Today is a special day: it’s WP Rocket’s 3rd birthday! 3 years ago we launched the first version of the plugin. Since then, we’ve come a long way and now we are extremely happy with the results and feedback we’ve received from our thousands of customers.
It’s time to present a review of this last year.
Two Exceptional Records
This 3rd year saw two big records for WP Rocket.
In January 2016, WP Rocket exceeded one million dollars in cumulative revenue, in the two and a half years since its launch.
In the 1st half of 2016 alone, WP Rocket saw $605,000 of revenue, that is an average of $100,000 per month. So, the previous record, established in 2 and a half years, will likely be equaled within less than one calendar year!
At the end of June, we reached the goal of 100,000 websites on which WP Rocket had been installed.
Since the beginning of this year, we have, on average, more than 8,500 new websites every month, that is 1 installation every 5 minutes.
When we embarked on this adventure, we never imagined that we could reach these numbers!
New Astronauts on Board
During the last 12 months, we welcomed 4 new astronauts to the WP Rocket crew.
In order to improve the quality of our support, Alice and Caspar came on board to strengthen our team. This allowed us to reduce the average response time to tickets, to translate and enrich our documentation, and to respond to customers in Italian, Spanish and German.
Rémy joined the team and became the Lead Developer for the project. He’s responsible for WP Rocket’s development and for every new technical decision. 2.8 was his first version as a Lead, and he developed two brand new features: sitemap preloading and database optimization.
He’s also in charge of Level 2 support tickets, that is, all the tickets needing a developer’s intervention to be resolved.
Émilie joined us so that the future of WP Rocket and WP Media will be built in the best possible way. She will be deploying her wide experience in management, project management and marketing, especially in the field of customer acquisition.
Finally, we also welcomed Guillaume for 5 months. He worked on the WP Rocket website for the implementation of new servers and the SSL certificate, the environment management and deployment by Git and the new “Account” page (coming soon). He will complete his mission with us next week and we thank him for his contributions.
Nowadays, the WP Rocket team is composed of:
- Lucy (Support Engineer)
- Marko (Support Engineer)
- Alice (Support Engineer)
- Caspar (Support Engineer)
- Rémy (Lead Developer)
- Émilie (Project Manager)
- Jonathan (Lead Project)
Translating Documentation in 5 Languages
During WordCamp Europe 2015 in Sevilla, we attended the presentation by Joan Boluda: On Internationalization – Plugin Documentation and Support for the Whole World.
This talk was full of good ideas and a lot of common sense. It started with a challenging introduction. Someone wanted to hire Joan to develop some forms and he suggested to the client to use Gravity Forms for that. Unfortunately, the client didn’t speak English and documentation/support was not available in other languages. It was therefore not practical to use Gravity Forms due to the lack of translation.
In 2014, only 5-10% of the world population spoke English. This can represent a loss of income if your site and documentation cannot be understood by non English-speaking people.
At the time of the conference (June 2015), our documentation was available only in English and we were offering support in French and English.
Since then, the conference has influenced the way we manage our support and our team.
We welcomed Alice and Caspar to the team, who together speak English, French, Italian, Spanish and German.
We took the opportunity to translate WP Rocket documentation into 5 languages:
- English : http://docs.wp-rocket.me/
- French : http://fr.docs.wp-rocket.me/
- German : http://de.docs.wp-rocket.me/
- Italian : http://it.docs.wp-rocket.me/
- Spanish : http://es.docs.wp-rocket.me/
We’re now able to provide support in these 5 languages. Translating your website and documentation shouldn’t be the only goal. In fact, they have to be complemented by support service in those same languages, so that your user can be fully satisfied with your product. If your site has been translated into Spanish, but your support only speaks English, this will be frustrating for your Spanish customers, who will expect to be assisted in their own language.
Translating your website and documentation will allow you to increase your revenue and reduce the number of support tickets. If you do have not enough internal resources to do that, don’t hesitate to use the services of an external provider.
A New Strategy for Licence Renewal
In 2015, we worked a lot on our licence renewals. This is an important part of the life of a premium plugin, because it might be the only source of recurring revenue that you have. For us, renewals are a major factor since they represent 18% of our monthly revenue.
One of the reasons which could explain the low conversion rates on renewals, is that they are not automatic. Every year, you have to send a series of emails a few days before the expiration of the licence, in order to remind your customers of the necessity of renewing.
To fix this problem, some products like AffiliateWP and Easy Digital Downloads put in place an automatic renewal mechanism, starting from the day of the licence purchase.
Instead of sending the emails before the expiration date, you should send them to remind your customers to check their credit card expiration.
So, is this really a good solution? Chris Lema suggests the right way to implement this strategy: WordPress plugins and auto-renewals
The constraint for customers is that they have to renew their license every year. But from our side, we decided to see the problem from another point of view.
