2015 WordPress Business Revenue Statistics

2015 WordPress Business Revenue Statistics

A lot of people in the WordPress community have published transparency reports in the last year, and I wanted to gather them all in one place.

It’s mostly for statistical data for presentations, and to analyze what business models people are using. I also have some knowledge that isn’t public information (from my own businesses, and people I know) that gives me a little extra insight.

Personal note to all my fellow business owners: don’t compare yourself and feel bad because you aren’t making what some of these businesses are. There is a lot of back story to these that you don’t know about, none of these people were overnight successes. If that’s you, read this post about jealousy by Cory Miller, and this post by Matt Medeiros.

There are lots of people I left out, if you want to be included in this list or update your numbers please leave a comment or shoot me a tweet.

Update: some of these numbers are different than the source links, or don’t have sources. That’s because people have shared numbers with me personally but have not published anything about revenue publicly.

WordPress Products

Ultimate Member

Business model: Free + Paid extensions
Description: WordPress Membership Plugin, Paid Extensions
Revenue: $20K+/mo

Source

Aesopinteractive

Business model: Free + Paid extensions
Description: WordPress Plugin/Themes
Revenue: $5K+/mo

Source

WP Popup Maker

Business model: Free + Paid extensions
Description: Plugin
Revenue: $2K/mo

Source

Ad Rotate

Business model: Freemium
Description: Ads Plugin
Revenue: $3500/mo

Source

Theme Review

Business model: Services
Description: WordPress Theme Reviews
Revenue: $2K/mo

Source

Post Status

Business model: Membership
Description: Online WordPress Magazine
Revenue: $80-90K estimated this year
Notes: Brian seems to be the first to make decent money with paid memberships for a WP magazine

Author hReview

Business model: Freemium
Description: Review plugins
Revenue: $52K+/yr

Source

MailChimp for WordPress

Business model: Freemium
Description: Plugin
Revenue: $30K/mo

Theme Isle

Business model: Freemium
Description: WordPress Themes
Revenue: $60k/mo
Notes: 50% of revenue is from a single theme

Source

GravityView

Business model: Premium
Description: Display for Gravity Forms
Revenue: $10k/mo
Notes: Entirely dependent on Gravity Forms business, that’s always risky

Source

WP Rocket

Business model: Premium
Description: WordPress Caching Plugin
Revenue: $45K/mo

Source

WP Curve

Business model: Services
Description: WordPress small jobs and support
Revenue: $64K/mo
Notes: Not really a product, more of a productized service

Source

AffiliateWP

Business model: Premium
Description: WordPress Affiliate Marketing Plugin
Revenue: $30k/mo

Source

Easy Digital Downloads

Business model: Free + Paid extensions
Description: WordPress Plugins
Revenue: $550-600K/yr

Source

Restrict Content Pro

Business model: Free + Paid extensions
Description: Membership Plugin
Revenue: $10k/mo

AppPresser

Business model: Premium
Description: Mobile apps for WordPress sites
Revenue: $30K/mo

Source

WP Ninjas

Business model: Free + Paid extensions
Description: Ninja Forms – WordPress Forms Plugin
Revenue: $75K+/mo
Notes: They didn’t make any money for 2 years, had to completely rebuild. These guys are growing fast!

Source

Paid Memberships Pro

Business model: Free + Paid Support
Description: Membership plugin
Revenue: $10K+/mo

Source

Pixel Grade

Business model: Premium Themes
Description: They sell on Envato, WordPress.com, and their own site
Revenue: $55K/mo
Notes: They didn’t make any money for 2 years, had to completely rebuild. These guys are growing fast!

Source

 

Companies over $1MM/yr

Gravity Forms

Description: WordPress Forms Plugin
Revenue: $5MM+/yr
Notes: The most successful premium WordPress product by far. The fact that a single plugin makes this much money is mind-blowing.

Yoast

Description: WordPress plugins and services
Revenue: $2MM+/yr
Notes: WordPress SEO is their flagship product, they also have several other popular freemium plugins. Their revenue stat includes site reviews and ebooks as well.

Source

iThemes

Description: Themes and plugins
Revenue: $1MM+/yr
Notes: iThemes doesn’t share numbers, so this is definitely a low estimate. They have been over $1MM since 2010 and growing every year, with 23 people in the company they are definitely doing much more than $1MM.

Source

Copyblogger

Description: Hosting, products, themes, paid content, etc.
Revenue: $10MM+/yr
Notes: Copyblogger.com, Synthesis, New Rainmaker, Scribe, et al

Source

Woothemes

Description: WordPress Themes and plugins, most notably WooCommerce
Revenue: $10MM+/yr
Notes: $10MM is probably a low estimate. They were recently acquired by Automattic, rumors are it was in the $35MM range, although that could be way off. They have previously stated WooCommerce is more than 80% of their revenue.

WP Engine

Description: Managed WordPress Hosting
Valuation: $120MM+
Notes: They have raised over $40MM in funding, most recently at a $120MM valuation.

Source

Automattic

Description: Parent company of WordPress.com, VaultPress, Jetpack, and others.
Valuation: $1-2B
Notes: Recently acquired Woothemes

Source

 

Envato Marketplace Products

Envato marketplaces themeforest and codecanyon allow authors to sell their products, but they take a portion of sales. Some of these products have had staggering success, so I’ve listed some of them here. You can read some interesting stats about Envato author revenue here.

WordPress Visual Composer

Marketplace: Code Canyon
Description: Drag/drop page builder plugin
All time revenue: $2.3MM+
Author’s share: $1.6MM+ (approx 70%)

Source

Slider Revolution

Marketplace: Code Canyon
Description: Slider plugin
All time revenue: $1MM+
Author’s share: $700K+ (approx 70%)

Source

Avada Theme

Marketplace: Theme Forest
Description: Most popular WordPress theme (ever?)
All time revenue: $7.8MM+
Author’s share: $5.4MM+ (approx 70%)

Source

X Theme

Marketplace: Theme Forest
Description: WordPress Theme
All time revenue: $3.6MM+
Author’s share: $2.5MM+ (approx 70%)

Source

 

Services

Freelancers

Good freelancers can make a 6 figure income, as Curtis Mchale has shared in the past. I would note that it takes time and personal branding to get there, it’s certainly not easy.

Agencies

Agencies don’t typically write transparency posts, so this is mostly conjecture. My impression is that several small WordPress agencies (5-10 people) are doing around $500K-1.5MM/yr.

The larger agencies have to be doing in the low multi-millions just to support their big payrolls, it’s likely that a company like 10up is in the 10 million dollar range. Again, just guesses here.

Employees

Employee salaries can vary greatly based on location, company, and skillset.

Ahmad Awais compiled data from the recent #talkpay hashtag and got a lot of salary information, you can find it here.

Businesses that didn’t last

WP Candy

Business model: Free content
Description: Online Magazine
Notes: One of the earliest online WP magazines, it was difficult to monetize.

Source

PressGram

Description: Free mobile app
Notes: Funded through Kickstarter, the time and costs for the project became too much for John.

Source

Know any others I can add to this part?

Conclusion

The success of many of these plugins has been distribution on the wordpress.org repository, through the freemium or upsell models. That’s certainly not the only way to go, the success of Gravity Forms proves that a premium only model can also work great.

Keep in mind that for every successful business in this list, there are 100 others that are not doing as well. The people who release numbers tend to be doing really well, so it may look like it’s easy, or everyone else is doing well except you. That’s not the case at all.

These numbers are just from people who shared them publicly, so it’s a very small sampling of a large market.

I’d love to get a wider view of the WordPress product economy, if you have anything to add, please let me know in the comments.

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