It’s been another week so here’s a collection of links I enjoyed reading. As always, if you have written your own post or know of one I should feature please submit the details through the contact form.
The folks behind the Under Construction plugin have written an absolutely massive post about how they have grown their plugin. They started with a very small amount of users and in twelve months are up to 100,000 active installs.
I spoke with Ivan Jurisic back in June for an interview about the Under Construction plugin and at the time they had over 80,000 users. It’s only taken them a little less than two months to tack on another 20,000 installs which is impressive.
Their breakdown covers everything they did, month-by-month, to improve the plugin with updates and features. I really enjoy long articles like this when a developer is willing to give some “real talk” advice about what worked for them to improve the visibility and audience for their plugin. Some times you just need someone to tell it to you straight.
I found this post of interest because like the author, Josh Pigford of Baremetrics, I also had an incredibly stressful month of July. Josh’s article isn’t about WordPress specifically but I think a lot of what he talks about, and the quotes he’s collected from like-minded people in the software business, certainly apply to plugin developers from time to time.
Burnout and frustration are problems for new and old developers alike but I find that people just getting started in the business of selling software are especially quick to burn the rope at both ends. Reading articles like this that show everyone has the same problems is helpful for perspective.
Craig Hewitt, owner of the Seriously Simple Podcasting plugin, wrote an article back in July that I somehow missed until now. For those that don’t know Craig’s story: he took over the Seriously Simple Podcasting plugin from another developer and this blog post details what that experience was like.
My favorite takeaway is Craig’s stress on the importance of offering quality support and how failing to do so leads directly to poor reviews. Unfortunately, or maybe it’s actually for the best, review scores often make or break plugins no matter how long they have been around.
Craig also discusses that problems that come with working on a plugin with a large install base across a wide variety of hosting solutions. This is kind of a universal problem for WordPress developers and it’s nice to read how someone else deals with those issues.
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