8 comments

  1. Hey Amir,

    I’ve actually just started offering lifetime licences for my plugins at 3(ish)x the annual rate.

    Some things that are worth considering for anyone deciding whether to offer lifetime licences:

    – If you don’t offer “unlimited sites” for lifetime licences, it makes it much more sustainable.
    – Some users are put off by annual/recurring costs and may go elsewhere.

    Do you have any average lifetime value stats for your customers paying annually? I’d be interested to know how that compares to your lifetime licence costs? I guess that data may not be available just yet.

     
    1. We’ve been selling WordPress plugins for several years and we have a large client-base, so our stats are pretty solid.

      Even if a client will use your product on exactly one site, he can still easily generate support work for you indefinitely. Many clients will ask you for support because they can and you offer it. You can easily get support about issues that are entirely outside of your control and possibly not related to your product.

      Yearly payments fix this issue. Limiting usage to a number of sites didn’t make a difference for us.

      Actually, we’ve learned that clients who used our plugins on hundreds of sites were responsible for very little support. They worked out a solid way to build sites, which doesn’t involved problems and doesn’t require support. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be able to build so many sites. Right?

      Since we switched to yearly renewals, we haven’t seen any change in purchases of new accounts. We make it very clear that there’s going to be yearly renewal and that you can disable it easily (yourself) at any time.

      Indeed, some clients will only buy products that offer lifetime accounts. I think that it’s not healthy to base a business on these clients. Let them become someone else’s clients and they’ll have to give lifetime support for them.

       
      1. What if you offered annual Support,, Lifetime Update..
        < this should solve your issue with support ..

        I had submitted a request actually to sell me lifetime (updates) with 1 year support (or no support, still fine by me) but I wouldn't get it.. and I'm not paying annual tbh.

         
  2. I think auto renewal works as long as it easy to cancel anytime without hassle as you said. Take for example Google Play subscriptions, they are all in one place, very easy to cancel or resume a service anytime. I think given the type of service to sell, it will suit you better to use an auto-renewal model for your business.

     
  3. Hey Amir,

    I can confirm that we’re at a point where WordPress ecosystem incentives users to look for a one-time purchase fee for a lifetime usage (and support) and some companies found this model not viable in the long term. We’re almost a year while selling themes on a Monthly / Yearly subscription and we have mixed results, as the added value obtained after the initial purchase is not that high as it is initially (note that it’s usually only about support).

    I’m looking forward to seeing how you’re going after 1-year regarding yearly renewals.

    Best

     
  4. As a client I do see the problem with lifetime licenses for the support but they do have a great appeal to buy.
    I have seen now offers that come with 1 year support and lifetime updates which I find to be a good compromise for high volume extensions with mixed support requirements.
    I can be sure that my sites and our client sites will keep working and updating and stay safe but if we don’t need support we don’t have to pay again.

    With our own products we have a mix of licensing types depending on how much support and updates we expect for our products.

     
  5. How about the following for a more sustainable model that allows for “lifetime access” but insures the revenue stream required to maintain it…

    *Yearly update price waived if you refer three paying clients*

    What do you think?

     

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