29 May 2019

Best license keys manager plugins for WordPress

Have you ever wondered which license keys solution would fit best to your business needs?

Whether you are looking for a software license key manager, a serial number’s manager, ticket manager, gift cards or similar, in this article I will compare our stellar WooCommerce License Keys plugin with similar others so you can have an idea of what solutions are available to you.

Take note that the comparisons have been made based on the features available the date this article was published. Some features may have change since then.

What to look for?

Here are some key elements I think you should be aware of when choosing the right solution:

Price: There are free solutions (some with premium add-ons) and paid solutions (with a variety of prices). Review the payment details of each, because most of them implement a SaaS (Software as a service) business model.

E-Commerce: If your goal is to sell these, make sure that the solution offers a way to manage orders and supports multiple payment gateways. Our recommendation is to find a solution that uses WooCommerce, since it is the most popular e-commerce solution in the world.

API: If you are looking to implement the solution to sell some type of software, you will need to make sure that the solution has a built-in API you can use to connect it with your product in order to validate purchases. Usually, you will need at least 3 essential functions, one to activate the product, another to perform periodic validations and the last one to deactivate it.

Scope: Some API implementations will limit you to only sell WordPress based products. Make sure the API supports Desktop applications or software coded with something different than PHP. 

Documentation: Make sure the solution has enough documentation, which will be needed if you plan to implement it with your products.

Customization: Depending on your business model, you may want to modify the solution so it suits your needs; make sure to check the documentation and user reviews to see if the solution has feedback in regards of having customization hooks.

Support: Check how many installs, downloads and latest updates the solution has, check if the developer has a contact form for you to reach for support if needed.

Tracking and analytics: Whether or not you can generate business reports based on tracked information, important for decision making.

Customer pages: Aside from notifying your customers the purchased goods in order related pages or emails. You should consider if the solution comes with customer pages, so they can self-manage their codes.

With this information in mind, lest review the best solutions available:

WooCommerce License Keys

WooCommerce License Keys

Developer:
10 Quality

Free version:
WordPress.org

Premium version:
Official site

In my opinion, the best solution out there, because it has a robust (super coded) free version, which you can use to start implementing it in your business, and has the cheapest premium add-on that offers the most for your money.

Quote from our competitors:

State-of-the-art plugin…

Details

Feature WooCommerce License Keys

Free version

Yes

Premium version

$39.99

E-Commerce

WooCommerce

API

Activation, Validation, Deactivation

Scope

Any (with HTTP support)

Documentation

10/10

Customization

10/10

Support

10/10

Price variations

Yes (Premium)

License code generator

Yes

Custom license codes

-

Subscriptions

Yes (Premium)
Built-in semi-automatic
WooCommerce Subscriptions compatibility
Subscriptio compatibility

Admin module

Yes (Premium)

Tracking

Yes (Premium)

Customer module

Yes

WooCommerce Software Add-on

WooCommerce logo

Developer:
WooCommerce

Paid version:
Official site

WooCommerce, very own, software license add-on. Probably the most known among the Woo community because it has been developed by WooCommerce.

Details

Feature Software Add-on WooCommerce License Keys

Free version

-
Yes

Premium version

$129.00 (minimum)
$39.99

E-Commerce

WooCommerce
WooCommerce

API

Activation, Validation, Deactivation
Activation, Validation, Deactivation

Scope

Any (with HTTP support)
Any (with HTTP support)

Documentation

4/10
10/10

Customization

9/10
10/10

Support

10/10
10/10

Price variations

Yes (Premium)
Yes (Premium)

Custom license codes

Yes (Premium)
-

Subscriptions

Yes (Premium)
WooCommerce Subscriptions compatibility

Yes (Premium)
Built-in semi-automatic
WooCommerce Subscriptions compatibility
Subscriptio compatibility

Admin module

Yes (Premium)
Yes (Premium)

Tracking

-
Yes (Premium)

Customer module

Yes (Premium)
Yes

Software License Manager

Software License Manager plugin

Free version:
WordPress.org

A popular non-ECommerce solution. It is completely free and open source.

