Love Concrete 5 But Add-ons too expensive1 user found helpful
When you have to pay $125 for this, $15 for that, $85 for another etc. The client cost is too much to stomach in this economy.
I've since switched to almost WordPress exclusively unless I can build a site without needing extras. WordPress has mostly Free Add-ons which cover nearly everything and is still easy enough for clients to make changes.
I want to shift back to Concrete5 but need to wait for it to mature more and shift to more free add-ons.
Anyone have the same frustration? How do you compensate?
I just pass the costs on to my client...
If they don't want to pay for it, don't give it to them!
Don't waste your time on clients with no money!
I can do them fast and of excellent quality, so I get plenty of business and affiliate marketers don't pay much, so I work at third world prices and often in bulk. I'll get 10 sites at a time to do, so they need to stay cheap.
I compete against countries like India who has lots of developers and rock bottom pricing. But my family likes to eat, so I have to work with competing prices.
If you can tell me how to get into a higher paying market, I'd appreciate the tip. I love designing with C5.
Sorry your thread got hijacked. There are very few answers to your actual question (the best one in my opinion is by @brandsmarter --http://www.concrete5.org/community/forums/chat/love-concrete-5-but-... .
It sounds like you're in a very bad market. I have been a freelance web developer for over 10 years, and hundreds of websites per year sounds ridiculous to me. I'm guessing none of these sites are particularly great (well, maybe they're great in the sense that they solve the customer's problem for very cheap, but not great in the sense that you're proud of the work you did). The more time you spend churning out low-cost, low-value sites, then the more you will be perceived as being someone who churns out low-cost, low-value sites. It will be harder and harder to find other markets because your experience and skills and portfolio will push away anyone who is looking for quality and is willing to pay more.
If you want to be in a market where you're charging more money (and have clients that are willing to pay more), I would work on communication skills first and foremost. You obviously are able to write English just fine, but there is a lot more to this -- for example, how you present yourself on the phone, what message you're presenting on your website (both the overall design and the specific words you're using), and also what you charge. I have found that the less people pay then the more picky they get. And the price you charge sends a signal to potential customers about what you're worth. Think about this: if you don't think you're worth $X per hour, why would a client think you're worth that? NOBODY is going to believe in you more than you believe in yourself (except your mother, but she's not going to be a good customer).
In the short-term, what I'd suggest is working on how you present your services to clients (this gets back to the communication thing). Doing hundreds of websites per year is kind of insane, but it should give you a very good idea of what kinds of things need to be included in websites. Maybe you can come up with a standard set of "packages" where you TELL the customers what exactly they're getting and how much it costs. And then price out options (based on plugin costs or your own time to implement things custom). Don't bargain with customers, and don't let them tell you what you're worth -- only you can tell that to them. You're going to need to be okay saying "no" and giving up some business, but that's okay because those are not the people you want as customers.
Finally, as much as I love Concrete5, any professional developer will tell you that it's all about "the right tool for the right job". And it sounds like Wordpress might be the better tool for the particular job you're doing now. Nothing wrong with that. Maybe stick to Wordpress where you can do things for cheaper, but as you move towards building your skills and improving your image, work on Concrete5 so you have that tool in your belt for when a better customer comes along who wants something nicer and easier to use and is willing to pay more for it.
Best of luck to you.
Thats some sound advice from Jordanlev!
To add to that, dont limit yourself to the build/client business model, diversify, if you are a talented icon builder build sets for sale, if you have built a site you are particularly proud of, convert it to a C5, wordpress, Joomla etc etc theme, and sell it on, if your a talented coder, build something and fill a gap with it, if writing is your bag, sell articles to blogs! in a lot of cases, themes, graphic elements etc they only need building once and then you just sell them time and again, its a lot more satisfying than busting your butt building a site, getting your $ and thinking "man, all that work and not much to show for it"
I know exactly how you feel, I quoted recently for a job, that in the end went to an Indian company, who did it for a fraction of the price. It takes a shift in thinking, maybe you are thinking "How can i command more money from my clients" where maybe you should also switch on the inner retailer in you, and ask yourself
"Ok, what can I sell".
What this does, is show the client that if they want to pay less, they will have to accept less (which means you get to work less).
The only other thing I would add is, resist the temptation to join the race to the bottom. In the first place, I've seen it time and time again... those guys that are charging next to nothing don't last very long. As easy as it is to set up a CMS, there is still work involved, plus knowledge and skills required that you also paid a price to obtain. Nobody wins - not even your clients - if the work you do doesn't bring in enough to pay the bills.
For your convenience, below is an excerpt from Insiston's posting:
"I have Loved Concrete 5 since its first showing up on the Net. I even developed my core web designing business around it. However, I found that the add-ons were too expensive. When you have to pay $125 for this, $15 for that, $85 for another etc. The client cost is too much to stomach in this economy. I've since switched to almost WordPress exclusively unless I can build a site without needing extras. WordPress has mostly Free Add-ons which cover nearly everything and is still easy enough for clients to make changes."
So although Insiston can possibly use your good advice to work around c5's expensive, much smaller and less-supported marketplace, that's only a band-aid to the bigger problem faced by every c5 developer and user. It's not a solution. That's why the summation of the feedback Insiston received is essentially encouraging him to abandon c5 for WP.
For example, if a c5 add-on costs $125 but a similar WP add-on is free (and equally if not better supported), how does Insiston justify the 12,500% higher cost to a client (no matter how large his client's budget is)?
It would be much different if c5's add-ons were worth 12,500% more or their support was commensurate with the much higher costs. However, as I learned firsthand, c5 add-on support is oftentimes much worse than WP's free addons. I haven't done a side-by-side comparison, but when c5 v5.5 came out, most c5 addons were NOT compatible and it took many of them several weeks or even longer to make them compatible. However, it seems that when WP is updated, most WP addons are updated almost immediately. That could be because c5 addons are used by a relative few ppl, so there's less incentive for c5 add-on developers to keep them up to date. But WP addons can have huge numbers of users. So there's a ton more pressure to keep them up to date.
