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When Is It Worth It to Buy Premium WordPress Plugins? (Explained)

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We are often asked by users: when is it worth investing in premium WordPress plugins?

Plugins are some of the main reasons for WordPress’s popularity as the world’s best website builder.

In this article, we will answer the question: when is it worth buying premium or paid WordPress plugins?

When is it worth buying premium WordPress plugins

What Are Premium WordPress Plugins?

Premium plugins are paid versions of WordPress plugins with additional features, priority support, documentation, and regular updates.

You can learn more about WordPress plugins by reading our beginner’s guide on WordPress plugins and how they work.

WordPress has become the most popular blogging platform in the world because it has a healthy ecosystem of both free and paid plugins.

At the time of writing this article, there are more than 59,000 free plugins available in the WordPress.org directory. You can use these free plugins to access various features without paying anyone.

WordPress.org plugins

Often, beginners wonder how WordPress makes money if the plugins are free. Well, WordPress does not own all these plugins.

Since WordPress is open-source, the majority of these free plugins are written by third-party developers and companies. These businesses and individuals want to give back to the WordPress community and build a business.

But the issue is that, like any other software, WordPress plugins also need to be properly maintained and updated. Although the individual developer is not required to offer support, most of them go above and beyond to help users and even add new features as requested.

As you can imagine, all these things take a lot of time and resources. Plugin authors often cannot give free plugins proper attention as they grow and get a larger user base.

For some plugin developers, it becomes difficult to take time out of their work and personal life to maintain a free product over a long period.

This is where premium WordPress plugins come in.

You get access to dedicated support, guaranteed updates, and premium features for a small licensing fee.

The license fee provides plugin authors with a steady income, so they can improve the product and dedicate more time to growing their WordPress plugin business.

On the other hand, it gives you, the customer, a more refined product with reliable support and updates.

That being said, let’s talk about when you should consider buying premium WordPress plugins for your WordPress website.

Are Premium WordPress Plugins Worth the Money?

Yes, premium WordPress plugins are worth the money. This is especially true when the features or support offered by a premium plugin are crucial for the growth of your business and website.

If you have read our guide on controlling the cost of a WordPress website, then you will know that we are not a fan of unnecessary spending.

We believe that most beginners can control their costs by using free WordPress plugins whenever they can.

There are free versions for many of the best WordPress plugins on the market. Here are just a few examples of great premium WordPress plugins offering free or lite versions:

However, as your website or business grows, you will want access to more features, priority support, and reliable plugins that you can count on for regular updates.

To help you decide, we have added the top reasons to invest in a premium WordPress plugin.

1. Solutions-Specific WordPress Plugins

Specific features

Some WordPress plugin categories cater to very specific solutions. For example, building a membership website or selling online courses is hard work.

Free plugins alone cannot do justice to these complex solutions. Even if you find a free plugin for the job, you will likely have to purchase paid add-ons to support the business.

If you are building a website that requires a very specific/advanced functionality, you will be better off with a premium WordPress plugin.

2. Advanced Features

Advanced features

While there are free plugins for most basic tasks, you will only find advanced features in paid plugins. That’s mainly because building and maintaining advanced features takes a lot of resources.

For example, while WPForms Lite is the most beginner-friendly WordPress contact form plugin, the pro version of WPForms comes with advanced features like user registration forms, surveys and polls, payment forms, and more.

3. Dedicated Support From Plugin Developers

Dedicated support

Support is not guaranteed with free WordPress plugins because free plugin authors are not required to offer support.

If you are new to WordPress and have no programming skills, support becomes very important. Premium WordPress plugins give you faster email responses for your support questions.

For more details, you can see our guide on how to ask for WordPress support and get it.

4. Extensive Documentation and Tutorials

Documentation and guides

Premium and paid WordPress plugins provide extensive technical documentation to help you get started without contacting support.

Many premium WordPress plugins have docs or resource sections where you can find guides, tutorials, and video instructions. These resources help you use the plugin without waiting for someone to help you out.

5. Regular and Frequent Updates

Plugin updates

Free WordPress plugins are sometimes abandoned by their developers. This leaves your website open to WordPress security vulnerabilities and bugs. Sometimes, you might not even realize that a plugin has been abandoned until you see your site behaving strangely after updating WordPress.

Premium WordPress plugins give you regular updates to address bugs, glitches, and, most importantly, any security issues. You don’t have to do anything, as those updates would automatically appear in your WordPress dashboard, and you can install them with just a few clicks.

You can see our guide on how to properly update WordPress plugins for detailed instructions.

