Transparency Reports

Transparency Report of August 2023

Two big customization jobs for business users.

This is the 51st monthly report for Print My Blog (PMB) WordPress plugin, documenting my journey to be fairly compensated for my time and reach 10,000 active installs.

💰 $ 15,384.25/40,674.28(fairly compensated for time)

🖥5,????/10,000 active installs (on-par with other print button plugins)

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What Happened This Month


I again took this screenshot late, towards the end of September. You can see the one big spike in downloads from a release at the end of August.

Mailing List Stats

Stats from my MailChimp mailing list.

Again here’s mailing list stats from the past year. I wonder if it’s been growing so much because emails aren’t working ever since MailChimp capped the free plan at 500 contacts.

Website Visits

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

A little progress in views in August. I see a lot more visitors to the website coming from Google than, but that doesn’t necessarily mean more users are coming from Google. Lots of folks will probably find the plugin on and never click on a link on to
Also, I noticed Elegant themes had a post about print plugins, which featured Print My Blog.

Freemius Stats


Ok so pretty huge drop in sales in August, lest I should be too proud of the plugin’s high sales during previous months. Maybe it’s from a lack of blog posts and releases?
Pretty high refunds from a few accidents: one person said they accidentally purchased an annual subscription, which was weird; another one was my bad (someone asked to cancel and refund a duplicate license they accidentally created, which I thought I had, but it seems I only refunded one month’s purchase, I didn’t cancel the entire license; I gave them a month free to say “sorry”.)

No big annual purchases this month, and a few refunds. Sorry I don’t recall what the situation was for the refunds.
Business license payments this month was down quite a bit, whereas hobbyist purchases were up, but didn’t compensate.
Active subscriptions was actually up a bit.
More monthly purchases this month too. But seeing how they’re mostly hobbyists, they often just want to backup their site and cancel, so not too likely that they’ll renew.
Only single-site license sales, which makes sense with lots of hobbyist purchases. Hobbyists typically won’t have many sites so a bulk license doesn’t make much sense for them.


Active installs up quite a goodly amount, actually. (Reminder that my active installs were negative for a year or so because of a edge case bug in how Freemius reported them.)
Still looks like only about a third keep the plugin active (or maybe there’s 300 new users, but almost 200 old users deactivated the plugin.)
I’m happy to see version 3.3 is no longer growing, due to me finding the link on my website that was pointing to it. Phew.
Oh wow, WP 6.3 released… I need to update the plugin readme to say it’s compatible. Oups, that might be hurting the plugin’s progress for good reason.
No comment, really.
More growth especially in USA and Germany. Italy and India noteworthy too. My number of fellow Canadians using it dropped though.
English, German, French, Italian are most significant growers this month.

Finances and More Plugin Stats

The Details

Business Client 1: Needed Multi-Lingual Printing for Users

In July one of the business clients had some interesting requirements: besides using Elementor, they needed site visitors to be able to print a page on their website in one of 30+ languages. They’re using the GTranslte plugin that adds a language dropdown to each page, and then visitors would use Print My Blog to print the page in that language.

Unfortunately, that other plugin didn’t work very well with PMB’s Print Buttons because PMB’s Print Page is actually a separate page that doesn’t know what language you had selected previously.

PMB’s Pro Print worked with this GTranslate plugin, but it’s not designed for use by site visitors because site owners need to manually create the print-ready PDF, upload it somewhere online, then post a link to it on their site. And when they had 30+ languages, doing that manual process for 30 versions of the document was unreasonable.

So I decided to do something a bit unusual: I just improved the site’s CSS to make it print nicely without needing PMB:

  • I made use of CSS’s break-before:always property to ensure some headings always appeared at the top of a page, regardless of which language or page size was selected by the visitor.
  • I used break-inside:avoid to discourage pagebreaks inside blocks (well, “elements” because they’re using Elementor)
  • in order to get those above things to work though, I needed the HTML elements to not use “flex” or “float” because those two CSS properties don’t work with flexbox or floating elements
  • also, it seems to be pretty common for Elementor to use some negative margins in order to get paragraphs to fit together more snugly. This works OK with flexbox, but when I made the elements use display:block stuff started to overlap. So I needed to also override that negative margins

I want to get this site to instead use PMB’s Pro Print buttons as it will give the site owner control of page dimensions, margins, and other goodies (using the browser’s built-in printing lets site visitors specify page dimensions and margins). However, to get that working is a pretty big feat:

  • I’ll need to add Pro Print buttons on the frontend (and kinda deprecate the old print buttons)
  • when a page/post is updated, automatically regenerate the Pro Print PDFs for it (this is tricky because PMB relies on the user’s browser to finish rendering content that requires Javascript)
  • …and do it for all the languages in use by GTranslate (which could be a lot of PDFs getting generated), unless I do it only on demand which could be more efficient but will require more special logic

Anyway, but the Pro Print buttons has been requested a bunch so it’s pretty high on my priorities.

Business Client 2: Fairly Advanced Design

The other project was an ambitious custom design for an online magazine that needed a print-ready and digital PDF.

Some highlights from the custom design included:

Cover Page

  • Cover logo image is part of the design, so it’s reused for every issue
  • the cover image, however, is part of the project so is different for each issue
  • the cover image also stretches to fill the remaining space (this is tricky because the design doesn’t know ahead of time how big the cover logo image will be, so the cover image’s size needs to be calculated on the fly)
The magazine’s cover page and table of contents

Table of Contents

  • The table of contents puts the post’s featured image in the background and the power portion fades to white
  • Page numbers are on the left, separated by the article titles by a consistent margin
  • Part titles has no page number, but an underscore reaching to the end of the title

Main Content

  • Parts don’t have big part title pages like in the Classic designs, but are instead only appear in the top margin
  • QR codes are automatically added to the beginning of each article, which links back to the blog post
  • Subheadings have a unique style with a line above them but which only extends to the end of the heading
  • The footer has the page number and magazine name separated by a line
The main content is also interesting.

I think it’s a pretty cool design and I’m debating including it in the main plugin. Obviously, it wouldn’t include the customer’s branding, fonts, or colour scheme. Or maybe it should be a separate add-on. Seeing how this point hasn’t been specified (I never said the design would or wouldn’t be made available outside of their site), I think I should first check with the customer to see if they have any reservations about me distributing it.

Thinking Out Loud

Lots of Custom Work… Not a Lot of General Work

This last month was pretty well entirely occupied with the above two projects. I think if I can take what I learned and did and made it available to other users, they will be worth it. But if not, it might not be worth the time. They did pay a pretty big sum, it would take 4-5 professional license sales to equal a single business license sale… but the incremental work for each professional license is minimal, whereas each business user is usually a lot of work. Like maybe 10-20 hours of work, so charging $500 for the year ends up being about $25-$50 per hour. That’s a good salary, but the norm for contract work is more like $100 per hour or more. So in order to make it count, the work needs to also help make other sales.

What’s Next?

For the 4th month in a row, I’m hoping to start working migrating from MailChimp to Mautic. Then Pro Print buttons, but that will be a big task and I haven’t worked out how exactly I want it to work.

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