Details

Feature Software License Manager WooCommerce License Keys

Free version

Yes
Yes

Premium version

-
$39.99

E-Commerce

eStore
WooCommerce

API

Activation, Validation, Deactivation
Activation, Validation, Deactivation

Scope

Any (with HTTP support)
Any (with HTTP support)

Documentation

4/10
10/10

Customization

1/10
10/10

Support

2/10
10/10

Price variations

-
Yes (Premium)

License code generator

Yes
Yes

Custom license codes

Yes
-

Subscriptions

Yes (Premium)
eStore compatibility

Yes (Premium)
Built-in semi-automatic
WooCommerce Subscriptions compatibility
Subscriptio compatibility

Admin module

Yes
Yes (Premium)

Tracking

-
Yes (Premium)

Customer module

-
Yes

WooCommerce Software License

WooCommerce software license

Developer:
NspCode

Paid version:
Official site

A paid plugin with a very clean and professional presentation, the least trust it can give if we take in consideration that it does not have a free version to review. 

Details

Feature WooCommerce Software License​ WooCommerce License Keys

Free version

-
Yes

Premium version

$49.99 (minimum)
$39.99

E-Commerce

WooCommerce
WooCommerce

API

Activation, Validation, Deactivation
Activation, Validation, Deactivation

Scope

Any (with HTTP support)
Any (with HTTP support)

Documentation

10/10
10/10

Customization

8/10
10/10

Support

10/10
10/10

Price variations

Yes (Premium)
Yes (Premium)

License code generator

Yes (Premium)
Yes

Custom license codes

Yes (Premium)
-

Subscriptions

Yes (Premium)
Built-in manual renewals
WooCommerce Subscriptions compatibility

Yes (Premium)
Built-in semi-automatic
WooCommerce Subscriptions compatibility
Subscriptio compatibility

Admin module

Yes (Premium)
Yes (Premium)

Tracking

Yes (Premium)
Yes (Premium)

Customer module

Yes (Premium)
Yes

WooCommerce Serial Numbers

Developer:
pluginever

Free version:
WordPress.org

Premium version:
Official site

The newest competitor of the bunch. Clean presentation and fine coded plugin.

Details

Feature WooCommerce Serial Numbers WooCommerce License Keys

Free version

Yes
Yes

Premium version

$39.00 (minimum)
$39.99

E-Commerce

WooCommerce
WooCommerce

API

Activation, Validation, Deactivation
Activation, Validation, Deactivation

Scope

Any (with HTTP support)
Any (with HTTP support)

Documentation

5/10
10/10

Customization

1/10
10/10

Support

10/10
10/10

Price variations

Yes (Premium)
Yes (Premium)

License code generator

Yes (Premium)
Yes

Custom license codes

Yes (Premium)
-

Subscriptions

-

Yes (Premium)
Built-in semi-automatic
WooCommerce Subscriptions compatibility
Subscriptio compatibility

Admin module

Yes (Premium)
Yes (Premium)

Tracking

-
Yes (Premium)

Customer module

-
Yes

License Manager for WooCommerce

License Manager for WooCommerce

Developer:
Drazen Bebic

Free version:
WordPress.org

A completely free and open source solution for WooCommerce.

Details

Feature License Manager for WooCommerce WooCommerce License Keys

Free version

Yes
Yes

Premium version

-
$39.99

E-Commerce

WooCommerce
WooCommerce

API

Activation, Validation, Deactivation
Activation, Validation, Deactivation

Scope

Any (with HTTP support)
Any (with HTTP support)

Documentation

6/10
10/10

Customization

3/10
10/10

Support

7/10
10/10

Price variations

Yes
Yes

License code generator

Yes
Yes

Custom license codes

Yes
-

Subscriptions

-

Yes (Premium)
Built-in semi-automatic
WooCommerce Subscriptions compatibility
Subscriptio compatibility

Admin module

Yes
Yes (Premium)

Tracking

-
Yes (Premium)

Customer module

-
Yes

WooCommerce License Manager

WooCommerce License Manager

Developer:
firassaidi

Paid version:
CodeCanyon

Paid only plugin, available at CodeCanyon.

