Transparency Reports

Transparency Report of December 2022

Tons of New Freemius Stats, Tutorial and Interview on Publishing to Amazon, and Giving Business License Whiteglove Support

This is the 43rd 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.

💰 $8,738.49/$38,019.28 (fairly compensated for time)

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

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What Happened This Month


Just one release to in December, with folks updating rather slowly (probably lots of folks taking time off, like me.)

Mailing List Stats

Stats from my MailChimp mailing list.

About 100 new subscribers in December again, like most months.

Website Visits

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

Site traffic was down quite significantly, for which I blame the holiday (both due to my lack of publishing a couple posts I had in progress, but also for folks having other things on their minds.) The post “How to Make Word Documents in WordPress” still ranked relatively high in terms of visits.

Freemius Stats

Freemius just upgraded their analytics data, and there’s a ton of it. So much that it’s actually tedious taking screenshots of it (I tried using Nimbus note to take a screenshot of the entire page, but somehow that doesn’t work on this particular page.)


New record for sales this month (almost all during the first half of the month though.)
20 payments in a single month is very encouaging. Thankfully no chargebacks (none ever, so far.)

Apparently, my average monthly recurring revenue should account for about $649.88 each month. I’m not sure if $157.94 of churned revenue (I had to look it up: that’s basically lost revenue due to cancellations, and it’s about a quarter of all revenue this month) is high or not. I’m guessing it is. And I think it’s caused by lots of folks just buying one month and immediately cancelling the renewal (which I can’t blame them for, if they just want to print their blog once, and I even recommend that on my sales page.) I don’t think that’s a problem that needs to be fixed.
This is interesting. I currently have 49 active subscriptions, 6 were cancelled this month, but there were 15 new ones too.
As you can see, most payments this month used the monthly billing cycle. I wonder if they’re all rushing to get their site printed before the end of the year…


I’m pretty confident the “Active Installs” is wrong: I don’t think it’s possible to have a negative number of users. I’m not really sure about the All-Time Users either (I’m unclear if that includes folks who’ve deactivated the plugin.) But the growth chart is consistent with what I used to see in the “Active Install Growth” chart. 53 net new users isn’t fabulous but not negative anyway.
So there were 161 activations spread out fairly evenly throughout the month and 108 deactivations/uninstalls which look similar. Lots of folks are just immediately deactivating after they try it out.
You can see version 3.19 of PMB took a big chunk out of 3.18’s share just before mid-month. Strangely, 3.20, that blue sliver in the bottom-right, has very little adoption. I haven’t officially released it to, so all those activations are from paying licenses… I guess that explains it.
Quite a spread of WordPress versions, but nothing too exciting to me.
PHP 7.4 rules the active installs, but 8+ has a considerable presence.
I’ve bundled 2.5.0 of Freemius’s SDK with PMB, so it makes sense that it’s the highest. But I suppose if another Freemius-enabled plugin is active, the site might use that version of the SDK, which explains the wide range of SDK versions seen.
Lots of Americans, and then a fairly even spread of European countries (plus Canada and India).
English makes up just over half of all installs. I’m noticing Chinese on the list though, which I haven’t translated my plugin into, so that might be an opportunity

Finances and More Plugin Stats

The Details

Interview with an Author Using Print My Blog

Semi-Retired Reporter and Author Mark Scheerer graciously gave me an interview, which I published in a blog post at the very end of the year. He shared his thoughts on publishing a book to Amazon using Print My Blog.

The cover of Mark Scheerer’s book based on his blog and partially produced using Print My Blog.

In the spirit of transparency, I admit: his experience wasn’t as good as I would have hoped. Basically, PMB never quite laid out the images as well as he wanted, and he ended up exporting his posts to Microsoft Word and hiring someone to help finish it up and get it on Amazon.

But somehow I think it’s good to share anyway. Mark was at least very pleased with my support and did say he’d recommend using WordPress to publish a book to others, with the caveat “You may well find it works perfectly for you. User experience is always tied to user expertise.”

Tutorial on Publishing a Book on Amazon with Print My Blog

In a similar vein, I made a video tutorial showing how to use Print My Blog to publish a book and eBook to Amazon.

I intended to also write a blog post, taking screenshots from the video (which has only had a lacklustre 11 views so far) because I suspect it’s something Google and other search engines will like to see in text format on my site. So I still intend to write that post soon.

Business User Service

I had my first purchase of a Business license this month that’s actually utilizing the white-glove services offered. Their site uses the Elementor pagebuilder, which has often not integrated great with Print My Blog, so I’ve been working on making it work for their site, and it’s been ok.

Elementor uses CSS flexbox a lot, especially for columns. That’s trouble because flexbox doesn’t work great with PMB’s upstream HTML-to-PDF service, Prince (images get cut off across page breaks). But I realized a workaround that seems promising: change the div using flexbox to use the CSS columns property instead. I think columns works great in print, but less so on web (because the columns end up super long―it needs to have a set height.)

I think the $90 for a month of Business license isn’t sustainable considering how many hours of my time it occupies, but for now, while I’m rusty at it, and the work done for this user also improves PMB, I hope it will be a win-win arrangement.

I also had an introductory video chat with the license purchaser. This is the second time I’ve talked with a custom face-to-face. While email is so much more convenient, there are a lot of details and context that seem to mostly only come out in live chat (for example, the customer reported that they’re trying to replace their membership site with selling books because they’re so often finding themselves being tech-support, when they really just want to focus on their business). Plus, I’m learning that it especially helps when folks are trying to make sense of something new, like my plugin.

Thinking Out Loud

New Freemius Analytics… After Finally Clarifying What the Old Stats Meant

Last month I shared what I finally learned Freemius’ stats meant… only for them to finally get rid of those stats! (I talked with their support and shared my post to Freemius’ Slack channel, so maybe the release of the improved stats was even in response to my post.) They’ve released some way more in-depth stats (which took up about a dozen screenshots instead of 3).

There are a couple bugs in the new analytics still (it said I have negative active installs and choosing the dates is frustrating because they keep on getting changed on you) but overall I much prefer it. As I pointed out last month, many of the old stats weren’t intuitive (like “Uninstalls” being the number of users that activated that month that uninstalled the plugin, it wasn’t total number of sites that uninstalled the plugin) so I’m generally in favour of the change.

Struggling with Pageload Order

I’ve had a number of bug reports in December resulting from Javascript code getting executed in the wrong order. For example, Elementor places the YouTube videos on the page inconveniently after Print My Blog had already looked for them (to convert them into screenshots). Also, with images being lazy-loaded, sometimes the Javascript window.load event gets fired before the document.ready event, which also caused me grief.

WordPress has a somewhat similar problem on the PHP side, but it’s mostly been solved with its actions and filters having various priorities. But it feels like the wild west when it comes to getting your Javascript code to execute at the right time. I’m not sure what a good permanent solution is yet, I only have workarounds.

What’s Next?

Like I said last month, I didn’t get too much done over the holiday. I feel like this month will be mostly bug fixes, some custom design work, and a blog post on publishing to Amazon. Besides that, I really want to figure out how I’m wanting the Print Buttons with Pro Print to work, as it’s such a high-demand feature.

Anyways, thoughts and feedback are welcome!

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