If you are an existing customer you may have noticed a new section in My Account named “Subscriptions”. This may also be named “My Subscription” if you have a single active subscription. Based on the feedback I have been getting, there may be some confusion why this section exists. This post should clear things up 😊.
Historically, all plugin purchases have come with a permanent license and subscriptions were not offered. Over the past year or so, the plugin userbase has grown at an unexpectedly fast rate. While this is really great for business, it can become challenging to keep up with support and plugin updates. The downside to permanent licenses is the user base increases while the revenue stream remains the same.
Unfortunately, I was starting to fall behind on my typical pace for adding new features and enhancements while trying to keep up with support and account management. I decided it was time to talk to some of my colleges who have successful product businesses to see how they solved the compounding issue.
Unanimously, they all said, “Subscriptions”. With subscriptions you get a more consistent and predictable revenue stream. This opens up useful possibilities like scheduling more time and hiring additional engineers. Actually, in my peer group I was the last one who had not gone to subscription based products yet.
Before anyone panics, I have every intention of supporting existing permanent licenses and will not be requiring any users to convert permanent licenses to subscriptions.
Switching over to subscriptions was no easy feat. There were a lot of things to consider.
Just to name a few:
- Building a reliable subscription system to handle checkout and billing.
- Honoring existing permanent licenses.
- Rebuilding the plugin update system to support licenses and subscription verification.
- Build a unit test suite to verify future functionality.
- Update all the various verbiage through the site indicating the flow.
- Add the new update system to plugins without breaking existing sites.
So I worked on it, then worked on it some more. Then I tested it, and tested it some more. A few months went by this way. Then finally in May I solved the final piece that would make it all possible.
On May 26th I did a soft launch of the new system with the hard launch of June 1st. Besides some user confusion, and a few adjustments I have made since, it went off without any issues.
I realize it’s a little clunky to have a section of the My Account area for subscriptions when you have a permanent license (I may have to take another run at this one). For now just know that if you see a message that says, “No active subscriptions”, it just means you have a permanent license and don’t need a subscription.
Thank you for being part of the next evolution of Mat Lipe Dot Com. 🙇♂️