The nature of WordPress development services is centered around a one-time revenue model. It takes a lot of patience to educate clients about the need for hosting, management, and other services they need.
Client retention and recurring revenue generation are difficult for most WordPress agencies and freelancers. To a very large extent, this is the main reason behind the feast and famine cycles experienced by WordPress developers and agency owners.
To make more money from your WordPress development services, we’ve listed out the best premium WordPress plugins you can upsell to your clients. This practice can be beneficial both for your agency and your client since they end up splitting the cost, not having to pay full price.
So you would end up earning a lot more than you think, selling services like security, speed, etc.
10 extra plugins, hosting, services – approx – $190/month
With this model, you only need 40 clients to build an ARR (annual recurring revenue) of almost $100k.
Yeah, that’s right. 40 clients is a doable number, now that you know it.
From experience not all clients are at this price point, we charge anything from $2.000/month for managing big WordPress sites to little as $39/month for our smaller projects (for example go.publishingaddict.com)
If you have been in the WordPress space for a while, you’ll already know what developer rights are. They are also called white-label or unlimited licenses.
With that, you can have a single premium WordPress plugin with developer rights and then continue selling to as many clients as possible without paying additional fees.
If you don't think that is a fair deal to your clients, that’s fine just be honest with what you do, you can just add these tools to your arsenal and charge a premium for a complete enterprise WordPress management package.
Depending on the nature of your client's business and how you do it, you may also have the opportunity to start earning recurring revenue from WordPress clients.
Upselling vs Cross-Selling WordPress Plugins To Clients
Before you get into the main action, it is important that you understand the difference between upselling and cross-selling. This will make it easier to promote your offers to the most qualified clients and with the right contexts.
Upselling is the simple practice of promoting comparatively high-priced offers, services, or products exactly when they are in purchase mode.
The main thing is to highlight the core value of the higher-end offers while comparing it with the lower-end offer they wanted to buy. Above everything else, understanding the clients’ type of business and current needs will help you to upsell premium WordPress plugins in a way that delivers value to your clients.
Cross-selling is about selling complementary products that are closely related to the exact needs fulfilled by the first or original product being bought. Again what matters most is understanding the client's needs and the context.
Finally, timing is another important variable. The meaning is that you have to present or promote your offer in a timely manner when the desire for purchase is intensely strong.
If you’ve got the best offers but present them at the wrong time, it wouldn’t matter. Generally, with these sorts of extras, you either show them at the beginning or just wait a few months until you build trust and are able to show them that you are a partner they want to keep around.
Best Premium WordPress Plugins For Selling To Clients
Please note that the sole purpose of upselling or cross-selling is to increase the value that clients will get from your main WordPress development services. If you do that properly, you'll have the opportunity for a higher client retention rate and possible recurring revenue. Let’s dive in.
Whether you are building a new WooCommerce store or managing some stores for existing clients, upselling is one untapped opportunity to make more sales while growing revenue. In most cases, the impact on average order value (AOV) is very easy to measure. The interesting thing is that if you can help your clients earn more money through upselling eCommerce plugins, you’ll have a better chance of retaining them.
This plugin called UpStoke is just one of the best WooCommerce Upsell plugins meant for that. With the developer license which goes for $199 per year, you can install on 25 client websites. The single site license goes for $79.
Using this premium eCommerce plugin, you’’ become able to increase the average value of your typical WordPress development services.
Among other things, this plugin has A/B testing features and some useful add-ons for boosting eCommerce sales. If you upsell to 2 – 10 WordPress clients, you can start earning recurring revenue from their renewal fees, depending on the agreed price.
WooCommerce Table Rate Shipping
Shipping is one of those essential but complex processes in building a profitable eCommerce business. Unfortunately, if the complexity is too much and overwhelming for your clients’ prospective buyers, they are likely to experience an above-average cart abandonment rate. This is where the Table Shipping Rate plugin from WooCommerce comes in.
After proper installation, the WooCommerce Table Rate Shipping plugin allows store owners and WordPress development agencies to manage complex shipping processes with variables like product weight, price, location, and order value.
The plugin goes for $99 per year which means you could be earning recurring revenue from your WordPress clients if you upsell them successfully.
