4 Successful Freemium WordPress Plugins

4 Successful Freemium WordPress Plugins

There’s a number of way you can make money in the WordPress ecosystem–we’ve reviewed them before. You can sell plugins, themes, exclusive hosting, maintenance services and so on. But you have to be careful on pricing, or else you can lose customers (or clients) from the start. One of the most popular pricing models is the “freemium” model, and there are already lots of freemium WordPress plugins out there.

In this post, we’re going to review four of the most successful WordPress plugins that rely on the “freemium” pricing model.

What Are “Freemium WordPress Plugins” Anyway?

The best way to describe the freemium model is something like “offering a free version of your premium product or service”. As you might have already guessed, “freemium” is a wordplay for the words “free” and “premium”. For example; you make a mobile app and distribute it for free, but offer a “paid version” that has more features or better item support or without ads. Same goes for WordPress plugins: You can create two versions for your plugin and offer one for free and one for a certain amount of money. It’s actually a great way to show off your product before your customers buy it.

Since it’s really easy to get a grip about the “freemium” pricing model, let’s quickly get to the examples of it. Keep in mind that these freemium WordPress plugins aren’t the “best” or the “most popular” ones among others, but they’re great examples of the freemium model.


freemium wordpress plugins woocommerce

Has anyone not heard of WooCommerce?

Aside from being the most popular eCommerce plugin for WordPress, WooCommerce is probably the most popular WordPress plugin selling with the freemium model. Not only it has been downloaded millions of times to this time, but it also has been acquired by WordPress last year.

WooCommerce doesn’t have a “free” version and a “full” version. Instead, it’s a free plugin with hundreds of free & premium extensions. Have fun with it.

Event Espresso

freemium wordpress plugins event espresso

One of the best ways to create an “events” website in WordPress. Hands down.

Event Espresso is another successful WordPress plugin with freemium pricing. Its pricing is a bit more complicated:

  • It has a “decaf version” available for free,
  • It has a “premium version” sold as a yearly subscription,
  • It has lots of “premium add-ons” available, sold separately,
  • And it has a “full version” with all the premium features and the premium add-ons.

I believe it’s a bit too complicated, but hey, it works!


freemium wordpress plugins backwpup

Ah, my good old, reliable friend.

I’ve used BackWPup for a few years and it was one of my favorites–I’ve even recommended it before here in the Fuel Themes Blog. Its free version is as awesome as it was before, and the Pro version is even better. But I’ll give you a hint: The free version is more than enough for many users.

Seriously though: Don’t forget to backup.

Ultimate Member



Looking for a comprehensive membership system for WordPress? Ultimate Member to the rescue!

Both its free version and the premium extensions are incredibly useful, serving for everyone who needs a special membership solution. (It even has free or premium third party plugins developed by, well, third parties.) Be sure to check it out before using (or paying for) another membership plugin.


Freemium WordPress plugins are gaining more and more popularity lately, and probably it’s because users get to try out the plugin for free before purchasing it. If you have a plugin you want to sell, you might want to consider creating a “free version” for it.

What do you think about the “freemium” pricing model? Tell us what you think in the Comments section below. And thanks for reading!

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