Where’s the Best Place to Sell Your WooCommerce Plugins?

Have you cooked up a WooCommerce plugin and want to make some cash? You’re in luck, despite Shopify and Amazon hogging all the press, WooCommerce still controls 39% (the largest percentage) of ecommerce with over 6.3 million sites downloading plugins. You have plenty of eager customers.

Not convinced? Browse through common plugin marketplaces like Codecanyon and you’ll frequently see $44 WooCommerce plugins with over 6,000 downloads. 

While Codecanyon can take as much as half the profits from plugins sold through them as well as pad the price (we’ll talk about that later), 6,000 downloads of a $44 plugin minus half still makes you about $132,000. Pretty nice for leaving your tools parked online.

So what are the options out there for selling your plugins? And should you consider using them? This article explores the various avenues you can take. 

Selling plugins on marketplaces: Great for beginners, but a double-edged sword

Plugin marketplaces are often the first choice for new developers. They offer immediate exposure to a vast audience. 

By selling on marketplaces, you don’t need to do all of the tiresome legwork of developing a website or doing marketing. Some even help you with customer service.

Here are a few of the most common marketplaces WooCommerce developers use: 

WordPress Plugin Directory: Although not a traditional marketplace since it offers plugins for free, the WordPress Plugin Directory is a crucial platform for exposure and trust-building (you’re endorsed by the very platform you’re marketing to). Generally, plugins with a freemium model start off here.

CodeCanyon: Part of the Envato family, CodeCanyon is probably the most popular marketplace for developers to sell their WooCommerce plugins. It provides a broad audience (they boast 1.5 million buyers as of today) and eliminates the need for creating a freemium version, which is often required for WordPress.org listings​​. 

However, as the market leader, CodeCanyon has become pretty prickly with its pricing.

Fees for CodeCanyon

Envato (the owner of Codecanyon) makes its profits off two fees:

  • Buyer fee: The portion of the list price that represents Envato’s fee to the customer (this is a fixed fee in categories with author-driven pricing).
  • Author fee: A portion (%) of the item price that represents Envato’s fee to the author. This fee ranges from 55% for non-exclusive accounts (accounts that sell the product on other marketplaces simultaneously), to 12.5-37.5% for exclusive accounts.

WooCommerce Marketplace: This platform is specifically tailored for WooCommerce extensions, offering a mix of free and paid options. Selling on the WooCommerce marketplace can be particularly advantageous as it targets a niche audience of WooCommerce store owners​​.

Fees for WooCommerce Marketplace:

WooCommerce Marketplace scales up your fees if you don’t already subscribe to their most premium versions. 

For example, if you own a WordPress Commerce ($45 per month) plan with a Jetpack Security and Complete ($50 per month but $25 during your first year) plan, you’ll pay just 2% of all sales.

However, if you are using the free WordPress and Jetpack plans, you’ll lose 20% of all sales to WooCommerce should you elect to sell through their marketplace. For cheaper plans, you’ll pay a slightly lower percentage of your sales.

Doing the math for you, you’ll need to be making at least $50,000 per year off sales if you want the premium subscriptions to be worth your while.

Mojo Marketplace: Founded in 2009, Mojo Marketplace has been in the game almost as long as Envato. Though it’s slightly lesser known, it is still a popular marketplace (it boasts 5.8 million total users) for developers for WooCommerce, WordPress, and other platforms like Magento to sell their wares.

Fees for Mojo Marketplace:

Mojo takes 50% of all sales for non-exclusive sellers. They also take 50% if you sell under 200 units and scale down to 30% once you hit over 2,001+ sales.

While Mojo fees are simpler, it’s a marketplace better suited for the scaled-up seller as the fees go down with larger numbers of sales.

In Summary:

MarketplaceKey FeaturesFees
WordPress Plugin DirectoryFree plugins, exposure and trust-building, freemium model, endorsed by WordPress None 
CodeCanyonPart of Envato, 1.5 million buyers, broad audience, no need for freemium versionBuyer fee (fixed); Author fee: 55% for non-exclusive, 12.5-37.5% for exclusive accounts
WooCommerce MarketplaceTailored for WooCommerce extensions, mix of free and paid options2% fee with premium subscription; 20% fee with free plan; fees scale up without premium versions
Mojo Marketplace5.8 million users, suited for scaled-up sellers50% for non-exclusive sellers; scales down to 30% for over 2,001+ sales

The cons of WooCommerce plugin marketplaces: Huge fees 

You’re probably noticing a common theme by now. While marketplaces provide a great means to get the word out about your product, they use their position to demand astronomical portions of your revenue and hold you captive with exclusivity fees.

Even if you’ve somehow managed to make a profitable sales channel on any one marketplace, it is only a matter of time before they raise fees again and slam your bottom line. Who’s going to stop them?

