Print My Blog Transparency Report, April 5, 2019 – Private Posts, Family Search Tutorial, and Hustling

2 minute read

Where Did This Come From?

I was previously putting my weekly updates for Print My Blog, the WordPress plugin, on the Open Collective page. But

  • I don’t think anyone saw them (although I wasn’t sure, I didn’t have access to any analytics),
  • it didn’t seem as usable from my phone (which is important when I have little on-computer time),
  • I feel more in control on WordPress, even when it’s hosted on WordPress.com (because I can easily export it to a local self-hosted site)
  • and I don’t like how the posts clutter up the open collective page (especially how they appear before the collective’s description).

Anyways, so I’m going to cram them into my blog too.

What Happened This Week

This last week I added support for private and password-protected posts (although I haven’t yet released the change to WordPress.org.) That is, if you have password-protected posts, they previously wouldn’t appear right in the print page (they were missing the whole post content.) Now it looks good when using the plugin on your own site.
On that note, I also discovered a new bug that prevented https://deadeasyfamilyhistory.org from working correctly for others– I didn’t notice it at first because it still worked for me. This was the reason for 1.6.4.
This last week I also published a post on my blog outlining how to use Print My Blog to upload your blog’s stories to familysearch.org. I was hoping Family Search would take notice on Twitter or something, and share it; but no so, and they don’t make other contact details obvious. I may have better luck with the roots tech blog, or other family historian bloggers.
Also, I read this week how another plugin, TranslatePress, initially made most of its progress through contacting individual sites and asking them to share their success with it. So I thought I should do something similar: I googled the top results for “how to print your blog” and “how to make a PDF from an entire website” etc, and where possible, I left a comment suggesting Print My Blog. I left 3-4 of them, so we’ll see if anyone takes notice and numbers are affected at all.
Stats this week:

  • 200+ installs (no change)
  • 2,582 downloads (+250 since last week)
  • 7 five-star reviews (no change)
  • $17 donated (no change)
  • 2 languages (no change)

Some Reflections

Noticeably, there haven’t been any new donations. About a month ago, I added a more obvious call-to-donate on the Plugin’s WordPress.org description, but I’m now confident that hadn’t had any effect. So far: I’ve figured out a new way to make a lightbulb that doesn’t work (to paraphrase Thomas Edison).
So, right now it seems about 0.5% of users voluntarily donate (and each of those were because of personal support that probably should have been valued at ten times their donation.) So, I’m pretty sure having a good product and making users aware you want donations isn’t enough to actually get hardly any. I still believe supporting plugin development through donations can work, but I haven’t yet figured out the formula.
Also, I think I’ll switch to monthly reports. Weekly updates is a bit too time consuming for me, and I doubt anyone wants to read it every week.

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