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New price system for stacks

GilleGille Posts: 1,325Members
edited March 2012 in RapidWeaver (Archived)
Hi

I would like to start a discussion about a price system for stacks.

Not to be hard on developers -> I love what you guys do!
But the price range is getting out of hand. Some of you (I don't give names) are doing a great job
of releasing stacks under 5 dollar wich is great, but others are asking really too much.

Maybe realmac can introduce a price system where they can evaluate the stacks and give them a price tag. A really good example is Envato -> http://codecanyon.net/

Once again... It's not an attack to the developers. Just a discussion that a want to make.

Stacks would be beter with more options when you pay over 10 dollar (then you will know that realmac finds it an high value stack).



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Comments

  • Ed BrennerEd Brenner TexasPosts: 3,332Moderators
    There is a "structure" in place...

    If you don't like the price, don't buy the stack.

    The same "structure" applies to Themes and Plugins.

    It's simple and it works.
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  • GilleGille Posts: 1,325Members
    That is just a stupid answer Ed + I thought you had more respect, but I was clearly wrong.

    The fact that I open this discussion is because I bought many stacks already that are bad or with very limited options. If I buy something, I want to be sure that it's good.

    If you have nothing useful to "add" in this discussion, don't be a part of it.
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  • zeebezeebe Lino Lakes, MinnesotaPosts: 1,435Members
    I agree with Ed, don't buy it. Either that or take the time to learn how to do it, make your own stacks and see what you think of the current price structure the way it is then.
    Zeebe
    Yes, I work for Joe Workman, so please Check out Joe's Stacks
  • GilleGille Posts: 1,325Members
    "Don't like -> don't buy - attitude" is in my opinion not the right one.

    I don't have the time to learn it all so I buy Stacks. But 50% of the time i'm not happy with it. I want more value for my money and not "quick-stack".

    I said it already. I've a big respect for all developers, but if you look at envato, you can see a really good system that works.

    Good stacks have normal price, really good stacks cost more.

    Low budget stacks are really cheap.

    But now, you don't have a good insight of what's out there and if it's good or not.
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  • Leif OttossonLeif Ottosson SwedenPosts: 141Members
    I'm a supporter of a free market and I think the developers should have the right to set any price they want. That's how it works everywhere else in a free market economy. And I don't think Realmac Software have any interest at all in regulating the price structure for addons to RapidWeaver (I quite sure they will find Jimmy Hoffa before that happens...).

    It pretty much comes down to this: To expensive > Don't buy. Don't like the developer > Don't buy. Lousy support > Don't buy. A developer might fool you once, shame on him. If you buy from him again and he fools you twice, shame on you.

    I think we will se more and more stacks that are similar to each other in the future so there will be options to choose from, and the developers that creates the greatest stacks and gives extraordinary support at a fair price will be the ones that succeed. If you make crappy stacks and sell them at a too high price you will be out of business in no time. The users will spread the word.

    So, to all the stack developers (well, all addons developers), keep making jaw dropping stacks and I will keep buying from you. You all make me look so good! :-)

    // Leif
  • GilleGille Posts: 1,325Members
    Leif, thanks for the feedback. I agree. They fooled me twice sometimes :-) But yes, you are totally right. I really want some sort of a rating system then , so that i can see what other user think of a stack. Do you see my point?
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  • Leif OttossonLeif Ottosson SwedenPosts: 141Members
    I can agree that a rating system based on users ratings and comments would be both useful and fun. I would like that. But, someone have to build that system and maintain it. These days we are all looking at App Store and MAS and think these solutions are great; you can buy everything at one place and you can see ratings and comments from other users. It's not a small thing to build a system like that so I don't think we will see anything like that i the near future.

    // Leif
  • Jive DigJive Dig New JerseyPosts: 633Members
    I think the rating system might be worth considering.

    The reality is that a stack not doing 'exactly' what you want is really your own issue. Stacks are all packages of code that are freely available to all. It's not like a car part that you MUST buy from someone that manufactures that part. Usually the code or script is free to download for all. PrettyPhoto is a perfect example.

    You can't expect stacks to do everything you want, when you want it. That's not RW or Stacks intention. It certainly makes things faster and easier, but the reality is that 'custom' work is still just that, custom.

    You will continue to be dissatisfied with your expectations of RW/Stacks. By far your best answer is to continue to learn some HTML/CSS then step up to a bit of JS/jQuery. Most of what you'd be doing is copy and paste of code anyway. Just change some of the parameters to suit your need.

    Setting rules on how to charge is crazy to me. I don't want that, nor do I want some outside person or government telling me how much I have to charge a client to build a website. That is my decision as the web designer to make. Just as stacks cost is the choice of the dev.