I agree that c5 is much, much easier to edit than WP. That's what mainly convinced me to abandon WP for c5. But like any product or service, there are numerous features and benefits that must be considered. That is why despite being much easier to edit than WP, c5 downloads represent less than .5% of all CMS downloads. Apparently most ppl feel there are too many other features and benefits that are not in c5's favor.
(To all the c5 fanboys who despise my observations and push to improve c5, you need to stop attacking people who are trying to improve c5 by addressing its problems. Whenever you attack others because the facts are against you, it only weakens your position and exacerbates the problems.)
If c5 developers are not alarmed that after four years c5 downloads still represent less than .5% of all CMS downloads, then they're not thinking rationally (did they drink too much of the c5 kool-aid?). It isn't like c5 was designed and marketed to a niche market, like say photographers who use Macs. Nope. C5 was designed and is marketed as a main stream CMS. In fact, c5 was launched with claims of being superior to all the big CMSes and was supposed to quickly take gobs of market share from them. That obviously hasn't come close to happening.
C5 fanboys can disagree and attack me all they want. But it's important to evaluate where c5 is today (using facts) and why it's doing so poorly in the CMS market place. I think most rational ppl would agree that a less than .5% download/adoption rate is abysmal and a cause for concern. Can you think of any of your favorite mainstream web services that have less than a .5% market share after four years? For example, what search engine do you mostly use, probably Google? Well even though Bing is obviously used much, much less than Google, even Bing has over a 15% share of the search market (compared to Google's 66% share). And while still very low at 15%, Bing's market share is over 30x larger than the size of c5's market share. Do C5 fanboys think Bing developers would be acting as defiantly as they are if after four years, Bing's market share was still less than .5%? Not a chance. In fact, if Bing's market share was only .5% after four years, Microsoft would surely abandon Bing and layoff the Bing development team.
Granted, free is more appealing, but here's what I think: if you pay $0 for something... how much value do you expect in return?
There a good handful of free add-ons and themes that are top-notch, and their developers provide excellent support.
When I buy an add-on, I think of it as paying for extra support that I can't get elsewhere.
Hands down, Concrete is superior to other open-source CMSs.
Get a bunch of free add-ons for WordPress, what do you do when you upgrade and some of the add-ons break your site? Well, it's mainly your problem. What do you do when concrete5 add-on you PAID FOR breaks your site on update? You complain and get the DEVELOPER fix your site and the add-on. It's a small price for that IMO.
I must agree that the marketplace is full of high quality add-ons for free or $15 and then there is the other side that provide you basically nothing and cost like $30. However, those add-ons might not look valuable to me (as a developer) BUT they might be really valuable to some other who knows nothing about technology and e.g. just wants a fancy CSS styled box on their site.
Antti / Mainio
I compete against designers from Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Romania, The Philippines etc. Bids are tight. If I need and eCommerce feature to a site with C5 I need to include an extra 125 in the budget, with WordPress A drop dead excellent one is free and I can put on their Facebook page and blog as well too.
I can Charge 250-300 for the site with WP, with C5 450-600 depending on adding gateways, newsletters, etc.
Just because you love a product doesn't make it the best one to use. Last year I did 96 websites 6 were C5) and had only one plugin fail, and simply removing it from directory restored site. No big deal.
I'm not trying to antagonize you developers, I was hoping for opinions from designers.
It's mainly because of the whole ideology behind c5: get basic things free, want more advanced stuff => pay for it. I can say that this strategy is mainly aimed at the US market, so I could see that the prices might come too high in 3rd world markets.
Anyone is free to develop free add-ons and put them to the marketplace but it's just what it gives to them. There are few active developers constantly developing free add-ons here (like @jordanlev and @12345j) but it takes time, you know? C5 hasn't been around as long as wordpress.
Antti / Mainio
On that basis I'm happy to pay for professionally developed and supported addons.
man, your marketing strategy is really success, hope i can learn from you.
so, how much you cost to build a standard website like company website profile with c5?, well i newbie to this business marketing strategy.
5 product affiliate sites I was doing for 150, like for BuyCostume dot com affiliates. Also do CJ, Clickbank, Sharasale etc.
so pricing is very competitive and not much room for extra costs. I have charged as much as 750 for a C5 site with extras included, but those days seem long ago.
I'm working on a 200 site build right now, 40 in work now, with first 20 up already. My wife is helping me with setup right now, so with the content done, I can do a good site in a day to day and a half.
It's also funny to hear people say you get what you pay for when it comes to addons. Hello, concrete5's main selling point is that it's free. So how can you bash free addons when concrete5 itself is free? Using this logic, you shouldn't trust concrete5 because it's free and should instead use a CMS that's not free.
As unfortunately seen again here, the major problem with concrete5 (which has a lot of good features), is that too many concrete5 fanboys are hyper defensive about concrete5 vs the much larger and more successful CMSes. So they aggressively attack and ostracize anyone who dare criticizes or compares concrete5 to its competitors. But if concrete5 was that much better than other CMSes, there would be millions of concrete5 sites by now, especially since concrete5 is free. So why are probably 99% of web developers still choosing other CMSes over concrete5?
Silverstripe's module market is free, yet it probably has a similar market share to Concrete5. Free isn't a guarantee of success. Quality at the right price, and time is.
For example, how many web developers or end users have you been able to convince to switch from another CMS to concrete5? Personally, and despite my early enthusiasm, I wasn't able to convince even one person to switch. One person told me that she tried concrete5 on my suggestion, but felt like she had one hand tied behind her back (she uses Wordpress, Drupal and Joomla).
