Collaborating Developers’ Guide

In this guide you will find:

The Sales Pitch

Stop. Collaborate and listen.

You’re welcome. I’ll give you a minute to get the Vanilla Ice out of your head.

There we go. Now, on to the business at hand.

The core Ninja Forms plugin runs on 800,000+ sites and has been downloaded millions of times. Over the past few years we’ve gone from nine extensions in our marketplace to nearly forty.

Much of the success of Ninja Forms comes from our amazing collaborating developers and the extensions they create and sell through ninjaforms.com. We call them “collaborating” developers because they really do make the Ninja Forms experience better for everyone.

Why build an extension for Ninja Forms?

  • Get Paid. Collaborating developers sell their extensions in our marketplace and keep 70% of their sales. Last year we paid $39,616 to collaborating developers for their work. That was up over 840% from 2013. Within the first five months of 2015, we had over $30,000 in commissions for collaborating developers. Our user-base and overall revenue continues to grow, and a good portion of that comes from extensions created by collaborators.
  • We handle the sale of the product, so you don’t ever have to worry about building a site for your product or dealing with credit card fees or processing.
  • Easy-to-use developer API. Ninja Forms has so many actions and filters that you can do almost anything you can imagine. Register new fields, new processing actions, the list goes on and on!

Some things to keep in mind:

  • Ninja Forms is our baby. We’ve worked very hard to cultivate a relationship of trust with our customers, and we take that very seriously. If you build an extension for Ninja Forms, we expect that you’ll approach it with the same care and attention that we would.
  • While we will bend over backwards to help our collaborating developers, Ninja Forms users come first. We reserve the right to take appropriate action if there is an issue that harms our customers. For instance, abandoning a product or being completely unresponsive to user support requests may result in extensions being pulled from the marketplace or taken over by another developer. You can find our full collaborating developer support expectations here.

Ok, you’ve convinced me.

Good. This guide will walk you through how to get started, what’s required, and tips to help your extension be as successful as possible.

All About Commissions

Extension authors receive 70% of each sale. The 30% that is retained by WP Ninjas covers the cost of selling extensions, maintaining product pages, and handling first-touch support. If a support ticket is submitted that requires in-depth troubleshooting, such as logging into a user’s site, it will be assigned to the collaborating developer.

In order to protect our customers and our brand, if our support team finds that you are regularly unresponsive to customers, your commission moving forward may be adjusted. This will help us cover the cost of fixing bugs and responding to users. We pride ourselves on best in industry support, and we expect our collaborating developers to maintain the same standards.

Please take a minute to view our full support expectations here.

Tips for avoiding commission rate adjustments or extension forfeiture:

  • Be responsive to bug reports and suggestions by the Ninja Forms support team.
  • Maintain active communication regarding the status of a bug fix or improvement.
  • Be polite and respectful to the WP Ninjas team and understand it is everyone’s best interest to ensure that extension customers are happy and well taken care of.

We pay out extension commissions once per month and one month after receiving the payment. We have a 30-day refund policy, and so we hold funds from sales until that refund window has passed. For example, if a user purchased your extension on 23 January, you would receive the payment in your 1 March distribution. All commissions are paid via PayPal in USD.

Mutual Expectations

We think of our collaborating developers as team members, and we want to help them succeed. It may sound cheesy, but when a collaborating developer succeeds, everyone who is connected to Ninja Forms succeeds as well.

With that in mind, here are some expectations that will help make sure that we’re all looking out for each other’s best interest.

From Everyone:

  • For us both to succeed, timely written communication is a must. We will do our best to communicate bugs, issues, feature requests, and other relevant information in a timely, efficient manner. Likewise, we expect that you will return our emails, respond to issues, etc. with the same care and consideration.

From Us:

  • We will list your extension on our site and promote it along with all our other extensions.
  • We will include your extension in our Agency Membership.
  • We will help you write better copy for your sales pages, as well as make suggestions about descriptions and screenshots that will increase conversions.
  • We will provide basic support to users. Bug reports and feature requests will be added to the extension’s GitHub repo.

From You:

  • Before your extension can go live, you must submit documentation to us for the extension and we must approve it.
  • When a new version of WordPress or Ninja Forms is released, your extension should be tested with it promptly.
  • We expect that you will be actively improving and updating your extension as necessary. Responding to bugs and feature requests will help your extension be successful.
  • If a user reports a bug or has an issue that is more in-depth than settings questions, we expect you to provide prompt support. This will be handled through kustomer.com, and you will be provided with an account.

If we feel that you are not meeting these expectations, we will let you know so that any issues can be corrected. If these remain uncorrected after a reasonable amount of time, appropriate action will be taken to ensure that our users have great experiences. (See our full support expectations document here.)

Getting Started Workflow

  1. You complete our marketplace application form below.
  2. We’ll leave comments in your scope doc with suggestions.
  3. Once we’ve refined the scope, and we both agree to it, we’ll do the following:
    1. Create a card on our Trello Extension Board for further communication about the project.
    2. Create a GitHub repo for your project, which we’ll share on the Trello card.
    3. If you don’t have an account with Kustomer.com, we’ll create one for you.
  4. You’ll develop the add-on in our provided repo, and our developers will be available to answer questions there.
  5. Once you’ve met the scope requirements, you’ll ping us in Trello and GitHub, and we’ll confirm that the scope expectations have been met.
  6. You’ll provide documentation for your plugin using our template.
  7. You’ll tag a release version and ping us in Trello and GitHub.
  8. We’ll release your plugin on NinjaForms.com.