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Happy Birthday, Easy Digital Downloads is Two!


Today, Easy Digital Downloads is two years old and we’d like to celebrate by looking back at some of the achievements of the last two years.

Downloads

Since we launched on the WordPress.org plugin repository two years ago, we have had 278,687 downloads and counting. Currently we are seeing an average of about 500 downloads per day. We reached the 100 thousand on June 7, 2013. It took us 14 months to reach 100 thousand downloads, but only another 10 months to reach 278 thousand. That’s almost twice as many downloads in less time. We can’t be anything but thrilled with that.

Releases

Over the last two years, we have had more than 66 version releases and are rapidly approaching our version 2.0 release. We’re averaging a release about once a month, though sometimes we see a few releases in a single month as we work quickly to make improvements as users notice problems or have requests for how Easy Digital Downloads could be improved.

Ratings and Customer Satisfaction

On WordPress.org, we have 152 5-star ratings. The vast majority of users that leave a review of Easy Digital Downloads give it 5-stars. That means the world to us and are so happy to hear that we’ve managed to build a system that our users love. We never tire of seeing new 5-star ratings come in.

While the vast majority have given us superb ratings, we have also received negative ratings, including 7 4-star reviews, 1 3-star, 1 2-star, and 4 1-star reviews. We take anything less than a 5-star as an indication that something needs to be improved and we seriously take all criticism to heart and work to see how we can improve the pain points for future releases. While we love to hear what we did well, we also need to hear what we did poorly on as that’s how we get better and better.

A few months ago we began actively asking customers to let us know how we did by filling out a customer satisfaction survey. Here are the results to date:

Customer Satisfaction Survey Results

Are there a few that indicated they were downright unpleased? Yes, unfortunately, but the vast majority were thrilled with the level of support they received.

We strive to provide top notch support because we believe it is our obligation to do so and because we truly believe in and stand behind our products. Unfortunately it’s impossible to please everyone, but we will do our very best to fight that impossible battle.

Extension Downloads

Our extensions marketplace is the heart and soul of our business model. The extension sales through this site are what allow us to give away such a feature-rich e-commerce plugin for free. Over the last two years we have seen the adoption rate of Easy Digital Downloads sky rocket, and with it, our extension sales have grown substantially. I remember being thrilled the first time we broke $500 in monthly extension sales; now we’re paying out nearly $20,000 per month in developer commissions. That’s humbling to say the least.

To date, we have delivered more than 19,863 extension file downloads to customers that have purchased one or more extensions.

Support Tickets

Support can make or break a business. I believe the level of dedicated we put towards helping our customers as best we can has dramatically improved our business. Is support difficult? Absolutely. Is it worth it? 100%.

Since opening our support forums with version 1.0, we have had 7,301 tickets opened. In the early days we had an average of a few tickets per week, now we see an average of 20 new tickets per day.

Contributors

One of the most beautiful aspects of open source software is seeing people come together and work as a community. We have an amazing community of users and developers around Easy Digital Downloads.

To date, there are 92 individuals that have contributed to the EDD code base and even more that have contributed bug reports, feature requests, and general suggestions.

We cannot thank you all enough.

Going Forward

We are not even close to being finished. In reality, I’d say we’re just now really getting started. We’re working harder than ever to make Easy Digital Downloads the best and easiest way to sell your digital products through WordPress. While users often tell us EDD is easy, we don’t believe it’s easy enough yet. With “easy” in the name, it’s vitally important that we stand behind that and make it our mantra.

As we’ve added more and more features, there are times we’ve lost sight of what it means to be “easy”. It is my goal to ensure that we not only return to being “easy” but that we succeed with flying colors. I truly want Easy Digital Downloads to be easy and awesome for everyone, and version 2.0 will be the first step towards making that a reality.

We are truly grateful for everyone that has helped us reach this point and we cannot wait to see what the future holds. As a thank you to everyone, we’re offering 25% off all extension and themes sold through this site until the end of the day Friday, April 18, 2014. Simply use the discount code HAPPYTWO at checkout.

