About prices for the stuff we use in RW

I was just thinking ; are RW stuff (stacks mostly) prices what they should be ?

I know nothing about developing and make a living of that, but…

In that last month, we saw prices for the new Foundation (JW), the new Photo Stacks (Nick Cates)…

And beside that, you can purchase Bloc 3 for the same price, and even for less than half the price right now…

Is it what we should be paying for a 15 years old application compared to a two years old one ?

Or is there something a little bit illogical here ?..

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Which one is the 15 year old application?

It is still a market, correct? So you are able freely to decide if you want to purchase high-price (and most probably with this also high-quality) software or not.

RW has something like 15 years, no ? I didn’t check before writhing it but that is what I have in mind ; it’s been a really long time since I stared using it.

Well, I wonder… Bloc 3 is a really good software, I know it’s the new one, the last to get in the game… A little bit like Affinity softwares. I know that they are younger, not as complete as their older brothers, and that they have to be cheap to be discovered, and so on…
But still : buying a complete (good) software for the same price that one stack to use in RW made me wonder why…

Simple: Then don’t buy “that one stack to use in RW” but the other “complete (good) software”…

It’s less about what the price should be and more what the market will allow. The fact that RW is ~15 years in means that lots of users are entrenched and don’t want to learn a new piece of software (or make all their other purchases obsolete) and may pay a premium for that comfort. For the developer, maybe a higher price point means less users (and support tickets) but the same income.

Having said that, I’ve often thought that some sort of partnership with Stacks and RW (where Stacks became part of the base package) would’ve made lots of sense…

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Straight to the point :+1:

Very simple answers indeed…

So you’re right (and I guess that’s NOT what you do in everyday’s life) : never have a look at the price you pay for things ?

And yes ; this is what I have said, that it is better to by the cheapest one because, as it is cheaper, it is better…

It seems like you understand my words better than I do :wink:

Maybe we could have a real discussion here. I can understand that, as a RW developper, my question can annoy you but it is still a quite important one. There is a “market price” indeed and it has been more than 10 years that I have paid for it. I’m not sure about that, but it looks to me that stacks has been more and more expensive (in general !!!) thought the years.
I am a graphic designer, so I make my living with this kind of software, and paying for them has always appeared to be as normal. Nevertheless : RW has always been used by a lot of different people, and “not professionals” in particular. If I’m beginning to thinks that stacks are not affordable, what will it be for them ? And in that case, they could quit RW quite fast, no ?

jabostick ; I see your answer while I am (slowly) writing ; this is a point, in fact.

I do think that my RW’s knowledge is a fundamental point, but will it be the same in two years if things go on like this ?

Not sure, just asking…

Yes, I certainly feel the same way.

When I got started I would buy loads of stacks. The RealMac add ons and devs site was actually usable and the general community vibe was amazing. This was around the time of RW5. I remember some of the most expensive things were Nick Cates premuim themes (Boreal, Carbon… remember those?).

Now we can buy a photo gallery stack which costs about as much as Rapidweaver itself. I know its not the same market, but a physical game for my Nintendo Switch… lets say, Skyrim costs about £52. Less than some themes…

Maybe some folks are using those things to build ‘professional’ sites. I get that, but if you are really into making pro sites then a years unlimited license for Divi is only $89 all in, so again… how does that equate?

I’l take a stab at why this might be so, in different ways, and very possibly get kicked off this forum for it in the process…

One:
RW (and Stacks) pitches itself (generally) at the consumer market who don’t want to (can’t) write code. Yes, there are exceptions and I’m one of them. But generally are attracted to the idea of being able to get great results with very little effort and certainly not much complexity. It’s quite tough to make web things that are both polished but also don’t need much user input, it takes time and trouble which is increasingly being reflected in the product cost.

Two (bit more contentious, I’m sure):
Due to the target market being what it is, the knowledge level of many users is low, but the expectations remain high. Users don’t want to experiment, learn, troubleshoot or know how to implement customisations (CSS/JS or integrations) to get the results they expect. They raise support tickets… and boy… that support better be good! Doesn’t matter that the ‘support’ needed has little to do with the stack or theme and more to do with them trying to do something that a pro would realise was a terrible idea. Or publishing. Or image sizing. Or how to get their 900 links to show up in the sidebar. Or how to hide the banner on page 652 when there is no drop down to make that happen…so the support overhead becomes silly in order to try to honour the no-code-but-get-great-results-nonetheless model. The cost of the product surely has to cover all that time and effort. And updates. And feature requests. And repeat requests to download the thing three years later because their dog ate their backup. And can we get a discount on version 4 because I bought version 2, please? You get the idea…

There is maybe a third possible explanation:
The dev actually believes that their product is worth more than a copy of Divi. Or RW itself. Or Skyrim for Switch. I personally struggle with that most of all. Not that I think RW is valuable nowadays - let’s face it, its the price you pay to use Stacks for most people, but still.

