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Selling Add-Ons / Extensions

Historically, many WordPress developers chose to monetize with the add-ons/extensions freemium business model, trying to replicate the success of popular products like WooCommerce. Apparently, the add-ons model is actually not a good fit, in most cases, and we are seeing a market shift towards plans and add-on bundles (similar to plans). Therefore, if you are just starting out, don’t rush into add-ons only because you see others doing it. Be certain it makes sense for your product first. We wrote an in-depth article comparing the add-ons’ model with the plans’ model that will give you a solid headstart before you make your decision:
Premium vs. Add-ons – Which is the best monetization model for your plugin?

How to sell add-ons with Freemius?

Freemius fully supports the add-ons business model, and the integration only takes a few minutes. You can sell add-ons for a plugin, and also for a theme!

We currently do not support bundles. It’s definitely part of our TODOs, and we will be developing it soon. If you’d like to participate in the early access program, please send us a note to [email protected]

  1. Login to your Freemius dashboard.
  2. If you already created your product on Freemius, skip to #4. If not, create your “parent” plugin or theme by clicking the addition button on the left side nav:
    Freemius Dashboard Add Plugin or Theme Menu Item
  3. Follow the instructions to complete the product creation. Don’t integrate the SDK yet; we’ll get back to that later.
  4. Click on the ADD ONS menu item:
    Freemius Dashboard Add-Ons Menu Item
  5. Not like in your parent product, you’ll need to add some marketing material to your add-on. Things like:
    description, selling points, screenshots, and visual banners.
  6. After you fill up the marketing related material, head over to the add-on PLANS:
    Freemius Dashboard Plans Menu Item
    And create your plans, pricing, and features list.

    You can price your plans based on monthly, annual, as well as lifetime prices (we recommend using all of them). Just make sure you read the following articles first if you’re not experienced with pricing:

    Also, you can leverage our trials functionality to offer potential customers to try out your add-on, before committing.

    Selling add-ons from your website

  7. Selling the add-on from your site is a piece of cake. Go back to the PLANS page, and click on the button to get the checkout JavaScript snippet:
    Freemius Dashboard Get Checkout Code Button
    Just copy the code and paste it into the add-on’s marketing page source on your site, and you are pretty much ready to go.

    Selling add-ons from within the WP Admin dashboard

  8. Now it’s time to integrate!
    Switch back to your parent product’s context, and go to the SDK INTEGRATION section:
    Freemius Dashboard SDK Integration Menu Item
    Follow the SDK integration process carefully, step by step. If you already integrated Freemius into the parent product, you’ll need to update the generated SDK snippet (you’ll notice a new flag named has_addons added). Just copy the new snippet and use it to replace the one you’ve integrated previously.

    To verify the new snippet, install the plugin or theme on your development environment, and check if a new submenu item is added under your product’s menu item:
    WP Admin Add Ons Menu Item
    Clicking on the “Add Ons” menu item should show a mini-marketplace with all the product’s add-ons:
    WP Admin Add Ons Marketplace
    and you should already be able to test the purchase process.

    After validating the parent’s product integration, it’s time to integrate the SDK with your add-on. Switch the context to the add-on by clicking on the ADD-ONS and clicking on the add-on. Then, go to the SDK INTEGRATION, and follow the integration steps.

  9. When your add-on is ready for production, deploy it via the DEPLOYMENT section. And when you are ready to show the add-ons marketplace to your users simply release a new version of the plugin/theme with the updated SDK integration snippet.

Whenever you want to release a new add-on just create it in the dashboard as described and it will appear automatically in the add-ons marketplace inside the admin dashboard. So, no need to update the parent product to make changes in the add-ons collection.

The in-dashboard add-ons marketplace has a 24-hours caching while running in production. Therefore, if you release a new add-on, it may take up to 24-hours until your users see it live.

If you’d like to see an example of a plugin that sells add-ons, check out RatingWidget.