If you don't know me, I'm the guy that's been saying plugins are priced too low.
Today I was on the phone with a software engineer that works in a company where they're running a WordPress online store, but also a store powered by Oracle / ATG Dynamo.
Somehow we got onto the topic of pricing and he cracked himself up. Mind you, I said nothing. But he was laughing at the price of a plugin that might cost $700. That's not a typo. $700!
Because he contextualized it with the other part of his organization that was spending 10x a day in costs for the development of features.
So it's not just me. There are other people like me who agree that plugin prices could afford to go up.
You know who else agrees with me? Pippin Williamson.
Mind you, I didn't ask him. You know how I know? I read his email about raising prices on Restrict Content Pro. And I saw his tweets, like this one:
— Pippin Williamson (@pippinsplugins) February 20, 2017
Restrict Content Pro is getting refactored
Two of my favorite people in the WordPress ecosystem are Justin Sainton and Pippin Williamson. Why do I say that? Because a lot of people can write code. A lot of people can write good code. But few people are willing to go back to their old code rather than run away from it. And that's what Justin and Pippin have done, with WP eCommerce and Restrict Content Pro, respectively.
The whole point of open source code is that you can see the code. Look at it. Study it.
But what happens when you write crap code? It's out there for everyone to see.
And to be clear, “crap” is a function of perspective. Most of the time, when we work on software problems, we're looking for a solution that will work without it costing us too much. Over time, we get better, or the platform gets better. The new function calls that are available to us invite us to go back and rework our code—removing old stuff and enhancing what was there with new code.
This is called refactoring and it's not easy. Some people don't even think it's fun.
But Pippin loves having code that's backwards compatible. And this is why you should be paying attention.
The plugin's code is on github—which means you can see the entire process of refactoring for yourself. You can see the revisions of code over time.
And if you skip this opportunity, you're doing so at your own peril—if you're a software developer. Because you'll never learn as much as when you see how something used to be done, and then how it's been changed to work better.
That's how you learn!
Restrict Content Pro is a 5-year-old codebase that is constantly getting more and more attention and seeing its codebase get a massive refactor all over. That's the first and main reason you should be paying attention to it. And supporting it.
Watch Restrict Content Pro decision-making
Another reason developers should be paying attention to Restrict Content Pro is because Pippin in navigating the complex world of payment gateways and creating a single set of features that is supported by every gateway integrated with his plugin.
This is a significant challenge when PayPal and Stripe don't offer the exact feature set.
It's all a matter of abstraction. And let me tell you, abstract thinking is hard work—and worth paying attention to when it's getting done well.
Watch how they handle pro-rating fees when an account is upgraded.
Restrict Content Pro has become feature-rich
There was a time when I'd email Pippin to see if he was working on a particular feature and he told me it wasn't in the scope of the plugin. Mind you, this was a fantastically fine answer. He had defined a clear scope and my feature request didn't make the cut.
Today, however, there's almost no feature that I want that Restrict Content Pro doesn't already have.
It's because of the work his team has been doing over several months to take all their backlog and power thru them. More and more we're seeing this plugin step up the front of the class and highlight that it's been paying attention the whole time.
My sense is that Restrict Content Pro, in order to deliver even more value, has to learn who its customers are. Are they clubs? Or tutorial sites? Because they're not the same thing and will want different features.
Want to help? In the comments below, tell me what kinds of sites you're creating with RCP.
The better Pippin and his team know their customers, the further they can take the platform. And by now Pippin has demonstrated that his team isn't afraid to do serious work to make this plugin a top membership plugin for WordPress.
Before you go… want it for free?
I am really enjoying this plugin. I purchased the Ultimate Plan ($499) so that I have all of it, everything I could get, forever.
But you may be wondering if it's right for your membership site and you're worried about spending the $249 on their Pro plan.
So why don't you let me buy it for you? No strings attached.
Here's what you do.
- In the comments area below, you start your comment with “CONTEST:” so I know to look for those comments.
- After that, you tell me about the site you're going to build using RCP.
- Share as many details as you like (but not so many that someone can steal your idea).
- Explain who it's for. Just you? A worthy population? Make the case.
- Lastly, tell me how you'll spend the $249 that I'm saving you.
I'll check back here in a week and pick a winner—and I'll buy you a Professional license of your very own.
Caveat – there must be at least 10 entries (and you can only create a single entry). So make sure others know and come comment.
If this post gets enough visibility (pageviews / tweets), I may pick the top 2 entries and fund both of you.
Flush with cash? Don't need my money? Buy it on your own, starting at $99.