Shouldn't all add-on's be free? What's your opinion?3 users found helpful
Would concrete5 be more widespread and have more core functionality developed and maintained if it didn't charge for add-ons?
Wouldn't it be more profitable for a developer to be paid by clients to set up a feature rich CMS as opposed to charging developers for their add-ons?
I was excited to use concrete5 initially. The UI is very user friendly with a small learning curve, even for my clients, but having to pay for add-ons has never felt right, so I researched other alternatives.
One alternative, Drupal, is open-sourced, totally free, and has tons of core modules. So now if my clients need the bare minimum and only require free add-ons I will consider using concrete5, but normally projects require a more robust solution, like Drupal, and it's free!
It's a shame because I thought concrete5 had such potential, but in my opinion, charging for add-ons is ultimately going to hinder core development.
I don't believe this policy hinders core development at all. In fact, allowing freelancers to build and charge for add-ons frees up core developers to work on what's most important: the core.
What every add-on needs though, is a (presale) live demo or video demo on how it works. You'd pay if the add-on fits your client's needs.
If Drupal fits your needs, by all means use it. I personally use concrete5 based on client reactions to demos and quick learning during training.
just to be clear, there are paid add-ons/extensions for every major cms - drupal, word press, joomla -you name it. we just happened to build a marketplace for ours and put some love into curating it. that makes us money, which means we can spend more time on the core with the right intentions.
the alternative is to raise millions from VC's as a sister company with some other revenue model (word press<-automatic, drupal<-acquia) or to be entirely non-profity-donationish commune. (joomla.) I recently learned that joomla has a new volunteer lead developer for every major release.. that's amazing it works, but not something that appeals to me personally in terms of best practices for the core's quality... but hey different strokes.
regardless, you can find stuff to buy on the net for all of them - we just did a good job integrating the marketplace to the app. Free to me means you have the right to understand what you're using and change it, and if we can make it so 80-90% of what you need to do doesn't cost anything that's great too.
Google is free in terms of the latter, but certainly not the former.
We're always free as in speech, and frequently free as in beer as well.
The core of concrete5 covers most of the functional stuff you'd look to add-ons for on other systems (search our marketplace for "permission system" changes and then search drupals). typically the stuff you're buying in the marketplace is geared for site owners, not developers. If you know what you're doing you can easily build a image gallery, dealer locator, or even bloggin app on your own. If it's worth even a few hundred bucks to you to not have to, ta-da.
to be completely frank, if you feel everything should be free. do it. Submit free add-ons that are better than the paid ones. I'll totally approve them if they honor the rest of the rules in the marketplace and you want to provide basic support... for free.
I appreciate the time and effort developer put into their code but at the end of the day, it works out to be too expensive especially for the smaller sites etc.
For example to have a very ordinary ecommerce site will set you back in excess of $500 just for a basic shop front, mailing list and other basic addons. To do the same in Joomla will cost $100 or less, for advanced features.
Its okay charging a little, but $125 for a basic addon is too much.
I used concrete5 for a number of clients but because of limits then they have move on to other more available open systems like Joomla and modx etc.
Its a pity because I believe the basic C5 offer a great deal, but unfortunately charges a little too much for the final trimmings.
What I have noticed is if I buy an add on the developer 9/10 times response to my questions within 24 hours
When I use a free add-on, the developer may never answer.
I imagine the same must be true for other CMS.
You pay for functionality and for great service.
That's just crazy! 3rd party developers work hard to help make your life easier and you're complaining that you have to pay $15. Google monetizes with ads. Do you want ads on your website.
Developers charge for iPhone apps. Are you crying about that as well? Go checkout prestashop. Those modules are ridiculously priced at an average of $90 each... And most of th are crap. Modules in the c5 marketplace go through a testing and verification process to give you peace of mind.
If you sella website for $1000 and pay $30 for a couple modules, how are you getting priced out?
Why don't you stop wasting your time complaining and make your own add-ons and contribute something to this wonderful community rather than just taking.
I really have no patience for complainers, particularly when they carry no weight or responsibility in the area they're whinging about.
It seems that all posts that deserve a reply are getting them.
I dunno, I really just think this is one of those agree to disagree issues. I'm open to having any discussion, but as I said before, there's gotta be a revenue model or there's no point to growth.
I don't see quantity as a measure of success. (Sorry VC community, but you can be huge and still suck.) See eBay vs. Etsy. I'd much rather have a marketplace of a few hundred solid items that work well and come with support than a few thousand that only half deliver. But again, that's just me.
Let me paint the picture with a real example that might help for others lurking on this thread:
My friend runs a webshop that does a lot of drupal work. (I know, and he's still my friend?!?) They had the opportunity to bid on some project that required a rethink of what drupal's permissions were capable of. The client, having been down the drupal road before, wanted to see a prototype as part of the bidding process.
