We recommend you maintain a license (for the reasons stated below) but it is your choice as to whether or not you decide to renew a license.
When a license expires, it does not necessarily mean that your plugin will stop working on the date of expiration. Rather it will continue to function the day after it expires, as it did the day before it expired. You own your current plugin and you can continue to use it as long as you wish.
However, what does change when a license expires is you no longer have the ability to download and receive the free updates and/or new features that are periodically added to a plugin which are otherwise available by having a valid (meaning non-expired) and active license.
It is beneficial to maintain a valid license for two reasons:
1). Because our plugins act as the “go-between” to retrieve data from a social media app and deliver it to your WordPress website then whenever either the social media entity or WordPress makes a change to their software interface it requires us to recode the plugin to match those changes to ensure it will continue to function flawlessly.
So, either a series of small changes that accumulate over time or a significant change will eventually render your current plugin inoperable but those changes will be something that are determined and caused by either the social media entity or WordPress (or a combination of both) and not a change made by Smash Balloon to your current outdated plugin.
When you allow your license to expire then although the plugin may still continue to work you won’t have access to plugin updates or customer support. When/if either a social media source or WordPress changes something in the future which affects the functionality of the plugin – such as an API change – and we release an update to the plugin to account for the change(s) then you wouldn’t have access to the latest version in order to keep the plugin working correctly. For more information about how license renewals work, see this FAQ.
Should you like to see how often plugin updates are released to address different changes that are made you can view the Change Logs of our plugins below.
2). A currently valid license provides you free priority access to our competent technical support staff that are willing to help out with any issues related to our products.
But what do I do if an older version of the plugin stops working?
This doesn’t happen very often, but if an older version of the plugin stops working due to a change in the social media API then you’d need to update the plugin in order to receive the necessary code changes to accommodate the social media update. Social media entities are continually updating their platform and changing things in their API, many of which are unforeseen, and so we have to update and change the plugin over time to adapt to these changes. As this requires ongoing time and cost to maintain then we require that users have a valid license key in order to keep receiving updates. Without doing this then unfortunately our business model would not be sustainable and we wouldn’t be able to keep maintaining the plugin at all due to the ever-increasing support burden and ongoing development cost. We understand the frustration and apologize for any inconvenience. The ongoing changes in social media platforms and APIs add an extra layer of complexity to running a social media plugin business due to those ongoing necessary changes, when compared to a plugin that doesn’t rely on a 3rd-party service (for example a contact form plugin or a photo gallery plugin) which can be developed once and then will continue to work forever. We intend to be around for the long-haul to maintain and support our customers and so spend a lot of time on support and development to keep our plugins up to date and working smoothly, in order to avoid falling to the wayside and our products being abandoned like many other social media plugins are over time.
We hope you understand, and if you have any other questions at all then just let us know.