Selling premium WordPress plugins can be a great business to be in.
According to BuiltWith, 22% of the world’s top million websites use the WordPress platform. That’s a lot of websites!
If you offer something that’s useful to even a small fraction of the WordPress websites in the world, you can have a highly profitable niche on your hands.
But how can you figure out what sort of plugin to build?
Wouldn’t it be great if you could build something that you knew in advance would appeal to lots of WordPress users?
How To Find Great Ideas For Premium WordPress Plugins
As Justin McGill suggests, one way to find ideas is to look at which existing plugins are already very popular despite rather poor ratings. If you can offer a plugin that’s better than one of these, you’re likely to have an eager market for it.
To get you started, we’ve looked at the WordPress plugin directory to find eleven of the most popular plugins with ratings of less than 4.5 out of 5 (suggesting they have room for improvement.)
Here they are…
A hugely popular WordPress image gallery plugin with over 1 million active installs, it currently has a surprisingly poor rating of just 3.2 stars out of 5.
If you’re a whiz with front-end development or willing to hire someone who is, perhaps you could build the next great WordPress gallery plugin!
2. Yoast SEO
The leading WordPress SEO plugin, Yoast SEO currently has a rating of 4.2 stars out of 5. Its 1+ million installs clearly shows the huge demand for SEO amongst the WordPress community.
Joost de Valk, the guy behind this plugin, has been active in the WordPress space for a long time, so this could be a tough act to follow. But find a way to provide a better SEO plugin and you could be very popular.
Website owners want their websites to be fast. And WordPress website owners are no exception. The WP Super Cache plugin is another member of the 1+ million active installs club.
There are other WordPress caching plugins, such as the (even more popular and higher-rated) W3 Total Cache, so there’s competition out there already. But with this much demand for faster sites, a twist on the caching idea could work well.
Yep – another hugely popular plugin from the team at Yoast. This one currently has a rating of 4 stars out of 5, suggesting there could be room for improvement if you’re willing to delve into the reviews and build a new plugin that addresses the shortcomings of this one. Despite its relatively low rating, Google Analytics by Yoast is well into the 1+ million active installs range.
If this plugin’s popularity is anything to go by, lots of WordPress users need to import content from other WordPress sites. With a rating of just 3.2 stars out of 5, it looks like this can be a complicated process. But if you can find a better way of doing it, a lot of people will be keen to know about it.
Content gets moved about on websites. That’s where this plugin comes in, letting site owners redirect visitors from one URL to another. With 400,000+ active installs, there’s plenty of demand for it. The plugin is currently rated 4.2 stars out of 5, suggesting there could be ways to do things better.
As anyone who’s written much content on the web will know, websites disappear. The things you link to one day may not be there a year later. And broken links are annoying for your readers. This plugin helps you keep an eye out for these broken links and will notify you when it spots one. The plugin is currently rated 4.2 stars out of 5 and has 400,000+ active installs.
People who use a plugin like this presumably care a fair amount about their content. So if you can find a way to provide a better broken link checker plugin, this could be a great niche to go after.
The leading WordPress backup plugin, this plugin does a very valuable job for the people who use it. It’s currently rated 3.9 stars out of 5 and has 400,000 active installs, so it’s not short of users.
A reliable backup plugin is probably a relatively complicated product to build, but given that it’s another example of a plugin that’s likely to appeal most to more serious users, this could be another interesting niche for a premium offering.
An unusual plugin, in many ways, this “adds a splash page to your site that lets visitors know your site is down for maintenance. It’s perfect for a coming soon page.” It has 300,000+ active installs and a rating of 4 stars out of 5.
Another plugin with 300,000+ active installs, this contact form plugin is rated 3.7 stars out of 5. The number of active installs is particularly interesting, given that this isn’t even the most popular contact form plugin. Contact Form 7 has that title (and well over a million active installs). So let’s be clear – WordPress users love contact forms.
Getting a contact form plugin right is harder than it might first look. But crack it, and there’s a huge community of WordPress users who will be interested in what you have to offer.
People love related posts. 300,000+ active installs tells us that much, at least. This plugin has 4 stars out of 5. Can you find a better way to do something similar?
With WordPress being the most popular website platform in the world, the WordPress community can be a fantastic one to serve.
The eleven plugins we’ve looked at are all hugely popular despite significant numbers of their users finding them less than perfect. Provide a plugin that better addresses the pain points of any one of these plugins and you should find plenty of people keen to use it.
What have you seen working well with premium WordPress plugins?