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Remember that this was almost five years ago and WordPress was nothing like it is now: the plug-in library had a small percentage of the plugins it now has, and there weren't that many high-quality programmers programming free or premier plugins. At the end I picked a $20 plug-in, which I had to chop a little to make it do exactly what I wanted.
However, my joy in seeking a remedy was clouded when a boyfriend and co-worker did this tooth-sucking thing when I said to him: "He was horrified that I had paid money for a WordPress plug-in even though there were so many free ones. So, if you haven't downloaded, purchased, developed, and tested WordPress plugins for years, how do you know when to get one for free and when to give away your hard-earned pastry?
I' ll be explaining the differences between free and paid plugins, the differences between them, and giving you some hints on how to make this choice. I will also alert you to the plugins you should be avoiding, either for free or for a fee. Free and premier plugin resources, what they provide and how to use them.
However, first we want to see exactly what is mean by free and premier plugins and what possibilities there are to buy them. Free plugins can be completely free or they can be (permanently) free versions of our free plugins. With WordPress, there is. WordPress plug-in repository is by far the best place to get free plugins.
When you find a free plug-in elsewhere, I would always suggest to check if it is in the plug-in repository. The plugins you will find here vary from small plugins posted by a developer who does this in their free moments to sophisticated plugins that can change the way your website functions or performs. Several plugins with premier feature, but not the premier rate card are there:
These are just a few of the many free plugins that offer you similar functionality to any available premier plug-in and have been downloaded a million-fold. They may wonder how software vendors can make a livelihood by providing free of charge goodies. But in some cases (e.g. WooCommerce) there are extra prime add-ons you can buy, while in others (e.g. JetPack) the designer elsewhere earns cash, either through a site like Wordpress.com or through consulting.
Free plugins are a great way to increase your visibility while giving something back to the WordPress audience, which is why some of the best plugins do. But not everything in the plug-in repository is a rose bed. Currently there are 34,623 plugins available for downloading and in total they have been 787,677,233-downloads.
For over two years, a significant number of these plugins have not been upgraded or found to be compliant with the latest WordPress releases. If a new WordPress release is published, the more industrious plug-in designers will test their plugins to make sure it is interoperable, and if it is not, they will repair it.
The speed at which this happens is more likely to be a problem with large WordPress versions. When a plug-in is WordPress 4 compliant. However, if you are using the latest release and have found a plug-in that is only compliant up to release 2. 8, then there is a reasonable possibility that it will not work as it should, or it may come into conflicts with other plugins you have already plugged in, or with WordPress itself.
While there are many alternate resources for free WordPress plugins (just try a Google search), I would strongly recommend using extremely careful before using them. Some serious developers know that the plug-in repository will be the most trustworthy resource, so they will spread their plugins there. That means you probably won't find anything good elsewhere that isn't in the formal library.
Furthermore, there is the possibility that the plug-in contains malicious coding or contains spamming material such as background links. The majority of those searching for plugins don't want or can't get into the plugins coding and won't see any problem. A number of "freemium" providers will make their free plugins available both on their own website and in the plug-in library.
Again, I would still recommend that you download from the repertoire to make sure the source tree is robust. More and more available plugins are available and the variety of challenges they will help you solve is growing. The most important decision you have to make when purchasing premier plugins is whether to buy or sign up for them and sometimes which purchasing stage you should choose, so let's take a look at these choices.
When you' re working on a fast paced venture on a small scale and don't intend to reuse the plug-in, a one-time buy is the best one. For many plug-in providers, a one-time buy means you won't have update rights after a certain amount of your limited period of service (usually a year), or you will have no or no update rights after a certain amount of work.
So, if you want to update the plug-in in the near term - include safety upgrades - it might be better to purchase a licence or subscribe. However, there will be periods when you need a plug-in for a temporary implementation or a website that does not exist in a year.
It makes good business in these cases to make some money savings and opt for the individual plug-inscription. Rarely, you may find a plug-in for which you only have to buy once and still get full update and sometimes full lifecycle assistance. Probably the charge is higher than for plugins with one year of update and maintenance, but it may turn out to be cheaper in the long run.
Next stage of a one-time buy of a plug-in is the acquisition of a licence for that plug-in. As a rule, this gives you one year of free update and maintenance time. It gives you the freedom to buy the plug-in for your first year and then update it as needed; if the website you purchased it for is no longer in use, you no longer need to extend it.
