I would like to make a demo version of my plugin. However, I am still thinking about the right concept. I want to keep it as simple as possible. The user should have sufficient possibility to test my plugin. The solution should be user friendly. It should lead to conversions What can be useful to know to give feedback: I distribute a step sequencer that costs around $40 (NET). I distribute the plugin through my own shop with api implementation for license handling. E.g. issuing time limited licenses is not a problem for me. On user side, license data is stored encrypted in a SQLite database located in the application data directory. My plugin runs on Win and Mac.
These are my thoughts:
Time limited with full functionality.
Pro: The plugin can be tested with full functionality. I control the trial duration. Users can keep/continue their work after purchase.
Con: I need to make sure that the trial duration cannot be manipulated and prevent the user from turning the trial into a full version by e.g. simply changing the time on their computer.
Disable saving/loading of plugin values
Pro: For the user unlimited in time. Easier for me to implement since I don’t have to worry about the time limit.
Con: Since saving is disabled, the user can’t continue his work during trial. However, it could be implemented so that plugin values are saved but not loaded in the trial version. If the user buys the plug-in, he can continue his work.
Cyclic deactivation of the output for x seconds every y minutes.
Pro: Full functionality incl. project saving/loading. User can keep/take over his work after purchase. User can test for an unlimited time. Easier for me to implement as I don’t have to worry about the time limit.
Con: Can be annoying for the user during the test, if e.g. every 15 minutes for 30 or 60 seconds the output is deactivated. The user could develop a workflow using the plug-in in such a way that it is no longer necessary to purchase.
What are your experiences on this topic and on the variants I mentioned? Do you know other variants that I have’t mentioned? I am currently leaning towards variant 1, the time-limited demo version. However, here are the questions: how do I make sure that the user does not manipulate the trial duration? What is a good time span for a trial version? Currently I am thinking about 14 to 30 days.