Another sign that concrete5 isn't ready for prime time is that the business press is still mostly ignoring it, despite concrete5's press releases. But other small CMSes get quite a bit of attention and praise from the business press (i.e. Squarespace and LightCMS).
Give the girl with one hand on here back some more time to get to know C5, most of the developers are a bit conservative and scary for changes. And offcource demo your clients how easy it is to maintain there content. I am sure the would love to switch.
What gets me is some of these guys got money, hotels, bars etc. And I have to wait for payment for six months. Hard to have to shoulder the load so often. But its a very competitive line of work.
Not sure what they did to lose the menu, but it can happen as it turns out.
To answer your question I have convinced many of developers and end users to use C5 and the tend to love it. Easy to use and easy to manage.
I have developed and managed many of sites over the years using Joomla, Drupal, and Wordpress.
Now Wordpress is easy and I have many clients that have used it over the years. It has its limits and being blog-centric limits some types of site. Overall I don't have a problem with it.
Joomla and Drupal for people managing their sites. Half my customers are running from those. They are extremely powerful and I have developed some major applications using them as a base. However most people who are managing or developing for them complain about the complexity and those are the people who like the systems. However if you are a developer using them for years it is not easy to switch as you have to learn the new terminology and methods.
I am guessing that you were not able to convince people to switch because you really did not understand the system yourself.
I would suggest you stick to PR for yourself and your customers. It seems you are a bit over your head in things around C5.
I stated a concern and offered an idea.
Didn't know that was a bad thing. I get it now...just go with the flow...
But don't be surprised if not everyone agrees with you. Or even insinuate that they are "closed minded" as you have in this thread. That's never going to turn out well.
Here's one for you: if anyone can come in here and flame anyone, it's Frz would be totally justified in calling me out as a hypocrite.
When I first joined this community, I was furious about how much he wanted for his randmizer addon. I flamed big time on that in an early thread.
To be totally honest, I still think he charges to much for that. BUT, at that time, I had no investment in this community. I had not developed any addons. And to be frank, web services was really not a MAJOR income player in my life at that time. It was more of a side job.
But I was ignorant. I was "not knowing".
The key aspect you miss here, is support and ongoing development. Those COST. a LOT!!!!
Not for all addons. but for some.
so if Dev X sells and addon for $125, but the average support requirement is a half an hour for every sale. Then they are now LOSING money on that one product. But if they have Y & Z products that do not require as much...they can balance that out to some degree. And this doesn't even include ongoing development and feature enhancement.
I see these things now. And I see that the CMS is growing, and doing well. And I see clients and web-shops going nuts over C5.
The CMS is doing well, and is moving in a good direction. And I am glad the sales of my addons go towards supporting that.
what has happened is I asked for opinions and then got circled and group attacked because you thought I was attacking the kingdom, but people who attack don't say they love the product etc.
I saw the same thing in the forum to a guy two years ago, he commented on add-on cost and the group hit him from all sides.
Your welcome to your opinion as long as it's ours right.
Now since I've slept yesterday, I've seen some new postings or replies and some didn't have such a bite to them. And one individual hit the nail on the head.
Right now, C5 doesn't fit my business model. When I can get back to making mega bucks like all of you do from clients who aren't mom and pop operations like the small business community I deal with, then the add-on cost won't be so expensive.
But you mentioned how the develop has so much time invested in followup work, is that because the add-ons don't work, why so much time having to go back in for service calls to users? never mind don't answer that, I don't want you to be confrontational again.
again for the group...concrete5 is my favorite platform, I love it, so look beyond my suggestions...you know best.
But a few years ago, the c5 website was not so user friendly, it was difficult to find information. But now its great, love the new layout and its easy to use.
Maybe the website was changed because someone had an opinion on it, and it was then improved to be what it is today. If no one is ever allowed to express an opinion different than yours things will always be the same. I'm not saying my idea is best, but I am saying it should be tolerated.
Bizstarz unfortunately phrases things in ways that on the surface seem ok, but are laden with emotional language, attacking and being critical of things without providing any solutions or listening to points presented back at him. With his claimed experience in sales and marketing, as well as PR it would be great if he could be more constructive. He could possibly have tons of great ideas and advice for everyone - we just haven't seen that yet.
You've just unfortunately got caught in the crossfire, it's easy to get a bit lost of what reply is to what in threads!
@insiston - I have no offense. I don't agree with you on many points. But you are certainly welcome to your perspective. The 1&1 jab was obviously to you, and perhaps a big uncalled for. Wasn't meant to be mean so much as to highlight that there is already enough "dirt cheap" website services out there. I do wish you the best though if you feel that's the best way you can provide for your clients. I could see taking offense to that.
I would like to also add, just because people don't agree with you and vocalizes that, doesn't mean they are all cornering you and gang bashing you. That also doesn't mean they are not open to criticism. Just means they like where things are going..and it's working really well for them.
More specifically, 4 of those came from Joomla, and 5 of those are from end users who know very very little about programming/developing who now, upon exposure to other CMS's, have told me that they would never move to them since Concrete5 makes things so easy for them.
So, there are others out there who can successfully sell this CMS for its benefits.
I think kudos should be given to the C5 admins for allowing bizstarz to keep posting. If you look at his profile you can see a very unusual badge applied to his account, but they allow him to keep posting. I agree with others that his way of discussing topics really gets people on edge, and does not lead to constructive discussions that advance the group. So, no worries, your posts have been fine, by my count!
You call this expensive? Try pitching Sharepoint sometime.
But I'm curious to know, since it doesn't really come out in your posts... what exactly would you like to see in C5, anyway?
I'm a business owner, not a developer, but I've also tried out tons of CMSes, probably even more than you have. So I know, and have repeatedly stated, that I think concrete5 is one of the most user-friendly CMSes out there. However, I've also never experienced such a defensive and angry user base. Only on c5 forums have I been so attacked for pointing out issues and problems with a product or service. In fact, I'm usually commended for my observations and input.
