Freemius vs. EDD:
Who sells Plugins & Themes better?

Easy Digital Downloads alternative for selling plugins and themes

All from a highly trusted platform in the WordPress community, built by developers for developers.

 

Struggling to break through stagnating sales? We’ve helped many of our partners hit over $5k, $10k, $30k, $50k … per month. We’re happy to schedule a free advisory call to see if we can help your business grow.

If you’re selling with Easy Digital Downloads, you’re familiar with the struggles of customizing every detail of your digital store.
Self-Host and Manage Everything
You’ll have to buy all the extensions, set them up, customize, and optimize them yourself, using your own expertise on the best practices for marketing and sales automation.
Taxes, Legal, Compliance, and Security Requirements
When selling with Easy Digital Downloads, sales taxes, EU VAT, fraudulent transactions, credit card chargebacks, and compliance with regulations like GDPR and SCA are not handled for you.
Manage Your Own Payment Gateways

Whether it’s PayPal, Stripe, 2Checkout, or any other gateways, they all have different configurations and take time to set up and manage.

Handle Credit Card Disputes and Chargebacks

If you lose a dispute, you’ll generally have to pay a fee of between $15 and $20 and handle the dispute process by yourself, and it’s not easy to win disputes with high success rates.

Downtime and Reliability Issues
If your site or server goes down for even a few moments – even for basic updates – any licenses, activations, renewals, or payments that occurred in that time may not be recorded or, even worse, might get corrupted without warning.
Update, Update, Update
When updates come around, it’s up to you to oversee the entire process, from taking backups to testing the changes – all requiring valuable time that could be spent on development or marketing.
Manual Freemium Deployment
You have to maintain two separate versions of your plugin or theme if you’re offering a free and paid version – instead of maintaining both in a single codebase with intelligent licensing.
Lack of Sales and Marketing Support
Platforms like Easy Digital Downloads don’t have a vested interest in your business, so they don’t care how much money you make.
No Community Behind You

The Easy Digital Downloads community is so big that carving out your niche as a plugin or theme developer isn’t easy, and it’s really important to have an opportunity to learn from others in order to grow.

Why Should You Trust Freemius?

Our proven track record can be backed up by the partners who have helped make Freemius into the platform it is today. When you start selling with Freemius, you’re joining a tight-knit community of developers who are constantly looking out for each other’s best interests. They do an amazing job of holding us accountable to their needs, and we respond accordingly with the most innovative solutions we can.
Vova, Leo, and the other amazing team members at Freemius worked closely with us to accommodate our unique needs in the migration process, even adding features and tweaks to the platform that they didn’t have before.
Marko
Tickera

THE BRANDS THAT SELL WITH FREEMIUS

How Freemius Delivers

Built for Scale

When you’re scaling your business, you need a platform that can grow with you. Freemius does all the work in the backend, so you don’t have to worry about subscription renewals not going through or issues at checkout. With a team of experts constantly optimizing the platform to maximize conversion rates, you can rest easy that you’ll be able to provide an optimal checkout experience that can handle thousands of sales.

With the sales and marketing automation tools built into the Developer Dashboard and WordPress SDK, plugin or theme shops struggling to break the $5k – $10k/month barrier can make the leap to $20k – $50k/month or more. 

Plugin or theme shops have ZERO scaling limitations with Freemius in the long-term.

 

Managed Software-as-a-Service Platform

Every aspect of the platform is managed by the Freemius team, and we are constantly adding new features to ensure that the platform is automating your sales and maximizing growth as much as possible. 

Freemius is an opinionated platform that’s focused on growing recurring subscription revenues for our partners. That means we regularly analyze mass quantities of data and run multivariate tests – all with the goal of optimizing conversion rates based on each change we make to the platform.

Your Monetization Team

Our revenue share pricing model ties the success of our partners together with the success of our platform. At the end of the day, we don’t rest until our partners are maximizing their sales as much as possible – it’s deeply ingrained within the DNA of our organization.

As a monetization team, we provide unfettered access to the latest tools of the trade to sustainably grow your plugin or theme business, and we share free advice on all aspects of selling digital products through our blog, YouTube channel, DEV Slack, and email support channels, so you have an extensive network of resources that will make growing your business much easier.

Developer Dashboard

Manage your digital product shop with a fully-featured Developer Dashboard, including analytics and insights that allow you to make actionable data-backed decisions. Stats include:

SDK Integration & Licensing

Highly advanced, yet simple enough to implement within minutes, the Freemius WordPress SDK allows you to specify free and paid features within a single codebase of your plugin or theme with a few simple lines of code. 

With unique paid plans attached to licensing, you can ensure that only certain features are accessible based on the customer’s plan.

Deployment Mechanism

Using the freemium model to get more users? Manage a single, premium code base and streamline your development with the Freemius deployment mechanism. Along with licensing, Freemius Deployment allows you to “strip” the premium code from your product, leaving you with both paid and free versions ready for distribution. 