Pippin Williamson

About Pippin Williamson

Pippin Williamson is the founder of Sandhills Development, the parent company for Easy Digital Downloads, AffiliateWP, WP Simple Pay, Sugar Calendar, and others. When not writing PHP, he can often be found sipping coffee or brewing beer at Sandhills Brewing.

@pippinsplugins

23 comments

  1. Pippin Williamson

    Happy bday. I remember getting a copy of the zip from a friend a few years ago and thinking this plugin was a nice change from the other heavy shopping plugins out there. Now I’m using it as much as possible. It’s a great plugin!

  2. Pippin Williamson
  3. Pippin Williamson

    Happy Birthday!!!! EDD

    Our birthday at BIGmind online ErichSchiffmann.com is May 1, and we are 2 years old going onto 3. I didn’t realize EDD was soooo new when i first installed to handle our digital downloads May 2012.

    Pippin and the entire EDD Team is awesome and has saved my ass multiple times… TY for everything and for welcoming me into your world and community. I am for ever changed!!!

    Love and pranams,
    Arthur
    @theGuruWithin

  4. Pippin Williamson

    Congratulations and best wishes for the future.

    Speaking of which, very much looking forward to FES 2.2!

    1. Pippin Williamson

      Should be out soon. Beta 1 just shipping about 10 minutes ago. Stable should be out May 2 or 5.

  5. Pippin Williamson

    Happy Birthday!

    Even with a 25% Discount, EDD is gouging the entire interweb.
    The product is great, but the pricing is ridiculous. Perhaps lifetime updates / support may improve the value, but even that isn’t enough…

    To another year of success!

    1. Pippin Williamson

      Hey Matt!

      I’d love to hear why you think the pricing is too much, keeping in mind that none of the extensions are required to setup a fully functional, full featured e-commerce store. All of that can be done with the core plugin, which is 100% free.

      1. Pippin Williamson

        “It’s just software.”
        It should be free or dirt cheap.

        I believe every person is entitled to have the best stuff, preferably for free or for very little money.

        Hell, some EDD plugins cost more than Windows 8 itself (probably a bad example if you dislike M$).

        I think people generally don’t understand the time / effort that go into stuff. The cost for XYZ years of persistence is not measurable…

        1. Pippin Williamson

          I think people generally don’t understand the time / effort that go into stuff. The cost for XYZ years of persistence is not measurable…

          I agree, many people don’t understand the amount of time and money that go into building a $50-$100 plugin.. $83 (the most expensive EDD plugin) costs less than one hour of development time from just about any decent developer.

          It would be impossible for any developer to build any of our more expensive extensions in an hour or even 10 hours. Most extensions have a minimum of 5-20 hours of development time put into them, and some of them have literally thousands of hours of development time.

          Just for a quick example, if we assume that EDD Recurring (an $83 extension) took 100 hours to developer (a vast under estimate), and the developer charged just $50 per hour (a very low developer rate), it would cost $5,000 to build it. Suddenly $83 is exceptionally cheap.

          I personally invest thousands and thousands of dollars into the development of EDD extensions. Me paying thousands of dollars to 3rd party developers to build these extensions is what allows us to sell them for a micro fraction of the development cost, making them available to world at a very reasonable price. If that price is still too high, I’m sorry but we do have families to feed. You are more than welcome to build the features yourself or find a developer that will build them for you for less.

          1. Pippin Williamson

            Spot on.

            I am one of said front end developers.

            I have not the knowledge, skill or time to create the kind of functionality that Pippin, and other plugin Devs have created for me, And my clients don’t want to pay that much either.

            So instead, I implement plugins save my clients money, and save me time while making a bit off of it.

          2. Pippin Williamson

            Do not apologize, be more confident. I respect your opinion plus I understand.

            Factual Facts
            124 total extensions, $90 average cost plus total cost for every plugin is $11k+, after 25% discount is $8,434(ish)

            Good luck with your future success brothaman.

          3. Pippin Williamson

            That’s horrible math.