WebARX WordPress Security Plugin
Hey, let's face it, if you leave your WordPress client website unprotected and something bad happens, that leaves a bad impression on you or your agency. Even when a client isn’t aware of the best way to protect their website and business, it is your duty as a professional to provide security or advice as much as you can.
Based on what I have seen, most clients who are serious about their business will happily pay for the WordPress security plugin.
In addition to standard WordPress website security, WebARX provides plugin vulnerability monitoring, SSL/TLS monitoring, certificate expiration monitoring, cloud-based firewall management as well as blocking malicious bot intrusion.
Depending on your needs and the size of clientele, you can choose from their monthly or annual pricing plans.
WP Rocket Caching Plugin
Background aside, most WordPress clients are not aware of how website loading speed affects both user experience and conversion rate. Especially in the eCommerce space where a single site can have thousands of product pages images, WordPress caching plugins like WP Rocket is very important.
In technical terms, WordPress caching plugins help enable websites to load requested pages without tasking or sending requests to the website server.
At the time of this writing, over 1 million websites are using WP Rocket to optimize their page loading speed. With a developer license which goes for $249 per year, you can install it inside unlimited websites. If you notice that some existing clients do not have a caching plugin, consider upselling them the plugin when you are selling other services.
Now, just pause and think about how much recurring revenue you can earn with the unlimited installation license. You can even use this tool to serve clients that are looking for WordPress website speed optimization services.
Fluent Forms WordPress Plugin
WordPress form builder plugin is one of those essential tools used by almost every kind of business you can think of. From lead generation to customer surveys, WordPress plugins like Fluent Forms can help you deliver lucrative value to your clients.
With the conditional logic features of this plugin, you can help your clients streamline seemingly complex form fields and inputs.
Depending on your client's needs, you can have it integrated into platforms like Slack, MailChimp, Zapier, HubSpot, and Twilio. The price for unlimited website installation goes for $199 per year. You can buy once and upsell to your clients in a bundle.
Also, I would mention the lifetime model
Pretty Links Pro
Here is a URL shorter and link cloaker used mainly by affiliate marketers. If you have established a reputation for building affiliate websites for clients, this plugin could be a perfect upsell offer at different stages of the relationship.
Some of the core features include selective keyword linking, advanced link redirect and automatic cloaked link generation. In essence, it is one of the best affiliate link cloaking wordpress plugins in the market.
Having been around in the market for a while, you can be sure that this premium wordpress plugin has been proven to deliver real value over time. The only downside I found is that the developer license can only be used for installation of five websites.
Updraft WordPress Plugin
While you are busy doing your thing somewhere, a misguided hacker could be gaining an intrusive access to your client websites or your own. Based on the last report i found, wordpress has around 74 different versions with a sizable number of websites using each of those versions. The thing is that each upgrade takes security vulnerabilities into account but most clients are not updating their websites as promptly as possible.
Unfortunately, when the most common wordpress attacks like cookie stealing, URL injection and brute force attacks happen, many people that fail to backup their websites lose a lot of value.
Interestingly, WordPress backup plugins like UpdraftPlus were created to prevent such losses. This makes it possible to get back and running even when the attacks happen.
Like many other wordpress backup plugins, UpdraftPlus has both free and premium versions. If you are serious about building a business around your wordpress development skills or you are building a wordpress agency, getting the premium version is another way of earning more money from wordpress development services.
With the developer license, you can upsell this plugin installation and configuration to 35 client websites. They also have an unlimited installation plan that goes for $195 per year. Upsell this to 10+ clients and you’ll start earning recurring revenue.
The most important point to acknowledge before you leave is that plugins are essential to every business website built on wordpress. The ones you choose to upsell will depend on the nature of each client’s business. From ecommerce to consulting and local service businesses, you can find multiple opportunities for upselling premium wordpress plugins to your clients.
As you can see, most of these essential wordpress plugins come with annual subscription plans. Your task here is to pick the specific plugins that are relevant to your prospective or existing clients’ businesses.
Think of ways to upsell and cross-sell these tools during the proposal stage or to existing clients. To make it even more valuable, try to package more than one plugin in a bundle offer. If you are charging around $2000 and upwards per project, you can begin to create an additional recurring revenue stream from the same client relationships that often end when the wordpress development project is over.
Radu Balas founded wpelo.com in 2018, he is a #1 Best-selling Author and runs several successful online businesses. Featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur, and most major publications.