different things and often share with others how much they like a store.

I believe every commercial WordPress plugin and theme seller should have a money back guarantee and offer easy refunds because it benefits both the buyer and seller.

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Blogging Tips From Eric Dye

Blogging Tips from the Publisher of 14,719 Articles

The best blogging tips are likely to come from a blogger who’s been at it for years, publishing thousands of articles — again and again. I know someone who fits that description. His name is Eric Dye and he agreed to be interviewed about his blogging experience. What follows is a great story and a series of blogging tips that you and I will both benefit from.

An American living abroad in Italy, Eric has his hands in several projects including Finding Justice and Live Theme but is best known as editor of ChurchMag. Originally started by John Saddington, the blog has for several years been owned by Eric who has worked it into a fine oiled machine with thousands of articles published every year. Yes, thousands.

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WPeka Interview About the History and Future of Pro Plugin Directory

Tushar Bhadalkar and WPeka have been publishing some great interviews lately. I was asked to participate in an interview about Pro Plugin Directory. Tushar had some thoughtful questions and I was happy to answer. Give it a read if you’re interested in learning more about the history of Pro Plugin Directory, how it works and where it’s headed.

Steven Gliebe shares his future plans for Pro Plugin Directory

Here’s a sampling of the questions.

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On Finding the Best WordPress Plugins

WP Kube published an article I wrote on finding the best WordPress plugins.

There are different places to look for plugins depending on what your needs are. And depending on where the plugin comes from, there are different ways figure out if it is worth using. I also cover various pricing and licensing models as well as things to look out for such as unrealistic promises and poor refund policies.

Link: Tips for Finding the Best WordPress Plugins

 

Best Backup WordPress Plugins

Best Backup WordPress Plugins According to 21 Pros

What are the best backup WordPress plugins? That’s hard to know, so I asked 21 professional bloggers and developers what plugins they trust for backing up their WordPress sites. To protect their sites is to protect their livelihoods. Your site might not be your paycheck but chances are you’d be terribly sad if you lost it overnight. Hosts mess up, you and I mess up and sometimes the bad guys mess things up for everybody. Let’s learn from the experts.

If you look at the WordPress Backups docs on WordPress.org, you will see that the tediousness of manual backups is enough to make a person neglect the task. Sure, some of the pros I interviewed are a 10 on the GeekScale™, but most of the tools they use are quite normal and will save you time by helping to automate backing up your WordPress website. And that’s good news.

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winning-wp-interview

Telling People About the Directory and an Interview

The directory has been getting some great coverage.

WP Tavern, Post Status Notes, WPLift, WP Mayor, WP Chat, wpMail.me, WinningWP, WP Clipboard, WP Hunt and numerous users of social media have helped introduce almost 3,000 people to Pro Plugin Directory since launching two weeks ago. I am very grateful to those of you who have shared about this project. You’ve helped get the ball rolling.

One of the latest pieces of coverage is an interview I participated in with Brin Wilson of WinningWP. He asked some great questions and we had a good time. It also resulted in a discussion on WP Chat.

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WP Rocket Caching WordPress Plugin

WP Rocket Review: Caching WordPress Plugin Worth Buying?

Having a slow website will cost you. It will cost you visitors because Google now uses speed as a ranking factor. Some visitors will simply bail if a page takes too long to load. Ultimately, having a slow website will cost you money. WP Rocket is a caching WordPress plugin that is supposed to speed up your website without the need for tweaking complex settings. I am giving it a test as I write this review to see if the $39 price is a fair trade for performance.

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wptavern-post

WP Tavern Covers Pro Plugin Directory Launch

Jeff Chandler did a great job at explaining what Pro Plugin Directory is all about in an article on WP Tavern. I answered a few questions for him and he shared some of his own thoughts. The comments have also been helpful. In particular, I am convinced more than I am not that requiring a 100% GPL-compatible license is beneficial to the directory and ultimately the buyers of these plugins. Here’s a link to the article…

WP Tavern: Steven Gliebe Launches WordPress Commercial Plugin Directory