Not only has Michael Torbert taken some heat with the commercial version of All In One SEO Pro but I’ve also taken some myself thanks to the podcast advertisement and the banner in the sidebar. The biggest argument I hear from everyone is that it does exactly the same thing the free version does except it has no ads. So where is the value? Why is it worth paying for? The answer is easy. To remove the ads and donate link, the support is only part of the package. But I’ve been thinking, what is the difference between software that is ad-supported which provides an option to pay to have the ads removed and AIOSEP Pro? I did this with FeedDemon and the program is exactly the same before I paid to have the ads removed. I don’t see anyone lining up with pitchforks to go after them. If what FeedDemon does is acceptable, why is a WordPress plugin so different?
I think that the switch from being free to commercial is what has people in a fit but that’s just the nature of plugins this year. It’s his choice to make as it is for all plugin authors. There are two easy ways of solving this problem. Pay to have the ads removed or use the ad-supported version.
The other complaint I’ve heard is that the $39.00 (sale price) is a monthly fee. I can not verify if this is true but if it is, I would complain as well. I think that has to do with the system WPPlugins.com has setup and hopefully, they build in a way for plugin authors to be more flexible with the types of models/payments that can be received.