Why we don’t offer Lifetime subscriptions at PublishPress

We do NOT sell lifetime licenses for the Pro version of the PublishPress plugins. This post explains why made that decision.


Reason #1. Lifetime licenses almost always fail

The “lifetime” model is broken. Developers who see lifetime subscriptions can not afford to produce high-quality, long-lasting software. Many developers realize this and end up abandoning their “lifetime” products.

Here are the thoughts of the one team that realized this. They used to be one the most popular products on Envato / CodeCanyon, but they came to realize that lifetime licenses were unsustainable.


Reason #2. Lifetime licenses lead to abandoned development

WordPress plugin development is not a one-off task. It's impossible to sell a plugin once and then keep up development forever.

Plugins require continuous maintenance and development. Our team needs to upgrade the code for every new WordPress version, even the minor ones. We are also constantly updating them to work with other WordPress plugins, to fix bugs, and to meet the changing needs of third-party services.


Reason #3. Subscriptions help produce quality products

We want to make PublishPress even more useful for you. We want to give you better features and answer all your support tickets within a couple of hours.

But, to make that happen, PublishPress needs more developers and a bigger support team. And to hire extra staff, PublishPress' business model needs to be predictable. And lifetime sales are not predictable. They can fluctuate wildly every month and year.

How can you hire more developers if you can’t predict your revenue in 2 or 3 months time? Recurring subscriptions are the only way to accurately predict your revenue.

One-off and lifetime fees provide no predictability. We would always be nervous about the next month and we’d be unable invest in building a better product and support team.


Reason #4. Subscriptions help us treat our developers well

Our team loves working on PublishPress, but they have families to feed, kids to support, and mortgages to pay.

Our team is based in the USA and South America. We don't work in place places where developers are paid a few hundred dollars per month.

Without a solid revenue base, our team would be smart to leave and go work for a company that can offer them a predictable income. This is not a hobby for us. We take PublishPress seriously.


Reason #5. Subscriptions help support the free code

Here at PublishPress, we provide a free versions on WordPress.org and we actively provide support for them. That’s only possible because of the support of subscribers.

Each support ticket costs us an average of $12. So every free user who asks for support is an additional expense. We can only bear that cost because of our subscribers.


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