Several plugins offer you some purchasing choices. For example, Gravity Forms has three stages of subscriptions, the lower for a site without add-ons/extensions and the highest for unrestricted websites with full acces to all their add-ons. What choices you make will vary depending on how you use the plug-in and whether you need enhancements, but all providers let you update when you need it, so it's a good idea to opt for the smallest choice you need now and later.
One of the most complete ways to buy plugins is to sign up for a provider's clubs or libraries so that you can get full use of all its plugins for an additional subscription each year. Again, if you decide not to extend the renewal after one year, you will still have the plugins on your website, but you will not have acces to update or technical assistance.
Assuming you use more than two or three plugins from the same provider, this may be the cheapest way to buy plugins. The WMPU DEV is a great example of this model: you can start paying at $19 for a one-time plug-in or you can sign up for the entire theme and plug-in collection for an additional yearly subscription only.
A growing number of WordPress plugins are now "Freemium", which means that there is an item of free for them and an item of pay. There is more than one modell for free-mium plug-ins: It is probably the most frequent kind of free medium plug-in. Many plugins in the WordPress plug-in library are free with big brothers and sisters that you can pay to up-grade to.
For example, the Soon Coming Plugin will create a Teaser page and a Service Modes page and is free of the plug-in' repo. When you want enhanced capabilities, you must purchase the paid edition directly from the provider. A lot of people will find that the free release fulfills their needs very well, while others who need enhanced functionalities or need acces to technical assistance will be upgrading.
1. Six million WordPress supers are reading and trusting our blogs. Be careful of plugins whose free versions offer so little functionality that you have to update to get something good. You will sometimes find that the kernel plug-in you need is totally free, but you can still continue to build additional plugins in the shape of add-ons or extensions: plugins that you are paying for and that work with the kernel plug-in.
The WooCommerce e-commerce plug-in is a good example. Obviously, for a considerable part of the business, the kernel plug-in will give you everything you need to be able to do business on-line, but for businesses that need additional functionality, these enhancements will be necessary and the costs will be valuable if they help you yours to yours more. WooThemes offers not only WooCommerce complimentary add-ons, but also complimentary topics developed to work with WooCommerce.
The Jigoshop is another e-commerce plug-in with a similar model: The Jigoshop kernel plug-in is free with available free of charge features and topics. Occasionally, in addition to or instead of providing free plug-ins with complimentary enhancements, a provider will also provide complimentary plug-ins with complimentary technical assistance and consulting for plug-ins user use.
WordPress by Yoast plug-in is free, but you can buy free upgrades and you can also buy free of charge service updates such as WordPress by Yoast review. They are not needed to use the plug-in, but if you are an experienced programmer who wants to make the most of it, they will help you.
When selecting a plug-in, the most important criterion will always be its build Quality. Nobody wants to put fucking plugins on their website. When I say what I mean by what I mean by quality, I mean not only how well a plug-in is encoded, but also what its functions are. Good plugins contain exactly the functions it needs to fulfill its purpose, accomplished with as little source as possible, with well spelled source that is compatible with WordPress encoding standard.
An awesome plug-in will also have its own set of docs to help you with installation and use, and perhaps even help with technical assistance. You will find in some cases that you can get outstanding service without having to pay a penny, in which case I say you should. I' ve given some great free plugins above and I would guess that 95 per cent of the plugins that need this feature get everything they need from these high value free plugins.
Budgeting is a piece of cake - after all, if you don't have the money to buy a plug-in, you have no option but to find a free one. When you are getting your work payed for and you can bill your customer or manager for a premier plug-in that better suits the needs of the job than any other free one, it makes a lot of business to afford the costs.
However, there will be periods when payment for a premier plug-in (or the purchase of a subscriptions for a number of plugins), will be a cost-effective option even if you can not share the costs. You are working on a customer specific projects with a set amount of money and the purchase of a Premier Plug-In saves you a lot of work.
You can use this amount of your free personal energy to make a living on another one. You work on your own website, and a premier plug-in reduces your deployment times and/or helps you gain more visitors or clients. You are already spending your precious amount of your own resources on this site and especially for commercial websites the costs for a premier plug-in are not a big expense if you add it to the additional cash you could make with it.
