Do RapidWeaver developers charge enough?

Hi Guys,

I’ve read through all the posts and is this a good question - ABSOLUTELY !

How to price something is so difficult, especially in a small community such as this. I think we’ve all seen every kind of pricing model that’s possible used at some point or another. Just like the products, the developers differ in how they approach this. But in general, you are guys are correct, we agonize on how much to charge and still give you lot’s of value - it’s a fine line to walk :slight_smile:

Support is definitely a huge restraint on devs, as I should know as my main product usually requires hours of support per customer to get them setup, comfortable and using it in a successful way. I’ve had quite a few customers ask about all the time needed and what was appropriate. I leave that to the customer and I think the more you try to build this stuff, the more you realize the enormous time and effort it takes to do it well and I’m always pleasantly surprised and VERY GRATEFUL to those that donate more or buy extra stuff just to say thanks.

To my customers and to my future customers - I tip my hat and wish you all the very best.



I think more than a few of us have done this :sweat_smile:. I cleared out a load of deprecated or unknown stack a few weeks back and still have 1435.

But more importantly you make the point that if they cost more you would likely have less - albeit more carefully selected. I get that completely - it’s a difficult one.

As well as buying because the developer deserves a few pennies however, it is also sometimes the case that you think the stack / theme can do more than it’s really designed to - I’ve been disappointed with a few themes in particular - not because they’re bad but because my expectations were not researched!

Maybe a subscription type model could do 2 things here: 1) sort the wheat from the chaff - you only keep what works? 2) encourage the developer to further develop the product over time. Obviously this happens a lot anyway - but maybe at little advantage to the developer. And it can also be achieved by having paid-for updates.

So no answers - just more musings!

something us lesser mortals don’t always appreciate - so much easier to fire off an email than properly read documentation. I guess with a DB product like yours this is even more common as people easily get out of their depth.

1 Like

[quote=“instacks, post:15, topic:35017, full:true”]

Is this because it is too fiddly to set up repeat subscriptions for multiple small products? I have to say when raising the topic I had the ‘bigger’ products in mind so I get this.

The problem is: It’s a bit much to expect support / updates 3 years down the line for a product that cost $20 originally! Neverthless, I also don’t want that product to be deprecated or abandoned because I may use it in 20 - 30 websites. A broken product creates a lot of hassle. If ongoing payments helps to prevent this from happening I’m happy to do so.

I also think we are lucky that so many of our developers do keep things going for years at probably little benefit to themselves - would be good if they got more out of it.

People tend to start a subscription, then download everything, afterwards stop the subscription.

There is no licensing model available allowing a developer to stop the usage of a product.

Tracking who is subscribed to receive support is also a lot of overhead.


It’s a tricky one, for sure.

I’ve pretty much bought everything @joeworkman has produced. Same with @Elixir.

(Yeah, yeah, I should probably pick a Framework, but they’re both brilliant, although that’s not for this thread!)

When I bought @Bill’s EasyDB, he spent over an hour on video chat with me to coach me to get it set up, and I bought the Pro pack as a ‘thank you’ (one day, my needs may even be sophisticated enough to need the additional functionality!).

I also own most of @Doobox and @1LittleDesigner’s stacks.

With such large holdings in these great Devs’ work (many of which I may never use, but “might come in handy one day”), I’m supporting their endeavours - I doubt I’ll need support on all of them, so I do feel that I’ve already covered the odd bit of support contingency that may be required.

And, of course, when paid version upgrades are needed, I’ll continue to support them - I got very lucky with @joeworkman’s very generous F6 upgrade policy, but gladly paid for @Elixir’s Foundry 2 upgrade.


And I should add that when I bought Poster 2, and was struggling to get my head around it, Jannis at @instacks was on the case instantly, and had me pointed in the right direction in no time at all.


Couldn’t agree more. A couple of people have made the point that there is more than one type of support and I guess the really time consuming headache for developers is when people ask how to do things that are already covered in documentation or in forums.

When posting this question, my mind was more focused on the longevity of a product and fixes when something breaks it - although I didn’t make this clear. There is of course no absolute rule… if a product is selling well then the incentive to maintain / improve it is there. If not, then how long can it realistically be maintained? On the other hand if a buyer invests in an add-on, spends time learning how to use it and implements it - maybe on many sites - it’s only natural to want a reasonable lifespan.