So my friend sets one of his developers into solving this problem for the proposal with existing drupal modules. They spend 8 hours downloading stuff that looks like it should do what they need, but in the end only really covers part of the problem, or no longer works at all. After a day of that my friend pulls the plug on research and says "screw it, lets build our own." They spend another 16 hours building their drupal permissions tweaks so they can win this gig. It solves the problem in the RFP but that's all it does.
They don't win the gig. Dunno why, these things happen. They then decide "screw it, we made this permission change, lets get something out of it and add it to their module directory." So they go through the process of requesting a name space, get approval, and stick their add-on up in there. A few weeks later they get caught up in a political drama because the name of their add-on was too close to someone else's that changes permissions in some other way. This consumes more of their time. No one uses their add-on, they end up yoinking it.
My friend is now out 4-5 days of time from his lead developer. If he had been working on projects, thats thousands of dollars of potential revenue out the door.
Is that add-on going to make him any money? Nope.
Is that add-on going to win him any press or clients? Nope - no good press at least.
Does he provide support for that thing? Nope.
Does it help anyone else in the community? Not really - it only solved one specific problem and I'm sure it breaks with any number of other modules installed.
There's over 300 drupal extensions that all rethink permissions in some fashion.. What a waste.
This is insanity. Drupal itself might be better than butter but in terms of giving a small webshop the ability to quickly make money on a project without a lot of lost time - I just don't see that being a particularly well thought out solution.
Now just to be fair... Here's some weaknesses from our own approach:
1) An add-on was recently submitted for Sub-Groups. Groups within groups is something that we'd like to see in the core. It would have to work with everything else however. It's also something we'd want to have gracefully integrated and we don't want people to have such an ala cart experience with concrete5 that the core becomes meaningless. I think the developer was hoping to sell the thing for $15 or something, but sadly we're never going to approve it. Not because he did a sloppy job, it may be the best thing ever, just because it seems like something that should be done right, and done for everyone in the same way. Maybe one day we'll have enough money to buy work like that off of developers and include it in the core, maybe not, but today its just how life goes.
This happened in the past with Matias's area splitter and then the introduction of Layouts into the core. The area splitter STILL sells today, partially because there are a number of add-ons that use it to do tabs and whatnot. I love Matias and we have actually paid him to work on projects in the past. It's nothing political, it's just that I've personally provided support for projects where the layouts AND area splitter were being used with a pile of other add-ons to do some slidely expandy tab stuff. Honestly putting a page in edit mode on that site was a shocker. Straight miracle it worked at all. Regardless, THIS is the kinda issue we lose sleep over in the marketplace. If that kinda thinking isn't of value to you, I think Joomla is actually the most free form of these projects in terms of anarchy rules.
2) There is an add-on for a particular image slider that costs $15 and has sold well for some time. Someone just submitted an add-on for the same library that is free. Last time I checked there was a naming issue but as a whole it was approvable. Both will exist in the marketplace and it's up to customers to make a choice. Something about this strikes me as less than ideal, but I hope the realization that support on paid add-ons is required within 2 business days and for free add-ons within 2 weeks, there will be opportunities for everyone.
3) The PRB takes time. The initial work is by volunteers which we deeply appreciate, but in the end I want Andy to review each one at least quickly. That means it doesn't happen as quickly as we'd like and that pisses developers off. I don't blame them. This is life.
So I dunno, there's some real stuff to ponder.
I used to be a Drupal fan but switch to C5 right after I use it with a couple of projects. I can tell you, feels a lot stronger with endless possibilities to create features in half the time that was taking me on Drupal.
Just my opinion.
I integrated MailChimp's API with concrete5 a while back, but I didn't want to charge for add-ons in an open source environment nor did I want to commit to maintaining it alone. What's the concensus, do developers mind sharing free add-ons when they have to pay for them? Even the core team is charging $125 for a no thrill ecommerce system that would require additional add-on fees for it to be usable. It should be core. I'm asking the team to take a step back and look at the big picture, will the cost of add-ons ultimately deter or promote concrete5's progress? Honestly. Why do you think Joomla, Drupal, and the like have such a large community and have been around for so long? Concrete5 has a good foundation, but not in their league. I am still hopeful that will change one day.
im stepping back.
now tell me how we /should/ make money.
you have my complete attention.
1) paid/sponsored spots in the marketplace - these can be done on a product-by-product basis and for a limited time. Monetization with a simple pay per click model (similar to adwords or clickbank ads)
2) same concept, but for Members list, so web dev companies can pay for premium positions.
3) email newsletter with news and adverts
4) same concept for twitter
5) paid webinars for website editors and separate one for developers.
Essentially look at who has the most to benefit (web developers) as they generate revenue by selling websites to clients. Help them sell more and theyll have more money to put into c5. With that in mind, what about a paid lead service like ictquotes.com.au.
Lots to consider.
What do you think?