For releases, you can offer a Beta version or use Staged Rollouts, which releases your new update in “buckets” to your users. 

Customize Your Plans and Pricing

We know complete flexibility is a must for plugin and theme shops of all kinds. We’ve made it easy to enter your pricing details and start selling immediately with the Freemius Checkout and Buy Button.

You can manage every aspect of your product pricing, from monthly, annual, or lifetime plans, to free trials for 7, 14, or 30 days with or without requiring a payment method upfront (not to mention coupons, renewal discounts, and more).

User Dashboard

With a hosted and embeddable User Dashboard, you’ll be able to give your users and customers full control of their purchases, including licenses, subscription details, payment method changes, a dynamic contact form to get in touch with you for a variety of different reasons, and more.

Affiliate Platform

Freemius includes a fully featured affiliate platform out-of-the-box — no extra setup or additional costs. All you need to do is activate the affiliate program, and you can start onboarding affiliates through the WP Admin Dashboard or through a contact form on your website.

Painless Migration

We’ve created a simple, phased process to move your business over to Freemius while giving you full control over every step of the process. Work directly with our team to answer all of your questions.
I was skeptical about moving my EDD store to Freemius, but it ended up being a seamless process. I discussed with their Migration Success Manager and explained to him the structure of my EDD website. He then provided me with a two-phase plan for migration. In Phase 1, we moved new sales over while leaving existing customers on the old platform until everything had been tested out. In Phase 2, they migrated existing customer accounts and licenses. Integration with the SDK was also smooth with the incredible support from Freemius.
Anand Upadhyay
WP Vibes

The Freemius Advantage

Software licensing

$99 - $499 / year

Specifically built for selling WordPress plugins and themes

Recurring payments and subscriptions

$199 - $419 / year

Free trials

$199 - $419 / year

Paid trials

EU VAT handling

Third-party extension required

Deactivation feedback form

Sell from WP Admin Dashboard

Sell from any website platform

Sell bundles

$199 - $419 / year

Sell memberships

$499 / year

Sell all access pass

$199 - $419 / year

Single version management

Seamless upgrade process

End-user account management in WP Admin Dashboard

Help Scout integration

Third-party extension required

PDF invoices

$29 - $89 / year

A monetization team supporting your business

Pricing

All-inclusive
7%* rev-share

Get started at $299 / year minimum

The Freemius Advantage

Software Licensing

$99 - $499 / year

Specifically Built for Selling WordPress Plugins and Themes

Recurring Payments & Subscriptions​

$199 - $419 / year

Free Trials

$199 - $419 / year

Paid Trials

EU VAT Handling​

Third-party extension required

Deactivation Feedback Form​

Sell From WP Admin Dashboard​

Sell from any Website Platform

Selling Bundles​

$199 - $419 / year

Selling Memberships

$499 / year

Selling All Access Pass

$199 - $419 / year

Single Version Management

Seamless Upgrade Process

End-User Account Management in WP Admin Dashboard

Help Scout Integration

Third-party extension required

PDF Invoices

$29 - $89 / year

A Monetization Team Supporting Your Business

Pricing​

All-inclusive
7%* rev-share

Get started at $299 / year minimum

Plugin and theme developers that have chosen Freemius as an alternative to Easy Digital Downloads for selling plugins and themes increased their monthly revenue by an average of 97% in 12 months.

The Freemius team crafted a thorough migration plan according to my product & business structure and was actively involved throughout the entire migration process. Migration was not without its hiccups, but that was expected as we already had many active bundle subscriptions. However, I feel much better about the reliability of licensing with Freemius since I don’t have to self-host it!
Andre Gagnon
Owner, ProjectHuddle

"Isn't Freemius more expensive than Easy Digital Downloads?"

From a cost perspective, you are right, Freemius is a more expensive solution if you make over $15k per year. That being said, due to automated marketing mechanisms and our proactive advisory to your business, we are the highest performing solution in the market.
EVERY single shop that has migrated from competing platforms like Easy Digital Downloads is now making more than what they made after deducting our revenue-share.
Therefore, we encourage you to think about the opportunity cost of sticking with your current platform and missing out on growth. It’s not about how much money you can save today – it’s about how much money you can make with the power of Freemius and our monetization team behind your plugin or theme business.

"How much more money can I really make by utilizing the power of Freemius and working closely with your expert monetization team?"

Here are a few stats to show you what we’ve achieved for our partners after moving from Easy Digital Downloads to Freemius:

Keeping my online shop up and running was taking more and more time away from building my business. Replacing EDD with Freemius as the sales platform solved a lot of problems and saved me a lot of time. Everything just works, license handling, payments, EU VAT, cart abandonment – I make more profit with less effort and it feels like I have my own great support team that takes care of the shop for me!
Lars Koudal
Owner, WP Security Ninja

High Volume Pricing

We understand that our relationship with you must be a win-win — also at scale. If you process high-volumes, get in touch with our team to check if you are eligible for a rates review.

