ExtensionPay

Take secure payments in browser extensions

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Monetize Chrome extensions with ExtensionPay! Google killed Chrome Web Store payments in 2021, making it tedious to charge for browser extensions. I made ExtensionPay to lower the barrier to making profitable extensions.

November 8, 2021 Growth! — Payments in browser extensions

For those who aren't following along, ExtensionPay lets browser extension developers take payments for their extensions without a backend or any up-front costs, saving weeks of tedious work. It's open-source, works for all browsers, and is free to sign up and use.

Updates:

💰Developers have now made over $12,000 with ExtensionPay!

💰Revenue increased over the past month to around $150 per month as new extensions start making money.

📝 +45 new signups this month.

⚙️ No new app features

📈 No new marketing efforts

Reflections:

Growth! It's cool that ExtensionPay has grown a little without doing any serious work on it. I mostly just make sure current customers are happy, answering emails and fixing things here and there.

Even though there are so many ways I know it could be better, I also feel really satisfied where it is for now while I focus on my meditation practice and well-being. My health is improving very rapidly now which makes me very happy!

October 7, 2021 Over $9000! — Payments in browser extensions

💰Developers have now made over $9000 with ExtensionPay!

For those who aren't following along, ExtensionPay lets browser extension developers easily take payments for their extensions without a backend or any up-front costs, saving weeks of tedious work. It's open-source, works for all browsers, and is free to sign up and use.

Updates:

💰Revenue increased slightly over the past month. Still around $100 / month.

📝 234 signups in total now. Most seem to come from Google, Indie Hackers, and a handful of other sources.

⚙️ App changes:

  • Updated the landing page with social proof and a flat monthly plan. Ended up removing the flat monthly plan option because I think it may have scared people off.
  • Launched on r/sideproject. Very little traffic but a good way to test the waters for bigger launches.
  • Added a password reset for developers to log in.

Reflections:

Steady as she goes! It was again a pretty light month for ExtensionPay without a huge amount of growth or features added. I feel okay with this for now.

There are a few features that many customers have requested that are no-brainers to do next. They'll take a bit of work because they touch every part of the app, but the service will be much more valuable after they're done.

September 2, 2021 MV3 support! — Payments in browser extensions

I finally added support for Manifest v3! This is the new webextension standard from Google that's already implemented in Chrome. Lots of people have asked when ExtensionPay is going to support MV3 so I finally looked into it and made it happen — only took a day!

For those who aren't following along, ExtensionPay lets browser extension developers easily take payments for their extensions without a backend, saving weeks of tedious work. It's open-source, works for all browsers, and is free to sign up.

Other updates:

💰Developers have now made about $7000 through ExtensionPay!

📝 180 signups in total with a new one every handful of days. This seems to have slowed down a bit recently.

📑 I wrote more content articles: How to Monetize Chrome Extensions, How to Add Free Trials in Chrome Extensions, ExtensionPay is the Chrome Web Store Payments Replacement

Reflections:

I decided to prioritize my health and meditation for the past month so haven't really done all that much with ExtensionPay but I feel like that was a bit of a mistake. It's hard to find a healthy balance for all this stuff!

It doesn't seem like the content marketing has done all that much for SEO — I get a few visits on average from Google per day. I'm not really sure how to improve this — I think I need to reach out to the IndieHackers community for help.

I'm happy that revenue has been relatively steady but I definitely want this to go up. I'm hoping that adding MV3 support will get more people to sign up and release their extensions which will eventually increase revenue.

August 11, 2021 Devs have made over $5000 with ExtensionPay!

ExtensionPay crossed a neat milestone recently: browser extension developers have made over $5000 using ExtensionPay. A lot of that has been in the past month, too as more developers have started using the service. We have over 150 developers signed up at this point with new ones coming in organically every few days.

For those who aren't following along, ExtensionPay lets browser extension developers easily take payments in their extensions, saving weeks of tedious work. It's open-source, works cross-browser, and is free to sign up.

$5000 is great! I'm happy people have found it useful and made some real money. But even with my 5% cut that means I've only made $250 total. Making any money online is amazing, but my goal with the project is to get it to ramen profitability which means making about $1000 per month. Currently that's a long way off.

My plan to get to ramen profitability is to market better and experiment with the pricing. To market better I want to rank on the first page of Google for a key search term. That would significantly boost qualified traffic to the site. I'm no SEO expert but I'm doing my best with content marketing and getting a couple visits from Google a day.

To experiment with the pricing I've been thinking about adding different plans on top of the existing 5% plan that would significantly lower the transaction fee and add a fixed monthly subscription cost to increase my MRR. The thing is, even though the 5% fee is a lot for some folks, for other folks it's perfectly reasonable. If possible I'd like to segment my users on this somehow because I think a 5% fee is often more lucrative than a monthly plan. These customers vaguely fall into the category "can't be arsed to make my own payment system" so it ends up being really valuable to them, but I'm not sure how I could segment them into their own plan. Hmm!

July 22, 2021 More revenue! — Payments for browser extensions

Things have been going! Stats:

💰Over $100 in revenue in the last 30 days! This is starting to feel like real money! It's not clear this trend will continue since one extension with one-time payments is responsible for a good amount of this revenue and those tend to trail off over time, but we'll see!

📝 134 signups in total with a new one every few days. Pretty good, but I'd love to start getting more users.

