Goran Jakovljević will lead you through the Premium WordPress plugin story

Goran giving a talk at Konverzija – regional e-business conference in Banja Luka

Goran Jakovljević is a web developer and he has been working with WordPress for like 6 to 7 years now. Goran likes traveling, playing with his lovely cat Optimus, watching movies and working, sometimes even too hard.

It’s my pleasant duty to bid you a hearty welcome. Can you tell us more about yourself? What’s your personal and business philosophy? What are you passionate about in life?

I am not the guy that talks much, so this will be interesting 🙂 My name is Goran. I come from Banja Luka, living here with my girlfriend Stela and cat Optimus. Banja Luka is not that far from Zagreb, so we are almost every weekend there, as we love iMax 🙂 and the HQ of the company I work for is located there. For my personal philosophy, well life is too short, your time is limited, so try to get the most of it, and don’t get caught in the comfort zone, keep improving yourself, keep learning, it’s crucial to your success. And for a business philosophy, be nice to your customers, but don’t be afraid to say “No”. Regarding my passion. It’s traveling, playing with Optimus, watching movies and working. I am very passionate about my work, sometimes going too far by working day and night, but when I start doing that daily, I have Stela to get me out of it 🙂

What is the idea behind WPGens? Is it challenging to be a WordPress premium plugin author? How hard was it to arrange customer service (support) at the beginning?

The idea behind WPGens came out as the plugin a month challenge. 2 years ago I decided to build one plugin a month and push it to WordPress repo to improve my skills. After 4 plugins and couple thousands of sites actively using them, I figured out that I won’t be able to maintain support for 12 plugins, so I stopped there. A year later I wanted to continue pushing plugins to the repo, but I had to find a sustainable model and that’s where the idea for premium plugins came by. The challenge for a premium plugin authors comes from the support. It’s not hard to build a plugin, might be hard to market it, but the hardest thing is to maintain quality support, which means answering to your customers’ tickets as fast as possible. In the beginning, it was hard because I did it over the email, later on, I switched to one of the ticket support systems and things got much better. But still, when pushing a new version with big changes, support questions can drastically increase for that transition period.

Selfie with the Eiffel Tower

How active are you in WordPress community? Do you have any experiences with WordPress communities abroad?

I am trying to give back to the community by maintaining and offering great support to users of my free plugins, there are more than 8000 of them now, around 50-100 downloads every day. For almost 2 years I held 5-star ratings across all the plugins, but when you are alone in this business, if you go on vacation, you might not be very responsive to tickets, and that’s when you might start getting those unwanted ratings 🙂 I am mostly involved in Croatian WordPress community and we started having Banjaluka WordPress meetups, but WordCamps are great for networking and to meet interesting people. I had much fun in the last WordCamp that was held in Split.

Your talk is: “Building and Selling Premium WordPress plugins”? This pretty much talks for itself, but can you give us a sneak peek?

Well, I’ll talk about my experience, from how the idea was born, through the process of bringing it live, to the hardest part – maintenance and support. It’s an interesting story, I’ll try to fit it in my allotted time, but its subject that we could chat about for hours, so if anyone is interested, hit me up on WordCamp after the talk.

Did you get your ticket?

If you haven’t already, get your ticket for WordCamp Zagreb today. Tickets are priced at 20€ (around 150 HRK) which will give you entrance to the conference, (first) access to workshops on Friday and to Contributor day on Sunday. You will also get the drinks, lunch, incredible t-shirt and other cool swag from our sponsors.

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