2) we have that, see pro accounts under developers. its still represents a very small portion of what we need to pay the bills and get by.
3) newsletter does drive sales today, but again - why pay to be in it? it's about 25k people, selling ads in it isn't going to bring in a lot, and people will give us a hard time about being commercial
4) twitter? dude. do they make money at all? I assume you mean go raise 100m from investors with the pitch that we're the telephone of the future?.. ;)
5) we have that today as well. Services > Training. Its something that is important for us to do for ongoing learning of the community but it doesn't make much money. It also consumes hours each time its sold. Would you rather have Andy personally explaining to someone what a block is, or would you rather have him reworking advanced permissions?
I'm always eager to have this conversation because to be honest I'm rather proud that we've been able to pull off the marketplace and turn ourselves into a profitable open source startup with no investment or major corporate sponsors. We've certainly spent a lot of time thinking about it, but I'm sure we haven't hit every idea out there. The nice thing about the marketplace is it has scaled with us organically.
Selling the image gallery and drop downs may have had no business value to the developers in this thread (as David notes below) but it certainly was valuable to the thousands of small websites run by folks who wanted em and would have had to pay a developer a hundred or two bucks to modify it. The profit from that went into building the next larger add-ons like randomizer and ad server. It took us months of doing this before we had the room to tackle ecommerce. Could ecommerce be bigger/better? Certainly. Now that we're making money with the design centric small store version we have, perhaps we'll look at a nice deep integration of magento. This organic growth has been perfect for us and has allowed us to focus on improving the software offering as a whole instead of more self serving goals.
Just to be 100% clear. We are not Microsoft and we're not salivating at the prospect of billion dollar companies and VCs. I would love concrete5 to be right in there as big as drupal/joomla/word press - but that's my goal, not to be richer than god. There's half a dozen of us in a creative work space. I drive a 71 VW Squareback, not a ferrari. All we want is to focus on growing the CMS, and not have to chase a lot of services work. Between the cost of business and the debt I've personally incurred in bringing concrete5 to market, this business has to gross at least 500k a year to continue to exist. Today it does that, about 70% marketplace, 20% hosting, 10% services.
That's the lay of the land. If someones got a better idea,
I'm all ears.
word press started as a personal project for Matt. Eventually Phil Black convinced him that he'd be able to truly change the world if he raised a bunch of money for him. Automattic was born as a parent software company. They also do things like spam control software akismit and poll daddy, but it's pretty clear wordpress is the baby thats worth the $44m that Phil Black's fund has put into the company. They claim to be profitable, and from what Im told its primarily due to the content they have access to. wordpress.com is a destination site for a lot of people. I believe it gets many millions of views a day, so it doesn't take a lot of ads at that scale to make an awful lot of money. People may use wordpress as a CMS, but financially i think their motivation is about being a media destination.
Joomla! was originally Mambo back in the early 0's. Mambo was spectacularly mismanaged and some of the developers who loved it decided to make their own copy (fork the core) and call it Joomla!. I believe the experience of seeing the people who ran Mambo drop the ball with something you were basing your career with was so jarring that they swang back pretty far in the direction of "commune." I believe that it is entirely volunteer based and they use donations from agencies to goto events and whatnot. They are a non-profit.
Now I'm no expert, so if anyone cares to correct me I'd love to have more accurate information.
There are several key issues to me:
1) I do not want to take someone else's money. Be it VC or donations. Money from VC comes with unrealistic expectations for CMS (20x return on investment in 3 years or less). Donations are just inappropriate for software in my eyes. We only ever accepted them once, to goto SXSW last year, and while I'm deeply appreciative that we could raise 5k from the community to do that, it's not something we're going to do again for any number of reasons.
2) I do not want to go from the organizational structure we have today to something wildly different. I'm a big believer in some of the powers of crowd sourcing. I'm also very aware of some of its limitations. In the 5 years that we were commercial software we threw out a lot of ideas that seemed great at the time and later proved to me mistakes. When your trying to make progress with committees and volunteers, things can be very slow and its difficult to imagine revolutionary approach emerging. I'm not saying I've got all the good ideas, we're eager to discuss and accept concepts from everyone. I'm just saying without a leader, you go nowhere. I remember here in Portland when some anarchists were protesting and were trying to shut one of the bridges down with a human barricade. They couldn't get actually on to the bridge.. Just lots of bickering before they finally dispersed. Bravo...Or I'm struck by the current online naming contest for some government building in Fort Worth where "Harry Baals Center" is leading by a factor of 20x. Turns out crowd sourcing is really really good at somethings, not so good at others. ;)
So I'm all for migrating the benevolent dictatorship that concrete5 started as into more of a well managed republic, but please dont waste my time with the response that all add-ons should be free and the core should be managed by a group of volunteers.
I'm not going to buy into turning our baby into a commune.
That make any sense?
(Pecked out on a mobile device...)
