Keep your WordPress plugins easy to use and expand

Today I had the chance to explain to one of our users why a feature was not added to WooCommerce core, but released as a separate extension:

I understand that this specific feature is a heavy requirement for your projects, but you have to understand that we come from a very different angle than Magento does. In fact, we are not near Magento when it comes to the number of features. This is done on purpose and let me explain why.

Magento having a huge load of features packed in the default version of it may benefit a lot of people, but it also has a big downside. This is exactly the reason why WooCommerce has far less features in its core plugin. We provide extra features via extensions to keep the core WooCommerce plugin as lean and clean as possible. The people who do not use extra features can benefit of a faster and less code bloated plugin. When you do need the extra features, there will be extensions to add these features.

This way of spreading features between the core plugin and separate extensions makes our plugin usable for a much bigger audience. You don’t need to be an expert in eCommerce to start working with our plugin and run your first webshop.

Especially this last sentence is a very important reason to not stack all sorts of complicated features in the core plugin. WordPress and her plugins are renowned for their user experience, ease of use and low entry barrier. Let’s keep it that way, let’s keep it simple and easy to expand with new features.

9 replies on “Keep your WordPress plugins easy to use and expand”

    1. It might look like that, but actually it is cheaper for end users to do it this with. Now, you only pay for the extensions you want. If you buy a tool that does a lot more, without having to buy extensions, you end up with a lot features that you don’t use/need.

  1. This is exactly the route we’ve taken with Gravity Forms from the very beginning. We have an array of Add-Ons to extend its functionality. Users can pick and choose what they need and individual users have different needs. It’s much cleaner to only install what is needed.

    1. Yes indeed, Gravity Forms is another shining example of how it should be done. Not only is it cleaner, but also a lot cheaper in the end for your users.

  2. I once made the mistake to take on a Magento project, having zero experience with it. It is really difficult to learn, plus their templating system is a nightmare.
    Even for a pretty basic store, I needed to buy an extension, I think it was for downloading PDF files 😀

  3. Even if is a opportunity for upselling other extensions, as Kid said, I thing is the best way to do it. If you want clean and simple functionalities you have them, but if you want more powerful settings, you just have to buy desired extension. Great job!

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