I think this is because c5 developers are very loyal, but at the same time very frustrated by c5's stepchild existence in the marketplace (and the problems with c5 they deal with every day but can't openly complain about because they'll be branded a 'troll' by c5 fanboys).
Perhaps it's also because they're so tired and frustrated by how difficult it is to compete with other CMSes and other developers who use other CMSes. C5 developers not only have to sell themselves, they also must try to convince people to use c5 instead of the other much better known and supported CMSes. That can really wear someone out, especially if they're possibly not making as much money as they would using a different CMS.
As you surely know, an open-source CMS is really only as good as its community. And c5's community is not only bitter, it's puny compared to the other CMSes.
I've mentioned the things I think c5 needs to improve several times, but I realize you can't read all of someone's posts. So below is a quick/short list off the top of my head (it's not an inclusive list):
1) Much more of a focus on end-users. C5 is currently overly run by coders and developers who have God complex and can't see the forest through the trees. No company can prosper if overly controlled by a certain type of person.
2) A better marketing team. If c5 is as good as advertised, it should be much better known after four years in the marketplace. Most developers have probably never heard of or ever tried c5. I don't think c5 has ever even been mentioned in national business publications such as Businessweek or Inc. magazine. But other smallish CMSes such as LightCMS and Squarespace are frequently mentioned by mainstream media outlets. That's not an accident.
3) Assistance helping ppl switch to c5 from other CMSes. Unbelievably, c5 does absolutely nothing to help ppl switch to c5. Most, if not all, other CMSes help ppl switch to their CMSes. It's of course common sense and good business to do so.
4) An improved marketplace. The addons take far too long to update to c5 updates, and worse yet, c5 doesn't seem to put much into fixing such a huge problem. If you complain about it, you get attacked and told that you should do more to get developers to update their addons. This is especially bad since c5's mkt place is possibly the most expensive of all CMSes, but it seems to be the slowest to update. Plus c5's mkt place hides the number of downloads of its addons, so it's impossible to put the number of reviews and downloads into perspective.
Don't get me wrong. I think c5 has tons of potential. But like a former boss of mine used to like to say about potential, it doesn't pay the bills.
Hope this response was helpful.
If you "like" this CMS, then fix the problems with it. Use your PR skills (as your bio says you run a PR firm) and devise a plan by which C5 can get migrate people from those other CMS's, and then empower the people in your circle to write the code or start the PR campaign to make that happen.
If you are not willing to help out, and you complain that <other> people in the C5 ecosystem are not doing their job, then write this CMS off and find another one with a dev/leadership group who listens to you.
If things are so broken here, then please feel free to save yourself constant frustration and go where you are able to affect change.
With regards to your marketing statement, I was able to convince one of my local groups to switch over to Concrete5 ONLY because OF the marketing. I have attached a screenshot of the Dreamhost.com HOMEPAGE, which has Wordpress and Concrete5 featured on it. They offer installs of many other CMS's but they decided to focus on exactly two: the "dominant" one in the marketplace (WP) and for some reason Concrete5. That "some reason" is that the combination of marketing and good code and a good product convinced a HUGE web host to feature Concrete5. That alone shows that whatever marketing/coding/group here is going on is working.
I appreciate your take on things. But…if you find use of the term "fanboy" to describe hyper sensitive c5 developers inappropriate, how come you're not also objecting to use of the term "troll" for c5 users who aren't so in love with c5 that they can't admit to its flaws? I think most (neutral) people would think that this use of the term fanboy is more appropriate than this use of the term troll. Apparently, I'm less concerned by being called a troll for speaking out, then c5 developers are for being called fanboys for being overly in love with some software (btw, I think it was a c5 developer who I got the fanboy term from because he was so disappointed with how rudely c5 developers treat ppl who say anything bad about c5).
I guess it's a symptom of open-source software, but c5 developers sure like to try deflect c5's flaws by accusing c5 users of being the problem. While I have tried to promote and improve c5, it's not my job to do so, and I'm certainly not going to do it so c5 fanboys might like me and I might get some cool c5 badges. C5 is a service…not my life or my job. No more than your web host or cell phone company is your life or your job. So if you complained about either I'm sure you'd find it quite ridiculous if someone (especially another user) accused you of not doing your part to fix your vendor's problems. Plus my observations are surely being monitored by c5 and will hopefully lead to significant changes that will benefit all c5 developers and users.
Speaking of odd things, it's odd how much c5 fanboys put into arguing how great they think c5 is instead of focusing on what needs to be fixed for it to be truly successful. If c5 was as great as c5 fanboys want to believe, its market share would be significantly higher than less than .50% after four years (that's an educated guess, pls correct me if my #s are way off). Can you name any great web company that's been on the market for four years and still has a market share of less than 1%? (and hasn't received much if any interest from business reporters or venture capitalists?)
To me c5 is like a talented sports franchise that's losing 99% of its games, but certain fans are so impassioned that they can't/won't deal with reality and attack anyone who dare points out how poorly the team is doing compared to its competitors (and the team owners keep claiming the team is doing great). Calling disgruntled fans "trolls" and telling them to just stop watching the games and change teams certainly wouldn't be a wise strategy.
That's also why fanboy troll attacks are so ineffective. It's really not me they're so upset with, it's the fact that their "dream team" is still losing 99% of its games even after four years of trying to get better. I'd be pretty darn frustrated to if my favorite team had that dismal of a record. Especially if my income was directly tied to the team's performance. Which reminds me of a quote I'll leave you with:
"It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it."