Marketplaces are a great way to get your plugin’s sales off the ground, but once you’ve developed a reputation for yourself, you may want to start creating a personal sales channel. 

While they are more work on the front end, selling plugins through personal websites can become insanely profitable if you do it right. We’ll explain how to get started below.

How to sell your WooCommerce plugins yourself

To create your own sales channel you’ll need to take care of all of the following:

  • Domain Registration
  • Web Hosting
  • SSL Certificate
  • Plugins
  • Marketing and SEO

Creating your own website

There are a ton of simple website creation tools out there, but if you are experienced in WooCommerce, you might as well stick with the web builder used by about 43% of the internet, aka WordPress.

Buy a domain

Prices vary wildly on domains depending on their demand, however domain registration typically costs between $10 and $20 per year.

Get hosting

To run a WordPress site, you need a web hosting service. The cost depends on the type of hosting (shared, VPS, dedicated, etc.) and the provider. For a new site, shared hosting often suffices, which can cost anywhere from $3 to $15 per month. As your site grows, you might need more robust hosting solutions, which can be more expensive.

You’ll want to get a hosting provider that specializes in WordPress if possible.

Get a secure sockets layer (SSL) certificate

You’ll also want an SSL certificate. These are crucial for websites that handle transactions, as they encrypt transaction data. They also give you brownie points with Google. 

Some hosting services include SSLs for free, while others charge for it. If purchased separately, it can cost from $0 (for basic certificates) to over $200 per year for more advanced options.

Purchase necessary plugins:

Two outside plugins you will 100% need to sell plugins on your site:

  • A payment processor (like Stripe). Stripe currently charges 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction. You can easily accept Stripe when you run your store through the Woo (WooCommerce) extension.
  • A license server. We’ll discuss that below.

License servers are special servers that provide and revoke software keys allowing your customers to retain access to subscription products. Read more about them here.

At licenseserver.io we offer a flat $149 per year for one site service with a 30-day money-back guarantee. 

Worried about transferring all of your licenses? When you buy a yearly subscription we have a feature that lets you transfer all previous customer CodeCanyon licenses.

Marketing your WooCommerce plugins

Next, without the help of marketplaces highlighting your plugins, you’ll need to do your own marketing to get customers coming to your website. That’s usually done through:

  • Blogging
  • YouTube videos
  • Creating your own social media sales channels

If you are able to do these yourself then prices are relatively cheap. You can also hire in-house marketers or contract agencies to generate content for you over a period of time. One of the best parts of creating blogs and videos is that once you’ve spent around six months creating them, they become money makers on their own.

Using the marketplaces to your advantage

While you will create your site to escape the marketplaces, there’s nothing stopping you from using the power of marketplaces to continue building your brand.

You may lose larger amounts of payments due to being a non-exclusive seller, but if you can convert even a portion of the traffic back to your main site, you could start making serious money.

One word of warning: if marketplaces catch you offering different prices on other marketplaces or on your site, they will likely ban you. The only exception, of course, are sites like WordPress Plugin Directory where you can sell freemium plugins.

Let’s do the math on your savings

Not convinced selling on your own is worth the effort yet? We did the math for you: Long story short, if you’re even making 100 sales on a $10 plugin, you’ll be making 5x as much on your own site.

Here’s the math

Let’s say you have an XYZ plugin that you sell for $10 on CodeCanyon and get 100 sales in the year.

Sales Price$10 per plugin download
Annual Sales 100
Envato’s Commission$55
Additional Charge$12 added to customer’s price by Envato
Your Earnings$320
Total Earnings by Envato$1750
Earnings from selling a $10 plugin through Envato’s CodeCanyon

Envato (CodeCanyon) will take as much as 55 percent (if you’re selling elsewhere) off your sales, plus add an additional $12 onto your customers’ prices.

Using Envato, you’ll make about $320. They’ll make $550 on your sales plus an additional $1200 on what they upcharge your customers.

You made $320 while they made $1750 on YOUR product.

Let’s do the same scenario for selling it on your own site

To not get delisted from Envato you’ll need to match their padded price of $22.

100 sales at this price equals $2,200.

Now add in the Stripe transaction fees of $93.80.

Now let’s add in all of the yearly website costs you paid that year.

  • Domain: $15
  • Hosting: $120
  • SSL: $200
  • Elementor (single site): $59
  • License Server: $149

All that together is $637.80. So your profit on 100 sales ($2,200) is $1562.2. That’s almost 5 times as much as you’d make on Codecanyon. And those figures only scale up with more sales.

Stop letting marketplaces nickel and dime you. If you’re even making 100 sales in a year, you should consider making your own website and license server for selling your plugin.

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