Dang, that's a lot of peckin'! And hardly any typos - amazing.
Thanks for the background and historical overview and for being up front about your plans and intentions.
Pecked out on an iPhone
Pecked out on an iPhone
Want to sell A few dozen products in a design centric way? I believe our ecommerce system give you flexibility you're not going to see anywhere else
Want to sell thousands of products in a strict category > detail architecture with every product having the same looking page, but import, multi currency, etc. Use magento. What our integration would provide is single signon and some importing of products from magento to concrete5
Pecked out on an iPhone
Pecked out on an iPhone
I recall you mentioned on a forum post somewhere that advertising c5 has been done fairly sparingly, but a new thread to get some ideas to promote c5 as a whole on a low budget would be a good idea.
I'm sure you would has some indicitive figures on how much money you make on average for each new c5 user/member. Eg $0.50 per website. Then we can work out what types of promotion will work on that budget. Eg ppc, banner ads, etc.
What do you think?
(Pecked out on a mobile device...)
You start by asking: can concrete5 compete with other CMSs? Then you list a number of things one might do with a CMS and you ask whether concrete5 is capable of doing them whether in the core or with add-ons. Then you ask how much it might cost to do that. Finally, you ask why it might not be possible to some of those things with concrete5.
That first part is all well and good. You offer some good points and questions. But then you tell us you've developed some code that would be useful for others. Did you release for free or otherwise, though? No, you didn't and then you explain why: 1) you didn't want to charge for an add-on that works with a open source CMS, and 2) you didn't want to have to support it (alone).
Am I only the only person who thinks this argument is completely nonsensical? First, if you don't want to sell an add-on, then give it away! That's what you're telling everyone else here we should do. Second, you say you're not willing to support something you write, but you don't explain why. I can only assume that the reason is you don't think it's worth your time (i.e. your money) to do so. Fine, then at least give the code away so other people can use it, extend it, and support it. Again, isn't that exactly what you're asking others to do?
If every developer that used concrete5 used the same logic you apparently do, then that would explain why you couldn't do anything of the things you listed above with concrete5. Fortunately, there are some people who believe otherwise. That's why there is a google maps plotting add-on, several forum add-ons, S3 integration, the very powerul and easy to use CMS we have in concrete5, and many other features.
concrete5 will succeed if more people like you, Michelle, start putting your money where your mouth is. Good talking points and questions might make you sound like you know what you're talking about, but they don't offer solutions.
> want Andy to review each one at least quickly. That means it doesn't happen as quickly as we'd like
> and that [peaves] developers off. I don't blame them. This is life.
Since you brought it up (and perhaps I should start a new thread but), would it not make sense to have a "fast track" option for established reputable developers? I mean, once a developer has a few items in the marketplace and a good track record regarding support etc., why not allow them to make their new add-ons available immediately?
I completely understand the desire to vette all submissions in order to ensure a favorable user experience, but an established developer with a good reputation has as much, of not more, interest in keeping customers satisfied.
I can certainly imagine some devs actually opting for the review process for certain add-ons (especially more complex ones) because they value the extra scrutiny; but it'd be nice if there was a way to bypass it for reputable devs. Of course, you'd have to define "reputable." Or, judging from your latest reply, maybe there's more the the review process than simply determining that the thing works and is stable?
Funneling all approvals through one guy (and your lead dev at that!) just seems incredibly inefficient for everyone involved. Isn't there ANY way to streamline the process and eliminate (or at least reduce) the bottleneck (and thus approval time)?
EDIT: Haa! I had to put "peaves" in the quoted text in place of what you originally said because your system said my message contained inappropriate content! Your own CMS thinks you're being too vulgar! *snicker*
You would have that option. I'm just saying that there are many devs who have their own quality assurance measures in place and really don't NEED the prb process. And if a problem does slip through, as long as they are responsive, it shouldn't be an issue.
I suspect that Andrew evaluates submissions not so much as a QA measure but to ensure there's no conflict with planned improvements to the core (like the sub-group scenario).
If you're a hobby web designer, have lots of time to kill, or not charging professional fees, or whatever - go ahead and screw around with all the rest of the "free" stuff. If, however, you're actually running a serious business and want supported features that have been quality tested and are interested in providing professional products to your clients, Concrete5 makes a whole lot more business sense. I'd say the same thing about Expression Engine as well, lots of developers seem to like that one - I don't, tried it once. EE is also not free, not even for the core stuff.
In short, C5 is a bargain. An ecommerce addon for $125 is dirt cheap when you consider you can mark that up at least 400%, probably more (charging at least $500 extra to add ecommerce to a website is insanely cheap). Then factor in the deployment costs (i.e. your time) and it's a no brainer.
I've got to wonder how much you actually think your time is worth. Many developers are charging $30 - $75+ an hour for any kind of work, imagine how long it would take just to have them make a basic jquery slideshow... even if it only took them 2-3 hours, you'd have saved a ton of money.
