In the past year, I’ve personally talked with over 100 plugin developers, gathering valuable feedback on the WordPress plugins ecosystem, learning what works, and what could be improved. During that discovery period, we found a huge pain-point that bothers most developers, starting from the sole developer with a side-project to the million dollar plugin businesses — developers have no clue about who is using their free plugins and how.
Introducing Freemius Insights
Today we are launching Freemius Insights to standardize and revolutionalize Analytics for WordPress plugins.
If we take mobile apps as an example, practically every engagement is tracked. The app developer knows who the user is, how the app is being used, where the user came from, where does he/she live, what’s the name of their dog… you get what I’m trying to say.
Now let’s examine our magnificent plugins ecosystem – WordPress.org. We get two lame numbers – the downloads counter, and the estimated active installs. Hm… not much if you ask me. How can we make any intelligent decisions with those numbers? We simply can’t!
It’s about time that we, plugin developers, catch-up with the rest of the world, and start knowing what the heck is going on with our products. We have to stop guessing and start making data-driven decisions.
Freemius Insights is already powering a bunch of plugins in WordPress.org, including ours. Here some random stats from the few months of our closed beta:
Tracked Events: ~500,000
Captured Users: ~14,000
Captured Domains: ~15,000
4.3% of the sites running PHP 5.2
13.6% of the users uninstall a plugin because it’s not clear how it works
20.4% of the users uninstall the plugin in less than 15 min after installation
Our initial release was all about making the integration simple and swift (it takes 2-min to integrate, and I’m not joking). We capture data & metrics that are valuable for the majority of plugins–the 20% data that is relevant for 80% of the developers.
Currently, we only track events related to the context plugin. Having said that, we build the opt-in screen in a very similar practice like OAuth authentication, which makes it flexible and extendable.
Due to recent feedback, we might be adding more out-of-the-box metrics, like tracking the other plugins installed on the site, etc. We predict it will hurt the opt-in rate, but such data points could be very valuable in some use-cases, and it’s up to the plugin developer to decide whether a reduction in the opt-in rate is worth asking the users for that data.
How Can I Start?
If you are a WordPress plugin developer, I think you’ll find it very useful. Check out Freemius Insights and sign-up for a quick 15-min demo with me 🙂 And BTW, If you are attending WordCamp US in Philly, please feel free to stop by and chat.