6. New Features and Enhancements

Free WordPress plugins usually don’t have the incentive to enhance and improve something that is already working for many websites.

On the other hand, paid WordPress plugins are businesses with competition. In order to stay on top, they continuously work on their products by adding new features and improving existing features. Depending on your license terms, you will get access to those features right away.

7. Supporting the WordPress Ecosystem

Premium WordPress plugin companies are small businesses. By purchasing a license, you help them build a sustainable business that provides for their families and even creates new jobs worldwide.

Your small payment helps those developers create killer products for other small businesses like yours and improve the WordPress ecosystem (See: the most influential companies in WordPress).

Frequently Asked Questions About Premium Plugins

We have answered a lot of questions about premium WordPress plugins via email. To help you find the answer quickly, we have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions.

1. Should I only use all premium plugins on my website?

No, there is no need to only use paid WordPress plugins on your website. You should only buy premium plugins when you actually need them. There are a lot of great free plugins that don’t have a premium alternative or are much better than their paid alternatives.

2. How do I find premium WordPress plugins?

Premium WordPress plugins are not sold on the official WordPress.org website. You must buy them from their own websites. But because all of these websites are scattered, how do you know which plugin is good?

This is where WPBeginner can help. We are the largest WordPress resource site on the internet. We regularly write how-tos about different free and premium WordPress plugins. We do the research for you by actually testing the plugin and breaking down its features with pros and cons.

Here are just a few plugin showcases that you will find on WPBeginner (they contain both free and paid WordPress plugins):

Need more recommendations? Just type your keyword in Google and add ‘wpbeginner.com’ at the end of your search term.

Another way to find great premium WordPress plugins is by upgrading to the paid plans of a free plugin that you already love and use.

3. Are all premium WordPress plugins good?

No, not all of them are great. In fact, some paid plugins can be quite terrible. That’s why you need to carefully evaluate them before making the purchase. Find out who are the people behind the plugin, what kind of reputation they have, and what other people are saying about the plugin on the internet.

Whatever you do, DO NOT buy a paid plugin from an unofficial source like Fiverr. Always buy the plugins from the official author website to make sure that you are buying the secure version of the plugin.

4. Do I need to keep paying for premium WordPress plugins every year?

Once you purchase a WordPress plugin, you can keep using it for as long as you want.

Premium WordPress plugins come with different licensing terms. The most common licensing term is for 1 year of updates and support. If you are on a yearly license plan, then your plugin will continue to work, but you will not get updates and support after your license is expired.

If you like the plugin you are using, then you should definitely renew your license when it expires.

We hope this article helped you learn when you should buy premium WordPress plugins. You may also want to see our guide to free vs. premium WordPress themes and our expert picks for the best email marketing services to grow your website.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

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Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi with over 16 years of experience in WordPress, Web Hosting, eCommerce, SEO, and Marketing. Started in 2009, WPBeginner is now the largest free WordPress resource site in the industry and is often referred to as the Wikipedia for WordPress.

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Reader Interactions

8 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Syed Balkhi says

    Hey WPBeginner readers,
    Did you know you can win exciting prizes by commenting on WPBeginner?
    Every month, our top blog commenters will win HUGE rewards, including premium WordPress plugin licenses and cash prizes.
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  2. Dayo Olobayo says

    I can see from this article how features like better support and regular updates would be beneficial. But my question is, do premium plugins make a big difference in the overall functionality of a website? For example, if I’m just starting a simple blog, would it be worth it to invest in a premium plugin right away?

    • WPBeginner Support says

      You would only want to look to purchase a premium plugin if there is a feature you need from a plugin. We would not recommend getting a premium plugin only because it is a premium plugin.

      Admin

  3. Jiří Vaněk says

    I have several premium plugins and they are all from the wpbeginner family. I currently use paid AIO SEO the most. This is mainly because the functions I need for optimization are otherwise locked and I wouldn’t be able to access them. So for me some paid plugins make a lot of sense.

    What I appreciate about some is when the developer offers either a trial version for a few days or, for example, a version with limited functions, so that there is an opportunity to test the plugin in advance.

  4. Akinwumi Samuel says

    Thanks for the eye-opening message. Like how much can I buy a premium plugin. And assuming I buy a plugin for $50 . When it expires, do I need to pay $50 again to renew it.

  5. Zahid Anwar says

    I was told when I was learning wordpress , “WordPress is free|”. now I know It is not at all free. It is free to ome extent. You have to buy new functionality . It requires a lot of money to invest dude.
    Thanks for the writer of this blog.

    • WPBeginner Support says

      Glad we could clarify the need for sometimes purchasing plugins and functionalities :)

      Admin

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