To solve the issue, we put in place a new strategy: an offer to renew the licence for 2 or 4 years. In order to make the offer attractive, we provide 12 extra months for every renewal done over several years.
To improve conversions, we also use our email campaigns to regularly keep our customers updated and communicate with them: new updates, promotional offers, new version upgrades, etc.
The renewal plans are also available on the account page of every customer:
We started to apply this strategy in June 2015. Below, you’ll find the 2015 stats regarding the number of renewals per month:
There is no doubt about the efficiency of this strategy, which is at the moment really unique within the WordPress premium plugin market.
2015 ended with 2672 renewals, compared to the 306 we had in 2014. This represents a 773% increase.
In the first half of 2016 we registered more than 2900 renewals.
To complete this strategy, last October we explained why, in our opinion, offering lifetime licenses with updates /support / number of sites, is not a good idea: 3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Offer Lifetime Licences.
A New Refund Policy
A refund request is an unpleasant experience for your customers. They can be unhappy for different reasons: bugs, performance problems, lack of functionality, etc. The seller has to cope with frustration which is sometimes difficult to manage.
Since the launch of WP Rocket, we learned a lot about this subject.
Previously, we agreed to refund only if the plugin was not improving the site performance – based on a Pingdom Tools report – or in the case of an unfixable bug.
Our refund conditions were quite restrictive and could even be seen as scary for the acquisition of new customers.
We also realized that very few people read refund conditions before their online purchase. There was nothing more frustrating for our customers than the discovery of the required refund conditions.
Poor management of your customers’ claims can have negative consequences for your product:
- negative word of mouth
- negative comments in articles that talk about your products
Since November 2015, we decided to be more flexible about refund conditions for WP Rocket. Now, no special condition is required to get a refund!
Of course, the refund request must always be sent within 30 days of the initial purchase, and it doesn’t apply to upgrades and renewals.
We also adopted a new way to answer our clients’ refund requests. This is an example of the answer we send:
Since the launch of this new policy, we are receiving less refund requests than before. And after our first answer offering help, more than the 50% of our customers prefer to be helped and decide to cancel their claim for reimbursement.
A Considerable Expansion of Our 3rd Balance Sheet
Currently the WP Rocket team (including development) is 7 people, that is 3 more than last year.
We are looking for a 5th person to join the support team. You can find more info in our job offer: Customer Support at WP Rocket (American Timezone).
We are also looking for a Web Marketer / SEO, and this is the job offer: Full-stack Marketer at WP Media
Let’s now look at the statistics for this year (from July 2015 to June 2016) :
- 17,620 orders (+120%)
- 12,346 new clients (+66%)
- $1,106,771 sales revenue (+213%)
- 67,213 sites (+111%) where WP Rocket has been installed
Our main goal for the second half of 2016 is to reach a minimum sales revenue of $120 000 per month.
WP Rocket Is One of WP Media’s Products
In 2015, we decided that WP Rocket will be just one of WP Media’s products. We don’t wish our company to be dependent on one single product.
Consequently we have recruited new WP Media team members. Today, the WP Media team consists of 14 people living all around the world: France, Spain, Germany, Serbia, USA and Canada.
Imagify, Image Optimisation for Everyone
Imagify is the first new WP Media product. This service allows you to optimize the size of your images without losing quality. Doing so, you’ll reduce the loading time for your websites. In fact, since images represent more than the 60% of a web page size, it is fundamental to reduce their weight in order to have a faster website.
This is also the occasion to test a new business model: SaaS. Imagify is a freemium service. This means that, by default, you have a free subscription and that you can get more credits to optimize your images paying a monthly or annual subscription fee.
Today, Imagify counts 17 000 users, of which 1 600 have a paid plan. Everyday, more than 250 000 images are optimized with Imagify, for a total amount of 27 000 000 since its launch.
SecuPress, Ensuring the Safety
SecuPress is the security plugin for WordPress which we’ll be launching next, and the second product for WP Media.
SecuPress blocks potential intrusions and hacks to your sites. You’ll be notified of any corrupted content inside your plugins and themes, and all suspicious activity will be logged.
Furthermore, our intuitive security analysis scanners will inform you in real time about the overall security status of your site, so you can always have peace of mind.
Moreover, SecuPress has its own light anti-spam, a backup system which safely saves your data, modules to set email, sms or mobile notification alerts…and everything can be scheduled!
Finally, SecuPress cares about your users and their personal data protection, so that your e-reputation and your business won’t be affected.
SecuPress will be simple and efficient: you won’t need technical skills to have a secure website.
Visit https://secupress.me to register, receive a preview of the plugin and join the privileged group of first users!