12 Wordpress Plugin Business Success Stories [2024]

Updated: November 19th, 2023
Start A Wordpress Plugin Business

If you have used WordPress, you must know you cannot run a successful website without using a few plugins. Ideally, WP plugins help run the website successfully.

Selling WordPress plugins is one of the basic ways you can make money online. Thus, if you have found a solution to an issue, you can develop a plugin for it and earn income from the plugin.

If you are considering starting a WordPress plugin development business, ensure you focus on offering a solution to a particular need.

You can sell WP plugins at online platforms such as CodeCanyon., sell them on your blog, or create a separate website for the plugin.

Here are some real life success stories of starting a wordpress plugin business:

1. Client Portal ($132K/year)

The founder worked previously as a freelancer. She faced difficulties in finding a suitable platform to manage her clients' project assets. Despite trying different project management tools, the quality of these tools proved to be subpar, which led to her using email as the primary mode of communication.

Determined to find a better solution, she decided to create her own platform. She developed a page on her website that allowed clients to log in and access all the project assets that had been collected. She shared her experience with others about the portal and how it had helped her manage customer projects. After receiving a lot of encouragement from her peers, she eventually decided to sell it.

How much they make: $132K/year
How much did it cost to start: $5K
Current team size: 0

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How I Built A $7K/Month WordPress Plugin Because I Needed The Product

Laura Elizabeth built a $4-10k/month lightweight project management tool for WordPress called Client Portal, which provides clients with a branded, accessible space to access project deliverables and status updates, and has grown organically with the aid of podcasts, email courses, and Google searches.

About
Laura started Client Portal about 7 years ago
Revenue
Laura grew the business to $11K/month
Costs
It cost Laura $5000 to start the business
Read by 10,545 founders

2. Wheely Sales ($7.2K/year)

After conducting some thorough research, the founder noticed that the lucky wheel popup format had started appearing and was proving to be highly effective in converting traffic.

Spin-a-sale and Wheelio, two popular apps available on the Shopify app store, had received hundreds of excellent reviews.

However, the founder realized that these apps were only compatible with Shopify, leaving other major platforms like WooCommerce, BigCommerce, and Squarespace unprovided.

This was enough validation to inspire them to build Wheely Sales - a solution that is compatible with any website or platform and fills this gap in the market.

How much they make: $7.2K/year
Current team size: 0

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How I Coded A Website Plugin Making $600 Per Month

Wheely Sales CEO Josh created a lucky wheel popup that has grown revenue from $0 to $600/month in just 4 months since getting started and has attracted over 1.1 million users to his customers’ websites, all while proving that when it comes to creating a product, competition is validation.

About
Joshua started Wheely Sales over 5 years ago
Revenue
Joshua grew the business to $600/month
Read by 17,841 founders

So... can you actually make money with a wordpress plugin business?

Of course. There are millions to be made in this industry.

But how?

  1. Research real, profitable businesses and see exactly how much money they make.
  2. Study exactly what works, and what doesn’t.
  3. Take action, because now you have the roadmap.

Join Starter Story and build your next big thing:

Start Now

3. Studio Wombat ($180K/year)

Maarten had started building plugins, mainly to learn more about how WooCommerce worked, and to his surprise, people were interested. That's when he had decided to sell them on Studio Wombat.

How much they make: $180K/year
How much did it cost to start: $0
Current team size: 0

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I Make $15K/Month Developing WordPress Plugins While Traveling The World

This case study follows the journey of a web application developer to founding a profitable business selling WooCommerce plugins, with five different plugins selling at around $49 per year each, making well over $15,000/month.

About
Maarten started Studio Wombat over 6 years ago
Revenue
Maarten grew the business to $15K/month
Read by 4,024 founders

4. Barn2 Plugins ($1.44M/year)

Katie and her husband Andy founded Barn2 Plugins in 2009 as a web design shop. They saw the opportunity to transition into a product business and identified gaps in the market by leveraging their insider knowledge of the industry and researching pain points online. They started with their first product, WooCommerce Password Protected Categories, and focused on low-cost, low-risk solutions that could be quickly developed and launched. Through content marketing and targeted advertising, they have been able to attract and retain customers, generating over $100,000 in monthly revenue with their 16 products.

