While working with WordPress, I frequently encounter clients who initially seem adverse to wanting to take on any potential premium plugin licensing fees. Even WordPress DIYers often post on forums looking for free plugins — emphasis on free — to solve their issues.
I think by trying too hard to avoid spending money on premium plugin licenses, you actually end up costing yourself more money in the long run. Here’s how investing in premium WordPress plugins actually saves you money.
Plugin Licensing Fees are Cheaper Than “From Scratch” Development
As a WordPress developer, I try not to get too “plugin happy” on projects and keep the count to those essential to the project. However, there are instances where leveraging an existing premium plugin just makes far more sense than coding from scratch.
Premium plugin license fees for plugins that are bringing a large chunk of functionality to the table typically tend to fall in the $100-$300 per year range. That’s the equivalent of 2-3 hours of senior WordPress developer fees. Coding that plugin’s same functionality from scratch can often be far, far more than that.
There are some plugins where the trade off is a no brainer. Take something like a LMS, like LearnDash. A single site license for the LMS costs just under $200. This is less than 2 hours of my hourly rate. If you asked me what it would take in development time to build that type of functionality from scratch — quizzes, drip content, certificates, etc etc — 2 hours would be a drop in the bucket in terms of the amount of time it would take. You are saving so much investing in those kind of plugins vs. from-scratch development.
Leveraging Plugins Cuts Development Timelines Down
When getting a new website up & running or when you’re super excited to launch a site redesign, the last thing you want to do is slow down the process. Because you’re cutting out all the development time that coding the equivalent functionality would require, leveraging premium plugins helps you get launched faster. If your new site has added functionality to increase sales for your business or a better pathway for conversion, investing in that licensing fee is a small thing that can make a huge difference in getting you out the door in the most expedited fashion possible.
Premium Plugins Can Save Your Time & Your Sanity
There’s a reason “time is money” is such a well-known expression. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people sink so. much. time. fighting a free plugin just to avoid paying a licensing fee for a premium plugin that achieves what they’re wanting out of the box. Why make things harder than they need to be? You may tell yourself you’re saving money by using only free plugins but if you’re spending hours trying to get them to do what you want, hours trying to customize them, hours trying to flag down support (which tends to be pretty hit or miss on free plugins), etc. All of these hours add up fast and it’s all time that could be spent elsewhere in your business.
Find a Premium Plugin for Your WordPress Project
In conclusion, I think a lot of WordPress users are majorly missing out by working so hard to avoid premium plugin licensing fees. They bring so many positives to the table and can really help to make your project a success and ultimately save you money while doing so. There are tons of great premium plugins out there. My friend & built a directory to try to help users find some of the great options out there and you can check it out here.
Also, if you work with a professional WordPress developer like myself on your next WordPress project, most should be excellent resources for letting you know what, if any, premium plugins make sense to leverage for your project.
Have a WordPress project in mind? Let’s chat.