The RW community is now experiencing the pricing it deserves but doesn’t understand.

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I agree with that.

This is, I guess, a real problem. But it is a problem for every software editor no ?

And I admit that the good vibes that I have (almost) always found on RW’s forum our exchanging with developers are one of the precious things with RW…

Rapidweaver must be for professionals only. I too find the pricing very expensive. Another issue with many products tied to Rapidweaver is they are poorly documented. I am not looking to argue with anybody. Each person needs to decide if any product is worth the price. I think this thread is overdue.

I will not pay $60 for an upgrade to 1 stack (and be told that that is a great deal that ends soon).

There is software I have used for years that I will no longer use because it is too expensive for the value it represents to me. Rapidweaver is becoming one of those. I belong to Mac BB also. I used to suggest Rapidweaver to new users. I quit doing that, not because RW isn’t a good product but because it is too expensive.

I just purchased Blocs for $30. I will use Rapidweaver for a very small part of my next website. The time has come for me to phase Rapidweaver out. I do one site…

I wish all the very best. There are many talented developers tied to Rapidweaver. I just can’t see the value in it for my needs. I like cheaper products that will also work for me. The cost of Rapidweaver Upgrades seem to be far surpassing the cost of the originals.

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well said

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In a capitalistic society pricing is not done contemplated the theory of:
My overhead is X amount, My labor is X amount and I need to earn X profit per unit.

It is instead based on what the market will bear. It makes no difference if a widget cost .10$ to produce or $10 if the seller can charge $100 and customers are willing to pay that is what will be charged.

It’s the same argument of increasing the minimum wage and the business owners are saying “We need to raise our prices” well if you are not charging what the market will bear then go right ahead. If on the other hand you are charging what the market will bear then good luck to you when your business goes under. It all comes down to value for your money.

If one person thinks it is too expensive then they vote with their wallet. If enough people do that a business either rethinks their pricing structure or goes out of business. Simple as that. Personally, I find great value in a lot of the stacks I buy. Some more than others but I do find that quality costs more. Hence spending the money on an Apple vs. an HP etc… Your milage may vary.

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Stacks – the plugin – and additional stacks enable website designers to create websites for sale to B2B and B2C customers. Many such stacks can be used on unlimited websites. The designer buys the stack once and can deploy it on as many sites as s/he builds. With each sale, the acquisition price of a stack is spread across all the sites the web designer sells. The stack developer can only sell the stack to you once. The developer makes money from you once and needs to support you for a duration. You buy the stack once and earn multiple profits for a duration.

Are stacks too expensive? Elementor is $200 a year. Yoast Pro is $90/site. The Mondula gallery is $29 /site/year (which seems more expensive than Nick’s gallery stack). In fact, lots of Wordpress plugins and tools are expensive. A business Squarespace site is $18 a month. Wix starts at about $13 a month.

If you’re only building a personal site and you’re not making money off it, don’t buy Nick’s Photos 2 stack. Don’t buy Joe’s Foundation 6, the Stacks plugin, stacks, or possibly Rapidweaver or Blocs. You may not have the business model to make it work for you. Your prices may be too low for the customized value you provide, or you might not have enough demand for the boutique services you deliver. If your customers don’t need truly custom, design-centric solutions, building Squarespace as a service is the best way to monetize your capabilities.

If you paid $100 for the first Foundation stacks and used them for say 2 years, how much money did they return to your business?

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I am an amateur / hobbyist who wants to design a few sites for personal use and has no desire to go pro. Ten years ago RW was the right product for me. It’s a bit sad to hear now that it isn’t anymore.

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Oh dear. Much to quarrel with here. I’m afraid to say that I agree in many ways with your sentiment but struggle to see the facts supporting the points as much as I would like. Let me try to explain, perhaps you can tell me if I’m missing something.

Stacks, the plugin which enables all this ‘boutique’ build stuff (I’ll circle back to that), costs less than some themes and stacks. Quite a bit less, in some cases. Take Nick Cates (not trying to single any one dev out here though) Aspen theme. Very nice I’m sure… but £79.99 for the theme where the Stacks plugin itself only costs 75% as much. How so? I would suggest that, as a previous poster cleverly points out, it’s being sold at what people are willing to pay.

Foundation, Foundry, Depth and all those things could not really exist the way they do without the Stacks framework to bind all these framework components together while providing the end user with a visual way to interpolate preferences and using Stacks to crank out the code. Shouldn’t Stacks cost more than a theme? More complex, more users, way wider support audience.

Wait… what about RW itself? The Stacks plugin itself is an integration against that (ahem) render engine/settings collector. Would not be much in the way of ‘boutique services’ going on without those… and given that every site uses them the ‘cost per wear’ for pro’s must be really low, right? So why does a theme, or a stack, cost more than the RW base product or even the plugin class dependency which it’s built in? How does the ‘cost per use’ argument stand up there?