SaaS or Self-Hosted?

The difference between SaaS vs self-hosted solutions for selling plugins and themes is whether you prefer to have most aspects of the platform managed or you want to set up and manage your entire licensing and sales solution yourself.

Let’s break down some of the key differences, and see how you might spend your time and resources using either type of platform.

Managed SaaS
Self-Hosted

Freemius is a managed Software-as-a-Service platform that works like a super-powered engine to automate your plugin or theme sales.

Easy Digital Downloads is a plugin and collection of extensions that lets you self-host and customize your own digital software licensing and sales solution.

Build for WordPress Product People

Freemius was built for plugin and theme developers using best practices for marketing and selling digital products in the WordPress ecosystem.

Built for Digital Product People

Easy Digital Downloads was built for people who want to sell digital goods of all kinds including eBooks, images, and audio files. Which means their features, terminology, and practices are spread across the demands of different types of digital products.

Revenue-Sharing

Our reseller model ties together our success with your success — so we are highly motivated to help you make more money.

Pay for Essentials

For running a subscription-based business that licenses software, you’ll have to pay for extensions that let you accept recurring payments, manage license keys, and release software updates.

Insights and Analytics Out-of-the-Box

Start collecting valuable data within minutes using the WordPress SDK to help you improve customer service and your product.

Add-Ons Required for Analytics

For any kind of data collection or insights about how users are actually using your plugin or theme, you’ll need to buy extensions or customize the solution yourself. 

Reseller Model

Freemius acts as the merchant of record for transactions, which means we handle all tax and regulatory requirements, including EU VAT, GDPR, and much more. 

You’re the Merchant of Record

Selling plugins or themes directly to customers? You’ll need to comply with all the tax requirements and legal regulations where your customers and/or your business are located. 

Hosted Reliably

Your business keeps running smoothly all the time, no matter if your website is up or down – Freemius servers have the licensing and transactions handled.

Customize Everything, Yourself

You’ll need to customize every piece of the checkout logic, flow, and design for maximizing conversions.

Constantly Maintained

You don’t have to deal with any maintenance yourself, and we take care of the “backend.” All features are designed and maintained by a single cohesive team.

A House of Cards

A bug in any of the third party extensions you use can take down your whole store. Plus, all extensions must be compatible so everything can play well together.

Easily Convert Free Users

With the WordPress SDK, your pricing plans show up right in the WordPress Admin Dashboard – and they sync with the Freemius Developer Dashboard, so you don’t have to update your plugin to change your pricing.

Focused on Paid-Only Products

Easy Digital Downloads doesn’t provide an SDK that allows users to upgrade to your paid product versions directly through the WordPress Admin Dashboard — you’d have to build that yourself.

Simple Setup

After you’ve integrated the 10 minute WordPress SDK and made your first sale, you get full access to all of the powerful marketing automations Freemius has to offer.

Complex Setup

When you’re setting up your own store and self-hosting everything, there’s a ton of variables to manage, and when things go wrong – it will all be on you to resolve.

Peace of Mind With Security and Reliability

Every line of code is triple-checked by the Freemius team with the best security practices in mind, not to mention thoroughly reviewed for bugs to ensure the proper handling of data.

Vulnerable to Hackers or Misconfiguration

Just like any self-hosted solution, it’s vulnerable to hacking or other security issues if you’re not careful, as well as misconfiguration errors that may lead to downtime.

I’ve used EDD to sell themes over at Compete Themes for many years now. Even though it works well most of the time, things break, and I’ve realized I don’t want to spend any time maintaining my eCommerce solution, the same way I don’t want to be responsible for running my own servers. Having something more ‘plug and play’ was the #1 selling factor for me. Otherwise, the ability to offer a free trial and lock the product was important, and the analytics about site usage is really nice too.
Ben Sibley
Founder, Compete Themes

Migrating from Easy Digital Downloads

1

Create a Migration Plan

2

We Prepare the Integration for You

3

Start Making New Sales Through Freemius

4

Learn How Freemius Works for 2 to 3 Weeks and Collect Data

5

Import All Existing Licenses, Subscription Details, and More

With a phased migration process in place, you’ll start automating and growing sales without any risk to your current customers or subscription revenue. There is only opportunity for growth.

Join the Tribe!

Freemius was built especially for WordPress plugin and theme developers. Our community comes in the form of our DEV Slack — a 700+ strong, highly active community of successful developers. When you join Freemius, you’re not just signing up for an eCommerce platform to sell your WordPress products, you’re joining a community of like-minded individuals who are all learning from each other about the best practices of selling plugins and themes and helping each other succeed.

Schedule a Demo

Contact a Migration Expert