Maciej Bis recently joined the Selling WordPress Products group on Facebook where he was introduced as the creator of the WordPress plugin Permalink Manager Pro. This plugin gives you a set of power tools to edit and manipulate permalinks for posts, categories and more.
If you want to give Permalink Manager a try there is a free version, called Lite, of Maciej’s plugin available on WordPress.org. The Pro version, available in single site or unlimited site licenses, offers the same base features of Lite and also comes with two important extra features:
- Support for Taxonomies
- Support for WooCommerce
I think the WooCommerce part is the most interesting. I’ve done some work with WooCommerce in my life and I’ve always thought the URL structure it uses was awful so it’s nice to find a tool that helps make things a little easier to handle. The Permalink Manager blog has a nice post available on how to use the plugin to improve the look of WooCommerce URLs.
In addition to supporting taxonomies and WooCommerce, the Pro release offers the usual updates and support one associates with a premium WordPress plugin.
Maciej was willing to answer a few of the questions I had about the development and sale of Permalink Manager.
Can you talk a bit about the inspiration behind Permalink Manager? What caused you to write the plugin in the first place?
It was a few years ago, when I developed a custom theme for one of my clients and I wanted to get rid of the parent slug in page permalinks. I used a ready plugin then, but I felt that this plugin is really basic and it would be great to build something similar, more advanced and better. I love solving problems, but a lot of time has passed since I encounter this issue with WordPress permalinks. Finally, I decided to build a completely new plugin in the end of 2015 and combine a few ideas that had came to my mind during all this time.
How long did it take you to you go from having the idea for Permalink Manager to first release?
I do not remember exactly, but it was approximately 2-3 months before my ideas crystalized. The first version was not very complex, but I had to decide how exactly the plugin should be organized to avoid performance problems in the future.
The free version of the plugin seems to be very popular. Was the rise in active installs something you saw happen gradually over time or did a certain event spark a lot of the growth?
The popularity of the plugin rose gradually from the very beginning, but it looks like there is some progress since I released 1.0.0 version and rearranged the plugin. I hope that the numbers will still grow and both downloads of free version and sales of premium versions will increase significantly during next months.
You’re selling Permalink Manager through Gumroad. Why that particular service over something like Easy Digital Downloads? And how has using Gumroad been so far: pros and cons of the service for selling WordPress plugins.
Gumroad was pretty easy to use and I think that it would convince some users to use a reliable payment processing company than custom checkout form implemented with WordPress on newly bought domain. Nevertheless, the biggest advantage of Gumroad is that I do not have to deal with VAT-EU handling. It would take me a lot of time, since my company is registered as VAT payer in Poland. Another great thing with Gumroad is their payout process, they handle the PayPal fee and it allows me to save some money. If I would have to handle the payments directly with PayPal, their fees will be only slightly smaller than Gumroad’s commission.
At this moment, I do not see any disadvantages, but I guess that the problem might be with extending the license keys validity. I will need to find some workaround to avoid problem with expiring license keys, if someone decides to extend the license for another year.
I’m always fascinated by pricing. How much back and forth did you have with yourself over the prices of your Pro and Unlimited versions?
I wanted to encourage WordPress developers to buy the Unlimited version. I am aware of the fact that some of the users may overuse the terms & conditions and install the cheapest version of plugin on multiple domains. I thought and decided that if the Unlimited price should be bigger than doubled price of Pro, but not extremely expensive. At this moment due to my small budget, I am concentrated on marketing inside the plugin dashboard & WordPress.org plugin pages. Soon, I will start to write short blog articles that would feature the functionalities of my plugin and possibly invest in whisper marketing.