I did choke a bit on the ‘customised value’ and ‘boutique services’. In my view thats (in the broad) piffle, here’s some reasons why that are drawn from observations across the RW community over a few years:

I think there are many more RW/Stacks user producing awful-mediocre sites than anything that could be described as ‘boutique’ or customised. Yes, there are exceptions. Yes, there are artisans/craftspeople in this space who have real skills, but in the broad, have you SEEN some of the sites that are linked to in the forums when ppl ask for help? Hmmmm. Your use of ‘customised’ may be valid but but not always in a good way. Your use of ‘boutique’, and what it infers by way of expectation doesn’t land for me.

Building on that, any of the people who are using RW/Stacks + top end stacks/frameworks/themes or whatever to produce high quality product would be doing so anyway. Their skills transcend the tools and whatever they are able to produce in Stacks they would soon be able to bring to Divi, or using HTML templates and VSC, for example.

Have you seen the junk html that RW and Stacks produces? I know it’s getting better, but how can we talk about ‘boutique’ when the end-product, having managed to click all the right tick boxes in the stack settings looks something like this:

If a client is boutique enough to want boutique at all don’t you think they might notice all that crap?

Customised value you provide’. ‘Truly custom’. Help me to understand that. My opinion is that being able to design and produce a ‘customised’ site or experience requires you to have the knowledge and confidence to scale from 1 through to 10 across the site surface, it’s look feel and behaviours and be able to craft just what’s right for the situation. I don’t think most RW/Stacks users can say that they do. I tend to think that RW/Stacks/Frameworks and top end stacks offer 3 through to 8 on that scale (maybe), by the time you take all the options offered by the GUI into account. To get 1 and 2 and 9 and 10 you have to really own what you are putting on that page.

No? Just do a search on this forum for the number of ‘Client wants …’ posts followed by recommendations of ‘have you tried…’, swiftly followed by “well, it does some of what I want but I can’t figure out how to get it to…”. Not my idea of boutique or ‘Truly custom’ …

I enthusiastically concede that there are super-users who can and DO use the materials we are debating to offer and produce some ‘truly custom’ sites and products. No doubt about it, but they would find a way to do that anyway, RW or otherwise.

As a thought experiment, imagine this. Lets say you as an ‘add-on’ dev come up with something superb that producers of client sites are going to really want. Lets call it (haha) a booking stack that actually does what clients need with a solid back-end database/calendar/appointments/billing integrations/invoices all that. Fair bit of setting up - but its solid. Given the RW community you are marketing to… would you sell it for $80 because you know that you’re going to be up to your elbows in “how do I”? ‘support’ requests by lunchtime. Or do you think… I’m selling to pro’s, they know how to wire up this stuff (on their boutique, truly custom sites) $30 will be fine.

I think it is a combination of:

(a) Stuff gets sold for what the vendor thinks the customer will be willing to pay for the expected business value in the new shiny thing.
(b) The price takes into account the knowledge/expertise/patience and troubleshooting skills of the average RW user.

I sometimes wonder about a base price for the product then a completely different price/product to cover the ‘support’ package. That way maybe the devs could protect themselves commercially from the curious masses, while still making their cool stuff accessible, at a fair price, to pro’s?

If the community around RW/Stacks is so good then would there be some mileage in a ‘community support only’ badge to take some weight off the devs and provoke more adventurous pricing in the market?

Thats all I have to say about that.

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I am very broke but I reckon that the prices for RW and most of the add-ons are very competitive. To give an obvious example, I haven’t yet bought Foundation 6 because I don’t have the cash but just under $100 (less if you’re upgrading from the previous Foundation) seems very cheap for a theme and large suite of stacks which will allow you to do almost anything you could possibly want, especially when you consider that you will probably get free updates for many years. And just compare RapidWeaver with Dreamweaver. The latter is a pig to use and has hardly improved in the last 15 years but you have to pay a subscription of about $252 per year.

I am a freelance graphic designer since more than 20 years ; I know that my RW’s purchases during more than 10 years have been a good way to produce websites and earn money with them.

So understand that my question is not about “do these stacks are really worth these prices” (usually the are !), it’s more about a change of philosophy…

I really agree with indricold point of view, RW is a great tool ; I hope that I’m part of the ones that manage to create nice websites with it and I always try to do my best to solve my problems on myself before asking on a forum and, only after that, to contact the developper. And when you do that, sometimes you have a real great quick help, sometimes you never receive any response…

Paying something around 300 or 400 or more euros per years is not necessarily a problem in itself : the thing is “what do I have for this price ?”.

The question of a stacks price compared to RW’s price or “Stacks” (the one that runs all the others…) is important, as the one about RW’s users, as indricold said…

At the end, I’m not really sure that this “price question” is only about support, but if it is, may be developers could think about it.