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What I’ve spent on Kanban for WordPress after 9 months

I liked John Turner’s article on wpKube outlining what it costs him to run SeedProd. I think these articles are interesting, and important when considering jumping into a product business.

Here’s what Kanban for WordPress has cost me so far, aside from time (which has been hundreds of hours). I’ve listed it roughly in order, as I believe in just-in-time spending. I’m also both a cheapskate and try to only spend what I’ve earned, so there are lots of free options listed. I’ll do a little extra work if I can use (abuse) a service’s free plan.

The one BIG item not listed is time. I’ve spent hundreds and hundreds of hours thinking, writing code, researching, and manning support. Kanban is a side hustle for me, running software businesses is my hobby, and I love it, so I don’t mind “losing” the time. But the likelihood that Kanban for WordPress ever earns enough to pay me back seems very low.


Github and BitBucket – Free – Host the public projects on Github, and the private ones on Bitbucket.

Joker – $25/year – I’ve used joker.com to buy all of my domains for a decade. It’s simple, has never failed, and there are no up-sells or other services. I own KanbanWP.com and wpkanban.com.

DeployHQ – Free – Keeping projects in sync on the server is a pain, and I’ve found DeployHQ to be the best. It’s free for a single server and repo, so I abuse this often. I also pay for an account at the day job.

Mailgun – Free – I’ve tried most of the transactional email services, and found these guys to be the most reliable, and they still offer an amazing number of emails for free.

Fiverr – $20 – I love using it for logos and designs, even though I never use the results. For $20, I get four people to come up with eight ideas, that often inspire me to come up with the design I end up using.

Stripe – 3% + .25 – The best way to accept payments, if you’re in the U.S. (and now in lots of other countries).

Comodo SSL Certificate – $5/year – I bought my first cert years ago for $300! It’s amazing how cheap they are now (and even free!).

Google Analytics, MixPanel, Segment.io – Free – substitute your favorite analytics tool here. You can get most of the info you need early on through one or a combination of services.

SumoMe – Free – Jumping on the bandwagon, SumoMe makes it easy to add an exit-intent modal asking for an email address and social share buttons to every page.

Active Campaign – $9/month – I was using the Mailchimp free tier, but wanted automated replies and drip campaigns. Active campaign does everything I’ve wanted it to.

PippinsPlugins – $50 – I have imposter syndrome like every other developer, so I wanted Pippin to look at my code and flag any issues early on. He didn’t find anything serious, which made me feel better.

HelpScout – Free – Good enough email support, free for 3 users.

Boostability – $200 – I thought they would write content for me, but they did an SEO evaluation and created some backlinks. My mistake was not getting a concise list of what they would do before I paid. We discussed what I wanted, so I assumed that’s what they were going to do. They *could* what I wanted, but it cost a lot more.

ProfitWell – Free – A nice daily reminder of how much Kanban is making, over time.

WordCamp – $250 – I’m sponsoring our local WordCamp, to support my awesome local community and get a little attention (I’ll also be speaking, hopefully).

Zazzle – $85 – I will be attending WordCamps and other conferences soon, and I love wearing promotional items. I bought a Kanban-branded track jacket (conferences are always over air-conditioned) and a polo (I like wearing something nicer than a tee if I’m speaking).

Not Kanban specific

WiredTree – $100/month – WiredTree is a phenomenal hosting company. I use them for all of my websites, so hosting for Kanban might actual cost around $5/month.

Codeguard – Free (for two years) – Early on they had an amazing coupon, and I’m letting it ride. It’ll cost me $40 when the coupon runs out.

Backblaze – $5/month – Back up your code. Now. Automate it. This has saved my butt so many times.

SocialPilot – $4/month – My social media marketing is limited to tweeting out articles I like. SocialPilot makes it easy, and offers grouped account, which Buffer was missing (and Buffer cost twice as much).

PhpStorm – $80/year – A coworker recommended PhpStorm, and one I dove in (and you have to commit) I love it. I was using Sublime, but could never quite get all the packages to work predictably.

Creative Cloud – $20/month – It’s possible to work around it with free or cheap options, but it’s still the best for most things, and the quickest, if you know it. I use it for everything from image resizing to press release layout.

WordPress plugins

I use these on lots of sites, so while I didn’t buy them from Kanban, I did use them for KanbanWP.com.

Advanced Custom Fields – $75

WP Live Chat Support Pro – $80

What I should’ve spent money and didn’t

Easy Digital Downloads – $300 – My plugin hadn’t earned $300, so I didn’t want to spend $300. I spent a weekend building my own shopping cart, and now have to support it.