All I know is that I feel greater assurance with products that have a renewed licence every year because it gives the developer a deserved income and incentive for their ongoing work.

An interesting topic for me… I go back to RW 2. The community here was a much friendlier place. This forum like so many others has become a place where people feel they have the right to attack people who have a different point of view. It bums me out because this was a very friendly place for many years.

I would always encourage any business person to charge as much as he can. Price is one consideration when buying any product. Does it include support? I believe the addon market here set a precident. Usually products had miner updates included. I have very old Joe Workman products that still get free updates. His are not the only ones either. If a developer tells me he charges for updates I will be less likely to purchase it.

I believe a person selling any product should decide what his policy is and clearly state it. If you want to offer a subscription product… go for it. If you want to sell a stack for $100 and disappear, go for it… tell your customers that before they purchase it. Don’t tell them after they buy it.

This is not a crazy idea I just came up with. I watched many developers quit RW and work something out with another developer. They did this because they cared about their customers and the way they would be remembered. People who have been around the forum as many years as I have know what I am saying is true.

I wish all the best. I feel this virus situation has made people quick to anger. Life is too short…


I would think that the developers could add a cost of product price and then an Add a Donation field for those who feel they wish to contribute more.

Or simply charge what they think they need to stay in business, and if the price is too rich for some they are free to buy other products. Over the many years I have watched continual griping about the cost of add-ons, as if developers are required to sell their wares for next to nothing. The end result is there has been a steady loss of some talented minds. Think how much all of your add-ons will be worth if the platform fails to thrive. and you have to start all over elsewhere. Maybe there are a higher percentage of hobbyist users with RW, and they are more attracted to free/cheap? Most professionals who use the tools to produce work for clients roll it into the cost of doing business.

While folks carp about poor or lack of service, I think about how many times I have sent pestering emails to Adam, Nick, Michael and Isiah and the rest, asking about one feature/issue or another. If the answer was “you can’t do that”, often my response was “are you sure”, or “is there another way”. I also realize that in most instances they are answering their own emails, and providing the support themselves.

I think about businesses remaining viable a lot these days while we are all living through a hundred year pandemic. I have watched countless local businesses fail all around me and try to support the ones I love even more now. We all have to eat, and that includes the developers.

1 Like

Fun subject.


  1. I was a software engineer and architect for quite some time and now direct commercial products.
  2. I tried but did not invest in RW and went with Blocs, as initial cost of entry for RW + stacks + other basics does not fit my value prop for what I want/need to do with it. YMMV obviously (I use it solely to maintain personal sites on different subjects, while we don’t use ‘builders’ for day job web apps etc.).

Seems like RW8 has an interesting set of users.
From the company side, everyone wants SaaS and ongoing subscriptions, from cloud PasS providers (e.g. AWS, Azure, …) on up to every application… Why? Consistent recurring revenue.

Majority of users - hate subscriptions.
Adobe lost a ton of former users moving already expensive software to subscription model.
Few home users want to touch MS Office365 subscriptions.
People are starting to see ‘use AWS or Azure, Google cloud versus datacenter’ is NOT always, in fact, cheaper.

Now, I doubt Adobe is doing poorly, and has probably recovered via their never-ending-recurring-fees for creative cloud subscriptions, from users new to the platform that ‘forgot’ how completely pissed off they were at that move. (I think the only Adobe software I personally now own is an accent Lightroom 5 or 6 - which still works, for now…)

I am also quite annoyed with e.g. VMWare, at least for home/non-datacenter usage (although their per CPU licensing on server offerings is somewhat insane $) who pretty much has turned their ‘buy once’ into ‘it might as well be a subscription’ because yearly, there’s a new major version of Fusion, and again, in most cases - it will no longer work on the next OS X release. Realistically, Fusion (or parallels) hasn’t added anything I’ve cared about in years now, for my particular usage nowadays. They’ve added some cool things here and there for things I’d previously use it for at work, but for needing a few VMs for occasional vs daily use, versus spinning enterprise vmware images for deployment - it’s a needless annoying expense I have no benefits for other than I keep paying to simply have a few VMs on hand with no other special features being used.