How much they make: $1.44M/year
How much did it cost to start: $0
Current team size: 14

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We Now Sell Over $1.2M/Year Of Plugins

Barn2 Plugins, founded in 2009 by a husband-and-wife duo, sells innovative software products generating over $100,000 in monthly revenue aimed at website owners on the WordPress and WooCommerce platforms, with their first product, WooCommerce Password Protected Categories, launched to market after identifying a gap in the industry.

About
Katie started Barn2 Plugins almost 8 years ago
Revenue
Katie grew the business to $120K/month
Read by 3,604 founders

So... can you actually make money with a wordpress plugin business?

Of course. There are millions to be made in this industry.

But how?

  1. Research real, profitable businesses and see exactly how much money they make.
  2. Study exactly what works, and what doesn’t.
  3. Take action, because now you have the roadmap.

Join Starter Story and build your next big thing:

Start Now

5. Zion Builder ($240K/year)

Stefan, the founder of Hogash and ZionBuilder, started his journey in the Joomla and WordPress template/plugins business in 2012. After partnering with various designers and launching the top-selling theme Kallyas, which generated $90,000 in sales in the first month, Stefan focused on improving the theme and expanding his team. In 2018, he decided to build his own site builder solution, Zion Builder, to meet his high standards of quality, code, ease of use, and performance. The product has received great feedback and continues to evolve with each update.

How much they make: $240K/year
How much did it cost to start: $0
Current team size: 6

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I Learned To Code At 8 Yrs Old. This Led Me To Build A $240K/Year Wordpress Site Builder

Learn how Stefan, founder of Hogash and ZionBuilder, built one of the fastest site builders for WordPress, generating sales of $90,000 in the first month, and utilized community involvement to make an even better product with an AppSumo campaign, as well as his advice for future entrepreneurs.

About
Balasa started Zion Builder about 12 years ago
Revenue
Balasa grew the business to $20K/month
Read by 2,818 founders

6. Paid Memberships Pro ($1.2M/year)

After building various websites for clients, Jason and Kimberly Coleman realized the value of focusing on a niche and creating repeatable work. In 2010, they identified a need for a membership platform specifically for WordPress sites and developed Paid Memberships Pro. They launched the plugin in 2011, offering it for free with paid support plans, and eventually shifted to annual pricing to provide ongoing value to customers. The business steadily grew, reaching $100k per month in revenue by 2020.

How much they make: $1.2M/year
How much did it cost to start: $30K
Current team size: 15

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How We Developed A $100K/Month Paid Memberships Plugin For WordPress

Learn how two entrepreneurs developed a successful open-source membership plugin for WordPress that brought in an average of $100k per month in revenue and grew to over 100,000 sites while offering premium add-ons and support services.

About
Jason started Paid Memberships Pro over 13 years ago
Revenue
Jason grew the business to $100K/month
Costs
It cost Jason $30000 to start the business
Read by 9,545 founders

So... can you actually make money with a wordpress plugin business?

Of course. There are millions to be made in this industry.

But how?

  1. Research real, profitable businesses and see exactly how much money they make.
  2. Study exactly what works, and what doesn’t.
  3. Take action, because now you have the roadmap.

Join Starter Story and build your next big thing:

Start Now

7. DocPress.it ($9.6K/year)

The founder collaborated with various guest writers for the blogs but faced difficulties in publishing their articles from Google Docs to WordPress.

He had to manually save images separately, and copy-pasting the content didn’t work correctly, depending on the article, it took 30 minutes to format it with the necessary headings, images, and other elements.

To automate these tedious processes, he started working on Google Docs add-ons.

How much they make: $9.6K/year
How much did it cost to start: $9K
Current team size: 1

article

I Built A Tool That Makes It Easy To Export Google Docs To WordPress [1,000+ Users]

DocPress.it founder, Alex, built an add-on for Google Docs that helps users automate the tasks of SEO content analysis, generating article intros with AI, image renaming, and others when publishing content; the platform now has over 1100 users and makes around $500 MRR.

About
Alex started DocPress.it almost 2 years ago
Revenue
Alex grew the business to $800/month
Costs
It cost Alex $9000 to start the business
Read by 2,902 founders

8. WP Engine ($227M/year)

How much they make: $227M/year
Current team size: 1170

article

Jason Cohen Interview On Bootstrapping To 132 Million ARR

Find out how WP Engine became a market leader, with over 85,000 customers and generating more than $227 million in yearly revenue by providing digital solutions for businesses using key takeaways like automation and proper customer support.

About
Jason started WP Engine about 14 years ago
Revenue
Jason grew the business to $18.9M/month
Read by 593 founders