The "small" book of big WordPress plugins & prices (Part 3)

Hi, my name is Raitis Sevelis and I have analyzed the prices and licenses of the most popular WordPress plugins. All these plugins represent different categories but have a freemium model in common. This is what I found. 👇

Plugin license tiers

Did you know that seven is the optimal size of choice for a regular person to be satisfied with the number of options available?

I decided to look into the WordPress plugin industry and see if this is the case when it comes to the license tiers. To make it more insightful, I analyzed different plugin categories independently.

Note: Since the majority of the plugins skip displaying their free option in the pricing table, I did not take it into account in my calculations. In addition, I skipped several industries since there are not many plugins at the top and the results will be biased.

Below, you can find the table of plugin categories and their corresponding averages of license tiers.

Industry Avg. License Tier
Analytics 4
Ads 4
Backup 4.5
Booking 3.5
Cache 3.1
Custom Fields 3
Donation 3.5
Form Builder 3.3
Mail 3.2
Maintenance 2.6
Media 4.2
Membership 3.7
Menu 3
Multilanguage 3.25
Optimization 3.7
Page Builder 3.2
Popup 3.1
Search 3.25
Security 4.1
SEO 3.3
Social 2.9
Tables 3.3
User Roles 4
WooCommerce 3.5

We can see that when it comes to the WordPress plugin license tiers, we are far from the magic seven. In fact, the absolute average across all industries is as low as 3.5 (right in the middle).

Why so low?

If you have read my previous article of The "Small" Book of Big WordPress Plugins & Prices, you already know that most WordPress businesses focus either on single or “unlimited” license plans. These two plans generate a majority of the revenue and it seems that plugin authors don't pay much attention to the plans in-between.

On the other hand, the variety of license types is often interconnected with the number of available features and options. There is not much of a reason to split every bit of your plugin into a separate license type (unless you're some greedy bastard). 💩

Ok, with the overall average on the table, let's look into some specific industries and see what we can get out of it.

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First, Social and Maintenance plugins are the only ones that fall in the category of “less than 3”. For the customers, it means less choice when it comes to license types.

But, this is not that bad, since there is a limited number of features for introducing a huge choice of licenses. Think of the Maintenance plugins for a minute here.

In fact, Social plugins have the widest representation among all industries of having only one premium license. Out of all major Social plugins, a stunning 25% have only one premium license available to choose from.

Now, let's talk about the leaders.

On the other side of the river, we can see Backup (4.5), Media (4.2), and Security (4.1) plugins with averages above 4.

While it came as a bit of a surprise about the Media plugins, I can not say the same about Backups. It is pretty easy to introduce a vast choice of plans when it comes to your backup management.

If we talk about Security plugins, it is worth mentioning that 20% of all security plugins offer 6+ license types.

As for the rest - they form the industry average of 3.5 with no significant differences.

Oh, do you want a cherry on top? 🍒

Well, there are two plugins from the Membership and Menu industries that really stand out. PeepSo membership plugin offers 12 license types, while WP Mobile Menu is an absolute leader with 18! different licenses.

Guys from PeepSo and WP Mobile Menu, if you are reading this, please reconsider your pricing. I was pissed to document your licenses in my Google Sheets and I can only imagine what your potential customers think of it.


Did you enjoy my findings? If you want to reach out to me, feel free to join the Facebook group 'WordPress for Business' with other WordPress professionals.

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The branding for the WordPress Latvia community designed by Raitis Sevelis. Applicable and free to use for WordCamps and meetups in Latvia.