Last year I attended, and Instagrate Pro was a micro sponsor of, my first WordCamp – WordCamp London 2013. I expected to sit and listen to some great talks, but not really knowing anyone there I didn’t anticipate to chat to many people.
Halfway through the morning I sat next to Kevin, a developer living in Liverpool, originally from Tennessee. We started to chat Liverpool FC, WordPress and plugin development and it turned out he was one half of the WP Ninjas, the guys behind the Ninja Forms – the free forms creation WordPress plugin. I had been following them on Twitter for some time and had been interested to see them making waves in the forms plugin market. So it seemed strange to be sitting next to one half of them.
We had lots to talk about around selling plugins, support and development. It was great to hear about a plugin that was creating a viable business for two people, and how Ninja Forms was growing a large collection of premium extensions that was adding to their business, but also providing a business for third party developers. Although this concept is nothing new, with WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads amongst others, thriving with the same model, meeting someone in person involved with the model made it all the more real.
We talked about my developement background, working with Dev7studios and building Instagrate Pro, and Kevin immediately invited me to their Trello board for extensions and encouraged me to build some extensions. I had already built an extension for Easy Digital Downloads (originally for Dev7studios but recently acquired by myself) – the Discount Code Generator and had realised that building extensions for popular free plugins was a great way to supplement income from plugin development.
Kevin and James keep the core Ninja Forms plugin on Github making it easy for others to report issues and submit fixes and features. They already have numerous contributors to the plugin, and have a thriving community of extension developers.
So far I have created the Table Editor and Secure Form extensions and have more in the pipeline. Both Kevin and James are great guys and I have been impressed with the community they are building. Let’s hope Ninja Forms goes from strength to strength!
Do you develop for any WordPress plugins? Are you a Ninja Forms user or developer?
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