I’ve been in the WordPress services game long enough to know that tools putting creative power in the hands of my clients helps save me a lot of development time. That’s why I find plugins such as MaxButtons, from the folks over at Max Foundry, so interesting.
MaxButtons, and the premium version MaxButtons Pro, give non-technical people a chance to create their own attractive and functional interface elements on their site. MaxButtons offers thousands of configurations in colors, icons and text (they support two line buttons which is a lifesaver for many people I’m sure).
Bob Senoff, the business man at Max Foundry, answering some of my questions about MaxButtons regarding it’s origin, their target customer, successes with their marketing approach to the plugin and solid advice on how to enter the premium WordPress plugin marketplace.
Questions for the Developer
How did development on MaxButtons start?
Way back in 2012 we had developed some lead generation plugins under MaxInbound. In the process of making those plugins my partner Dave Donaldson developed a beta version of what would become the free version of MaxButtons and the premium version MaxButtons Pro to solve an issue around making buttons in MaxInbound.
We built a stand alone plugin and released it in February 2012.
A bit down the road we added the ability to use button packs and then we sold professionally designed, production ready packs. Over time it has grown to become the largest WordPress buttons library out there with over 100 packs and around 6,000 buttons. We sell usage of the entire set plus whatever updates we put out over the next twelve months in a package which we call Every Button We’ve Got.
Who is your target customer/audience? Has that changed over time?
So it runs the range in terms of customers. You will see in the 500 plus 5 star reviews of MaxButtons some folks who just wanted a simple way to put buttons up on their site to folks running large production sites with hundreds of buttons with plenty of complexity to them.
What are some of your most successful marketing efforts?
The WordPress repo has been our best marketing effort aside from general press coverage. As an aside, when the team finished the latest version of the plugin site on WordPress.org they did an amazing job. But we’ve done all sorts of deals, content marketing, Adwords, a still well trafficked free icons part of our site. But really word of mouth and the awareness that the WordPress repo brings has been the thing we have done and along with promoting license renewals.
How did you settle on your current pricing structure for MaxButtons?
So we have increased our prices as general plugin prices have increased over the years. After the last two years we finally moved to a tiered pricing structure after conversations with our larger customers about pricing. They feel that if they are using MaxButtons Pro on an unlimited site license they are ok with paying a bit more.
What do you wish someone had told you before you started?
I think WordPress has grown enough that there are a lot of niche markets that are still to be built out. You won’t be price checking Maseratis but you can make full time work out of it. But the biggest thing I think to figure out if you are going to build any product before you fire up a repo and start coding is how you are going to market it. Otherwise you won’t be able to find a way to sell it.
What does the future hold for MaxButtons and Max Foundry?
We are really pleased with the current state of our plugins. Our other plugins, WordPress Gallery plugin MaxGalleria and WordPress Media Library Folders Pro are strong. We have also been pleased with the reception of WelcomeMat.io our WordPress Welcome Mat product. There is an upgrade to the MaxButtons social share feature coming soon and plenty of upgrades to our other plugins in the works.