Everyone defines their own value they attach to something.
Some developers choose to move to subscription based models from an existing ‘pay once’ model - and usually lose a fair number of users. Most of those users are not opposed to paying for periodic Major updates (e.g. support via email or something for 12 months, provide minor updates and bugfixes, then when new Major releases come out, critical fixes only and no direct support…etc.) - I use CulturedCode Things for task mgmt/organization and have used it since pre1.0 invite beta. I’m not happy on their model of mac, phone, table, watch all being different paid versions, but in general I pay the upgrade fees. If it or other software instead were always and forever recurring monthly fee - it’s a non-starter for me, and some others - not because can’t afford it, and not because don’t like the software necessarily, but a recurring fee from <everything in life you do, plus car, mortgage, etc.> has a negative value impact in some of our internal calculations of value. (and yes, I pay for vehicles cash or at least half cash then pay off the loan quickly - so not just software).

So, as a business owner or independent developer, or company going to market - they need to consider something basic - who are their customers, and what are their preferences? I do not get paid for anything I’d do with RW, Blocs or anything else other than the web apps we do at work. As such, RW and add-on developers have a simple consideration - am I targeting only those who have ongoing and recurring revenue from RW, or do I care about <other users of RW8/non-profit> in any way?

There’s nothing to stop developers in general from offering either option…although I understand the store framework may limit that. There’s nothing wrong with them saying - those who despise subscription model software or are not-for-profit so unlikley to purchase - are not my target users. That is absolutely their right.

It is also their right to determine what value they place on their software, including for one-time payment, and how long they will support it. At work, it’s…messy, in we must support at least 2 major versions back plus all the minors in-between, but we’re also getting millions in maintenance and support contracts. For smaller devs and companies, it’s not unreasonable and is semi-standard to support current Major, free minor updates and bugfixes (‘free’ -> covered in one-time price or via subscription), and to support last Major for critical fixes only.

As Insights points out, it’s kind of tough for smaller devs. He’s right on the ‘donations’ bit. I did a developer and community site some time back with a good chunk of users. Donations? I think there was one…once. Small developers have to fight to find the balance of charging enough to make them some $ that matters enough to them, while not pricing so high everyone just says ‘nope, not paying this’ while in many cases, either continuing to improve their offering to keep ahead of any competition or copycats, and keeping existing users at least ‘happy enough.’ It’s not all that simple to just churn out the next Angry Birds or find the exact right market problem/user fit/pricing that strikes gold, especially in the smaller dev/software area, where someone else can often relatively easily offer a copycat option for less $, etc.

Long post, but in reality it’s always fun to read about someone saying ‘everyone should do this, because I’m good with it’ (in this case, charge more…) - because nope, everyone is not good with it. I get the comments on those who daily/weekly/monthly are making money using RW8 + <$ add-ons> though and are suggesting they’d be willing to pay or move to subscriptions - I have multiple tens of thousands in work software, and there it’s ‘cost of doing business’ as we couldn’t operate as effectively without some ‘must have’ software.

It would be interesting to see stats on RW8 user population - how many are making $ with RW8 as a percentage and raw # versus ‘casual not for profit use,’ as well as some numbers from things like Stacks. I know I’ve seen numerous bail from the RW path due to lack of perceived improvements in the core product, while the add-ons certainly contribute to keeping RW afloat. I’m not sure how many RW add-on devs are full-time vs ‘side job’ on their add-ons, but there’s a simple reason so many small software companies go under - they can’t get the $ they need for the actual market their software targets (intentionally or not). Sometimes it’s due to competition, sometimes it’s down to they thought everyone would willingly do a subscription model or X price, and reality is they overestimated how many would, etc. - lots of reasons.

It would be nice if the forums made it easier to donate to people, like in every post even…maybe some would use it. People using RW for their day jobs certainly do not want to see the devs of their favorite/most used add-ons throw in the towel, and devs not looking at it as a side gig, or even then - need to make some $ to eat/add to savings/etc.

Note - there’s literally nothing wrong with each dev saying - I am raising prices on X, or moving to subscription only, and thus many of us self-select to not be part of their target market. Free market - we can always go elsewhere, or devs can decide aren’t target customers anyways.


There’s an objective answer to this. I’m a freelance photographer so looking at it as any freelance work. Figure out how much you want or need to make in a given amount of time. Add expenses. Then divide by the number of stacks you sell per that amount of time or if you’re doing hourly work, divide by how many hours you work in that amount of time.

That’s how much they should charge per stack or hour to make a living doing this, if that’s what this thread is about. Making a living making and selling stacks and doing freelance RW work for clients here.

This topic was automatically closed 30 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.