From Pippin Williamson: “Reflection on a Price Increase”

Pippin Williamson has been an essential voice in WordPress for a long time, on everything from technical topics in WordPress development to choosing a halfway-decent page builder plugin. He’s recently written a very helpful and important post reflecting on the experience of increasing prices for his plugins, especially his popular Easy Digital Downloads platform, by up to 250%.

You should read the article itself in full, but here are some things he noticed:

  1. Higher morale because of fewer support tickets: “The price increase has significantly affected the happiness and day-to-day mood of the team.”
  2. Slightly higher revenue overall, with fewer sales and higher average customer value. Also, “higher value customers are less likely to request a refund, perhaps because they do more ample research before committing than lower value customers.”
  3. A few negative responses from customers by email, all of which Pippin was able to clear up by offering thoughtful responses. One of the comments in particular was so negative as to be traumatizing; as Pippin says, “When you get these kind of reactions, it’s important to keep a fact in mind: companies do not need to justify their prices.”

We’ll give Pippin the last word, but we’ll say that in WordPress, most prices—for everything, from developer time to themes to plugins to ancillary services—are too low. This is a function of the high-volume promise of the internet, but taken to its extreme (which something like ThemeForest may be approaching) it makes the consumer a sort of god, and vendors of all sorts a subtly starving underclass. Price increases, simply because you can, because your wonderful work is worth it, and because you’d prefer customers who understand the value you’re bringing, are one great solution.

Okay, last word from Pippin:

It’s high past time software providers charge appropriately based on the value they provide. If we cannot even ask for a decent price, how can we possibly continue to build platforms that power the web and the world around us?

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