The big disadvantage of premium plugins is they cannot automatically check for updates again the WordPress plugin repository. However, that can be overwritten to check updates against a different server. One of the improvements I would like to make to my version of the plugin is the ability to stay up to date without having to log in to an account somewhere, download the new version, and then manually upload to your site.
With the license server coming along, I started working on the update server as well. Having a way of validating plugin licenses and keeping the plugins updated will be helpful in creating more plugins. This is a part of the foundation work that is important, but doesn’t generate any income. The goal is to be able to release a few other plugins after the initial one and to do it in far less time.
One thing I am trying to keep in mind is the ability to sell off sites that sell the plugins. Because of that, I don’t have full control over the server that will be running the license and update checks. I am trying to make everything as generic as possible to make it compatible with all web servers and so it would work on shared hosting accounts where the ability to install or configure modules isn’t an option.
That is definitely makes things a bit harder. Switching to something like Amazon AWS would take care of that, but then add in the additional step of requiring an account. The more hoops that need to be jumped through, the less popular this will become. If all goes well, even the license and upgrade server framework might be releasable as a product. However, I don’t want to delay it while I am stamping out imaginary bugs for users who currently don’t exist.
In other news, eBay sales are still on the decline, coming in at single digit figures today. I am starting to sell out of items, however, so sales will be declining based solely on the fact I have less items for sale.