So, you’ve decided the plugin you’re using isn’t doing the job, and you want a customised version of a plugin you bought, or a completely custom built plugin to get the job.
I get it, and the investment is worth it. Not only do you get exactly what you’re after, but it just. Makes. Life. A. Whole. Lot. Easier! You’ve been struggling along like a three legged dog with something that may be mostly ok, but there’s those key things it doesn’t do that are the killer problems. Or, maybe what you have is quite horrific. Either way you’re heading in the right direction by making this decision.
Can I suggest you humour me, and take stock just for a minute, while I tell you what I think you should know before you embark on this. OPMC has been an official plugin developer for WooCommerce since 2011, we have 10+ plugins on the official marketplace, and we have thousands of subscribers to our plugins. So if we haven’t seen something, it’s not worth knowing.
The off the shelf plugin you bought for $50 isn’t worth that much
You bought a plugin off the shelf for $50-$100 that does some but not all of what you wanted to do? Well, it’s not worth that much. In fact, it’s worth many multiples of that.
When you embark on having your WooCommerce plugin customised or custom built, you may quickly find that even what seem like very very small adjustments, cost multiples of the original plugin cost.
Plugin developers don’t make their Woo plugin just for you. They make it with the hope there will be a large and growing customer base. Over time, they may have spent 10’s, 100’s or 1,000’s of hours developing and improving the plugin. The 5 hours they spend making an improvement, they make it for everyone.
So when it’s just for you, that 5 hours they spent making some minor improvements are a direct cost that should be a profitable venture.
What’s important for you may not be important for anyone else
Maybe you don’t actually want to get specialised custom support. Instead, you can see there is something clearly wrong with this plugin, and it’s going to benefit the wider customer base to have this immediately rectified.
Float back down to planet earth, and you’ll find often that what’s super critical for your operations is reflective of your unique circumstances. You might have that really important other WooCommerce plugin which depends on the other plugin’s interoperability. But they just don’t play nice.
Sure, it makes perfect sense to you this matter needs fixing up. But for a WooCommerce plugin developer, there are thousands of other customers with their own unique circumstances, thousands of WooCommerce plugins, and a great deal of possible combinations – a number ending in lots of zeroes. When a plugin dev looks at your unique circumstances, they need to make a commercial decision about your unique circumstances, and how many other people that applies to.
Even if 10% of customers have the same issue, if it takes 50-100 to get the setup playing nice, that may just not generate the return on investment to make it worthwhile to do without charging.
Good things take time
Now you’ve got your great idea, you know it will make a difference to your business. Now, it needs to be made.
Good things take time! If you order your customisations at 9AM, don’t expect them by 2PM. In fact, a good plugin developer could take a week or two to make minor changes. Get it done properly, but an experienced company, so you’ll be in good hands and get the outcome you were expecting.
That’s not the end of the story
Good plugin development also needs maintenance. When you upgrade your site from WooCommerce 2 to 3, that doesn’t mean the plugin’s still going to work. In fact, it may very well fall over. Plugin developers can only do their best but can’t predict the future. Some major WooCommerce releases have seen major changes to how things work and that can mean extensive changes are required to ensure things are running smoothly.
We suggest going back to your plugin developer before any major upgrades, so they can test the new version and make sure it still works well.
Remember also that a plugin customisation means that if you bought an off the shelf plugin that’s been customised, you’re not going to be able to keep using that original plugin anymore via the official Woo marketplace, unless they incorporate your customisations into their roadmap for the core plugin in future.