Now I get the difference between your time and actually spending money, but you have to draw the line somewhere. Like hbartlett was saying - try doing this in Drupal! just to get drupal's functionality to match concrete5's core, would take hours (and that's only if you knew which modules worked correctly together). Good luck... And good luck getting support, even from paid modules (been there - done that)
In the end, I do see the advantage to having tons of free addons, but I'm hard-pressed to find any big gaps for addons in the marketplace. Break down and spend $15, account for the extra $50 in the budget on a few of them. It's the cost of doing business.
Yet when browsing the add-ons I am often wondering why some developer wants money for some "silly" add-on. I have the feeling that the current mechanism invites developers more easily to try to make a bit of money rather than to contribute freely.
( And before somebody says "then why don't you contribute": my knowledge of php is way too limited to contribute here, but I gave away lots of code for free in other projects.)
So while there might be "silly" add-ons in the MP for sale, the fact that someone thinks them "silly" means that they probably won't buy it. Demand determines price, this is usually the case in any marketplace.
Most of these "silly" add-ons can be easily created by a web developer with a little PHP experience. A lot of the time the charge is for the convenience of not having to develop it yourself (which is why you may markup the add-on price when quoting your client).
If you think it's not worth the price, go ahead and create that functionality yourself and then see if it would have saved you some Time of Staff costs.
The long of the short of it is: this is how the project is financed today. Somehow, money is going to be made. We deeply believe in open source, but I don't believe that equates to bankruptcy. Just ask Redhat, MySQL, Magento, Acquia, Automattic... etc.
There's a lot of revenue models available to open source software companies. The marketplace is what we're focusing on today. Things change, yadda yadda - but today the marketplace is working great, and totally finances the quality of the CMS and support you get here.
I'm always open to more opinions and perspectives we have, but "Gee - I think everything should be free" isn't really going to cut it. I mean, I think that too, but it turns out I keep getting these pieces of paper in the mail saying I owe money to these "credit card" things.. That's an outrage! ;)
There's no point in growing something if it's not sustainable. Having no revenue model is not sustainable. I'm perfectly willing to have intelligent discussions about the pros and cons of the various options out there, but there's gotta be a revenue model option we're talking about or its not really a useful discussion.
So there it is. Again, thanks for sharing your feelings on the matter, I know its not fun to speak up and have your head bitten off. I think if you're sensing any outrage from folks here its because this topic has been covered plenty of times before, and no one ever offers any meaningful options but instead "i dunno, thats not my problem - i just want everything for free."
I was first introduced to conrete5 a couple years ago. It was my first experience using a CMS and it's been awesome to use if my clients need basic CMS functionality. But most of my clients have complex needs and now that I've tried Drupal I am more familiar with what concrete5 is lacking. I am giving feedback because I care about the direction of concrete5. I think it has a lot of potential and I wonder if charging for add-ons could be hindering it's progress. Maybe I'm wrong! But personally, whichever CMS I choose, I want to share my code and experience for free, and I want that to be the consensus.
By the way, Frz, thanks for referring me to MailChimp, love it. I wrote some code to interface with their API so my users could write newlsetters from our website and not have to log into MailChimp. I love MailChimp's UI, but it can be a little overwhelming to non-techies. Plus they don't offer user levels so once you give a user a key to log in they have access to everything which could be disasterous. Hopefully that will change some day; I'm sure I wrote them feedback about that, too! Honestly, I've wanted to share my code, but it's not a block or add-on and I've never written one before. If anyone is interested I could try to convert it to an add-on. It's worked well for us. Some features include: assigning campaigns to different users or groups, dd menu with allowed campaigns, share letters between users so multiple persons can update, save drafts, schedule sending, view statistics of mail sent, view popup of draft, send test mails, newsletter composition via TinyMCE editor, auto create plain text version from html, etc. Basically, it's lot of the functionality available if you logged into MailChimp. I'm not sure what the current MailChimp add-on offers, maybe it does the same. But if anyone is interested, please let me know.
To conclude, even if no one agrees with my opinion and this conversation only leads to resolving issues with getting add-ons approved faster, it's all good! :)
For me it comes down to this: I want to give my clients the best editing experience, and I think that Concrete5 does that. When I'm estimating a project I determine if I'll need any paid blocks and build that into the cost.
To my knowledge, if you know what you're doing then Concrete5 can be an enterprise-level system on a par with Drupal, Joomla, etc. Of course everyone drinks their own Kool-Aid, and man is it delicious!
Many of the paid add-ons and themes available for the different CMSs took many hours to develop. Even if you can download an add-on for free someone has paid for it with their time. If the developer is a professional developer like I am, that means it cost me money to build it. Even if I originally built the add-on for someone else and the cost was covered by that project, then someone has paid for it. It doesn't exactly seem fair to me that someone should have to pay for something so other people can get it for free. Now, if someone wants to develop something and give it away, that's their right and, frankly, more power to them.
