There's something exciting about knowing a secret, right? And when it comes to business, what's more secret than a private business' income numbers?
Most private companies keep their revenue and expenses close to the chest…but some WordPress companies make things a bit more transparent by publishing public income reports.
If you're a casual user, reading these posts can be eye-opening as to just how much money there is floating around in the WordPress economy. And if you're running a WordPress business, these reports can take things one step further and actually give you some insights into the pecuniary details of companies in your industry.
In this post, I've collected as many WordPress businesses that are still actively publishing income reports in 2018 as possible. Then, at the end, I'll also share a couple businesses that publish quality transparency reports...even if those transparency reports don't include hard numbers.
So - income first, then transparency. That's kind of how the world works, right?
5 WordPress Businesses That Publish Income Reports In 2018
All the companies in this section share hard data about their income and, in some cases, expenses. As of May 2018, they're all still actively publishing numbers, as well.
Weglot is a popular WordPress translation plugin (and SaaS) that's quickly shot up the ranks over the past couple of years (read our Weglot review here).
While they don't publish income reports on a set schedule, Rémy, the co-founder and CTO of Weglot, regularly shares data on Weglot's growth in MRR (monthly recurring revenue).
In November 2017, he reported that they'd grown from €21,000 to €44,000/monthly. According to his most recent post in May 2018, Weglot is now up to €72,000 in monthly revenue, which is pretty dang impressive growth.
That type of growth is why Weglot was able to pick up €450K in seed funding in May 2017.
If you look at the growth of their MRR from March 2016 until now, it's been a pretty consistent upward trend:
2. Pippin's Plugins
Pippin's Plugins and Pippin Williamson are responsible for a number of popular plugins. Most notably:
- Easy Digital Downloads
- Restrict Content Pro
Every year, Pippin publishes a massive year in review post that covers a heckuva lot of information about those three businesses.
You can expect topics like:
- Personal developments
- Team developments
- Pricing/business decisions
And, oh yeah, revenue numbers.
So how much do those three plugins make? Here are the overall revenue numbers for 2017:
- Restrict Content Pro: $333,000.00
- AffiliateWP: $901,000.00
- Easy Digital Downloads: $946,000.00
That's no chump change!
What's nice is that Pippin also shares data for certain business decisions. For example, his 2017 report shows you the effect that enabling auto-renewals had on their bottom line.
While Pippin only publishes once per year, the depth makes this one a must-read.
3. Ultimate Member
Ultimate Member, a popular WordPress membership plugin, doesn't publish an income report per se. Instead, they have a real-time dashboard for all their revenue and sales numbers, including information like:
- Revenue per day, month, and all-time
- Number of customers, including average revenue and orders per customer
- Total sales
And they even include a breakdown by extension, as well as a live sales stream.
There's no qualitative analysis here to go alongside the income reports, but the level of transparency that Ultimate Member has with its numbers is truly impressive.
As I'm writing this post, UltimateMember also just ticked over the $1 million mark in all-time revenue, so a big congratulations to them!
4. WP Buffs
WP Buffs is a WordPress maintenance service launched by Joe Howard. Since the beginning, Joe has always been pretty open about both the ups and downs of running a WordPress business as well as some of the cold hard numbers.
His reports even include a screenshot straight from the WP Buffs Stripe dashboard!
So how much is WP Buffs making? In 2017, they pulled in ~$70,000, and Joe says they're on track for about $250k in ARR for 2018.
While Joe publishes most of these reports on the main WP Buffs blog, you can also find him sharing some numbers on other sites as well.
And while Joe does publish numbers, I also like his posts because they're also honest about the good, and "hard", parts of running a business.
Pixelgrade is a popular theme shop that sells some truly gorgeous themes both through their site and ThemeForest (learn more about the Pixelgrade Club). They were one of the first to experiment with Envato's author-driven pricing by increasing the price of their PILE theme to $225.
You'll be able to learn about the motivation behind that pricing change, as well as some of the results, in Pixelgrade's income and transparency reports that they publish about twice per year.
So how much does Pixelgrade make? Well, as of December 2017, they pulled in a little over $40,000 per month, which is down from their peak of ~$52,000 in July 2017.
What I especially like about Pixelgrade's reports is that:
- They also share expenses, so you know how much it took them to generate that revenue.
- You can see how their revenue breaks down by different channels.
- They share lots of qualitative stuff, too. Examples include team culture, business decisions, experiments, etc.
Overall, Pixelgrade's reports are one of the most detailed that you'll find.
2 WordPress Businesses That Publish Transparency Reports Without Income Numbers
These companies might not consistently post income numbers, but they still have transparency reports that provide helpful behind-the-scenes information.
Though Ionut has touched on revenue numbers a couple of times, it's not a regular feature of his transparency reports. But the rest of the information is always interesting.
He'll share team dynamics, business strategies, SEO mistakes, and lots more. Whether you run a WordPress business or a content site, you can usually pick up something useful.
At his Behind the Scenes page, Bryce Adams, the founder, shares thoughts and data about growing Metorik.
While there's no revenue data, Bryce does post customer milestones, as well as his own thoughts on growing a business.
Wrapping Things Up
That rounds up all the WordPress businesses that actively publish income reports that I could find. There are a lot more businesses that published income reports at some time. But I tried to keep it to only businesses that are still putting out new reports on the regular.
Finally, if you're a WordPress business owner who shares income data and didn't make the list (or if you know someone who fits that criteria), I'd love if you left a comment!