Studio Wombat’s 2020

At Studio Wombat, we believe in transparency. We’re still a young company (3 years running), so we understand we need to reassure customers that we’re in it for the long run. That we intend to create valuable products which will be continuously updated for the next decade.

Trust needs to be earned, and we hope transparency about our numbers and plans for the future will get us there. That’s why we’ve decided to post annual “year in review” posts detailing what we have done and what we plan to do in the year ahead.

The year in facts

  • Sold 2,604 plugin licenses, compared to 1,230 in 2019. That’s twice as much. We have now sold 4,931 licenses in total.
  • Sold 448 lifetime licenses, compared to 92 in 2019. That’s ~5 times more.
  • Refunded 140 purchases. That’s a refund rate of ~5.4%.
  • Released 0 new plugins this year. We sell a total of 5 plugins now.
  • Released 49 plugin updates. Advanced Product Fields got the most updates with 1-2 updates per month (18 in total).
  • November 2020 was our best month (and all-time high) thanks to Black Friday. We sold over $20,000 worth of plugins that month.
  • Our free plugins now have a combined total of 232,282 downloads from the WordPress plugin repository. They are actively installed on 21,600 websites. Advanced Product Fields is leading the race with 9,143 active installs on 31 December 2020.
  • The average review rating for our plugins is 4.82 out of 5 stars.
  • ~80% of support tickets are solved within 2 hours.
  • 85,406 visitor sessions on our website, compared to 39,640 in 2019. That’s a 115% increase.
Google Analytics session comparison – 2020 (blue) vs 2019 (orange).

Our most popular plugin

Advanced Product Fields for WooCommerce is our youngest plugin (almost 1.5 years old at the time of writing), but also our fastest-growing and most popular plugin. It surpassed WP Optin Wheel’s revenue in the first half of 2020.

The plugin received the most of our attention in terms of development and support requests, and will continue to be our priority in Q1 of 2021.

Business during the pandemic

2020 was the year the Covid pandemic hit in many countries. Many businesses were tragically hit and some were forced to temporary close. As a result, some went bankrupt.

Like many in the e-commerce sector, it was business as usual for us at Studio Wombat. We even managed to grow, as can be seen in the numbers in the first section of this blog post. Businesses worldwide understood the benefits of having an online store, and WooCommerce was often the platform of choice. As a result, we benefited from WooCommerce’s growth. We’re very grateful for that opportunity and therefore give back to some less fortunate businesses within our local community where we can.

No new plugins

This is an item we’re not so proud of. Even though it was an odd year, 2020 flew by before we know it. We’ve been busy perfecting our top-selling plugins and didn’t have time to develop new plugins.

In 2021, we want to launch at least 2 new plugins. We have some ideas and will get to work on them soon!

Customer support grew rapidly

We sold twice as many licenses as we did in 2019. Naturally, the demand for support grew as well. We pride ourselves on providing super fast support. It’s one of the ways we want to stand out from the crowd. We offer a live chat widget on the website, which allows us to solve most issues within a few minutes.

Fast support comes at a cost, though. Development time decreases when support increases. It’s easy to get distracted by urgent requests, even when you’re in the middle of hunting bugs or coding a new feature.

Today, the extra support load is manageable, but we might need a different strategy to cover support throughout 2021. Either we switch from the live chat tool to email support (with a short turnaround time, of course), or we hire an extra pair of hands to handle support when we’re too busy.

Goals for 2021

Website redesign

Our current design is overdue for a makeover. It is clean and simple, but it lacks story, brand, or any form of personality. This has to change, which is why we’re redesigning the website in the first half of 2021. The plan has already been set in motion, and we can share a preview (subject to change):

Support

We have seen an increase in support requests, but our support process remains quite basic. It’s a simple “contact us” form asking for an email, license key, and a message.

We should at least implement a field asking for a URL linking to the problem so we can test it without having to send an email first.

We also want to differentiate between technical requests and pre-sale questions. Pre-sale questions can be quickly solved through our live chat, as they are more time sensitive.

SEO

Studio Wombat relies heavily on traffic coming from the WordPress plugin repository. While that’s been working great for us so far, we don’t want to put all our eggs in one basket. We want to focus on bringing in extra traffic through SEO. To do that, we’ll need to up our content game.

Do you know a copywriter or SEO strategist specialising in growing WordPress plugin businesses? Reach out!

Growing Advanced Product Fields

Advanced Product Fields is our most popular plugin. It’s already quite powerful and stands out from the competition in several ways. We’d like to further expand its offering, both in terms of features or integrations with popular third party plugins. Of course, we want to do that without compromising on speed.

Hire help and upgrade processes

This year, we’ve come to a point where Studio Wombat is too big to be managed mainly by myself (Maarten). My girlfriend is helping me with content, but 2021 is the year we’ll outsource larger tasks like design or customer support. We don’t have the budget yet to hire full-time freelancers or employees, but part-time help would be a welcome relief.

Grow our offering (through acquisitions?)

We’d love to add some more plugins to our tool belt. This can mean developing a new plugin ourselves or acquiring someone else’s plugin. I have always been intrigued by authors selling their plugin so they can move onto something else. There could be an opportunity to sell it under Studio Wombat’s name and continue to support and upgrade the plugin. It’s a win-win because the author’s plugin remains in existence and our offering grows.

If you know someone with experience, I’d love to connect! I’d like to discover what to look out for and how successful acquisitions work in general.

Wrapping up

2020 was a great year for Studio Wombat. We saw steady growth on all fronts. This is largely due to one plugin: Advanced Product Fields. We’re very grateful to our amazing customers, as you never really know how a new plugin will perform in a saturated market. Hopefully, we can continue down this path!