Selling anything is not exactly a simple thing – payment gateways, availability, invoices, subscription management and renewal, and more.
Selling plugin licenses adds the overhead of having to continually check the validity of the license. Refunds, license upgrade/downgrade events, etc. must be taken into account. Maintaining such infrastructure can easily become a full-time job.
That’s why I prefer to leave the maintenance of the licensing system to Freemius – a platform for selling digital products – and instead focus on the plugins themselves. Freemius has been on the market since 2014 and they are a reliable partner for hundreds of plugin authors in the WordPress world.
How does it work?
When you purchase one of our plugins, you pay Freemius, who acts as a reseller on our behalf. You thus provide Freemius with your billing address and payment details.
After purchase you will receive 2 emails from Freemius on our behalf:
- email containing the license key and instructions for download + installation
- an email containing the login details for your Freemius account
How are payment and plugins related?
While the cash register is an important part of the purchasing process, license management and basic analytics are also important. Freemius will help with that too.
All plugins come with the Freemius Software Development Kit (SDK), which takes care of the above. Basically, when you activate one of the plugins, you will be taken to a screen powered by Freemius that will ask you for permission to monitor some diagnostic data, which includes the validity of your license.
What data is tracked?
The only sensitive data that is stored is the name and email of the administrator. Nothing else concerning your company or your site users is tracked. The admin email is important so I can contact you about any security updates, feature announcements, etc. Tracking data is sent to Freemius after login and every 24 hours thereafter (while the plugin is active).
The exact scope of the monitored data is available in the Freemius FAQ here. The list also indicates why each data point is being monitored.
What is the use of such data?
I prefer to make decisions based on data versus guesswork and “feelings”. Here are a few examples of why this data is invaluable:
- Knowing which versions of WordPress/PHP our customers are using helps keep the code cleaner and reduces development time between versions.
- Knowing the languages your customers use helps prioritise translations.
- Knowing the templates that customers use allows us to test compatibility before releasing new versions.
It’s not an exhaustive list, but it should give you an idea of why this type of data is important and how it can be useful for you too, knowing that.
If you have additional concerns about Freemius’ privacy practices, you can start with their most common questions about data tracking. If you have more questions, I will try to answer them, just contact me.