5 Best WordPress Software License Managers Compared (2023)
Whether a company is a startup or an established large enterprise, license management is a top priority for developers.
Licensing continues to be a powerful option for accelerating growth and extending the value of brandsBranding Strategy Insider
Giving top priority to the ‘Importance of License Management‘, representatives from different tech-giant companies like- AVST, Juniper Networks, Philips (News – Alert), Sharp Electronics, Trimble, and Viavi Solutions, shared an experience.
They said that companies should always use a small software license manager to handle software licenses and new ideas in a smart way. because it will help make new licensing plans and help software developers keep track of when their software licenses will expire.
So, today we’ll walk you through a detailed comparison of the top WordPress plugin and theme license managers. Also, you’ll get a clear idea of their features and functions in a short review.
And by the time we are done, it will help you choose the best license manager for your WordPress products. So, before we get started, let’s start with a simple question.
Why Do We Need Software License Manager for Premium Plugins?
Software license management is a process that helps an organization to control & document everything
As we mentioned earlier, a theme or plugin license manager has many benefits, especially if you’re selling plugins to your customers. So, a prominent license manager could help you handle all the licenses for the premium products and check whether they have expired or are about to expire.
Related article: What happens if you don’t check the premium license
To be honest, a developer works heart and soul to make a plugin or piece of software so that users can get its ultimate benefit. And it is unquestionably not an easy task. Nonetheless, on an open-source platform like WordPress, users can get all the plugins as a free solution. Due to that reason, developers are keen to sell their premium versions of plugins or themes to earn money.
This is where a license manager for software plays a vital role. And without the proper software license maintenance, your users could face the problems below:-
- Customer will no longer get premium support from you
- Users will not get the updates in time
- Technical support will also no longer
- A notice will appear on the user’s dashboard
- And finally, your users gradually start to miss out on all the premium privileges
As a developer or plugin-themes seller, you should always keep an eye on the license expiration date. And this will ensure your users are getting the updated licenses in real time.
A Detailed Comparison of the Software License Manager
Now is the time to show the detailed guide to the best plugin and theme license managers for WordPress. So carefully check out each of these solutions and note down their features. After that, you can easily find a reliable solution for your premium plugin and theme management.
01. Appsero- killer WordPress analytics
First, we have Appsero to discuss. It stands among the top open-source and reliable software licensing management solutions for developers. It provides an easy license management experience for WordPress users with an intuitive dashboard.
Moreover, you can take help from Appsero to analyze your plugin and theme stats, collect deactivation reasons, and deploy updates right from your local server to WordPress.Org.
However, for a better understanding, below are the core functions & features of Appsero:-
- Easy to adjust with your current license manager
- Immediate licensing checking and new license generation option for premium users
- Push deployment of premium plugins-themes updates using the GIT (any type of GIT system) features
- Collect plugins-themes deactivation data
- Manage unlimited plugins-themes
- Integrates with different third-party features to enhance plugin-theme management capacity
Appsero has three different pricing packages and the minimum one starts at $12.50/month (with a flat 50% discount) for up to 500 licenses. Appsero has added a user-based pricing system to avoid extra charges for customers.
And compared to other solutions (that have revenue-sharing pricing models) the pricing policy of Appsero is more sophisticated & easy to comprehend.
02. Easy Digital Downloads – Sell digital products with WordPress
Next, we have Easy Digital Downloads, which is also a popular licensing management solution for WordPress users. EDD helps users create an online store using their WordPress website. And using that platform, you can sell your digital products.
But, EDD has not any features to manage software licenses. So you cannot manage your digital products license from different platforms with it. It does, however, provide some features to users. Here are they-
- Create a digital shop & sell software
- Intuitive WordPress dashboard for users
- Plugin & theme analytics feature
- Provides a complete data reporting option
- Individual discount page to create a discount whenever users need it
- Separate record-keeping option for each customer
Easy Digital Downloads includes four different pricing packages. And to use the EDD platform to sell plugins/themes, you will have to spend $99.00 per month.
03. WooCommerce – The best software addon for selling products online
WooCommerce is the most popular eCommerce solution of all time for WordPress users. It is also the most popular place for big and medium-sized business owners to sell things online. It has completely transformed the eCommerce experience of all general consumers in recent years. Especially for those who don’t have any prior programming knowledge to create a full-fledged online store for their business.
Besides all that, it can also help you to manage your premium product licenses, check expiry dates, collect insights, and more. But WooCommerce alone can’t permit you to do that. To perform that action, you would need to get the WooCommerce Software Addon.
However, using WooCommerce software-addon for your premium products, you’ll get to have the following features:-
- An automated deployment & operation system
- Self-hosted licensing platform
- Easy to sell license keys for software
- Sell licenses & upgrade them whenever you need
- Viewable purchased keys
- Track activations & view reports
- Initiated with the API
When it comes to talking about this addition to WooCommerce, it’s quite on the expensive side and not affordable for everyone. However, you can use this WooCommerce feature for your premium plugins/themes spending $129/year.