Upton Sinclair (1878 – 1968)
2) I think this one is somewhat valid. I don't think there has been a ton of emphasis on marketing by the concrete5 developers. However there is marketing efforts by non concrete5 developers. A small point, lightcms and squarespace are both hosted cms. That means that the core team of both of those cms make money each time that someone buys their cms, while the concrete5 team does not. the c5 team may get some revenue from people buying things in the marketplace, but thats not assured. ANd while the c5team may get multiple sources income from one user, lightcms and squarespace only get moolah if a new person buys their cms. So basically lightcms and squarespace business depends on marketing more than concrete5. c5 should definitely have some marketing, and I think that they should be doing more marketing in this year, but its less directly tied into their business model.
3) Disagree. Its not perfect, but there is a wordpress importer on github, a different one in the marketplace, and an rss importer in the mp. None are perfect, but I have never encountered a perfect importer from one cms to another. In this case it is especially hard, because concrete5 isn't a blog based application as much as other cms are. So making a better importer requires that much more effort. Ideally there could be, but like marketing it isn't the first priority.
4) I think that there is some issues with the marketplace, but different ones from yours. My point of view is that the c5 team should have made it so that add ons don't have to be updated to work with 5.5. I would also like to see download numbers for add ons though. One thing I do really enjoy about the c5 marketplace though is that all the add ons work, and work together which very few other cms have.
Since you sound like you are building LOTS of sites (96 in one year is incredible), have you considered investing some time into learning and building some add-ons for your own use? I know this isn't really that feasible to replicate some of the large add-ons like ecommerce, but I'm suggesting that maybe you should look into the problems you are trying to solve with purchased add-ons and see if there are other/easier ways to solve them.
Although I myself do buy items from the marketplace to save time (and I don't take for granted that I don't have to worry too much about the costs), I don't tend to have to rely on add-ons that often.
I find that by making good use of page types and attributes, as well as custom page list templates, and integrating miscellaneous jQuery scripts into blocks, I'm able to cover most aspects of sites. Yes it might take a little longer to build things to begin with, but you end up with lots of reusable code. Yesterday for example I whipped up a simple slideshow block, based on the jQuery Cycle Plugin. It only took me an hour or so, but I'll definitely drop the block into other sites so the time will be 'made up'. I also was able to build something exactly as what the client wanted, not something that was just 'close enough'.
As another example, it's a common task to add a drop down menu to a site. Now there are plenty of drop down plugins available in the marketplace, but none quite to my liking. So I went and grabbed the jQuery plugin Superfish and worked out a nice way to simply drop it into a site as a template override for the auto-nav block. Now that I've worked that out, I've got something I can re-use over and over (I might do a blog post on this actually). If you're not a coder, then I think the superfish drop down add-on by the concrete5 guys is very good value for what it provides, but for me I would need to override all the styles anyway so it doesn't really save me any time.
I guess I'm trying to say that if you are designing a lot of your business around concrete5, it's perhaps a good investment to learn how to extend concrete5 yourself. In a poor economy, it's always a good investment to focus on your own education.
And like you I also buy add-ons from the market place, but use mostly JQuery and other means and use one of the blocks that allows for code.
Again, I love Concrete5, I really do. For business clients its my preferred choice, but seems everyone wants everything for nothing so I resort to WP mostly.
But yes, I would like to develop my own blocks and add-ons.
Yes, I had planned on doing a menu before, so when I get time, I'll get that done and put it up without cost. The menu is not for navigation but for food. I deal with hotels and Restaurants frequently.
Right now I am in a 200 website build project for Amazon review sites, and have another 100 to start for weekend work. So it will take nearly a year to finish all this. But after that..sure why not.
These are partnership projects, so no pay, instead we split the commissions.
Incidentally there are other ways to generate money from the add-ons which will likely be more lucrative than selling them outright. In fact I would venture you can make much more as everyone would be willing to download them for the cheaper prices.
I plan to use that method for a future guru course.
Yes, the marketplace isn't the only way to make money, why is there such a big consulting business around Drupal, for instance? ;) World is full of options and the great thing is that everyone can choose theirs.
And that wasn't (again) meant to be an attack towards you, just wanted to POINT OUT that. Usually it's just funny to see how human mind works: you want everything but you're not willing to do anything about it.
Surely, this is not the case with you and I'm glad to see that you're still sticking with c5 at at least in some projects!
Offer a choice, a low payment, like $5 - $20 for large add-on like a eCommerce package OR click a link, fill out a form or survey to get the add-on.
I think the name of a transactional advertiser is Trial Pay. You can fill out a form or survey instead of a cash payment, or buy another item you need off the list of advertisers in lieu of a cash payment etc.
The end result is you make more money because more people are inclined to take the no-cost or low-cost alternative. The key is more people...so you end up making more than with cash sales.
It doesn't have to be Trail pay, could Peerfly or someone else. Click banner or link, complete form, give email address etc. the developer gets paid by peerfly for sending leads, and the designer needing the add-on gets it for investing time or putting name on mailing list.
The developers are likely to make more money because the volume of downloads would skyrocket.
Anyways, just a suggestion.
I also think the CMS should make ZERO money...who really cares if they have thousands of hours building this thing...I WANT FREE!
That's what I hear some of you saying.
C5 gets %25 of all sales through the Marketplace. This stream of revenu for them, all be it not "all they need", is a great help to continuing the ongoing development and growth of the CMS.
I'm proud that I charge for all my addons for one reason: I'm helping the core team. I am contributing. Every time I sell a $15 addon, $3.50 of that goes to help continue this Awesome CMS I love. That's not a lot, but every little bit helps.
They have a different approach. They offer free basic plugins and have a huge following...but the same developers also offer Pro plugins, with more features, and hence don't live in cars and their families eat.
Think outside the box Chad.
I used to earn my living from giving away free websites and doing webmaster services. There is more than one way to skin a cat.
I offered suggestions, not whining. Don't be so sensitive.
