Franck contacted me about a new product he wanted developed. But he wasn’t sure if he should have it done as a plugin or as SaaS (Software as a Service).
(If you don’t know – SaaS is a web app that you “sell” access to each month. Any tools you use online that you pay for fit under the “SaaS” category.)
- If your service can run outside of WordPress, you should probably do it as SaaS instead of a plugin.
- If your service depends on WordPress, you should probably do it as a plugin instead of SaaS.
There are exceptions to both “rules” but the above makes for pretty good guidelines.
A lot of marketers think that plugins are the way to go but here’s why they’re not:
- It’s easier to get unpaid access to a plugin than it is for SaaS.
- It’s harder to make plugins work for everyone. (Because every web host is different.)
- You’re not allowed to encode your plugin code. That goes against the WordPress licence.
- Plugins sometimes can’t be installed because of clashes with other plugins.
Those should be enough reasons for you to run away screaming from plugins. Of course, like I said, if your idea depends on WordPress, then a plugin makes sense.
But consider trying this:
Try making a SaaS that does all the heavy lifting and requires an active subscription. Then release a plugin that only “speaks” to your SaaS.
The benefits of doing this are:
- Your plugin can be almost empty. Nothing worth stealing.
- If someone stops paying, they stop getting benefits from your hard work.
- You can upgrade your service any time without hoping and praying people will update.
- Your plugin is more likely to work across a wide variety of websites with all kinds of other plugins installed.
Okay so how do you do all of this? You contact the “SaaS Assassin”… me!