04. ThemeForest – Best Place For Selling WordPress Themes/Plugins
ThemeForest is another gigantic platform for WordPress developers where they can easily manage licenses & sell their plugins/themes. While selling products with ThemeForest, you’ll get an automatically generated license key for your products. So during the upload of the product onto ThemeForest, you’ll need that license key to sell your premium products.
Moreover, ThemeForest includes the following features:-
- Easy license management with high security
- Gives stability to developers
- Provides badges, and recognitions based on the contribution
- Easier to communicate with other developers
- Super flexible to sell plugins/themes
Themeforest’s selling commission rate is not as affordable as expected compared to other marketplaces. Yes, it’s true that whenever a user sells a plugin/theme, s/he needs to give them 30–70% of the total selling price as a commission, which is a big amount for the newbie developers!!!
And that’s why many developers or plugin/theme sellers have marked this deal as a drawback & marketplace issue of ThemeForest.
05. Freemius – SaaS engine for selling WordPress plugins and themes
Just like Appsero, Freemius is also a SaaS platform that manages your plugin and theme licensing. Though it is a very popular and quality platform to handle your licensing affairs, some key features are missing from it. Unlike Appsero, you can’t integrate Freemius with any other licensing platform. It is a standalone platform on its own.
Using this pre-eminent platform, here are the features that you will be getting:-
- Instantly generate & check license updates
- Push automatic update deployment
- Get full access to the user analytics feature
- Collect deactivation feedback or reasons
Freemius is also using a revenue-sharing pricing method. While selling plugins, you’ll have to give 27% of your total revenue to Freemius.
A Comparison table of different software license managers
After an individual discussion for each of these WordPress theme and plugin license managers, now it’s time to compare their features, key functionalities, and pricing.
So let’s check it out:-
|Features||Appsero||Easy Digital Downloads||WooCommerce||ThemeForest||Freemius|
|Pricing||Starting price $125 /Y||$1,900/Y||$1,700/Y||30% to 70% Commission||Up to 27% Commission|
|Exclusive for themes & plugins||✅||❌||❌||❌||✅|
|Solution type||SaaS||Self Hosted||Self Hosted||SaaS||SaaS|
|Secure daily backup||✅||On you||On you||✅||✅|
|Automatic update deployment||✅||✅||✅||❌||✅|
|Automated cart abandonment recovery||✅||On you||On you||❌||✅|
|Analytics & usage tracking||✅||$300/m||$300/y||❌||✅|
|3rd party integrations||Many||Many||Many||❌||Few|
|EU VAT handling||✅||$50/y||$50/y||✅||Free|
Still in hesitation? Don’t worry! Let’s watch the video to see an end-to-end comparison of the best software license managers for 2023!
Which One is the Best Software License Manager?
From the above features, functionalities, and pricing comparison of the WordPress plugin/theme license managers, it is quite clear that Appsero is the solution that offers all the necessary features at an affordable cost. But it doesn’t necessarily mean other platforms are any less.
Quite clearly, as a new platform, Appsero has an edge at the moment, but it still has a long way to go if it wants to stand out in the crowd of all these popular software license management platforms.
Software license managers like ThemeForest and Freemius also hold a solid position in the hearts of developers, though due to their higher profit-sharing schemes, sometimes create a negative impression. But many people still find them more reliable than others. So if you are okay with your software license manager taking up a chunk of your profit percentage then you can go for ThemeForest or Freemius.
But if you think you need a cost-effective yet complete software license management solution that doesn’t break your bank yet provides all the right features for your software licensing and deployment then Appsero is probably the tool that you are looking for.
Now, for your convenience, let’s check out the following features of Appsero to support my argument. Hopefully, this will help you to decide better whether Appsero is truly the software licensing manager that you need:-
- Analytics on a whole new level
- Automatic Updates
- Deactivation autoresponder
- Email list building
- Integration with different useful third-party solutions
Appsero is what you need if are looking for all this above !!
Moreover, if you want to compare the features and functions of other platforms, then you can always do that with Appsero. Here is the link to that below ⤵️
Compare Better To Choose The Right Software License Manager
To sum up, all these solutions are reliable & top-class and have all the basic attributes to manage the licensing of your software better. Even after that, it solely depends on your needs and the growth of your plugins to determine which platform you want to use. So you go to compare better in order to make a better decision.
However, we tried to demonstrate the basic differences and qualities between these software license managers. We hope that the comparison done above will help you to pick up the right License Manager for your plugin/ theme management.
But having said that, if you want to manage your premium licenses in a better way, our recommendation would be to give Appsero a shot. Because Appsero is not just a plugin, but rather it has been designed to perform as a complete WordPress analytics, licensing, and deployment tool altogether!
Finally, if you found our post useful, please share it. Moreover, if you have any suggestions or queries, then do drop them in the comments section below. Because we firmly believe feedback from our readers or users helps us improve ourselves. 😊
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