Upcoming changes in the Marketplace

Posted in Announcements, Philosophy on Jun 17, 2014

Our vision is to build a beautiful marketplace full of high quality plugins, something like Apple's AppStore. Quality is our definitive factor when we develop guidelines, approval procedures and tools for authors. At the moment we are finishing several significant extensions and improvements to the Marketplace. We are going to provide authors with new tools and, and sometimes with kind words of advice.

New plugin management UI

The most noticeable improvement is the plugin management dashboard, improved plugin management UX and simplified workflows in the Account section of the website. The new dashboard displays the sales, the pageviews and the conversion rate charts. The new dashboard allows you to see how well your products perform, how many sales or new projects your plugin gets every day and what is the average and per-day conversion rate. The conversion rate is calculated as a ratio between the number of the plugin pageviews on a specific day and the number of sales on that day. For free plugins we use the number of projects the plugin was added to instead of the number of sales.


Integrated donations

Donations will be integrated into the Marketplace. You can enable donations with a checkbox on the Edit Plugin page. Donations are supported only for free products. Donation buttons in the plugin descriptions will be prohibited in favor of the integrated donations.


Minimum plugin price

The minimum plugin price for paid plugins will be changed to $10. This limit may decrease as the marketplace grows, at this time a lower price doesn't make sense for taxation reasons. For instance an author processing taxes for a transactions with the amount like $2.50 is not worth the administration effort.

Simplified voting and sorting by rating

Customer opinion will be the main indicator of a plugin's quality. Currently voting is combined with reviews which complicates voting and results in fewer votes. We're going to remove the necessity to write a review in order to vote. Voting will be implemented with two buttons - like or dislike. Only customers who use a plugin can vote for it. In order to collect as much voting data as possible there will be reminders asking plugin customers to vote for plugins they use.

Sorting by rating will be the default in all Marketplace lists. The better a plugin, the higher it is in the list. As new plugins won't have any rating there will be the New Plugins marketplace section that will display all recent plugins during a specific time interval.

Another new planned Marketplace feature is Featured products. We can decide to feature any plugin we feel will be of great benefit to OctoberCMS and its users.

How to improve the pageviews

When it comes to the pageviews the common SEO rules apply. Remember that the Markeplace contents is indexed by Google and other search systems. Provide quality and precise descriptions of your products. Talk about your products in social networks and blogs. If you develop paid products - get media coverage, use Google AdWords, Facebook post boosting and other paid tools. Later we will implement our own ways of boosting the Marketplace products.

How to improve the conversion rate

There is a simple answer to this question - develop great plugins and use quality descriptions and graphical contents on the plugin description page. Invest into the UX (User Experience) and UI (User Interface). Prepare nice screenshots. Remember that customers spend just a few seconds a plugin page. If the product description is not clear enough or if the difference between your plugin and a similar competitor plugin is not described, they will leave the page.

Almost every plugin in the Marketplace starts with the rejection due to the quality of the icon, screenshots, descriptions or documentation. The code quality or bugs is a rare reason of rejections. Currently there are not that many plugins and competition is low. We can't say it enough - work on the contents! Be clear and concise. A short description "This plugin implements a countdown timer for the front-end maintenance page" is much better than "Teriffic numbers!". The short description is displayed in the plugin list, if it says what exactly a plugin does, there are more chances a user clicks the plugin and adds it to their project.

Good reviews help too. If you provide a good support to your customers you have good chances to get good reviews and ultimately - increase the conversion rate.

How to get to the Featured list

There is only one rule for getting featured - build great products! Featured products will have more pageviews because they stay on the top of the lists. We can feature a product if we see that the users like it and it makes OctoberCMS ecosystem better.

Good luck!

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