Imtiaz Rayhan has developed a WordPress plugin focused on improving conversions for website owners involved in affiliate marketing. His plugin, WP Coupons and Deals, is built to make adding affiliate coupons to your site as simple as possible while also helping to improve your conversion rates. Imtiaz talks to us about how he became involved with WordPress, built WP Coupons and Deals and more.
Can you tell me a bit about yourself and how you became involved with WordPress?
Thank you very much for having me here.
Hi, I am Imtiaz Rayhan. I am a WordPress developer living in Brooklyn, New York. I am originally from Bangladesh. I immigrated to New York in 2016.
My web journey started back in 2006 when I was in 6th grade and I could access the internet using my fathers’ cell phone. I used to create free subdomain websites. That’s when I came to know about HTML and CSS. I wrote my first HTML using that cell phone because we didn’t have a PC back then.
After that, my brother and I had some more free websites on various things. Some of those got popular too, but we had no idea how to make money out of those and to be honest we had no idea that it was possible to make money.
Over time we learned that it was possible to make money online and we started working towards that.
My involvement with WordPress started back in 2012 when my brother and I started our first professional blog, RoadToBlogging.com. Before that, we had a few blogs but we didn’t work seriously on those.
Once we started blogging seriously, we felt the need to customize the looks and functionality of the blog as we moved forward. That’s when I got into development.
I already had basic HTML and CSS knowledge. I started learning PHP and was able to customize small things. I was instantly hooked. But blogging was still my main thing.
After a while, I found myself writing less and coding more. Now I spend the majority of my time on plugin development.
How did development on WP Coupons and Deals start?
It started as a necessity. As bloggers and affiliate marketers, we used to promote a lot of coupon codes and deals on our blogs. Back then we used to use a plugin called DRP Coupon to add coupon codes in our posts. It had a feature called “click to copy coupon.”
No other plugin had that feature at that time. But it was removed from the WordPress.org repository due to some security issue and maybe the developer abandoned it too.
We were still using it. But whenever we faced any issues there was no one to ask for support. That’s when my brother told me to build one. It was his idea to make the plugin.
I started building it. Once we had a usable version ready we started using it on our blogs and I was continually trying to improve it. The plugin was called “Click to Copy Coupon Plugin” at that time because that was the main functionality that we needed.
After a while we saw that it was useful to us. We submitted it to the WordPress.org repository so that other users can use it too. To our surprise lots of people liked the plugin and we started getting lots of feature requests.
I worked on those requests and continued to improve the plugin.
At some point, it hit us that we can work on the features that most people wanted and make a pro version of the plugin. It will make us some money on the side and we will have the motivation to work on the plugin more.
That’s how the pro version of WP Coupons and Deals came into the scenario.
The result was amazing. We got a good number of customers very quickly.
What were some challenges you experienced building the plugin that might be interesting to other WordPress plugin developers?
Initially, there were no challenges since I was building for our internal use only. I just built it how we felt we needed the plugin to function.
Once we released the plugin for others we did face some challenges.
One of the toughest challenges I had to face was handling everything myself. I was the only developer working on the plugin. Initially, I thought I could handle everything from development to support and working on new ideas for the plugin.
If I had hired someone to help me with the support or some of the development it would have been easier.
What have been some of your most successful marketing efforts?
So far, the most successful thing for us was selling the plugin straight from the WordPress dashboard. Most of our sales come from the WordPress dashboard.
When free users install the plugin, they can see an “Upgrade” page on the menu and they can upgrade to the pro version from there.
The credit for this goes to Freemius. We use Freemius to handle our automatic updates, payment and everything else. Selling from the dashboard is also handled by them.
I think using Freemius was one of the best decisions we made for the plugin.
Another thing that worked for us was giving most of the features for free. If you look at the plugin, you will see that most of the essential features are available for free users. Users can take most of the benefits even if they don’t upgrade to pro.
That helped us to get lots of active installs within a short time.
What have been some of the least successful attempts to spread awareness?
To be very honest, we haven’t done much marketing of the plugin yet. The free version of the plugin did the marketing for the pro version.
One thing that we did try without much success was using Google Ads. We ran some ads for keywords like “best coupon plugin” and “WordPress coupon plugin.” But it didn’t really make up to anything.
How did you settle on your current pricing structure for WP Coupons and Deals?
At first, we didn’t put much thought into it. We were thinking of just one plan like $20 per license. And that’s all. Then I came across this blog post from Freemius that got us thinking.
Then we decided to research a little bit before setting a random price. I am glad we did.
The first thing we looked into was the pricing of other similar plugins. We compared our plugin with those in terms of features and the value it can bring to the users.
Since we planned to offer yearly licenses, we wanted to have a price that seemed reasonable for the customers so that they will renew their subscription.
Later on, we also introduced lifetime and monthly plans. We took help from Freemius to decide on those prices.
What do you wish someone had told you before you started?
There are definitely a few things that I wish I knew or understood1 before I started. Here are few:
- Naming the plugin is important. Initially the plugin was named Click to Copy Coupon. That was silly. We named it that because we created the plugin for that feature. Before releasing the plugin on WordPress.org we changed the name and I had to change a lot of code.
- Planning is very important. This is our first premium plugin and we kind of winged it for most of the parts. We didn’t have any proper planning on how we were going to proceed with everything. We are doing that now.
- Not all features are important. When we released the free plugin we got lots of feature requests and we tried to add most of those features. Later on we realized that some of those features were not necessary for most of the users and it was actually time-consuming to maintain and support those.
What does the future hold for yourself and WP Coupons and Deals?
We are working on some pretty cool things for WP Coupons and Deals right now. I would like to mention some of them here.
As we all know, Gutenberg is here. We are working on a custom block to add coupons easily. We are also improving the import feature. We had a CSV import feature but now we are adding a XML importing option. Finally, we are adding AMP compatibility.
We are working on some more smaller features and improvements to the existing features.
As for me – we have recently acquired WP Leaders, which is a blog covering WordPress related topics. I am working on it along with my brother.
I am also working on a table builder plugin that I have not released yet. I’m hoping to release it very soon.