    I do, however, agree that more choices are better. I don't think a stack dev should be discouraged to make a stack because another dev has a similar one. Great examples are Joe Workman's Sweet Button and Doobox's Power Button. I have both. Similar but I use both for different style/function purposes. Another example is Joe's and Weaveraddons CSV type stacks. It's necessary and important for the community to have this sort of stuff happen. How much better did iOS/iPhone get when Android stepped up?
    http://jivedigdesign.com | http://thestiz.com | http://www.superstuffpartyrental.com | http://jivetheuniversal.bandcamp.com

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  • GilleGille Posts: 1,325Members
    edited March 2012
    Leif, you are right about the comparison with app store, but ... there are million users in app store :-) For RW it would be a fraction of that. So building a small section with stacks & user comments (and rating) would be not very hard to do.

    I don't want to be the black sheep here, I'm just saying I want more control (knowledge) of the stacks that I buy and the best way is user comments or user reviews.

    And than indeed -> If I don't like it, I want buy it like Ed said.
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  • GilleGille Posts: 1,325Members
    edited March 2012
    I can write CSS/HTML/CCS3/JQUERY/PHP enz, that's not the problem. I don't have the time to code my "effects" on my websites. Therefore I buy Stacks.

    I like stacks very much because of the easyness of it. It's not that I have so high expectations of every stack. But sometimes I get a feeling of "hhmzz... if it had more options it would be so much better, so i've paid 12 dollar for it and It feels like a rushed stack".

    It's hard to describe but i'm the only one with such a feeling apperently :)
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  • Leif OttossonLeif Ottosson SwedenPosts: 141Members
    I think there might be one "feature" that could make this "pricing structure" discussion irrelevant. DEMO VERSIONS. I wish that more developers would make demo versions of their products. Not only stacks but also themes and other plugins.

    So, come on developers - If you know your products rock you can offer a demo version without any risk. If you hesitating about the quality of your product, make it better and then release a demo version.

    // Leif
  • GilleGille Posts: 1,325Members
    That would be super, indeed!
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  • Ed BrennerEd Brenner TexasPosts: 3,332Moderators
    @ Gille
    Sorry I disappointed you with my response. I have the experience of being a part of this community for close to 6 years now. This isn't the first time a topic of this nature has been posted, whether it be the price of Plugins, Themes and now Stacks. The end always results in my original post.

    CodeCanyon. I bet Theme and Stack devs would love that setup. Charge you repeatedly for use of their work on multiple projects hurray for the License Code.

    RMS. What say do they have in an 'option' to set a price? Then they would also need to dictate Plugin pricing and Theme pricing.

    Some of the other options that have been posted, have been suggested in the other discussions as well. Some sort of site where you could 'approve' or 'disapprove' of the item. But how 'true' is that end up being? Not very IMHO. And then there is the 'time' factor, who's gonna do it, and Devs use their time to 'create' new stuff, not another site they have to update, or provide information for. It's all been tried, more than once - at least in my 6 years.

    I won't go into what it takes to build, test and support any 3rd party addons. But I'm sure that figures into pricing as well.

    The problem is this, and it's not the price. Its that 'end users' don't do any research. They don't ask any clear questions. They buy 'impulsively'. And then, they are a times left 'wanting'.

    People use the 'forums' for their 'final answer' based on a few responses about a single stack. They don't want to take the time to ask the Dev any questions.

    So it comes back to the same end result, speak with your wallet.
    If you think its to expensive, don't buy it. If it doesn't have the options you want, don't buy it.

    They are optional and not required for RapidWeaver to work 'out of the box'.
    myRapidWeaver
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  • GilleGille Posts: 1,325Members
    Ed, is it so difficult to have a rating system?

    Dev's are leading RW now and I got the feeling that it's a taboo for even "having a discussion" about them. That is not good.

    Stacks are made FOR Rapidweaver and they are cashing much money. It's ok, that business, but users (buyers) have also the right to comment or rate the stack.

    If we have this, then everything would be in balance again -> better stacks -> good ratings -> more money for the dev's.

    Bad stacks won't survive this and that's a good thing.

    Rating is never bulletproof, I know, but an app like RW with so much stacks deserves a rating system. So we can look, read, discuss, buy & rate them.

