Easy Digital Downloads, the e-commerce plugin for selling digital products I wrote, is one year old today. Developing the plugin has been an amazing journey for me and I’d like to share some of the highlights from the last 365 days with you.
From the very beginning, Easy Digital Downloads was released for free on WordPress.org. On April 10, 2012, I uploaded the first beta version of the plugin, then, just a few days later, I pushed out the official version 1.0.
The user response in the plugin’s early days was fantastic. I couldn’t have been happier with how well it was received.
Now, one year later, I’m still thrilled with how the plugin is being received by new and existing users. There are hundreds, or even thousands of sites using the plugin to power their e-commerce needs, including quite a few high profile sites in the WordPress community.
Let’s look at some numbers.
At the time of writing this, Easy Digital Downloads has 77,505 downloads from WordPress.org. I would have loved to have broken 100k in the first year, but I cannot complain about 77.5 thousand. That’s a really big number.
On average, the plugin sees about 200 downloads per day.
Since version 1.0, the plugin has received 82 ratings on WordPress.org. The break down of ratings is:
- 5 stars – 74
- 4 stars – 4
- 3 stars – 1
- 2 stars – 1
- 1 star – 3
It’s clear the the vast, vast majority of users (at least the vocal ones) are quite happy with the plugin. Here’s a few great things people have said about the plugin:
Phenomenal – The support is fantastic, the options both inherent and through the various add-ons is phenomenal and most importantly to me, the plugin, like all of Pippin’s Plugins, is constantly evolving and growing and improving.
Selling digital goods? You could do FAR WORSE than EDD. FAR WORSE.
Full of features and excellent support – Works great out of the box and if you run into any weirdness or want to do something less orthodox with it, Pippin goes out of his way to help you.
Thanks for all the hard work.
From the very beginning, Easy Digital Downloads has had an extensions model. This extension model is what has allowed me to monetize a completely free plugin. The core, fully featured plugin is downloaded for free and then additional extensions to provide non-standard features can be purchased from the Extension shop.
Extensions are written by a large number of different developers. I have personally written about two dozen extensions, and the other 86 are written by other developers. Some developers have written one extension, others have written nearly a dozen.
As of today, there have been 1823 extension purchases, grossing a total of $51,382.20.
The very first month of extension sales saw just 3 purchases. This month (only half way through) has seen 124 sales. Last month had 326 sales.
Since the first sales, Easy Digital Downloads has generated $16,458.58 in revenue for other extension developers (excluding myself). A quarter of that number was last month alone, so this number is growing every single month. By the end of this year I expect to be paying $8,000 or more per month to other developers, perhaps even more; much, much more.
One third of all revenue generated through the plugin has gone to other extension developers.
Easy Digital Downloads started as my own personal project. Today, however, I can happily say it’s not just my project any more. Over the last year, there have been five core contributors to the plugin. One of those is no longer active, but the other four (myself included) are still actively contributing code to the EDD ecosystem; this means to the core plugin, extensions, and themes.
51 developers have contributed code to the core plugin. That’s just awesome.
As comes with any large plugin, Easy Digital Downloads has a pretty heavy support load. On the EDD support forums, there have been 1,845 tickets posted. The WordPress.org support forums have seen 240 tickets posted.
On average, there are about 10 new tickets posted per day, and around 100 replies to those tickets posted each day.
In the beginning, I managed all support requests. As time went by and the plugin became more widely used, and the support load grew, I began hiring part time support staff to help out. Today, there are five part time support techs. Between the six of us, we’re able to answer and resolve the majority of all tickets within 24 hours. Obviously some tickets take longer to resolve, but on average, tickets are resolved quite quickly.
A few weeks ago, we released the first ever official iOS app for a WordPress e-commerce plugin. The app allows store managers to track sales and earnings via the iOS device quickly and easily.
Getting this app out the door was a huge milestone for me and something I’m exceptionally proud of. To me it shows that we (everyone behind EDD) aren’t just trying to make a cool WordPress plugin, we’re working really, really hard to build a complete system for managing your digital sales, and that goes far beyond just having stats in your WordPress dashboard. Oh, and a 3rd party developer released a free extension for Panic’s new Status Board iPad app. How awesome is that?!
My Goals Going Forward
Easy Digital Downloads has come a really, really long way, but I’m not even close to finished with this plugin.
Here are a few of my goals for the plugin’s next year:
1. Pass $100k annual revenue (I expect this to happen this year, easily)
2. Pass 200k downloads on WordPress.org
3. Generate $10k+ in revenue for other developers per month
Have you used Easy Digital Downloads? Did you enjoy it? Do you still use it? Have you purchased extensions? I’d love to hear about anything and everything you have to say. Oh, and if you’d like to save 30% on any new extension purchases, you can use HAPPYFIRST during checkout!