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Transparency Reports

Transparency Report of March 2022

More bulk license deals, change image quality, improved galleries, don’t index print pages.

This is the 36th monthly report for Print My Blog (PMB) WordPress plugin.

What Happened This Month

Plugin Stats

Tons of releases (mostly minor) and tons of spikes this month.
Active installs are pretty net-neutral this month. I think I introduced a bug for a day or two that prevented the print buttons from working which corresponds to March’s second dip.

Mailing List Stats

Stats from my MailChimp mailing list.

Minor email list growth (just 5 or so)

Website Visits

Stats from my site’s Koko analytics (don’t need no Google Analytics, thank you!)

Slightly more visitors although not a lot of blogging by me this month. Making a User Manual for Web, PDF, & Print with WordPress is still my most popular post.

Freemius Stats

Freemius gathers other stats about sales and sites using the plugin.

This month was the highest income since my initial launch of PMB Pro 11 months ago (and there was a donation too.)
Less growth this month, but still at least 100 folks who deactivated PMB (they filled in the deactivation survey, which implies briefly “opting-in” then “opting-out”.)
“Temporary deactivations” bumped up a bit from last month. But still, without further details this graph isn’t too useful.

Finances and More Plugin Stats

The Details

Bulk Pricing Updates

Like I suggested during the February 2022 transparency report, I updated the bulk pricing again with significant discounts. Now, a 30-site Professional license costs $152.99/month-billed-annually. That’s a 70% discount compared to $509.70/month-billed-annually…

PMB’s in-plugin pricing page showing only “Save 29%” when , in my opinion, it should really say “Save 89%” (compared to monthly single-site) or “Save 70%” (compared to annual single-site).
Freemius’ payment pop-up on printmy.blog explains where the in-plugin’s “Save 29%” mysteriously came from. Still, this doesn’t help to make sales in-plugin.

Freemius’ in-plugin pricing page shows the 30-site discount as only 29% because, if you’re comparing to the $39.99/month-billed-monthly, you already got a 58% discount, so the bulk discount is an extra 29% on top of that, for a grand total of 89% discount… So yes, if you buy a 30-site annual license you’re paying 89% less than 30 individual month-to-month licenses, but Freemius’ pricing page is showing it as just a 29% discount 😫. I’ve brought this to Freemius’ attention and it’s on their to-do list but I fear I won’t get any action until more people complain.

Change Image Quality

PMB 3.12.0 introduced a feature to let you not just change image size, but image quality in printouts. Eg, instead of using the “full-sized” image from your post, PMB can swap it for the lower resolution “thumbnail” size in projects.

Each built-in design in PMB now lets you change image quality.

Changing image quality is useful in two ways:

  1. Use lower-resolution images in projects to reduce file size (eg the “thumbnail” image size is usually about 100 kB, whereas full sized images from a camera are about 1 or 2 MB, so the PDFs and ePubs generated can be about a tenth the previous size)
  2. Use higher-resolution images where print quality is important (eg when sending a book to a printer, they will prefer the highest quality possible so images don’t look grainy; this is especially useful because since WordPress started serving “scaled” images by default instead of the true uploaded resolution)

Right now it only gives you the option of using square versions (eg 150×150 thumbnail) but I have an idea of how to make it work with rectangular sizes too, if anyone’s interested.

Improved Galleries in Printouts

PMB 3.12.3 improved the display of many galleries and content from other plugins. PMB now better emulates a normal page request so the CSS and JavaScript used by the galleries get loaded as they should.

JetPack’s Tiled Gallery especially benefits from this improvement.

The main remaining hiccup, however, is really large galleries that can’t fit on a single page: the bottom images just get cut off. If there’s interest in improving this feature, I can look into dynamically splitting galleries up into multiple, one for each page necessary.

Don’t Index Print Pages

PMB 3.12.8 fixed an issue recently brought to my attention where PMB’s print pages were getting indexed by Google and so could appear in search results instead of the original posts.

I resolved the issue by adding a META tag to print pages telling Google to not index them, and added “no follow” instructions on the print buttons.

Google Search Console showing a PMB print page was indexed. This shouldn’t happen after PMB 3.12.8
When Google was asked to re-index the PMB print-page, it refused because PMB now instructs Google to not index the print page.

ePubs Struggling with Massive Projects

Someone reported an error creating an ePub this month which I noticed was 700 posts long and filled with images. I haven’t yet fully found the exact limit on how big ePubs can be, but it appears to certainly be lower than 700 posts. I’m going to see what can be done to make it more efficient, but a 700 post eBook filled with images will certainly be more than a gigabyte, so it might not be advisable anyway (they should instead create multiple eBooks.)

Even if there’s no fix possible, I will at least give users a warning when their eBooks are too big.

Thinking Out Loud

I’m grateful for the founding members who are renewing their licenses (and understand that some folks just don’t need it any more so shouldn’t renew.) I’m happy sales were quite up this month, although active install growth kinda plateaued.

Also, I’m still thinking of renaming the plugin. The name I’m leaning towards is PrintPress. Short, descriptive, pretty professional. Any problems?

Also, I’m thinking of just giving everyone email support. I thought less-technical users (who need more help) would pay for the pro license instead of hobbyist in order to get email support, but many commit to frugality so struggle through using GitHub which just makes more work for everyone. Plus, the Pro plan differentiates enough from hobbyist plan now anyway (especially with hobbyist requiring crediting PMB).

What’s Next?

Dynamic image resizing was a good but troublesome feature added last month, and ultimately I don’t think it creates PDFs that look quite as good as I’d like. I’m thinking of creating a new design for business users that takes a more heavy hand at resizing and rearranging images.

Creating Word docs is also on my to-do list, as well as offering Pro options for print buttons (as most users just use those, and many want PMB Pro’s better integration with other plugins).

Feedback celebrated.

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