Initial development is only one part of the price of something, though. All of the developers of paid add-ons in the concrete5 marketplace are required to provide support. That's something that can't be said for plugins for other CMS. I can tell you that I spend a lot of time supporting the add-ons I write, even the free ones. That time costs money and I wouldn't do nearly so much of it if I wasn't getting some return on my time.
Finally, a lot of people using concrete5 are developing sites to make money or for other self-enriching purposes. They may be developers building sites for others, they may be people selling things in an online store, or they may just be people marketing their ideas. Why should these people expect to get everything for free when their goal is to profit themselves (monetarily or otherwise)?
Free and open software is good thing, but the expectation that everything must be free and open is either an ignorant or an insane expectation.
No right thinking person would begrudge spending a few dollars on something they know works and has saved them hours of development, or delivered something they couldn't build, especially when they've marked it up up significantly in their quote to their client. Agreed? Hopefully?
I think the issue is that there's no try before you buy. You can't come to the above conclusion on an add-ons merit, usefulness, time saving, markup opportunity without spending the money upfront, which I feel generates much of the resistance.
Nothing is free, everything costs, it's how transparent the model is. C5 is very transparent, but the upfront nature of the licensing grates on some people, if they could crack a "try before you buy" system, whilst still protecting developer revenues all of this would go away. People wouldn't buy things that they didn't need, just the add-ons that really had utility/savings/revenue earning potential.
Tough to do, so I'm glad its not my problem, but I do think its the crux of this debate.
add-ons and themes. Anything more than that is going to seriously
jeopardize your IP, or force us to create licensing stuff no one
CEO - concrete5.org
I realize a "try before you buy" option might be a challenge to implement but I agree it would certainly put an end to most of these discussions.
So hypothetically assuming it's just not possible, and if screenshots and demos aren't enough, I think the next best solution is that addon providers create "lite" versions of their addons with limited functionality. I've done this with my image gallery -- there's a free version and then a paid version which functions pretty much the same but has additional features.
I think if all addon developers took this approach it would also address the original poster's argument about things being free -- in this situation, the people who can't or don't want to pay for things will have access to the limited functionality of the "lite" versions (which will let them do what they want, but maybe a bit less efficiently or with fewer options), whereas people with a budget will gladly pay for the full-featured version.
Bingo, everyone's happy! (Except the developer who has to put in extra time to make this happen) :-/
I'll have to see if I can find that thread...What was it called? lol
I would agree (with the non-developers)that anything is possible (within the laws of physics). Just depends how much you are prepared to pay and how long you are prepared to wait.
You wouldn't expect a gardener to landscape your garden for the praise alone, would you? Hell. Flowers grow for free. He should landscape the whole neighbourhoods' gardens and be thankful for it.
(please post replies to that thread so this one doesn't get bogged down in the same discussion)
However, the one thing that to me does hinder C5 a bit is the fact that compared to the others there are no where near the amount of plugins or options. Generally with the others for each type of plugin there are several free and several paid all varying in quality and support. Granted they have been around for a bit longer. There needs to be a way to get more plugins at all price levels.
I would like to chip in with my thoughts. , just so you know, I been in this industry for over 20 years, during that time I have set-up three successful businesses which has given me an opportunity to see what works and learn a lot about marketing to customers, and sure, I have made a lot of mistakes along that journey too.
Firstly, a lot of talented web designers and developers work really hard every day, care about customer service but dont earn nearly enough money for there efforts. It's easy to say yes to a small project and then find yourself spending a week or more on development. This is crazy. We have to give customers what they want but we also have to educate them. I guess because it's perceived so much is free on the net, the true cost of what they need is devalued.
Without writing an essay, I would say this. Add-ons that we might create as part of a solution that take say a few hours, could be
offered foc. Otherwise the next guy will say, I need this for seveal concrete projects so makes sense to do it myself.
But add-ons that solve real business problems have real value. In find with many concrete add-ons they don't go quite far enough. So a customer who wants say an events with calendar is probably selling events. If you spoke to 10 businesses you would find quite quickly that there is a need to specify how many people can attend in admin, they want to allow online booking and payment etc, etc. Look at the alternatives, what they cost, what they offer and ask yourself "what problem does this solve for a customer" each booking might make £200 profit so if it's an option seamlessly integrated to concrete and just as easy to use, it's value would be easy to justify at 195USD.
Sometimes I think web developers get an order, develop a add-on, include what is needed for current situation and thus sell it quite cheap. What i am saying is by looking as a Market sector, doing research and then developing a powerful, rich functional solution, you immediately give me the ability to say "this would be a great solution for small business within these sectors" and i will work hard to sell it. Good solutions that beat the alternatives give me a great route to make profit by solving customer problems and because it's good and I want to sell, the add-on actually makes more money for the developer too.
