On January 9th, 2022, Rich Tabor has sold the Login Designer plugin to WP Experts. WP Experts have already a great number of popular plugins. Immediately after Rich tweeted out about this, I asked both Rich and Saad a few questions.
The year 2022 really started with an interesting acquisition since this plugin is a free one, I wondered what pushed Saad to acquire it. The solid number of 20,000+ active install should definitely be enough of a valid reason, but I wanted to know more about the plans around it 🙂
1. WP Experts have a lot of plugins that are primarily focused on WooCommerce and Gravity Forms. How did you decide to acquire a plugin such as the Login Designer?
WP Experts has a diversified and multi-range product portfolio. We cover platforms like WordPress, WooCommerce, GravityForms, and much more. If you see our portfolio in detail, you will find a plugin like ‘New User Approve’ that approves/disapproves new users’ registration on WordPress sites.
I found the Login Designer plugin was quite popular, but it wasn’t updated for a year. So, this acquisition is an opportunity for us to make some open-source contributions and payback to the WordPress community as well.
2. Do you plan on integrating some of your existing plugins with the Login Designer?
“Login Designer” plugin is already designing login screens for WordPress. We’re planning to improve its experience (UX), and it will eventually improve the WordPress login page appearances.
If we observe outside the WordPress world, we see notable work on login screens that are quite fancy and attractive for users. Rich Tabor has laid a tremendous foundation in the form of the Login Designer plugin, and we will enhance it furthermore.
We’re not only thinking of integrating Login Designer with our existing plugins, BUT we want to improve the login design experience for the whole WordPress ecosystem.
3. If you don’t mind sharing, what would be some of the future features you and your team plan to implement for the plugin?
We have so many things in our mind and plans for the Login Designer plugin but at the moment, we just want to improve its experience and existing features for its users.
Right now, we will keep continuing the FREE version of the Login Designer plugin without releasing any PRO version and take it to one of the best free login designer plugins for WordPress.
4. Rich is a great guy, so the acquisition was for sure without too much stress. What are your recommendations for businesses who are thinking of acquiring a product?
You’re right. Rich is a wonderful human being with lots of talent and humbleness. Monetary benefits don’t matter when you talk about people like Rich Tabor. Before this acquisition, he took my half an hour video-based interview to know my plan about the Login Designer plugin. He smoothly processed this acquisition and handover the plugin when he was satisfied with my vision and future strategy for the Login Designer.
WordPress plugin business is not that straightforward and a piece of cake as it looks. You have to invest a lot of energy, thinking process, and resources to run it successfully.
I will advise you not to involve in the acquisition process until you can’t add any value to the acquired products. Just don’t acquire WordPress plugins for the sake of money or keeping their revenue as your preference. Value addition is the key for WordPress acquisition, and it will ultimately reward you in many ways.
1. Login Designer Plugin started at the end of 2017, did you validate that idea first?
1I was honestly scratching my own itch when I first built Login Designer (as is the case with nearly every product I spin up).
I wanted a more fluid experience for creating better login pages across the different products I was working on.
2. Seeing as you took the WP Customizer to the next level and used it for building the plugin around it, what was the hardest thing to accomplish?
Having contextual controls within the Customizer was quite challenging to do. For example, I only wanted certain controls to show up, only if other conditions are met – like background image positioning, if an image is uploaded.
That and leveling-up the in-Customizer experience to look and feel much more fluid.
3. Were you considering putting the plugin on sale before?
I had thought about selling Login Designer previously, but I had not put a lot of attention in that direction. I just had too many other efforts that I was focusing on at the time.
4. If you don’t mind, could you tell how the whole acquisition went?
The acquisition went super smooth.
Saad is a great guy and super chill — we vibe well together.
He reached out expressing interest and we jumped on a zoom call. A few days later we were settling the details and transferring assets.
5. If you were to start it now, would you still go with Customizer or would you try and leverage the Block Editor (Gutenberg) (and if so, how)?
I’m 100% committed to building within Gutenberg right now, which is one of the reasons I haven’t leaned into Login Designer much.
The Block Editor has a ton of potential to improve any part of the front-end experience of a site.
6. You’re now fully focused on Gutenberg and providing a great UX with it. I can see that Gutenberg-related plugins/tools could be one of the primary focus points for next acquisitions. What type of Gutenberg plugins/tools do you see next as the most prominent to be acquired?
There’s a lot of folks building small tools/blocks for Gutenberg, but I think there’s more opportunity in wholesale solutions.
One off blocks are cool, but leveling-up the site building experience with a huge collection of beautiful site patterns and a clever design framework (like what we’re doing at Extendify) are much cooler.
Free plugins are really hard to manage when you need to work and pay the bills. We’ve seen already a lot of such plugins being acquired due to lack of time to maintain them by the previous owners.
I did the same with WP Sponsors (I acquired it). Such plugins, when they have a larger amount of active installs, can be a great way to get new leads and also introduce them to your other plugins (not in an invasive way of course).
I think this is a great move by WP Experts because it will complement their collection of plugins that enhance the user experience.
Rich has been doing a lot around Gutenberg and this is something that he had to do so he can focus more on his other projects for which he has much more ambition.
Best of luck to both 🙂