There are plenty of WordPress plugins in the market which are extremely useful and available completely for free. And then there are premium plugins requiring you to pay an initial or subscription-based payment to enjoy their features. You will also find freemium plugins, which lets you access basic features for free, but requires you to upgrade to a pro version to enjoy advanced functionalities.
By basic intuition, you might presume premium plugins to be better than free ones, but that is not always the case. In fact, there are plenty of free plugins that are best in its respective categories and has no superior premium alternative. A few examples would include:
And many more to add to this list.
Taking this into consideration, you should always do your research before buying any paid plugin as a better free alternative might be available in the market. In fact, as a general rule of thumb, beginners and basic website owners can easily make do with free plugins.
However, when you start to grow your website and want to include unique and sometimes specific functionalities, or wish to stand out from your competition by incorporating more advanced feature, then going premium does make sense. Now, for the purpose of this read, we have put together a comprehensive list discussing the benefits of premium WordPress plugin vs. a free plugin. So without further ado, let’s get started:
As stated earlier, free plugins only help you to take care of the most basic tasks. This is okay for sites that are just starting out. However, if you want access to more advanced and powerful functionalities then the developer has to invest more time and resource into making them available. And therefore they are charging a premium buck for their hard work. B ut with that being said, you also need to consider that the WordPress plugin marketplace is extremely competitive. As such, new plugin developers are incorporate premium features for free to stand out and attract new customers. But still, for most cases, advanced functionalities are only available with premium plugins.
Free WordPress plugins mostly end up getting abandoned by their developers. This might be because the developer doesn’t have free time to invest in free work, or they have lost their interest in the project. Either way, an out of date plugin is generally less secure and opens up your site to security vulnerabilities.
However, this is almost never the case with premium plugins. As developers are incentivized by monetary gains through plugin sales, they generally keep working on their plugin. Not only will you receive time to time security updates and bug fixes, but the occasional integration of new features and enhancements can also be expected.
Why would a user pay to buy a plugin they can’t properly use?
This is why premium plugin developers always include extensive documentation with detailed guides on how to properly use all the different functionalities offered by the plugin. In some cases, you might also be pampered with video tutorials giving you visual instructions on proper configuration of the WordPress plugin.
Now, this isn’t to say that free plugins don’t come with any guides or tutorials. However, these are mostly associated with widely successful plugins with huge numbers of downloads and an active community. The majority of free plugins lacks proper documentation. But to be fair, their features are pretty straightforward and rarely requires a detailed guide.
This is one of the most crucial factors separating premium plugins form the free ones. Ensuring customer satisfaction is a huge deal, especially when you are charging them for their hard earned cash. As such, premium plugins provide special care for their user base, generally with 24*7 customer service available through multiple mediums like phone, email, and live chat. This is further complemented by a dedicated FAQ forum with an active support team always busy answering user queries and providing technical assistance.
Now, this doesn’t mean that free plugin users have to hold their heads when everything falls apart. They still can contact the developer or any designated support team, but one should not expect any priority treatment. And for the most cases, users might have to take refugee to the community support forum or the FAQ section to manually find a solution to their issues.