Transparency Report, Q2 2017

It’s been three months since my last transparency report so here’s everything that’s been going on for BNFW in the second quarter of 2017.

What’s New

I’ve been a little slower than i’d like with regards to putting out updates and new add-ons so far this Summer due to other work commitments but there are some really good things on the way. The Multisite add-on is still coming. I’ve been stuck working out the specifics of how the network level notifications will work being that Multisite doesn’t’ support custom post types (only single sites do) so this makes the experience slightly different to how the regular BNFW plugin works. This is coming along though and I still plan on releasing sometime in the Summer.

BNFW 1.6.6 was released on 28th June and was mainly a bug fix release as well as adding support for some new and overhauled features in the Conditional Notifications, Per-post Override (soon to be renamed ‘Global Override’), and the Update Reminder (soon to be renamed to just ‘Reminders’) add-ons. The updates to these add-ons are pretty exciting and add some highly requested features, as well as improving the overall experience of using them.

As with all add-ons, as features and functionality are added, I revise the pricing every now and again to ensure that they are kept inline with their usefulness and time-saving abilities. Anyone that has purchased these add-ons will always be retained on the older pricing unless they cancel / re-purchase / upgrade their subscription though so if you were wanting to or thinking about purchasing any of these, now is a good time to do so.

ACF front-end form (acf_form) support for ACF Pro was re-added in 1.6.5 after talking through the issues I was having in getting this to work with Elliot, the author of ACF. He was really helpful and we were able to get BNFW working pretty quickly afterwards. Very please to be able to get that fixed once and for all.

In a previous Transparency Report, I wrote about how you can set-up PayPal as a bank account in Xero and how that has seriously reduced the amount of time taken to reconcile new sales of add-ons through the website. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a way to also do this with Stripe… that was until I found SilverSiphon which plugs this gap very nicely. Now, both PayPal and Stripe allow me to seperate fee and invoice lines and reconcile them correctly in Xero. SilverSiphon is a paid service but one that is a huge timesaver and will no doubt continue to save me more and more time as the plugin, add-on sales, and site grows.

I’ve also started seeing my first renewals coming through, as it’s been a year since I implemented the recurring payments (subscription) model for the BNFW add-ons. I think it’s important to remember that you have to give customers something worth their subscription every year so just churning out new add-ons but not updating old ones isn’t a good business model for earning customer loyalty and ensuring subscriptions stay active. I hope i’m striking the right balance but time will tell, particularly this year as more add-ons are built and released.

A nice little feature I added to the site recently is the ability to search through the long list of notifications on the website in order to find the shortcodes that you can use for a particular notification. Scrolling through a long select box is always tedious so by replacing it with Select2 (the same library used in BNFW), i’m hoping it feels more familiar and nicer to use now that you can click in the box and start typing to narrow down your selection.

Expenditure

Developer

Cost of hiring a developer for this period: £240.00

Infrastructure

WordPress Plugins – £252.59
Zapier Basic Plan – £47.24
Consulting: £175.00 (Hiring someone to take a look at the heap of Google Analytics data that I collect every month)
Tiny Marketing Wins: £182.61 (An awesome product by Justin Jackson to help with developing the website and product / market fit of the plugin)
Amazon AWS: £0.65
SilverSiphon: £14.19
Stripe Fees: £38.25
PayPal Fees: £55.59

My Time

Approximately 2-hours / day at £30 / hr: £3,360.00

It’s worth noting at this point that I have reduced my hourly rate for work on BNFW. I realised that my hourly rate incorporated a small amount of profit which I didn’t previously account for. £30 / hr is closer to my base working hourly rate so I feel this is a better representation of my time spent on the project. It’s also worth noting that all the figures I present in these Transparency Reports are reasonably accurate at the time of writing however, they do get adjusted from time to time if I discover errors in my calculations, or adjust them, such as in the example of my hourly rate above. I hold a more detailed and accurate spreadsheet behind the scenes which I treat with more care.

Sales

Sales of Custom Fields add-on: £723.60
Sales of Per-post Override add-on: £174.00
Sales of Update Reminder add-on: £225.90
Sales of Conditional Notifications add-on: £971.10
Sales of Send to Any Email add-on: £314.20

Total Sales: £2,462.35

The total sales figure above also takes into account a refund where a customer who didn’t read the documentation, demanded a refund and wouldn’t let me help them with an issue they were having. They ended up contacted PayPal directly for a refund and whilst I felt my response was fair and in keeping my policies, PayPal sided with the customer (as i’ve heard they do 99.999% of the time) and so I lost out on a sale. I felt it was unfair but knew it was bound to happen at some point. I suppose that’s the downside to using PayPal – convenience and trust over fairness and abuse. This was my first refund, it won’t be my last, but i’m hoping not to see too many of them either, especially as I believe in the products and the usefulness of BNFW and the eco-system i’m creating around it. I hope others see this too.

Stats

Website

Sessions: 10,179
Users: 5,341
Page Views: 20,223

Mailing List

Subscribers: 284

Support Tickets

I’ve answered of 38 out of 41 support threads that have been created on the Free Support Forum within the past 2-months. Any unanswered threads are due to bugs awaiting fixes or awaiting additional information from users.

I’ve closed 25 of 25 Priority Support tickets which have been opened by purchasers of a BNFW add-on.
This is a much higher number than in previous reports but I think it’s relative to the higher number sales in the past few months. I often update my documentation to reflect or clarify any points raising in support, whether this be via the free support forum or priority support, in order to reduce this number each time. I think i’m doing this right.

Plugin Stats

Average Rating: 4.9
Total Downloads: ~120,073
Active Installs: 10,000+

What’s Next

BNFW 1.6.7 will be released soon, along with the updates to the add-ons mentioned above. As always, if you’d like to stay in the loop about new add-ons, please consider signing-up to the mailing list.

Until next time, have a good rest of Summer!