C5 is not changing it's business model. And to be frank, there's nothing WRONG with this business model.
You just don't like it because you want to dish out websites like they are croutons instead of valuable assest to someone business ..... aka - you're cheapening yourself, and because of that blaming your lack of profit on the CMS. when it's not the CMS that's the problem. better said - you're not charging enough.
Unless your designs are total crap. the I suppose it doesn't matter.
You want to build websites and make money... correct?
Yet you want to take others hard work for free and use it for you to make money and they should get nothing for their development time... correct?
Don't get me wrong I like free things as well and there are plenty out there. However if someone is doing work like you and developing something that is useful, do they not deserve to get paid?
If I take your point of view you would be doing your websites for free. I mean why should you be charging for your work?
If you want to build the script your self then do it at your pay rate. If not you are essentially hiring our or paying for work that is already done.
Now I will agree on one thing. The prices some charge for an extremely simple add-on is kind of funny. However that is the developers choosing NOT C5. C5 does not price the add-ons other than their own and most of those have been worth the cost.
I said I love C5 but don't use it much anymore because my client base can't afford the add-ons. So I can't be competitive in bidding for jobs.
I offered an alternative way for developers to make money, in fact I offered two ways. (here's the part you missed...to make money)
The alternative ways will grow C5 faster because more people will flock to it IF they can afford to use it.
Its worked for the other CMS giants. And if you read the message above you'll find I have given my sites away for free.
Also WP doesn't have the developer lash backs and wrath at suggestions. They welcome suggestions from users, and when they find good ideas they implement. If you read the plugin sites you'll find users having a dialog with the developers, but I've never seen such criticism. Its a win-win setup.
Can you make money of a free business model? Sure.
Is it the best way? Not really.
Is it the only way? Nope.
Can you do well and make money with other models? Yep.
Is one or the other right for everyone? Nope, not even close.
I mean you are telling Chad to think outside of the box, yet you are the one that wants C5 to get in the same box that others have done.
In any case I do really appreciate you posting your thoughts and ideas. It is not that I don't think there is validity in some of the things you are saying or that there is not some truth in what the others have done. However from what I see C5 is its own animal and has its model and it is not a bad one.
If it does not fit your business model it is not for C5 to change it to fit yours. It fits mine just fine.
1) Every system mentioned has paid add-ons. You can buy stuff for Drupal/Wordpress/Joomla! - its just that none of those systems bothered to manage the ecosystem of stuff you could buy. That always seems to get glazed over when this debate comes up. We made a 1 click install solution that manages licenses, keeps the wrong version from being installed, and eases support. That's it. Projecting your personal beliefs as to why one system has a larger install base than another is a mistake. There are no real experts on this stuff because it's a new industry and very wild west-ish. There are tens of thousands of products that claim to be CMS's on the web. We're routinely in the top 10 lists. Our weekly downloads grew %514 last year, there's no growth issues here whatever BizStarz may have convinced himself of.
2) Some say expensive, some say cheap. I was just told last week, by an open source developer who has used many systems including ours, that our ecommerce solution was laughably cheap. The big brand names we work with routinely look at the marketplace and scoff as they can't imagine something for a couple hundred bucks would solve their problems. Clearly, there are others who think the stuff is too expensive. In the middle, lots of people buy stuff. So as Chad said, nothing's broken here.
3) We approve add-ons/themes based on quality alone. We've never NOT approved an add-on that competed with one of our own, even when it undercuts us with very similar functionality for half the price. There's our $125 ecommerce solution, there's a simpler one for around $35 and there's some free paypal integration. There's something there for everyone. If anything what's missing is the enterprise level ecom solution for 10k.
4) You said you mentioned two other business models, I must have missed that part too. I saw something about filling out a survey to get an add-on. I dunno what type of volume the other people you mentioned are getting, but I'm highly skeptical that type of revenue stream would replace our marketplace income.
There's been times where I've considered releasing a bunch of our own add-ons under GPL for free, with the option of paying for support. So get our ecommerce for $0 but pay us $125 to answer your questions with it. I typically steer away from that as it seems like we'd basically be in the services business and be selling our time instead of the product of our work. That's not my goal. I've never had a problem selling my time. I already have one free product that people expect free support on, I'm not confident adding more stuff to that list is going to grow my business - certainly grow my in-box, but probably not the bottom line.
So lets not argue about stuff pointlessly, and lets be nice to each other.
"WordPress, even with the down year still averaged over 600,000 downloads a week. Its closest competitor was Joomla! with over 86,000 downloads per week.…And while Concrete5 had the big increase, it also started with next to nothing in terms of 2010 downloads, so even though downloads were way up, that only came to an average of just over 3000 downloads per week."
If these numbers are accurate, it means that Wordpress, possibly concrete5's primary competitor, has 20,000% more downloads per week than concrete5, even after concrete5's weekly downloads supposedly grew 514% last year. And there are still more Wordpress downloads per WEEK than concrete5 has had in four YEARS.
In other words, someone could launch a brand new CMS this year and if only 10 people downloaded it all year, it would have grown twice as fast as concrete5 did last year. Would you be impressed? I didn't think so.
Wordpress has been around for a very long time so of course that will be downloaded more than anything else. Just because something is popular does not make it good!
What's misleading is your thought that for concrete5 to be a 'success' at this very moment, it should have more weekly downloads than WordPress or Joomla!. You're not fairly comparing the systems based on time in market, community size, and many other factors. To be fair, you would need to look at the growth of WordPress during it's first period of being publicly available. Please leave the statistical comparisons and analysis to the "big boys". I suggest some statistics/marketing/business classes, as they might open your viewpoint a bit more.
I still don't understand your insistence on hanging around here when you obviously hate everything about it so much? Anyway, you got me again. Hope I filled you up for the week.
