How We Decide To Create An Awesome Support Extension

January 12, 2018 | Business Musings

Over the years we've created a standard process for deciding when an add-on should be created versus when a feature should go into the core plugin for free.  In this article we'll describe our general thought process that leads to a new add-on.

Overall, we're looking to get answers to three very simple questions.  If the answer to all three questions is positive, then there's a good chance the add-on will be built.

1. What Percentage Of Users Will Use This New Feature?

If the answer is 90% or more, then chances are that the feature should be included in the free core plugin.  Below that number and we have a case for creating a new add-on.

2. What number of users will be willing to pay for the new feature.

Usually, this is where a lot of add-ons just fail to even get further consideration.

If we believe that at least 50 users per year will be willing to pay 49.00 or more for the function then chances are the new add-on will be created - pending the answer to the next question:

3. What will the new add-on cost to build?

If we can recoup the initial development cost within 24 months then chances are we will build it.  Otherwise we'll just pass.

What are some of the add-ons that have failed to pass this evaluation process?

  • Specialized handling for Multi-vendor product sites - This add-on idea failed to get enough traction because only a small number of users seem to want to pay for it.  Its one of those add-ons that's always on the edge of "do it or not do it" - primarily because we get a request for it once every couple of months.  So it's often enough to keep it in the forefront of our minds but not often enough to make us believe that we can get 50 new users every year to buy it.
  • Chat integration - In our last feature request survey, this feature came in 2nd-to-last on the list of requests. Ouch!
  • Quotes - We love the idea of integrating quotations for services and such into a help desk system.  But few seem to view this as valuable enough to pay for it.

Your Feedback

What about you?  How do you decide what to build for your customers?  Drop us a note if you'd like to carry on a discussion -


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