For the sake of this post, I am focusing on eCommerce plugins, but what I am about to say really relates to any WordPress plugin. (And probably even themes, but we aren’t going to go there today.)
This is something I see all the time. In fact, just saw it again in a Facebook group (surprise!). A comment along these lines:
I really love using xyz plugin. But I really wish they would have built in the option to . I know there is a plugin that will probably do the job, but I don’t want to add another one, or pay more money. Yes, the feature could be coded in, but I don’t know how to do that and don’t really want to hire someone.
It’s easy to respond to this with, “Heck, just add the plugin, or “It’s your business. Don’t you think it’s worth the money?”
“I Want a Plugin That Does It All”
You have been there, admit it. Even if you understand why the feature you want isn’t included, still, it bugs you.
The beauty of many plugins, both free and paid, is that they have extended features and options for paid add-ons. For instance, consider WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads. In both cases, quite a lot comes with them. But can you imagine if they included every freaking use case scenario with their plugin? That would be one massive plugin. But the more stuff that is added, the more chances for conflicts or other compatibility issues.
On the other hand, add-ons give you more control—over your your usage needs and your budget—because you only purchase what you need. You can choose only the specific features that are important.
In WooCommerce, if you need more options with each product, you can use the Add-Ons extension.
In Easy Digital Downloads, maybe you sell licensed software and need keys, so you use the Software Licensing extension.
Not everyone needs product add-ons.
See where I am going with this?
Deal With It
My solution is as simple as that. Sure, you can wish all you want, but in reality not all wishes come true. The one thing you can do is forward your needs and requests to the plugin developer. If they get enough requests for a feature, and it makes sense to add it to the core plugin, then it may just appear in a future update. Cool, right?
Plugins are evolving. Developers have the right strategy and I leave it up to them. And the bottom line? Everyone, and that includes plugin developers, has a right to make a living.