Cool story bro.
have you thought about what that number means in relation to the year? concrete5.4.2 released in mid august, and concrete5.5 released in december, after the report came out. that means that from january->august, more than half the year, all the downloads came from new users. Not people upgrading because a new version had come out, but just new people discovering the product. And that statistic is not even counting developer downloads from github, which I would guess are fairly significant. So if you can attract 3,000 new people, not existing users, to your system each year I would say you're doing a good job.
C5 selectively discloses its numbers and procedures. That's a fact. For example, c5 posts the number of reviews an addon receives, but refuses to disclose how many times an addon has been sold or downloaded (and the low number of reviews are arguably statistically insignificant). Compare this to others such as themeforest.net or wordpress which are much more transparent about their figures.
I wholly agree that the most "successful" product or service isn't necessarily the best. In fact, I strongly prefer unique / niche goods and services, the underdogs. For instance, I bought my first Mac in the early 90s and stuck with Apple through its darkest days. And I was initially attracted to c5 because it seemed more Apple-like than most CMSes.
But I eventually realized that c5 and Apple actually take very different approaches. Apple's legendarily focused on end-users and demands that their developers and designers are also focused on end-users. C5 on the other hand, may care about end-users, but it's far more focused on developers. That's like BMW focusing more on auto mechanics and engineers instead of being the "Ultimate Driving Machine." Hugely successful co's such as Apple and BMW cater to those they know butter their bread (and the heads of co's like Apple and BMW would never condone the use of "Troll" icons for end-users that discuss their gripes on their forums).
We actually put our prices up when the recession hit and we have never been busier.
Average site spend for us is £5000 and we use C5 or Open Cart exclusivley.
You are selling your services far to cheaply. The cost of add-ons in my opinion are just fine. You tend to get better support for the paid add-ons too.
I think you are pretty much spot on about making a living doing what you are doing. Wordpress sites are going to be much better for what you do.
I kind of see concrete5 where I saw Linux and Ubuntu during the rise of Linux on the desktop. This really isn't an affordable platform to be making 10 at a time niche websites. Maybe someday if the user base really takes off then more time/software will be donated to the group pool, but the future is a tough thing to predict.
This is more likely going to be a platform where mildly technical users are going to be able to host whatever content and applications without having to go through a Saas middleman.
I'll just speak for myself, but I contribute stuff to pay forward all the wonderful open source software I been fortunate enough to have been given. Sure I try to make some money around it, but that's not my goal. I'll leave you with this.
If you want to make money, making websites living in the developed world is going to be very difficult. You are better off working at WalMart and using the extra $200 a month to pay someone else to make you a website that then generates revenue for you. If you want to be a developer you should probably start learning Ruby on Rails and move into web application development. This is where all the money really is. But even that will eventually be unaffordable.
That's just my opinion and I think you posed a very honest question and wish you the best.
I have used the free I-frame plugin and added a Zen Cart to a client site to keep with in their budget for ECommerce.
I have also paid for plugins.
I was part of the Joomla bandwagon a few years ago, but that is a difficult platform for many end users wanting to do their own changes, and now I don't even offer it.
When the global down turn hit I turned to niche affiliate sites (hence the quantity), which don't pay much but lots of work available, we do what we have to to feed the family. I typically work 16+ hours a day and we still struggle.
I must admit I felt on the defensive since posting my question. Of course you can do as you like (direted to group not mkly specifically), but I think its better to not make people feel defensive, they tend to post less frequently, hopefully that's not the point.
hope to have better paying clients some day, and then return to using the platform I love more frequently, C5.
I hope you didn't take my comments as trying to attack you. I was honestly just trying to share my perspective, hoping that it might help you with your decisions. Right now concrete5 might not fit your model, but I hope you stop by when you can. I have a really good feeling about the next 6 months.
I sincerely wish you the best.
C5 addons taking too long to work with new versions of c5? Then it's the user's fault for not being patient enough and for not doing more to get addon developers to update them faster.
C5 failing to do anything to help people migrate from another CMS? Then that's the user's problem and they need to go figure it out themselves.
C5 fanboys ganging up on a user because they aired their gripes? Then that's the user's fault because they didn't play the game and gloss over c5's problems.
C5 not living up to its hype? Then it's the user's fault because c5 doesn't fit their unreasonable needs.
But the most remarkable part is how much time and energy c5 fanboys waste defending c5's flaws and attacking users instead of respecting their input, and listening and trying to improve c5 and the user experience.
(For the record, I started off being very nice and enthusiastic about c5. But after experiencing problem after problem combined with rude responses from c5 and c5 fanboys, the gloves came off.)
It's amusing how strongly c5 fanboys argue that c5 is much better to use than Wordpress, etc. But if you dare compare c5 to WP, they get all upset and claim that it's not fair to compare c5 to WP. So if WP is not c5's main competitor, which CMS is? (Note: I know WP is blog-based, but most users don't care since WP has evolved into much more of a CMS) If it's not fair to compare c5 to WP, why not and what CMS is fair to compare c5 too?
C5 fanboys also complain that four years isn't long enough for c5 to have become more successful by now. Really? Then how did web co's like Groupon, Dropbox and Pinterest become so successful in about the same amount of time? C5 fanboys says it's because not enough people know about c5 yet. But that's not the cause of the problem, that's a symptom of the problem.
If c5 was much better than WP and the other big CMSes, then numerous consumer and business articles would have been written about c5 and most web developers would have heard about and switched to c5 by now. Instead, after four years, still probably less than 1% of professional web developers choose c5 over WP, etc (and it's free to try and use!).
At the rate c5 is supposedly adding new users, even if no one else downloaded WP ever again, it would take nearly 500 years for c5 to catch up to WP (if my math is correct). I know, I'm such a terrible person for daring to point out these kinds of facts. Well, hopefully seeing these type of alarming facts will better motivate c5 fanboys to stop acting so immaturely and instead push c5 to better improve and grow c5 - before it's too late (assuming c5 is very important to your business and clients).