They can use the plug-in over and over again in other applications, while the free alternative does not fully satisfy the needs of other applications or require other types of Hacks. If you use a higher number of plugins, it will be cheaper. While you may not be using this plug-in anymore, you will probably have a use for other plugins included in the same suites.
You need to weigh the cost against the number of plugins you will be using and how many websites you will be using, but this often proves to be a better than expected outlay. A seasoned, high-level programmer will be able to take a plug-in that doesn't do exactly what he wants and use it as the foundation for a new one.
Many plugins were created in the plug-in library - as variants of plugins that either had no specific functionality or were no longer designed or upgraded. However, if you've never ever wrote a plug-in in your lifetime and aren't familiar with coding, or if you're just beginning to develop WordPress, you probably won't succeed if you try it.
If a free plug-in that does the work you need does not exists, you may need to find a free alternate. A further example is when you need to get in touch with us for help or help with your work. It' much more likely that you will get it from a premier plug-in designer.
Whilst every plug-in in the Repository has its own dedicated knowledgebase page and some devs are very good at responding to queries, you can't count on it if you need quick responses. You pay for both your technical assistance and your coding with a premier plug-in, and with the best plugins and providers you'll find that you have one-to-one technical assistance where someone will do whatever it takes to hold your hands while you are installing and configuring the plug-in if you need it.
Three important reflections will help determine how you will use the plug-in in the future: Do you think the plug-in will be upgraded on a regular basis? Do you have direct acces to a libraries of other plugins that you can use for this and upcoming work? When the website you create is well maintained in the years to come (what it really should be or why it was created?), it must be kept up to date as new WordPress releases.
That means that plugins must also be kept up to date, tried and tested, and if necessary upgraded to make sure they are interoperable. Excellent plug-ins are also designed to extend functionality and improve dependability and react to changing user needs. We have free plugins that fulfill all these criterias, just as there are some free plugins that don't, but it will be a thought if you choose the best for you.
So if you are planning to use a plug-in over and over again, it makes more business sense than if you were to use it only once because the costs are distributed. As an example, I am charged for the Gravity Forms plug-in, which I use on most of my customer pages.
However, when I created an e-commerce site for a customer last year with WooCommerce, I had to buy two premier add-ons with functions that were very special to the job. The costs were transferred to the customer and they were charged for the plugins. My design days to develop this feature from the ground up would have taken them a lot more.
If you don't intend to use this plug-in often, it may give you control over other plugins that you will use. I needed the support system plug-in for a website I managed last year and chose to buy the complete WMPU DEV suites instead of a single one.
I have since used other plugins on a number of customer websites, which saves me long term experience and moneys. I already talked about the amount of work that goes into creating your own plugins or chopping a plugins that doesn't do what you need. The installation and configuration of a plug-in with bad docs or assistance will also cost you a lot of your own free software development resources, as will the installation of a plug-in, just to find out that it's not right and find another one instead.
Right at the beginning of this article I described a circumstance I was in a few years ago when I had to find a slide control plug-in for a customer order. This was the first WordPress built I had created for a customer, so I had no clue where to look for plugins.
Thus I spend half a days browsing through the plug-in library and Google and test plug-in by plug-in until I finally found what I needed. When you are running out of options and need a fast and simple to install and install software that can be quickly and simply customized, perhaps with preference panels rather than features or checkmarks to enable and customize the plug-in, it makes good business of choosing a high-quality plug-in that is as fast and simple to setup as possible, even if you have the ability to work with another plug-in that asks you to create additional coding.
Usually I would have encoded it myself, but at the times when this was available, it just wasn't possible, so I used the Advanced Custom Fields plug-in and made some fast adjustments to my design to make it work the way I needed it to. But in some cases you may have to buy a plug-in when you are running out of options and you don't have the freedom to program your own or customize an already available free plug-in.
There' not a single harsh and quick rules when it comes to determining whether a free or premier plug-in is right for you and your projects, but there are some things to keep in mind: If you have the ability to setup and setup a free plug-in with bad docs and no help, or if you have the ability to hack a free plug-in to do what you need it to do.
If you will use this plug-in or other plugins in the same suites, again and again in your work. Just how much free space do you have to create your own plug-in or test free plugins looking for the best? Often you will find a free plug-in that is as high performing as any premier plug-in, but there will be periods when there simply isn't one.