ℹ️ For those who aren't following along, ExtensionPay lets browser extension developers easily take payments in their extensions, saving weeks of tedious work. It's open-source, works cross-browser, and is free to sign up. ℹ️

📑 I wrote a content marketing article: How to Monetize Chrome Extensions with ExtPay. I'd like to rank on Google for "monetize chrome extension" which seems to get the most traffic in this space. Any tips for this would be helpful.

• I just implemented proper free trials since a few developers that haven't launched their extensions were asking for them. I hope adding this feature will get them to release their extensions and start making money.

🎥 A Youtuber made a video about using ExtensionPay.

June 21, 2021 100 signups! — Payments for browser extensions

It feels like ExtensionPay has started to get some traction! Lots of people are signing up organically without me having to reach out via emails. The top traffic sources are IndieHackers, organic Google searches, Hacker News / Reddit comments, the official Chrome extension mailing list, and Github. If anyone would like to help me out, starring the project on Github would be really great.

ℹ️ For those who aren't following along, https://extensionpay.com lets browser extension developers take payments in their extensions without needing to code their own backend server, saving weeks of tedious work. It's open-source, works cross-browser, and is free to sign up. ℹ️

I've also started content marketing — here's my first post about browser extensions by Indie Hackers that make money.

Unfortunately the revenue for ExtensionPay is still very low with a lot of it coming from only a handful of extensions, but honestly I'm still quite happy with that. It feels really cool that money is coming in steadily and would keep on like that even if I stopped working on it completely. And of course I don't plan to stop working on it. :)

My goal for ExtensionPay is to reach ramen profitability — $500 per month would be really good and $1000 a month would make me ecstatic. Eventually I think ExtensionPay has the potential to make over $100k per year, but that feels like it's at least 3-5 years out if I do things right.

Onward!

April 20, 2021 50 Signups! — Payments in browser extensions

Crossed the 50 signup mark!

➡️ For those who aren't following along, ExtensionPay lets browser extension developers take payments in their extensions without needing to run their own backend server, saving weeks of tedious work. It works cross-browser, is open-source, and is free to sign up. ⬅️

In the past couples weeks I've been marketing here on IndieHackers, on the official Chrome extension mailing list, on the Mozilla browser extension dev forum, in a browser extension slack group, and direct outreach to Chrome extension developers that used Chrome web store payments. Not a lot of signups came from these sources which was a little disappointing, but so it goes!

April 6, 2021 Subscription payments in browser extensions

I just released subscription payments and an extension creator already has a dozen subscribed users! 🎉

➡️ For those who aren't following along, ExtensionPay is a service that lets browser extension creators take payments in their extensions without needing to run their own backend server, saving weeks of work. It works cross-browser, is open-source, and is free to sign up. ⬅️

Subscription payments were my top requested feature and now that it's done I'm focusing on marketing and growing my users. 📈

February 18, 2021 We're profitable! — payments in browser extensions

ExtensionPay's revenue exceeded its costs for the first time which means profitability baby! 👶🏻

➡️ For those who aren't following along, ExtensionPay is a service that lets browser extension creators take payments in their extensions without needing to run their own backend server. It works cross-browser and is free to sign up. ⬅️

(Caveats: For costs I'm only considering hard costs like the domain and server. I'm not accounting for the equivalent cost of my time since due to my health I wouldn't be able to make money another way. Also, Indie Hacker's Stripe integration doesn't count Stripe Connect application fee revenue so unfortunately my revenue isn't showing up there.)

I'm kind of shocked at how fast profitability happened! This is because I targeted extension makers that already had a lot of paid users. My first customer's extension is selling surprisingly well and my second customer's extension just came online today and is getting a bunch of payments.

Let is be known! Browser extensions can make money!

There was a lingering question in my mind whether this service could actually be lucrative but I'm slowly being convinced it can. I made this service hoping it would be a source of income that isn't tied directly to my time and that's being proven out!

Of course with customers come features requests so I've been building a few things that I knew I'd need to do eventually but put off until someone explicitly asked — like a "change password" form or the ability for extension users that have already paid to log in instead of paying again.

My next step is to finish adding subscription/recurring payment support. Onward! 🙌

February 4, 2021 First Revenue! — Payments for browser extensions

My first customer just released their extension live with ExtensionPay and users have started buying it! It's a neat extension that makes browser tabs switch in most-recently-used order — check it out! This customer came from my cold-email campaign to extension creators on the Chrome Web Store. They were happy to have something easy to integrate in their extension.

ℹ️ For those who aren't following along, ExtensionPay is a service that lets browser extension creators take payments from their extensions without needing to run their own backend server, saving time, hassle, and money. It works cross-browser and is free to sign up.

I'm quite happy to have the validation of my first revenue. Definitely makes things feel more real and of course I feel more pressure to make sure everything works right.

What I've been learning is that with a service like this it takes some time to get traction because it takes time for extension creators to decide to use the platform, sign up with stripe, integrate ExtPay into their extension, test it, and finally review and release it in the browser extension stores. This slowness suits me right now since I don't have a lot of capacity to work on the service otherwise. But I'm excited to see where it can go!

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Monetize Chrome extensions with ExtensionPay! Google killed Chrome Web Store payments in 2021, making it tedious to charge for browser extensions. I made ExtensionPay to lower the barrier to making profitable extensions.