On July 2nd, 2010, Wim Mostmans, an item reviewer for Code Canyon approved my very first plugin for sale. It was called “WordPress Font Uploader” and it allowed site admins to upload font files to their site and apply them to any HTML element on the site by using standard CSS selectors. Not only was Font Uploader my first commercial plugin, it was also my very first plugin I ever released. Today, after nearly four years being available, I have decided to officially retire the first plugin I wrote.

Let’s look back at how the plugin did over its four years:

  • On Code Canyon, Font Uploader sold 1,907 times and generated $13,396.68 in revenue
  • It received 220 ratings on Code Canyon and had an average rating of 4.42 stars out of 5
  • It made an average of $304.47 per month
  • On WordPress.org, the free version received 70,176 downloads
  • On WordPress.org, it received 25 ratings with an average of 4.3 out of 5 stars
  • 301 comments were posted to the Font Uploader page on this site
  • 223 comments were posted to the Code Canyon item page

Overall, the plugin really did quite well. While $13,396.68 over four years isn’t something I could ever live on, it did provide a nice addition to my monthly revenue, especially considering it was a very low maintenance plugin.

If the plugin did well and it was low maintenance, why have I decided to discontinue it? Several reasons.

1. I didn’t like how it works

The plugin worked quite well, but it had some severe limitations, primarily with completely support for Internet Explorer. Since IE is notoriously difficult to support for custom fonts, I had to build in some pretty hackish work arounds to make fonts sometimes work reliably in IE. Knowing that there are far better solutions, such as Google Fonts, available for cross-browser font support, it has always bothered me that the plugin purported to be “the best way to add custom fonts to your site”.

2. I dreaded answering support tickets for the plugin

Even though questions didn’t come in that frequently, I always groaned a little inside (sometimes audibly) when a new ticket came in for Font Uploader. Usually the ticket was related to fonts not working reliably in Internet Explorer, or sometimes not working correctly in Safari.

I’m a firm believer that we should all try to avoid things that we don’t enjoy. If it’s within our control to remove that displeasure, why not do it?

3. Narrowing my focus

I’ve written enough plugins that removing Font Uploader will barely make a dent in the number of plugins that I’m supporting and maintaining. Over the last year I have been working on narrowing my focus down to a few primarily plugins, such as Restrict Content Pro and Easy Digital Downloads. Font Uploader was a distraction to those projects and not a good distraction.

Even though it is sad to say goodbye to my very first plugin, it is time, so goodbye Font Uploader. You served me and many, many others well while you lasted.

  1. Chris ODell

    So are you going to mark it with the ‘adopt-me’ tag in the WordPress.org repo, or are you just going to remove it totally?

    • Pippin

      I am more than happy to transfer it to anyone that wishes to continue maintaining the plugin, but I am not able to continue to maintain the plugin while waiting for someone to adopt it.

  2. Jason Bahl

    This was the first plugin I purchased on CodeCanyon, and actually was the plugin that inspired me to write my first plugin and really launched me into a career as a full-time WordPress developer!

    • Pippin

      So glad to hear it was an inspiration!

  3. Phil

    Good on you for being honest enough to tell people there are better ways now. Respect.

  4. theGuruWithin

    Definitely a monumental moment to say goodbye to the first child.

    You have inspired me to write my first plugin after considering it for sometime…

    Pippin How do suggest beginning. Do you hv a protocol that you follow to design and engineer? It feels a little like herding cats.

    TY again for all you have shared with the community and with me personally over the last year or so.

    I look at how you have designed your life around open source – WP and i am in awe and want same for self… ty for being soooo open with information. The Tribe is growing!

    in Gratitude,

  5. Mark Penny

    Was my first purchase also on CodeCanyon.

    Boo hoo……

  6. Stefano

    “I’ve written enough plugins that removing Font Uploader will barely make a dent in the number of plugins that I’m supporting and maintaining”
    This gives me the opportunity to ask you something I’ve been wanting to ask for some time. How do you manage to support your so many plugins and still have the time to add new features?

    • Pippin

      It really depends on the plugins. Some plugins get released and then never updated again, simply because they don’t need it. Support is similar. While some plugins require a lot of support, others require none.

      It also helps that building plugins is my full time job 🙂

  7. Tom McFarlin

    All viable reasons to stop working on a plugin – especially when it comes to hating to work on tickets, and narrowing your focus.


  8. Karen Leslie

    Well I’ll miss it. I’d been using it on a demo website and was just about to buy it when I realised it was gone. I’d tried several of the other plugins in the past and they still didn’t work as well as yours!

    I can understand your reasoning – I just wish I’d bought a copy earlier!

    Back to finding another plugin….

  9. Karen Leslie

    Just another thought Pippin – why not team up with someone who would do your support for you? 🙂 If they were a tester too then they’d know something about the plugin anyway.

    I do agree with not doing stuff you don’t enjoy.

    Enjoy your other projects.


    • Pippin

      I do have another person that helps me on the support side of things, but it wasn’t just for support reasons. I also really wasn’t satisfied with how the plugin worked, so I felt guilty anytime it was sold. For some users it worked exceptionally well, but for others it didn’t at all. The experience wasn’t consistent enough.

      Have you looked at the google font plugins?

  10. Karen Leslie

    Hi Pippin,

    My client has an existing website that uses the blackjack font so I require a WordPress plugin where I can load up the black jack font. Most of the font plugins do not seem to allow people to load up a font and blackjack is not a google font.

    I’m testing another plugin called ‘Use any font’ to see if that one will work.


  11. Karen Leslie

    Thanks very much Pippin. Much appreciated!

  12. Jack Lee

    Thanks for your WordPress Plugin Boilerplate!

  13. Scott Daris

    Like others, it was also my first plugin purchase, not just on Codecanyon but ever. It completely filled a need and it was unique for its time. You need to distinguish in order to stand out, and that you did. But contrary to what you stated above, “I’m a firm believer that we should all try to avoid things that we don’t enjoy,” the opposite is true for real growth. Otherwise a kind of laziness sets in and then you don’t stand out.

    • Pippin

      I don’t really agree that you can’t have true growth without things you don’t enjoy. Sure there are always aspects of projects that are less enjoyable than others, but not enjoying a project should in no way be tied to how far the project can go. I find the projects I enjoy the most are the ones that go the farthest.

    • Scott Daris

      Of course we shouldn’t have to suffer – that’s just lame. But just enjoying a project isn’t enough. I guess what I was saying was that a comfortable complacency can lead to a kind of stagnation that a person may see in the longterm. Maybe I’m saying this more to myself than anyone else. Anyways, thanks again for that font plugin. It had its day! Take care.

    • Pippin

      Oh certainly.

  14. Chris McCoy

    one of the first premium plugins I bought off CC 😉

  15. Sebastian B

    Wow, i was literally all day triying to put a font from the code and i failed, then i saw this plugin and you save my life.

    Thanks 🙂

    It works perfectly on IE, you just need to convert your font to .eot format, i used another web page to do it

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