Developing plugins for money - advantages and disadvantages

You can find original discussion here:


Just to follow on my comment re the front page commercial mod and charging for mods to be used on  open source platforms.

If you and other mod developers charge for mods that are created for open source platforms in the thoughts that you should be rewarded for your time and effort, then does this not mean that dave and everyone who created elgg and are working hard to advance the system for free should charge for additional updates and only supply the original core platform for free?

trademark an hour ago

In case there was any doubt about this, Curverider, the developers of Elgg, do have paying clients. LIke many other open source developers, they release much of their paid work as free plugins with their client's blessing.

Kevin Jardine 35 minutes ago

This is a discussion that will always popup on opensource projects. There are always people who will try to make money, but that is a good situation. It means that people are going to take the product seriously.

On the other hand, if everyone would charge money for their plugins, then Elgg wouldn't be that good/popular/accessible as it is right now. The best thing we could wish for is that people pay us for development, and that we could share with the community for free. I'm trying to do just that.

If you are trying to make a living out of Elgg, you need to charge money for your work. This can be done in various ways. Vazco's way is one of them. Dave's team also can't do it for free (check out

Just a side note, vazco published his main_pagewidgets plugin under GPLv2, so you can use it and modify it so it will work without the limitations. GPL is also one of the terms of uploading plugins on

Jeroen Dalsem 29 minutes ago

Jeroen has made an important point. Open source developers can develop a business (and feed their families) by charging for development time, not for software. Many of my plugins have features paid for by multiple paying clients. That way the software just gets better and better and everyone benefits.

(Why is this a page by the way? Forum posts can be edited, but not page comments ...)

Kevin Jardine 18 minutes ago


Cost of developing the mainpage widgets mod would be 100-150$ if I couldn't resell it. This is the cost not everyone can afford. This what I give to people by writing commercial mods is a choice. Everyone can buy a mod which otherwise would not exist in the community, and can buy it  for one tenth of it's development price. They can also download demo versions without the full functionality for free, under the GPL license.

If I couldn't make money from my work, I wouldn't write plugins. I think everyone's work should be appreciated. Curverider earns money, and they created Elgg to earn money. They serve big companies and organizations. My aim is to help those who don't have so much money to afford Curverider's complex services. Noone here is a non-proffit organization. People who use Elgg, very often do it for money as well.

If I didn't take money from my work, my work simply would not be available in the community. My plugins give people better choice. They give chance to develop plugins for a smaller fees as well.

vazco 18 minutes ago

Kevin, your way is good too. I already created a few plugins which were paid by the development time.

This what I did with the vazco_mainpage is an experiment. When payed for a development, one person pays for something everyone uses. Commercial plugins allow to split the costs. I plan to get similar proffit from the commercial plugins that I would get from the plugins I develop for the client.


We can move this discussion to the forum. Do you know any group suitable for this?

vazco 9 minutes ago

Perhaps the plugin development forum?

  • Kozmic has made a small good point somewhere in his ramblings and whining.

    I do make a decent living from my work and at least 50% of my work is with Elgg.

    And I myself do not piggy back off existing PlugIns nor do I condone making a proprietary pks from open source.

    Having so far helped some people find their way with Elgg. I shall continue to code newer and Plugins and themes for free.

    One catch - the public is not gonna get those - I am right now creating at least 3 mods for little children, games, chats, SMS, birthday reminders, etc. Those kids are gonna get it for free.. for their fun. This is quite very acceptable to me... Any adults interested ? You're most likely wantng to make money from your site using free PlugIns, widgets, themes !!

  • 1. Whining?....dont think so lol.. better things to do.

    2. Im female.

    3. Open source IS the future, and your Bill Gates' attitudes are doomed...

    4 . Hows the weather up on your moral high horse you dont deserve to be sitting on?

  • 1. Whining?....dont think so lol.. better things to do.

    That's what you maybe make yourself believe but you DO come across as whining and very anti plugin developing for a fee no matter what.

    2. Im female.

    What's a persons gender got to do with any of this? Zilch

    3. Open source IS the future, and your Bill Gates' attitudes are doomed...

    We never said anything against OS not being the future or anything to that effect. As for Bill Gates' attitudes, again what's that got to do with this thread? Zilch

    4 . Hows the weather up on your moral high horse you dont deserve to be sitting on?

    It's only a moral high horse if you wish to see it as that.

    It is clear that the only thing ANYBODY can get anywhere near agreeing on. is for elgg to "consider" a Plugin Store, possibly with certification but then maybe they just don't have the time to commit to policing it?

  • @rob


    So you actually read my post at the top of the page then lol

    Maybe i should charge you for taking my idea...and posing it as your own! * sarcasm*



  • @ kosmic, I was actually going from what keny said yesterday above, and don't get me started luv as I did not, will not ever claim anything as mine unless I have come up with the idea..... NOWHERE in my posts above have I done so, only commented on what others had also commented on... big difference!!!!!

  • @ Rob

    1. dont call me luv

    2. You know if i could change 1 letter in your name ....can you guess which one it would be? *joke*

  • @ kosmik, so it's ok for you to dish sarcasm but not take it, oh dear!

    @ trademark, firstly I wasn't on about your comment was i? I stated above I was on about keny's.


    Secondly, I was simply stating a simple fact, that if "she" can't handle the fact that commercial modding will go on and for just reasons most of the time, that brings a hell of alot to the overall elgg experience; what's the point in her whining about it, as we can't ever reach perfection in any walk of life.

    However of course I ALSO SUPPORT free modding, what is your point? I have never once said I support ONLY commercial modding, jesus some of you seem to be totally missing the point.

    I am not a coder, I would never profess to be one but I will mix my elgg site with both free plugins and if they warrant it due to the features, usability etc for my end users.... commercial mods too?!

    End of story!

  • @ rob


    your boring.... Im wondering why im wasting my time responding to your asinine comments left on here.

  • Okay guys (and gal) I would suggest that this conversation has run its course and we should move onto something else. Lets just agree to disagree.

  • By Bravestar:


    You sell it as a plugin? Can´t believe...

    I am finished with a nearly identical programming for my side. But I never would sell it. Its open source.... and the idea behind open soure is another one......