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2018 year end review – what I learned from selling plugins on CodeCanyon?


2018 year end review – what I learned from selling plugins on CodeCanyon?

Another year passes, and I am looking back onto the victories and losses for the previous year (yes, as always, there were also some losses, details below). So, in general, 2018 was an extraordinary year for me and for CodeRevolution. I managed to expand my plugin development business, but still had time for playing with my 2 year old daughter. 🙂

Before anything, I have to thank everyone who was beside me and helped me build what CodeRevolution is today – a small Romanian software development company, that sells WordPress plugins on CodeCanyon.

Also, I have to thank all my clients, who trusted and appreciated my work (lots of positive vibes coming from product ratings for my plugins, that helps me boost my morale), giving me the motivation to drive forward.

In 2018, CodeRevolution has grown to over 3k customers, most of whom love and appreciate my plugins. The year has blown by me, with a whirlwind of big achievements, and also, new amazing features that joined the ranks of my plugin portfolio from CodeCanyon (some examples: a plugin that allows live streaming to Facebook or YouTube from pre-recorded videos, a YouTube video auto commenter plugin, and many other plugins that import/export content from/to popular websites/social networks). Also, 2018 was a great year for all my old plugins, because most of them got updates with cool new features, like automatic publishing of Facebook, DailyMotion or Twitch videos from published post’s content to any of YouTube, Vimeo, DailyMotion, Twitch, Facebook or Twitch channels (before, only videos coming from YouTube, Vimeo and DailyMotion were supported).

So, why sell on CodeCanyon?

I created my account on 3 years ago. I stayed idle for 1 year, observing how the market progresses. CodeCanyon kept my attention, because it gave me the liberty to create products that I wanted and sell them to the masses, without much hassle. No need for scheduled meetings, reports and stuff, just build a product and sell it – me being in full control of the whole process.

However, there is indeed a huge competition on the CodeCanyon marketplace and at the beginning, I didn’t know if I could build anything worth buying, from a client’s point of view, since I haven’t worked in web development until I started work on CodeCanyon. As you might know, freelancing is tough.

However, what helped me, is the fact that I started building products that solved some of the issues I was facing. One of the greatest of these were bringing traffic to my blog, because of this, many plugins from my portfolio are designed to help build incoming traffic.

What about the earnings? The ‘nice part’ of the year

One year ago, I had just over 700 plugin sales. Since then, everything sped up, growing exponentially, achieving over 2300 plugin sales this year.

Right now, I also am a single step away from becoming an Envato Elite Author (post update: Elite Author reached). Right now, my total sales from CodeCanyon are around 72k$ (based on total item sale price).

Don’t freak out about the 72k$, because it is ‘before tax money’. This means that from this sum, Envato withholds it’s commission (shown in the table from below) + 5$ buyer fee for each purchased item (because I sell plugins in WordPress category). Besides this, only for customers that are from the USA (not for the rest of the world), I have to pay a US Royalty Tax, of 10% from the item price (because USA and Romania have a tax agreement on this – without the agreement, it would be 30%).

The current Envato author fee table:

The remaining sum after cutting these fees, is transferred to my bank account, however, from it I still need to pay 10% as tax to the Romanian State (because this is the current taxing rate for my current legal organization type, the Romanian PFA), with an additional yearly fee of around 1750$ for state health insurance and state pension funds.

Also, until recently, I had to pay an additional 19% VAT of the commission Envato was withholding from my earnings, to the Romanian State. Recently I changed the type of my legal organisation type to VAT payer and I don’t have to pay this VAT tax any more (yeah, I know it is counter-intuitive). 🙂

So, from all the earned money, a large amount was spent on taxes and fees, but still, I am grateful that I have control over my earnings, and with work, I could improve the commission rates over time. 🙂

Also, in 2018 I become an expert in accounting (for companies based in Romania) for online sales on CodeCanyon (I keep the accounting for my company), so anyone interested in this matter, can contact me, I can try to help with the legal stuff (I also have to thank Carmen, the best accountant I know, for teaching me everything about accounting and legal stuff, I know).

The ‘ugly part’ of the year

In 2018 I had also a major negative experience.

I found out that one of my best selling plugins was copied without my permission. The original plugin is called Newsomatic, while the copycat plugin is called ‘NewsBuilder’. I created a post to cover this issue, you can check it here.

Besides this, there were also some fraudulent refund requests for sold plugins, but I managed to solve the most of these without issues.

However, in hindsight, I had a great experience selling on CodeCanyon, because of the stellar people that are generally buying from me (with many of which I also became good friends and are exchanging regular emails since then).

The key factor for success – support

I’ve always put a lot of emphasis on supporting my items. It is know that it’s not required of authors from CodeCanyon to offer support, but it’s definitely worth it!

I’ve seen buyers purchase my plugins more then once, because they noticed that I am offering the best support I can provide, when it comes to helping people that have trouble using my plugins.

All of my plugins’s comments section and also their ratings are showing this fact. Additionally, it is very satisfying having people being grateful and thanking you for what you’re doing for them, each and every day, it really brightens the day for me.

Plans for the coming year

The main objective for the next year is extending my business, hiring some people to help me with item support (because it is starting to be a pretty exhausting job), and joining forces with one of my old friends, to develop even more great plugins.

Also, I plan on writing more posts on this blog, and getting the word out to more people about my plugin portfolio.

I also plan creating more online courses, right now I have only these 2 for sale on Teachable.


Working as a freelancer on CodeCanyon has been really great, it’s a lot different than the way I used to work before, but it fits me perfectly. I like the flexibility of my work hours and that I can create whatever product I want.

I look forward to building many more new plugins (I already have a large list of future plugin ideas) and putting them out there, in the years to come. 🙂

Also, I really enjoy working from the comfort of my home, together with my family. Here is a picture of my 2 year old daughter (she helps me daily with plugin development):

Cheers to years past and those yet to come 🍻!

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  1. Andrew Richard

    01/06/2019 at 08:20

    Hello, I found your post really informative and would like to know more about your marketing strategy?
    I have plans of publishing an app on codecanyon but my biggest challenge is reaching a total of 100 sales per month. I will be launching the app during August and I want over 500 sales by the end of December.
    If you can refer me to an earlier article regarding this I would be grateful.

    I know reaching 500 sales within 5 months might be close to impossible so my initial plan was to have 500 sales each year but considering the year is fast coming to an end I want to speed the process.
    I do have some budgets for marketing but I lack the right skills.
    I don’t want to spend a huge chunk of cash on Google ads without any results.

    Please reach me on [email protected]

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Szabi Kisded

Hey there, I'm Szabi. At 30 years old, I quit my IT job and started my own business and became a full time WordPress plugin developer, blogger and stay-at-home dad. Here I'm documenting my journey earning an online (semi)passive income. Read more

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