In summing up, if you produce real world add-ons where there is Market demand and leverage the easy visual editing capability of c5 which smaller customers really like, you will be able to charge more as well as sell more.
This type of software can never be free and whilst some may argue you can make money on support, there are plenty of people will download free and not pay for support
10 hours of development time with our company will set you back $US1050.
We are a super-busy unit right now and guess what, our clients don't have a problem paying the bill as the work they receive allows them to achieve some sort of goal (more sales, efficiencies) // so what they pay us equates to only a fraction of the money they make out of work.
So when a client gets a bill from us for $US1050 (for our 10 hours of time) plus a few add-ons, lets say ecommerce, blog and something else random, $US200 for the add-ons seems like a drop in the bucket amount.
I'm all for the marketplace, and glad I'm not paying a per month license fee per site like some other systems.
PS: I've never seen an end-user get excited about using drupal. ewww.
You can always pay a PHP developer to realise any features you may need
On Feb 19, 2011, at 4:18 PM, myregistration wrote:
> whichever CMS I choose, I want to share my code and experience for free, and I want that to be the
That's very generous of you. For a perspective from the opposite end of the spectrum, see this thread...
On Feb 19, 2011, at 4:24 PM, myregistration wrote:
> I had hoped you would integrate a ecommerce solution. Why re-invent that wheel and a solution like
> Magento is full-featured.
On Feb 19, 2011, at 4:39 PM, myregistration wrote:
> I recently built an ecommerce site that imported 20,000 products, updates the items and stock via
> cron job automatically, sends an order to drop shippers when an order is completed via triggers and
> actions, has a stock threshold and notification, synchs newsletter subscribers, and has admin
> interfaces for orders, products, reports, etc.
So you're saying Magento didn't suit your client's needs? Or is what you did on top of what Magento provided?
> But I thought your team said Magento was too difficult to integrate so you decided to build your
If you're referring to this discussion thread, I certainly didn't see that. Being unable to justify devoting resources to a project is very different from saying the task is too difficult.
I don't mean to come across as antagonistic or defensive; I just thought you might have missed or misunderstood some points.
So is magento right for small business, when solutions like bigcommerce can be rolled out quickly, are hosted and pci compliant, include support and are available for a small monthly fee. And inter spire shop is for those who want to pay and self host.
Interestingly magento will launch magentoGo this month which is a hosted solution for a monthly fee.
My view, by all means integrate with magento, its a very successful product, but create that integration through api,s that are then available and will encourage developers to integrate with other popular carts too.
Just to be clear, concrete5 may be easy to roll with for small sites, but it does a great job with larger ones as well. Certainly at the very top of the market we're not going to compete with TeamSite and a company with hundreds of content developers that really needs workflow more than anything. That being said an awful lot of companies spending 5 and 6 figures on an ecommerce site with magento could really use better CMS than the hole magento gives you (last time I checked). I don't see anything about that market that concrete5 can't serve well, we're building sites for those types of clients all the time.
I've never used Magento so I don't have any experience with it's pros and cons, but while researching CMSs I decided not to use Magento because it seemed more like an ecommmerce solution, not a CMS.
Concrete5 most definitely will prove ideal for many larger sites too. But some larger customers will have lots of content editors. They may post news, articles and bits of information relevant to the part of the site they work on. Sometimes you need a system that allows the posting of content article without the user wanting to create a page first, just choose the category the article belongs in. Then web pages are built on the fly based on the data to be displayed.
I think because I so love the front-end visual editing, layout,
blocks etc of c5 that empower users with no web experience to finally be able to edit and customise their website with ease, that this is such a massive selling point and key advantage of c5, I sometimes forget that it's also highly relevant to large, multi-editor sites. That said, It would be great to have a article add-on that allows you to write the article and choose it's news, pr, blog, etc without choosing a page layout. Also for large sites, setting a publish and/or unpublished date for a page would be very beneficial (so a press release is published exactly on time when that editor is away)
Honestly, concrete5 is a really impressive cms, in fact the best cms I have used in the last 10 years for giving customers great control without the usual complexity. The developers should congratulate themselves.
actually, check out advanced permissions. It has timed releases along with a buncha other stuff you'll like.
In terms of centralized content creation - yeah we get that sometimes it makes sense to do that from the dashboard even though in-context editing is neeto. There's something we're working on called Composer that will fix that.
Pecked out on an iPhone
I didn't have time to read all the huge replies from FRZ since im too lazy lolll..
but in brief,
Here is my story:
I'm co-owner of successful web agency for 15 years in Canada. To tell you the true, I've tried alot of CMS for years in many projects, small medium or huge and for the FIRST time in many years, the best thing that even happen was concrete5.
In a same day, I can build multiple add-ons easy, quick custom for a client. It's very easy for my developers and they like it alot.
