End-of-life (EOL) is a natural part of a product’s lifecycle. Whatever the reason, a product should be retired gracefully and with respect to your customers. Below are some considerations and practices for retiring a product on Freemius.
Alternatives to Retiring
If you don’t have the time and resources or simply don’t wish to keep/manage your product, you can consider selling it, giving your product up for adoption to another developer, or open-sourcing the assets. These options would enable continued use and value for your users and customers.
Feel free to contact [email protected] and we’ll try to help you find a new home for your product.
How to Retire a Product on Freemius?
Stop the Sales
Obviously, you would need to stop sales and charging for the product you’re about to retire.
You can move your features to a free plan or find another option as best fits your product.
Some users, or their clients, may rely and depend on your product for their business. Make sure you provide at least 90 days for your customers to prepare for the change and find an alternative (preferably by recommending one to them).
The announcement should include even those users not eligible to receive support.
Release a New Version of the Product
Push an update of your product with a non-dismissible WP Admin notice about the EOL, making sure the admins of websites using your product can’t miss it, even if they miss the email announcement.
The notice should specify the scheduled retirement date, preferably with a link to a page on your website or a public Google Doc that covers all of the details about the product retirement. Commit to improving the page as you get more questions during the grace period to address concerns.
Continued Service During the Announcement Period
Please note: in the case that you have paying customers, you are still under obligation to provide services (support, critical updates, or others based on your Terms/SLA) until the official EOL date.
You will likely encounter additional support requests and questions during this period.
Remove Feature Blocking
- Mark the plans as non-blocking:
Contact support to flag existing licenses as non-blocking (in case they are blocking).
Make Sure Users Can Access and Export Their Data
In case your product is storing any user/customer data, make sure to provide them with an option to retrieve and save their data.
Cancel All Active Subscriptions
Of course, it wouldn’t be fair to keep charging for an EOL product with no updates and support.
Cancel the subscriptions and keep the existing licenses active.
Review Your Terms and the EULA
To avoid any legal liability, ensure that all cases, offers, and promises are covered in your product retirement plan and transition.
Keep Your Freemius Account and Don’t Delete the Product
Avoid deleting the product on Freemius for at least 12 months after the retirement date.
It’s hard to predict all of the potential edge cases, so you never know when you’ll need to have access to the product’s data.
Do I need to refund customers?
Not necessarily, except for those that are in the refund period, as provisioned by the EULA. However, as a courtesy, it is recommended to refund those that purchased longer-term licenses in the period of up to 30 days before the announcement to retire the product.
Do I need to offer support forever for lifetime customers?
No. This is covered by the EULA.