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WordPress plugin prices: Year to year growth 📈

Last year I started to monitor the prices of the most popular WordPress plugins.

As I did another round of updates, I discovered that prices are growing. What?! (sarcasm) 😂

A discussion on Facebook was started and it seems I am not the only one seeing changes. There were frustration and thoughts that it is not that easy anymore to start a web developer career in WordPress.

But is it really so? Things are getting more expensive globally. The US inflation rose to 6.8% which is the highest number since 1982. In Europe, it was around 4.1% which is the highest number in 13 years.

With that in mind, WordPress business owners may be forced to lift their prices in order to keep up with their expenses and profitability.

I am not a huge fan of guestimates so I decided to dig deeper. This is what I found.

Singles stand the ground

Looking into the average price growth of all license types together does not make much sense to me. I decided to separate single licenses from unlimited (agency-grade).

The average price of a single site license in 2021 was $113.8. Not that low if we take into account that you may need up to seven plugins to run a decent WordPress site.

Going into 2022, the average price of a single site license has grown to $116.36. If we look into the percentage, this is as low as 2.20%.

Looks like an insignificant growth, since it reaches 50% of the European and only 33% of the US inflation.

It may look that WordPress plugin authors are trying to keep their prices below the market growth.

Yet, I decided to do another split.

Next, I separated single subscriptions (annual payments) and lifetime offers.

The average price of a single subscription in 2021 was $100.47. In 2022, this number grew to $106.22. In percentage, this is 5.70% growth - a bit more than European inflation, but still lower than the US.

As for the single lifetime deals, in 2021 the average price was $235.45, in 2022 this price has dropped to $191.89. This is almost 20% lower (-18.50% to be precise).

At the same time, the data shows that several companies decided to close their single lifetime deals. And it seems they were not the cheapest ones.

At the end of the day, I would say that the average price for a single site license grew by 5.70%. I decide not to include lifetime deals at all since the number is insignificant.

raccoon cling GIF

It looks like WordPress plugin authors go hand in hand with the global economy. We can't blame them - they too have to fill up their cars with gasoline. ⛽

Unlimited and lifetime skyrocket

The second large group of license types is unlimited and lifetime unlimited. Those license types are favored by agencies and freelance developers who run their business on WordPress.

As much as I wanted to say that your life will not change - I can not.

The growth for unlimited license prices is 17.10%. 😱 In 2021, the average price was $237.98, in 2022 it grow up to $278.66.

If we look into unlimited annual and lifetime deals separately, the data is as follows:

  • Unlimited site annual subscription: $220.74 in 2021 to $250.93 in 2022 - 13.67% growth;
  • Unlimited lifetime: $292.76 in 2021 to $356.92 in 2022 - 21.90% growth.

It seems that plugin authors want to get their hands into the pockets of agencies there.

cake raccoon GIF

At the same time, unlimited and lifetime deals are not sustainable for businesses. They simply lose an opportunity for future revenue and need to capitalize on this “one shot, one opportunity”.

Conclusions

We may be frustrated by the price growth but WordPress, but it all comes down to where you stand. 🌎

For the single site license audience, things are just like anywhere else. Prices are going up, and the WordPress market (with its $597 billion market cap) is no exception.

As for the agencies, yes, things are getting nasty there. On the other hand, top WordPress agencies charge thousands and thousands of dollars to build WordPress sites. No surprise that you have to invest into profitable business a bit more than couple hundred dollars.

Do you have anything to add to this story? Join our Facebook group and share your thoughts and observations.

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