1. You never respond with direct answers to post that accurately refute your claims. (Be a big boy and defend your baseless claims.)
2. You talk about how c5 is not successful, but do not give specific ways for it to improve. (Are you just here to be a downer?)
3. You're insistent on hanging around the community for a software that you obviously hate. (Seriously... how much time DO you have in the day?)
4. You state inaccurate and made up figures ("probably less than 1% of professional web developers choose c5 over WP") State your sources to be taken seriously.
5. There is so much more going on outside of what you see. There's a very large majority of users who do not agree with you, and love the product and community. I see multiple comments each day about how helpful us 'fanboys' are and how great c5 is.
I get that you feel ganged up on, however, you came here and started making claims that were false; wouldn't respond to those who tried to steer you into the right direction; and now insist on highjacking forum threads to spread your hate speech.
I'm very sorry your feelings were hurt at one point. But for the love of god, could you please just answer me these two simple questions?
Why are you still here? What is your goal?
I'm fairly certain both you and c5 can move on without each other. We get it. You don't like it or the way things are going. But you're not in control. You're not the boss. It's okay. We'll still be here when you're gone. When will that be?
1. Thanks, but time / interest permitting, I've definitely responded to questions.
2. I've mentioned tons of specific suggestions for how c5 could and should improve. But the c5 team and fanboys choose to respond by attacking the messenger. I guess it's easier than acknowledging or fixing the problems.
3. I don't hang around c5 forums. Instead, I'm trying to do what you criticized me for, respond to questions and mention suggestions for how c5 could / should be improved.
4. Amazingly, you're challenging my figures and accusing me of making them up, but fail to provide your sources or even state why you believe my figures are inaccurate or made up. I've considered many "sources" for my figures, but let's consider the same one c5 uses for it's supposed 514% growth rate for 2011, the 2011 Open Source CMS Market Share Report. As you previously said in this thread, "The 514% number isn't 'misleading'. It's a statistical fact." So then you have to agree that my figures are also a "statistical fact" if they're from the same report, correct? (btw, that CMS report actually said c5 grew by 517% in 2011, so somehow you and/or I got that figure off just a bit). Anyway, that same CMS report said that last year Wordpress had 644,880 weekly downloads, and c5 only had 3,017 (and c5's source was a "spokesperson," so the data is arguably questionable and not necessarily a "fact," especially since c5 is trumpeting that figure to promote c5). Using those figures, c5 had only .47% as many weekly downloads as WP. Hence my comment that "…after four years, still probably less than 1% of professional web developers choose c5 over WP, etc." Notice that I said "probably," and included "etc" in my comment. So not only did I openly qualify my comment, I didn't limit it to just WP. And if you include the total number of weekly downloads just from the CMSes mentioned in that report (lots of CMSes were left out, including SiteKreator and Squarespace), that means that c5 represented only about .36% of the about 829,000 weekly CMS downloads in 2011. This CMS report also included data from online freelance mktplaces like Elance and Guru. According to the report, 19,215 developers supported WP, and only 88 supported c5. Again, with only .46% supporting c5, that's far less than 1%. I also just did my own search on Elance and found that 34,884 developers currently support WP and only 128 support c5. Which means that now only .37% of developers on Elance support c5, a significant reduction of 20% just since the CMS report looked at this. So do you take me "seriously" now? Whatever your opinion, let's see what your figures are or if you can find further fault with mine. (c5 would probably promote this out of context by saying that 45% more developers now support c5; ignoring the alarming fact that c5 developer support is falling further behind WP, not catching up).
5. Not sure what you mean by stuff going on outside of what I can see or how that matters. I guess you're trying to say that I'm an 'outsider' and you're an 'insider'? OK, big deal, I'm happy for you. You also suggest that I am wrong because a majority of c5 fanboys may not agree with me. Using that desperate logic, c5 fanboys are brutally wrong because nearly 100% of CMS downloads are not c5. So if being in the majority means you must be right, then I'm right if I use a different CMS than c5. And if five c5 fanboys were in a room of 100 web developers, 95 of the developers would be against the c5 fanboys. So if you were in that room, would you still feel brave enough to call out the other developers because they don't have a crush on c5? Nope. If you do your research, you'll find that being in the majority can be painfully and/or ethically wrong. For example, the majority of economists have never accurately predicted a recession; a majority of people used to think the world was flat; a majority of NBA execs used to think that Jeremy Lin couldn't make it in the NBA; and a majority of Americans use to support slavery and believe that the only good Indian was a dead Indian.
But that's the business I have chosen. Ultimately, it depends on your business model and finding the right set of tools that give you the best chance to succeed. As one who is intimately familiar with 16+ hour days, I wish you nothing but the best of success.
Appreciate feed back, I've walked away with "it depends on your client base as which CMS works best" as my answer.
The bulk of my clients want fast, clean and dirt cheap websites with only occasional give me the works, I'll pay for it. But if that changes I'll use C5 more frequently.
This way their upfront expense is low, and my long term revenue is higher.
He gets the sweeter end of the deal, but in the long run, I'll do just fine.
on the small business sites I've been doing, they are information or what I call business card sites, informational only and not monetized.
I didn't think of what your suggesting until seeing my England client making 3k a month off 12 websites I did for him.
Now I have a second partner lined up to do 100 more sites with, so your right, its the way to go. But in the mean time, still got eat, so need to pause now and then and do some flat charged sites to get food money.
Thanks for sharing your method, what type of sites do you use it on?
But, if C5 doesn't do it for you, don't use it. Simples?
Stop winging and go back to whatever it was you were using.
You can see what C5 does, what it costs and where it is going.
BTW: If you guys are so good, why is your bio empty?
Do you get paid for your input?