Home / Blog / Community

Here is why we don't offer extended licenses for our plugins

HeroPlugins has – on a few occasions – been approached by theme builders about the possibility of allowing the bundling of our plugins with their themes. Unfortunately, however, we don’t allow the practice and as you might expect, not everybody is entirely happy with that response. We understand this, but we have chosen to adopt a stance that is in line with that of many other premium plugin builders who sell via CodeCanyon. We wanted to clarify our position, so we intend to use this post to explain the various reasons behind our decision.

First reason: support. Purchasers of the theme will need to address all support queries to the theme author, and will not be able to get support directly from us. Firstly, because we will have no way of confirming via CodeCanyon that the user contacting us for support has a legitimate copy and we will have no way of telling whether the theme author has made any modifications to our code. There’s also a fairly good chance that the theme author won’t be able to help you – after all, they had no hand in the development of the plugin.

Second reason: updates. Updates are an everyday reality of operating in the WordPress ecosystem – they contain bug-fixes, security patches, new features and optimizations. When an update is released, anybody who bought the plugin has easy access to the update – but the same cannot be said of plugins bundled with themes. It is up to the theme author to ensure that the plugin bundled with his theme has the latest updates applied, and then to notify all the users of his theme that there is an update available.

Third reason: security. We take all the necessary precautions when building our plugins, and make them as secure as we possibly can. But in the event that a vulnerability is ever discovered (and we hope whoever discovers the vulnerability practices responsible disclosure) and we make an update, we want to be sure that everyone using our plugin has the ability to update their installation as soon as possible. It’s easy to see how things can go wrong, as ThemePunch found out in 2014, when a vulnerability in Slider Revolution they had already patched ended up being exploited through thousands of websites that were running themes that had not been updated.

And finally, we feel that the once-off fee (quite a few developers feel this way) of $90 for an extended license does not represent fair remuneration in return for providing purchasers thereof with the right to bundle a premium plugin into a product which can then be resold to an unlimited extent.

Should Envato ever implement a system that allows bulk sales – for example, allowing the sale of X amount of plugin licenses for a discount – we will definitely consider making our plugins available through it, but for the reasons mentioned above we are still opposed to bundling. For the time being, however, you may consider the above to be our official position.

We do this because we would like to ensure that users making use of our products have the best possible experience, while also providing them with access to top-level support – should they have need for it.

We appreciate your understanding, and invite you to contact us should you ever require our assistance in optimising your theme to work with one of our plugins.