    Just my 2c.
    Stackscenter - Quality Stacks Central
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  • Ed BrennerEd Brenner TexasPosts: 3,332Moderators
    And as I stated, it's been tried before. Keeping up with the 'volume' of items available is just one obstacle.
    Maintaining a site to do that is another. If you feel we need a site like that, then build it. Maintain it. Run it.
    Don't get 'offended' if Dev's don't have the time to provide you with their information, or want to actively participate by 'updating' the site. They have their own sites to maintain. Their own work to do. And their own support to provide. Many, don't even do this 'full time'. They have other jobs.

    That was the issue in the past. The folks who wanted something like this just wanted to build the 'framework' for it, and they expected the Dev's to keep up with the information.

    But if you're up for a task like that, by all means plow forward with it.
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  • GilleGille Posts: 1,325Members
    I might just do that.

    If I buy a stack, I have the right to review it. Good or bad.
    Stackscenter - Quality Stacks Central
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  • Ed BrennerEd Brenner TexasPosts: 3,332Moderators
    You do, or you could just as easily do that right here in the RW Forum under Stacks Chat. As long as the post is 'civil' and stays that way then everyone could add their 2¢.
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  • GilleGille Posts: 1,325Members
    Ed, Trust me, I tried to have a normal conversation (or discussion) but I ALWAYS come to one point -> Dev's don't like discussing their products and than is the discussion over.

    It's not very professional like this.

    But like I said... I like stacks and there are very good dev's out there... but a rating system is a logical next step for an app with so many plugins & stacks.

    If there isn't anyone that want to built this, I will give it a try.

    I am civil so it won't be unprofessional :)
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  • ColorwaveColorwave A rock in the middle of the Pacific OceanPosts: 1,487Members, Moderators
    Didn't Vasilly already try to create a user review site for RW add ons? I don't know why it didn't catch on, but know that there were very few that contributed to it.
  • GilleGille Posts: 1,325Members
    Ron, there was a big discussion about it, because none of the dev's supported it.

    I know there where others indeed. They all failed.
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  • Ed BrennerEd Brenner TexasPosts: 3,332Moderators
    They 'fail' because they required Dev support. Dev's have enough to do.
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  • GilleGille Posts: 1,325Members
    edited March 2012
    Support? I don't think so. Just setup the Stack (image info and version) -> Review it (personal) -> users can comment and give a user rating.

    Why do I need Dev support? They deliver , we review & rate.

    Plain simple

    Stackscenter - Quality Stacks Central
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  • Ed BrennerEd Brenner TexasPosts: 3,332Moderators
    But their sites weren't like that. They required the Dev's to keep it current with their products.
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  • GilleGille Posts: 1,325Members
    edited March 2012
    Well, that's what i'm trying to say all this time. A very simpel rating website for current stacks. If there is a new version, we can give a new rating (better or worse). If the community can support this, it would work. But indeed, Ed, alone is not an option.
    Stackscenter - Quality Stacks Central
    http://www.stackscenter.com
  • millcamillca Kent, WAPosts: 71Members
    I wouldn't waste your time trying to build another ratings framework. There are good reasons the others have failed which Ed has pointed out.

    Better yet, if you have an idea on how to improve a stack or expand its capabilities, by all means, email the developer about it. Developers like Joe Workman and several others often do take suggestions and quickly send out an update to their stacks.

    Like you, I've been burned by my impulse buying nature for all things RW. I'm starting to wisen up now and only buy from developers who I trust and who have a proven track record (and yes, I've even stopped buying from some developers whose prices are too high (in my opinion) or whose exchange rates make them too high). Often, I will wait for a site-wide sale to be announced, then I will snag those stacks I've had my eye on. Signing up for each developer's newsletters is key to getting notices for upcoming sales. A lot of developers do offer their stacks at a discount right as they are released. Knowing my "bargain" buying propensity, I've had to start using much more self-control when I receive these emails. I much prefer the site-wide discounts that don't end in a day or two so I have plenty of time to research things and make wiser choices.

    I can understand your frustration and trust me I've often had the thought of trying to build some way to track them all too. Mostly because of the sheer volume of stacks, themes and plugins. It is so hard to remember what each of them does, who developed them, etc. Stacks 2 has helped a great deal with organizing my gigantic volume of stacks.

    Like Ed said, I've also seen that other's efforts fell way short of truly being useful for both users and developers. Your best bet is to start tracking them in your own database. If you get burned by a developer once or suckered into buying a stack that wasn't thoroughly explained in the email or forum post, then with a quick look at your db you'll know not to buy so quickly next time. You'll quickly learn to ask questions first. Or just wait a few weeks and follow the stack's forum post to see what other users think.
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  • kpryce2kpryce2 Posts: 236Members
    Gille,

    To jump in on your discussion. There is actually a sort of "pricing system" for stacks that can be weighed by the lines of code. For example, look at the code associated with a simple $5 stack ( by using show package contents) and do the same for a $15 stack and it is almost self evident. Stacks like Armadillo for example, took almost a year to code (and its testing with the many hosts must have been a huge task). So I think developers are pretty much self regulating on Price.

