Custom tailored WordPress Plugins can help any small business save money on operational costs and earn money with faster, more convenient order management for its customers. Plugins can be made to handle most of a business’s number crunching, time sensitive, and regular day-to-day tasks.
We built a community Plugin, Benchmark Email Lite, that creates a realtime newsletter signup form widget, and also allows administrators to send out their content as email campaigns. The Plugin has had over ten thousand downloads, representing a reasonably large market share in its category.
Monetization: is via users who install the Plugin being likely to upgrade to a paid account with the service provider Benchmark Email. The more users with subscriptions, the better the Plugin pays off over time.
We built a Plugin to help a trade show company that operates 12 different regional events. For all of their events, they host a searchable list of exhibitors. This provides exhibitors the ability to log in and maintain their own custom profile, or an extended profile with a Google Map, the ability to upload a logo, product photos, and a video. The company charges for exhibitors and a little extra for the ability to utilize the extended profile.
Monetization: is via the premium fee paid by the exhibitors for access to the extended profile that this Plugin creates, along with savings on staff data entry time. The service originally listed only basic booth and name information.
We built a Plugin that creates the ability for high school students preparing for college scholarships. Students are prompted to enter their contact information, education history, community services, et cetera, where they can submit their resume into a scholarship pool.
Monetization: is students can pay for the ability to download their résumé in DOC and PDF formats, for professional custom tailoring for their resume, as well as for essay tailoring services.
We built a Plugin to help a company that sells tickets for tens of thousands of events. These events rotate in and out by the hundreds. Each event consists of one or more performers and a venue. All of these details needed to be synchronized from a service provider and presented on the website with fast performance. We built a caching database and an hourly cron job to keep the website up to date while remaining fast. We also built a search engine and an order processing interface that integrates smoothly with the third party service provider’s order management interface, while keeping the customers securely on the main website.
Monetization: is via higher sales of tickets due to event timing relevancy, ease of search, and ease of purchase.
We built a Plugin to help a company that sells coupon advertisements and hired us to add the ability for visitors to select coupons from the home page or various categories on their website and click to print the selected coupons on a 6-up sheet of paper. Each coupon has a secondary checkbox allowing the printing of a Google Map to the coupon’s business location.
Monetization: is via higher usage of coupons from vendors who pay for the coupons based on their success rate.
We built a Plugin to help an annual wine competition manage its exhibitors, who must submit their information annually. Rather than having them type everything in each year, they now have an account they can use to preserve their information, so the only thing they have to do each year is enter their new wines for the show and make their payment for the entry. Each wine has hierarchical categories that must be appropriately set with a special selector, and entrance fees are processed by their credit card in realtime.
Monetization: is via saving administrative work on payment processing, and winery data entry.
We built a Plugin for internal use that keeps the software revisions up to date on any given WordPress installation. We demonstrate Plugin development progress in development and staging environments so our clients can be part of the development process. We use a Subversion powered software repository system, and we built this Plugin to interact with that database in displaying and allowing one-click updating of software packages, including permission based access to the packages.
Monetization: is via improved operational efficiency in supporting multiple environments for software testing before software gets released and warranty issues arise.
So, a custom WordPress Plugin is different things to different businesses. As you can see from our examples, this can be further defined as: dealing with bottlenecks, simplifying information, fetching realtime data, enhancing proactivity, tuning performance, tailoring responses, integrating disparate systems, and eliminating tedious workloads. We hope these examples of our work have meaning to your small business!
Thank you for taking the time to read this post. Note that we really appreciate feedback about what we’ve written as well as what topics you’d like us to discuss in future posts so please do let us know.