WooCommerce ditches multi-site licenses

WooCommerce has just sent out a notice to all customers with news that they are removing the ability to purchase 5 and 25-site licenses for their extensions – effective immediately. This move is the latest by Automattic to increase the revenue from the e-commerce platform in recent years, after removing the 50% discounts for renewals of all products.

The notice included this explanation:

As an eCommerce business, we think carefully about our purchase flows and conversions. We make it a priority to streamline the experiences of buying products in our marketplace and managing subscriptions to those products. We have removed multi-site licenses because only a small number of customers used them. We also identified that they created confusion for many other customers.

This doesn’t make sense to pretty much everyone and is a great example of marketing speak to try and justify what they know will be a very unpopular decision. How is a multi-site license confusing? How¬† many people out there capable of running a store don’t understand the difference between 1, 5, and 25 sites? This is just a way to try and justify this shock price increase.

The only “good” thing about this is that existing multi-site license holders can still keep their licenses at the reduced costs (for now) – providing that they have automatic renewals set up. If you pay things manually, then it’s “Sorry, pay more now”.

The notice closes with this… promise, I guess you’d call it?

Our team is working on updates to our developer programs and incentives, to be shared later this year. In the meantime, we are accepting new partners for the WooCommerce Affiliate Program.

So we can create an affiliate account and get commission from sales, but only by forcing clients to sign up through our links. While this is a good start, it completely takes away from the ability of agencies and partners to manage licenses and billing themselves.

What’s next for WooCommerce and Automattic? What new ways will they find the wring even more money out of their existing customers? Stay tuned, I’m sure that we’ll find out very shortly!

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