            For starters, I have never seen an EDD site that is running more than 10 of our extensions. Under your math, you’re assuming that someone is running over 60 different payment gateways simultaneously, which I’ve never even heard of a site that does that. I’ve actually never seen a site that uses more than 4 payment gateways. Most sites use 1 or 2 (and generally one of them is the free PayPal Standard gateway we include in core)

            Then you’re going off the price for unlimited site licenses, which 99.999% of people don’t need and subsequently don’t buy. Most users use a single site license, and none of our single site extensions have a price over $83. If you need unlimited site licenses, most people would buy the $500 bundle deal, instead of 26 of those unlimited licenses.

            Third, while you added all of the extensions, you also added 5 different bundle packages. I have no idea why anyone would want to buy the same unlimited licenses multiple times. Makes 0 sense to me.

            Fourth, you’ve got a ton of extensions in there that do the same functionality, like for example I’m not sure why someone would buy the extensions for freshdesk, zendesk, bbpress, and the other support ones. If a user needed one, they would need one of those, not all of them (no one uses more than 1 forum support system). Ditto for the payment gateways.

            Moreover, while most users don’t use a single EDD extension, those that do average 2-5. Even if I use 5, at single site licenses (which is what people actually buy), you’re maybe at $300 tops. You’re nowhere near what you are suggesting.

            Essentially, what you’re suggesting is like when you go to buy a bag of chips, instead of picking up 2-5 bags like most people do, you’re buying out the entire aisle, the entire back inventory, then calling the regional distributor to buy out the entire inventory for the region.

            At this point, I’m convinced this is just some sort of wierd trolling.

        2. Pippin Williamson

          The more I thought about your comment, the more irritated I became. Aren’t the majority of people who need to purchase EDD add ons SELLING SOMETHING? You know, for MONEY? Why would the tools they need to do that be free?

          1. Pippin Williamson

            That was the thought I had as well when I read it.

            As one of EDD’s core developers, and the author of a couple of its more popular extensions, I don’t see any issue with EDD’s pricing of addons.

            For me, as a full time college student, charging for extensions enables me the opportunity to spend hundreds of hours a month working on EDD.

            Frontend Submissions, for example, has taken thousands upon thousands of hours to write. The upcoming 2.2 release was an incredibly complex rewrite. As Chris Lema talked about in his blog when FES launch, FES is a great deal, because instead of paying someone literally $15,000 to make the same software, you can buy it for $83.

            EDD’s team also tries to give back whenever we can. I’d like to believe we have one of the best free support teams for WordPress eCommerce systems. We don’t require people to purchase anything to get free support. And unlike some other plugins, you don’t have to wait for days, or hope someone comes along to get an answer. Most free support questions are answered within a couple of hours by one of EDD’s core developers. We do appreciate those who help us pay our hosting and food bills and buy the Premium Support. They often get their ticket resolved within 15 minutes of it being opened.

            But aside from charging for a Premium Support level and add-ons, EDD doesn’t have another revenue stream. We don’t charge people to use core EDD. And most users will never buy a single extension or premium support. For most users, EDD is truly free to use.

            I’d love to understand how Matt thinks we would get paid if we released everything for free. Unless I’m missing something obvious, volunteering 100% of my time (unfortunately) isn’t going to pay my college tuition bill.

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  7. Pippin Williamson

    i think pricing is fair but think lifetime or developer option would be nice. Also would be nice to have ALL forums open but Premium forums could be view only for non premium members….

    1. Pippin Williamson

      Unfortunately limetime licenses are extremely unsustainable and will quickly result in the demise of the company. WooThemes experienced this first hand.

      1. Pippin Williamson

        I agree with Pippin life time licenses will just will not allow the developer to invest the time needed to create and update new features.

        Regarding pricing even if you buy every available extension on the website (and this is never the case) you will still should make enough income from your website to cover all the expenses and earn more than a lot more than enough.

        On our online store at http://happyplugins.com we use about 14 commercial extensions that cost us about 500 and we have covered it just by selling 3 products which took us less than few hours, so as I see it’s a no brainier.

        1. Pippin Williamson
  8. Pippin Williamson

    Thanks for giving the discount code. It has been worth too read your article to end:-) I can only say Happy Birthday!

  9. Pippin Williamson

    A LARGE and heartfelt congrats on your anniversary! I raise my micro brew in your honor!

  10. Pingback: Weekly Roundup - April 18, 2014 | Sell with WP
  11. Pippin Williamson

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