    To contribute to other points raised:

    Firstly a points system rating stacks can be very unfair and you'll see why if you look at the Apps Store Stars. Some idiots give an app a 1 Star, simply because they just don't use the product properly, and a App with a 1 Star early on can clearly damage the sales of, what is often a great product.

    Secondly, most developers provide excellent Demo Pages that really do give you a feel for what you are buying.

    Thirdly - Yes some developers are reticent about discussing their products on the Forums, and some strongly defend their products against valid criticism. But to be fair, the criticisms are often inane and sometimes pretty insulting. My view is to look at the Demos sites first and then go privately to the developer first, if its a technical functionality question - they'll nearly always give you a honest reply. I've been persuaded to buy more rather than less this way. Once in awhile, I buy a bummer and then its a matter of "Caveat Emptor" - I haven't done my homework.

    Finally, look at the Browsers that a developer claims to have tested it in - if none are mentioned look at the Demo Pages in other browsers yourself and you'll get the answers you need.

    Finally - there are rarely bad products but they can vary from mediocre, to good and then excellent - but you have to have used a lot of stacks to be able to discern this grading.

    Regards

    Ken
  • Brian MicklethwaiteBrian Micklethwaite Worcestershire, EnglandPosts: 169Members
    The simple answer to me is that some developers, as has been said earlier, provide 'demo' versions. Yes, I have a lot of stacks and, yes, I have had my fingers burnt from some devs, so to me the test of a good developer is whether they provide a demo version that we can try before we buy.

    Also, devs, please don'y hype up your products in your announcements with lots of superlatives and exclamation marks - just tell us what it does, provide us with a demo version and WE'LL supply the superlatives and exclamation marks if we feel they're warranted.

    Brian
    AKA TheSpeakingSnail

    Computing since 1966 - and it just gets better!
  • Upside Down WebUpside Down Web Temora AustraliaPosts: 40Members
    A stack is roughly $5 to $15 - that 5 to 10 min work - you cant write that test that in that time for hand coding - get over it - saves you time , effort and money in the end
    go with 1 less coffee for that day - look at the big picture - can you code it - no or you would not be here complaining about the price

    Get over it guys - its the price to do a job that you not paying a web developer to do when you want to do you own free site
    MrG
    MrG

    Nothing Wrong with being Upside Down
  • Ed BrennerEd Brenner TexasPosts: 3,332Moderators
    I don't see a need for a 'Demo' version to be made available.

    State what it does, show me a 'test' page and the features. I'll ask any questions before I buy.
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  • RicinportRicinport Posts: 462Members
    Hi Gille

    I'm with you on this one.

    You're getting some flak here from the seasoned professionals yet RapidWeaver is supposedly equally aimed at beginners: 'RapidWeaver makes it ridiculously easy to create stunning websites.....' - a quote from the App Store.

    I, as a relative beginner, find the sheer quantity of Stacks now available quite daunting, and I've been stung a few times. I also initially had no idea that I wouldn't be able to add multiple stacks on some pages because of conflicts. (Sounds obvious now, but why should it be obvious to a beginner).

    I think the Dev's are trying to protect themselves somewhat (which is understandable), but I can't see why a little starter advice or rating help would be a problem.
    Certainly the pricing is all over the place. The actual Stacks 2 system including all the default Stacks is 29.95 (Fantastic Value), yet some Dev's think they've got individual Stacks worth nearly as much.

    I'd like to see a sort of 'Dummies guide to Stacks', and the highlighting of a few top fives:
    Top 5 for new Weavers, top 5 paid, top 5 free, top 5 image...etc. etc..
    It would of saved me a lot of time.


    While I'm here F.W:I:W here's my top 5 essential third party Stacks.
    1) FreeStacks (BlueBall)
    2) HoverBox (stacks4stacks)
    3) ImageCaption (stacks4stacks)
    4) Spacer (stacks4stacks)
    5) ColorfulClock (my-stacks)


    Incidentally I've found the 'WeaverDetect' browser pug in useful lately. It's very efficient at showing what stacks have been used on a RW page.

    If you want to have a go at starting something (as Ed suggested) I'll give you a hand.
    I'm pretty sure the Dev's will suddenly take a lot of interest if there's a basic site highlighting the best/worst, winners/losers etc. (Next thing you know they'll be paying us to advertise ;-) ).

    Ric






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