For most of the small and medium projects it's perfect. If i'm in need of building a custom interface online tool for a multinational company for example, I wouldn't use concrete5 and neither Drupal. We would probably do it custom on a zend framework for example but most of the time it's small to medium projects and I would say that concrete5 is by far the winner in all aspects. 75% of my clients projects are builded on concrete5 since 2009.
Open source and free stuff is nice but like Frz, you need to justify updates and support and the price tag is cheap.
I haven't received ANY complaints so far from my clients, they are all impress with the CMS and so existed about it. What can I ask more ???
But again, if you love drupal, just keep using it hehe ;-) your pain, not mine oh oh oh
PS: Sorry for my bad english, i'm a frenchy :-P
> multinational company for example, I wouldn't use concrete5...
if these add ons are putting a burden on the budget of a project, then you're doing something very wrong. either find decent projects or find an other job.
off topic: I'd really like to emphasise the need for good documentation/ API. .I know it's a hell of a job to maintain but:
1) it reduces the traffic on the forum ( and scattered info)
2) in the long term gives c5 team more time to program on the core
3) saves developers loads of time figuring stuff out (you could buy 100's of plugins from that)
set up a wiki page with a structure that outlines the whole c5 package and let developers also plug in code snippets because it's probably undoable to do that on your own.
Basicly the same thing that's happening now on the forum but having the c5 structure as a guide line.
the c5 user experience is fantastic, the developer experience could be improved.
i'm relatively new to c5 so I'm struggling from time to time, but given the potential i will not quit.
however many other newbies might think otherwise, which is a shame, because in the end the problems you run into are not that hard. very often it's the long search for something simple that annoys developers most.
so lets stop about add ons. it's a complete non issue.
So what. A digital cerebral cortical interface can't be that far off. Soon we'll be able to download the contents of Andrew's brain.
Of course, there's no reason anyone else can't start such a thing. But everyone is busy, so ... it's really going to be a matter of a few community members coming together and getting the ball rolling. Maarten, are you interested in working on something like this? I would be willing to pitch in for sure (just don't have time to do the whole thing myself).
Besides, I'm still a newbie in c5 and php.
I can see some parallels with the companyhttp://www.servoy.com which I co founded.
We started in 2001. We were pretty much occupied with pushing new features without time for docs. Developers went crazy and couldn't keep up with the updates.
Now we are finally at a stage that docs are more less in sync with releases. Although it's an enormous amount of work, it pays off, reducing workload on the programmers and consultants.
here's an example:
I'm particularly pleased with a treeview as a structure for adding documentation.
As a starting point we could start with filling the tree with refrences to posts on this forum.(easy win)
How the tree structure would be set up? No idea, my knowledge level of c5 is too low right now.
Maybe using the file structure of c5 as a tree. Create multiple trees depending on context? (install, inheritance, themes etc...) doc pages could ofcourse live in different trees.
confluence from atlassian is pretty good and easy to use. In fact, they offer their complete suite for free to open source developers.
Every body should be able to contribute/comment stuff. A few experienced c5 programmers should be moderators. You can set up roles for moderators etc.
Their project management system is also awesome with great bug tracking, versioning, Agile approaches etc.
Any other suggestions? (just brainstorming here...
(This one here is already long enough!)
I think the bulk of complaints about the paid marketplace comes from people who are not getting paid to build websites and hence don't have a budget to spend. This could be for any number of legitimate reasons -- a business trying to build a site for themselves, an IT person tasked with putting together an intranet, a younger person trying to get started with web development, etc.
Does this hurt C5's long-term growth potential? Yes, absolutely! I feel that a lot of open source contributors might be turned off by the general vibe of the marketplace. But maybe it's better not to grow as quickly and hugely as Drupal, Wordpress, etc. -- maybe it's better to keep Concrete5 somewhat limited to its niche, because it will serve that niche better? It's clearly working for a lot of people, and clearly turning other people off. Maybe there's nothing wrong with that though...
I've read this entire thread, and charging for addons makes complete sense. I do have a question though, which I haven't seen addressed here:
Say I pay for an addon, and I make some significant improvement for my client. Now I want to contribute back my improvement, for free. How can I do that? What if the module author doesn't agree with my improvement, or wants to charge extra now that the module is better?
Perhaps this is one important way in which charging for modules does hinder the development of C5.
For example, eCommerce is an addon (by the core team, but that is beside the point). There is a big section of addons for eCommerce, both free and paid. There are also themes that include templates for eCommerce blocks.
There are also secondary addons for blogging and events addons, especially themes with templates for their blocks.
You need to be careful about any original code from the first addon that may need to be in your addon, getting permission from the owner. For example, a template for a block in another addon may necessarily need to include some code from that addon.
I have found other addon developers welcome such addons and go out of their way to help.
I think the coming C5.6 core will be capable of such overrides, but that the facility may be deliberately hobbled because the logic of working out the priority of who is allowed to override who cannot be automated consistently.