John Jago

Day 57: Why I chose to not use Freemius

In a recent journal entry, I mentioned the work on the license key system for Dashify Pro being a slog. It’s not core to the product, and the trend these days is to use a SaaS that solves the side need, allowing you to focus on the core of your product.

Before starting on the purchasing portal and license key system, I was aware that Freemius and a couple other solutions existed for WordPress plugin developers that solves this need.

However, I couldn’t justify using Freemius because of their fees.

On top of the credit card fees, Freemius charges an additional 7%, and for some reason, during the phase when you’re making the least money, before $5,000 in revenue, they charge a tiered fee as high as 27%! If you’re creating a WordPress plugin and wish to make it the path out of your 9 to 5, every dollar helps at the start to pay your daily expenses.

That’s not to mention that this 7% fee will always be there, if you don’t implement a licensing system of your own later on. I would rather spend a couple weeks doing that now, and then save 7% for Dashify’s lifetime. The two weeks spent not building Dashify features is totally worth it, when viewed from this angle.

👋 This is my work journal, a series where I write daily about trying to make a living building a bootstrapped software product.