If you want to build and maintain an audience for your software business, you need to set yourself apart from others who work in the same niche. Considering the benefits of the WordPress world, building a successful WordPress plugin can make your software business stand out.
To start with, there is a huge inbuilt audience of committed users – around the world. To justify the popularity of WordPress, it is found that over 24.7% of the websites are powered by WordPress. That number is massive and it is still growing every day.
However, it’s always easier said than done.
There is only a limited number of plugins with an amazing number of downloads, and hundreds of thousands of few downloads.
So, here’s how you can put your best foot forward for building a successful plugin.
1. Keep UX first
UX is entirely about two things – the User and the Experience. Present your users with a great experience and see them rewarding you with their business and their trust. Businesses with highly effective user experience have reported 37% increase in their revenue, which clearly indicates the ROI of UX design.
Another study conducted found that 90% of users stopped using an app due to its poor performance and 86% of users uninstalled or deleted an app because of the functionality or design issues.
However, studies also revealed that 86% of users did not mind paying extra for an app with an extraordinary customer experience.
Considering these studies, it is no surprise to see User Experience focused companies like Amazon, Dropbox, Adobe, Google, and Apple remains prime leaders in their respective fields.
As a matter of fact, user experience should drive your code, not vice versa.
It is often seen that developers are tempted to begin the development with the functionality first, then work on the user experience component later. Unfortunately, that is a recipe for ruining an awesome plugin.
2. Design Matters
Great plugins provide the great design.
The way your plugin looks helps users to decide whether they want to integrate it into their website or not in just a fraction of a second. No matter how feature-rich your plugin is, all makes sense only if it manages to capture the eye of the user.
The design is the first thing the user interacts with. Having a cluttered or visually disorganized design will make users turn their backs on your developed WordPress plugin.
According to Randall Smith, “If great design is doing its job, it is handling your experience perception in various ways which are both obvious and not-so-obvious. How you feel is directly influenced by the design of the plugin, a business card, or a website.”
It involves careful design thinking that fortifies your plugin’s functionality and makes using it a pleasurable experience.
3. Cater to a real problem
Building a plugin that does not solve a purpose or a real world problem always goes unnoticed. You probably have discovered a technical improvement that you find essential for WordPress publishers, but it is not solving a particular problem that WordPress users face, you can’t expect to get any traction.
The best to get started with this is to examine a variety of WordPress users and you will know instantly what they want from plugins and extensions.
Plugins are supposed to either make the software easier to use or more powerful.
4. Standards compliant
Since WordPress is an open source software and used by millions of users from the world, certain standards are defined to build WordPress themes and plugins. WordPress tries to promote compatibility and agreement among its users and developers.
Thus, it is always suggested to build plugins that have the rock-solid code and is in accordance with the standards and guidelines defined by WordPress.
5. Excellent Customer Support
A successful plugin always comes with a customer service.
This means your users have access to detailed documentation as well as constant help through emails or phone. Whether you are planning to give it for free or a sell it as a premium plugin, it must be supported to gain the trust of your users. Solving developer and client problem certainly is a vital part of the development.
According to Tom Ewer, founder of leavingworkbehind.com, “offering support for your work will go a long way toward getting 5 out of 5-star ratings from users. You can even turn the most annoyed user into a 5-star reviewer with a committed customer support that helps to solve their problems.”
6. Keep it up-to-date
WordPress is an ever-growing software that releases new versions every so often. These versions come with new features, functionality and security tools to keep WordPress powered website safe and sound. However, having a plugin that hasn’t been updated according to the latest versions of the software can significantly reduce your user base.
Users evaluate good plugins on the basis of its ratings, number of downloads and the last time it was updated.
“Outdated plugins can cause glitches that release security holes in the website, making it more vulnerable to hacking and spamming,” says Sarah Hines, a lead web mechanic.
7. Recognize the community
If you have been using WordPress for quite some time, you would probably know it has a huge community.
A good plugin developer respects this WordPress community and understands the added responsibilities. Being constantly active in the community determines how far you and your development career can progress. Also, having a bad reputation can be a career spoiler.
WordPress plugin development is a massive responsibility especially for those who are just starting out. Therefore, consider every aspect of it before you dive into the world of plugin development and leverage the aforementioned keys to build a successful plugin for your users.
Guest article written by: Kerin Miller is a WordPress Developer by profession and writer by hobby. She works for Stellen Infotech, expert in providing all solutions related to WordPress Web Development to global clients. Currently, she has an impressive count of WordPress-related articles under her name.