Details

Feature WooCommerce License Manager WooCommerce License Keys

Free version

-
Yes

Premium version

$59.00
$39.99

E-Commerce

WooCommerce
WooCommerce

API

Activation, Validation, Deactivation
Activation, Validation, Deactivation

Scope

Any (with HTTP support)
Any (with HTTP support)

Documentation

6/10
10/10

Customization

5/10
10/10

Support

9/10
10/10

Price variations

Yes (Premium)
Yes

License code generator

Yes (Premium)
Yes

Custom license codes

Yes (Premium)
-

Subscriptions

-

Yes (Premium)
Built-in semi-automatic
WooCommerce Subscriptions compatibility
Subscriptio compatibility

Admin module

Yes (Premium)
Yes (Premium)

Tracking

-
Yes (Premium)

Customer module

-
Yes

Software Licensing

Easydigitaldownloads

Paid version:
Official site

A solution for the EasyDigitalDownloads plugin.

Details

Feature Software Licensing WooCommerce License Keys

Free version

-
Yes

Premium version

$199.00 (minimum)
$39.99

E-Commerce

EasyDigitalDownloads
WooCommerce

API

Activation, Validation, Deactivation
Activation, Validation, Deactivation

Scope

Any (with HTTP support)
Any (with HTTP support)

Documentation

4/10
10/10

Customization

3/10
10/10

Support

5/10
10/10

Price variations

Yes (Premium)
Yes

License code generator

Yes (Premium)
Yes

Custom license codes

Yes (Premium)
-

Subscriptions

Yes (Premium)
Built-in semi-automatic
Recurring Payments plugin compatibility

Yes (Premium)
Built-in semi-automatic
WooCommerce Subscriptions compatibility
Subscriptio compatibility

Admin module

Yes (Premium)
Yes (Premium)

Tracking

Yes (Premium)
Yes (Premium)

Customer module

Yes (Premium)
Yes

Woocommerce Product License Manager

Woocommerce Product License Manager

Developer:
Arni Cinco

 

Free version:
WordPress.org

Premium version:
Official site

Another free/premium plugin available at WordPress.org. This seems to be the less featured and supported of all.

Details

Feature Woocommerce Product License Manager WooCommerce License Keys

Free version

Yes
Yes

Premium version

$47.00
$39.99

E-Commerce

WooCommerce
WooCommerce

API

Activation, Validation, Deactivation
Activation, Validation, Deactivation

Scope

Web based
Any (with HTTP support)

Documentation

1/10
10/10

Customization

1/10
10/10

Support

1/10
10/10

Price variations

-
Yes (Premium)

License code generator

Yes
Yes

Custom license codes

Yes
-

Subscriptions

Yes (Premium)
Built-in semi-automatic

Yes (Premium)
Built-in semi-automatic
WooCommerce Subscriptions compatibility
Subscriptio compatibility

Admin module

Yes
Yes (Premium)

Tracking

-
Yes (Premium)

Customer module

-
Yes

License Manager for WooCommerce (CodeCanyon)

License Manager for WooCommerce at codecanyon

Developer:
Codemypain

Paid version:
CodeCanyon

Another paid only plugin, available at CodeCanyon.

Details

Feature License Manager for WooCommerce WooCommerce License Keys

Free version

-
Yes

Premium version

$30.00
$39.99

E-Commerce

WooCommerce
WooCommerce

API

-
Activation, Validation, Deactivation

Scope

-
Any (with HTTP support)

Documentation

1/10
10/10

Customization

1/10
10/10

Support

3/10
10/10

Price variations

Yes (Premium)
Yes

License code generator

-
Yes

Custom license codes

Yes (Premium)
-

Subscriptions

-

Yes (Premium)
Built-in semi-automatic
WooCommerce Subscriptions compatibility
Subscriptio compatibility

Admin module

Yes (Premium)
Yes (Premium)

Tracking

-
Yes (Premium)

Customer module

-
Yes

Final thoughts...

I hope this article has been of great utility to you. I think it is very handy and helpful in order to easily compare between plugins and make the best decision to fit your business model.

I will be editing this article from time to time, to keep it clean and up-to-date. If you have any feedback and suggestions, please leave a comment below, I will gladly read it.