How Should You Sell Your
Plugins and Themes?
Welcome to our comparison page.
Let’s speed ahead and find the best option for your budget and needs.
Freemius vs. WooCommerce vs. EDD vs. CodeCanyon/ThemeForest
Can you sell with other platforms, too?
Since Jan 1, 2015, if you want to sell plugins or themes to European customers, you are required to to collect VAT even if your business is not based in Europe. Besides the complexities of different VAT rate per EU country and exemptions for business customers, you are also obligated to open a legal entity in the EU and pay the extra charged EU VAT to the European countries. Freemius does all of that for you automatically and seamlessly.
|Free||$50 / year||$50 / year||Free|
|Exclusive for plugins and themes|
Is the platform concentrated on plugins & themes?
Is the Stripe gateway included in the price?
|Free||Free||$89–$209 / year||Free|
Is the PayPal gateway included in the price?
|Free||Free||$89–$209 / year||Free|
Is Software Licensing an included basic feature?
|Free||$129–$299 / year||$199–$419 / year||Free|
|Recurring payments and subscriptions||Free||$199–$399 / year||$199–$419 / year|
Do your customers automatically get software updates?
Can you offer Free Trials without a payment method?
Can you offer Trials with a payment method?
|Free||$199–$399 / year Subscriptions extension||$199-$419 / year Recurring revenues extension|
|PDF invoices||$79–$199 / year||$29–$89 / year|
|Coupons and discounts|
Can you sell your product in multiple currencies at the same time?
|$99 / year|
|Checkout exit-intent discount||Third-party plugin||Third-party plugin|
Does the platform fully support the GPL license?
Capture user feedback upon plugin/theme deactivation.
|Multi-site licenses support|
|Time to set up||Hours||Weeks||Weeks||Hours|
|Sell from any site|
Can you embed the checkout on all kinds of web pages?
|Sell from any WordPress site|
|Sell from WP Admin Dashboard|
Can users purchase your Pro version right within the WordPress admin dashboard of their website?
Can you sell multiple extensions independently?
Can you sell a combination of multiple plugins, add-ons, and themes as a discounted package under the same subscription or a lifetime purchase?
|$49–$149 / year|
Can you sell access memberships to your shops' plugins, add-ons, and themes collection?
|Free||$149–$249 / year||$199–$419 / year|
Are charge adjustments supported when upgrading and downgrading plans?
Can you refund a partial amount of a charge?
|One version management|
Can you manage your entire code base on one repository, or are you required to separate Premium version from Free version?
Can you distribute your updates progressively to only a subset of your users?
|Seamless upgrade process|
|Users account management|
|Impersonated customer login|
Does the platform allow you logging into your customer's account management dashboard so you can easily debug issues and see exactly what your customer sees?
|In-dashboard account management|
Does the platform allow customers to manage their account directly from within their WP Admin dashboard?
|Help Scout integration|
Does the platform integrate with Help Scout via a dynamic app to pull user / customer information directly into your Help Scout’s sidebar?
|$79 / year|
Does the platform come with a robust affiliate solution to for on-boarding affiliate marketers to promote your product for a commission?
|Free||$99–$249 / year||$99–$249 / year|
Does the platform integrate with MailChimp to push users and customers to your lists?
|Free||$49–$129 / year||$49–$149 / year|
|Access to customer data|
|Access to free user data|
|Manage licenses expiration|
Can you decide what happens when a license to your product expires? Do they lose access to updates/support?
|Free||$199 / year||$147 / year|
Can users issue support tickets from within your plugin/theme admin interface?
Does the system automatically handle failed renewal payments?
|Cart abandonment recovery|
Unlock lost revenue by automatically tracking and emailing shoppers who start, but don’t finish your checkout process.
|Free||$99–$249 / year||$49–$129 / year|
Can you easily export all of your data, in case you decide to leave the service?
How often are your earnings transferred to you?
|Hosting and secure repository||Free||$600 / year||$600 / year||Free|
Can agencies and hosting companies install your plugin/theme as a Composer dependency?
|Secure daily backups||On you||On you|
|Marketing automation and email||Free||$199+ / year|
|PCI compliance||On you||On you|
General Data Protection Regulation
|On you||On you|
Secure Customer Authentication using 3DS 2.0
|SSL certificate||Free||$65 / year||$65 / year||Free|
Pricing & checkout auto-optimization using (inside) industry data
|Free||$999 / year|
|Analytics and usage tracking|
Do you get data about your plugin/theme users?
|Free||$300 / month||$300 / month|
Are your users and their product feedback segmented to help you take action and improve your product?
|Free||$100 / month|
(for 10,000 users)
|Verified buyer reviews|
Send a request for review after a successful purchase to collect testimonials.
|Free||$99–$249 / year||$89–$209 / year|
How much is using the platform going to cost you?
|7% (*)||> $1,700 / year||> $1,900 / year||30% - 70%|
|Set up your own prices|
|Promotion and distribution||On you|
(with option to ride on WP.org repo distribution)
|On you||On you||Inside the marketplace|
Percentage based on lifetime gross sales:
The 3-Step Process
Sowing Your Seed
Host Your Digital Product
Purchase an SSL Certificate
Nurturing and Caring
Support System Integration
Customer Data and Insights
Segmentation of Users
Analytics and Usage Tracking
Marketing and Email Automation
CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization)
Your Time Is Valuable
Make Your Decisions Easier
Your Annual Gross Sales
Sales / Year
Gross Revenue / Year
Comparing Two WordPress Product Sales Routes
For Your Plugin / Theme Business
The Scattered Route
Usage Tracking and Analytics
Event-Based Marketing Automation
±$12,452 / year
The Freemius Route
$17,940 / year
The Scattered Route
Usage Tracking & Analytics
Event-based Marketing Automation
$7,500+ / year
$2,060 / year
Think About Now. Forecast for the Future. Choose the Platform That Makes Sense for Today and Tomorrow
Each of the compared options carries its own set of pros and cons that will impact not just the present, but your product’s future too. When you make a commitment to a sales platform, it’s critical to predict your future needs to gauge how each solution will cater to potential requirements down the line.
It bears repeating that ‘there’s more to selling products online than checkout forms and gateway fees’, which is why the solution you pick today is so critical for success tomorrow. But before you commit, it’s important to know what each platform offers in terms of migration should you ever need to transition to another service. If a platform ‘locks you in’ and does not provide comfortable data export, it’s a persuasive reason to think twice about selecting it.
We hope that the insights in this comparison will help you make a wiser decision about which service suits your needs and budget best. If you’re feeling up for another comparison deep-dive, check out this Envato / Freemius comparison.