RapidWeaver Elements Pricing Poll

Hey All,

As we get closer to launching Elements, we’re starting to work out the finer details, including pricing. So today we have a question for you all.

If you look at the current experience of building a website, a lot of users are purchasing RapidWeaver, the Stacks plugin, a CSS Framework, themes, additional stacks and maybe even a project template. This starting setup can easily cost $350-$500.

RapidWeaver Elements will offer all of these essential tools and more in a single package. It includes advanced features like Global Components, Custom Elements, a true WYSIWYG editor, and so much more.

Considering the comprehensive feature set of RapidWeaver Elements, how much would you expect to pay for it?
  • $149
  • $199
  • $249
  • $299
  • $349+
0 voters

Honestly, I have been wanting to stay with Elements for the very reasons you stated.

Yes it’s cool, modern and probably fun. However, I am not going to spend that much money on it. I have no basis to judge value at this time so I have to limit my response to the following: This is a hobby and passion website, not a business. For this reason, if this is going to be these price points, I’m out.

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Lots of people are already invested heavily in Stacks the transition will be slow going I think for many, that said I think 150 is a good launch price

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I think it’s also important to look at how many users are not purchasing RapidWeaver (Classic) because they also have to purchase Stacks, a CSS framework, themes, hosting, etc just to use it effectively. Personally, I purchased Classic to support Realmac, but I’ve NEVER used it simply because it required me to invest hundreds of dollars in third-party extensions. An investment that would be lost as these extensions are incompatible with Elements.

As you’re intending to have a marketplace for additional Elements including elements from third-parties as well as Realmac, I think it makes sense to keep the base price accessible in order to develop a sizeable user community which will actually want to purchase additional elements from the marketplace, and provide enough incentive for folks to create elements for the marketplace. Basic chicken and egg.

Previously you had mentioned a standard version of Elements, as well as a Pro version with other features available at a higher price point. Personally, I’m a bit leery of that strategy as ideally you want as many folks as possible to contribute to the Elements ecosystem. If only Pro users who have purchased a more expensive license can do that, it’s likely to be more difficult to create a large enough ecosystem to sustain the marketplace in a reasonable time-frame.

Lastly, I think having templates (global components), custom elements/extensions, and WYSIWYG are table stakes for any website building app released in 2024. While being a native macOS app is attractive to some, it’s seen as a liability for many users who need to collaborate with others (ie. Sketch vs Figma), need to quickly integrate with existing service providers, and don’t want to worry about hosting (and managing) the site themselves.

Framer, Webflow, Squarespace, Wix, WordPress, Canva, etc all make it VERY easy to design and publish a website today (using fully customizable ‘templates’, a word MANY users are very familiar with). They may not offer as much flexibility as Elements, but as we’ve already seen many folks are willing to trade flexibility/features for ease of use, collaboration, not having to manage servers/software, etc (ie: Canva and Procreate vs Adobe).

Keep the pricing accessible for Indies, hobbyists, personal sites, portfolio sites, etc and focus on creating a thriving community who is passionate about the product and will allow you to develop a rich ecosystem around Elements.

Think Canva, Scrivener, Procreate, and Affinity… not Sketch, Adobe, or Figma. With that said, I wonder if $149 (every year to continue to receive updates) is even a bit too high? :thinking:

6 Likes

Hi, Maybe an option with RW Classic included « It’s the bit of sugar that helps the medicine go down »

This.

I’ve been silently watching and very impressed with the features and direction of RW Elements, was hoping to one day return to the RapidWeaver fold.

:slightly_frowning_face: But given the minimum price of $149 listed I may just stick with Blocs Pro as its the same price.

Unless there is some cross-grade option coming from Blocs? :thinking:

Originally, it was mentioned, but not guaranteed, that the pricing would be similar to Classic at $79.

Since Classic has been discounted from the $79 asking price for what seems like forever, this seemed fair.

Additionally, and most importantly, this is a yearly fee. Elements theoretically will receive updates and new features for a long time. Considering the last major update for the original RW was about five years ago, maybe more, this would make the revenue stream for Realmac considerably better without the pricing mentioned above.

RapidWeaver not needing updates for the last five years = $32.

Elements for the next five years at $79 per year = $395.
That is more than a twelvefold increase.

I don’t know all the facts about how RM is running, nor do I know the current situation. But I know mine. I was willing to accept a twelvefold increase to switch from brand ABC back to RW. But a twenty-fourfold increase or more? No way. This is a yearly price for the foreseeable future because, in theory, this product will be updated often for a long time to come.

I ask you to reconsider this price point and who your true market is. I would bet most of your commercial designers have left for Stacks or other products at this point. So you are currently in the retail/hobby market until Elements and RM can rebuild their reputation. It has huge potential, but in my opinion, it’s way too early for this kind of entry point.

Here’s to hoping!

1 Like

Good 17 hours since the last message… where is the CTA to subscribe and download the app with free trial and huge discount for all those who are waiting? Huh, where is it? :eyes:

I’m also wondering if it’s worth dropping the ‘RapidWeaver’ from ‘RapidWeaver Elements’? I know you see Elements as the evolution of RapidWeaver, but I wonder how many folks have already written off RapidWeaver for various reasons, and the prospect of a new RapidWeaver isn’t exactly an enticing proposition for them?

Also, the designation of {Product} + Elements (ahem, Photoshop Elements) has been used by Adobe for years to market cut-down versions of their classic products. There’s the possibility that when presented with the title ‘RapidWeaver Elements’ some users first impression may be to view this as the cut-down version of RapidWeaver, and that they end up possibly dismissing it altogether.

Elements is a new product built on everything you’ve learned from creating RapidWeaver over the last 20 years, and has been designed using modern ideas, standards, frameworks, code bases, and best practices to be the best extensible visual web builder tool available (only for macOS, and hopefully iPadOS one day). As such, it lays a solid foundation for creating exceptional web-based experiences for the next 20+ years.

Adding ‘RapidWeaver’ feels like dragging extra baggage along that won’t be relevant to new users. Elements is short, catchy, and evokes lots of mental imagery (chemistry, nature, alchemy, design, etc.) to draw upon. Also, by dropping RapidWeaver you also cut the link for existing users who might be confused about why their accrued investment in RapidWeaver (stacks, extensions, templates, etc.) isn’t directly transferrable to the new RapidWeaver Elements.

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I agree with this sentiment, we’re talking beta, early release or at best v1. Although it looks to be well thought out and already feature packed, this pricing seems off kilter IMHO.

People have vast more options nowadays unlike 20 years ago. Plus there seems to be some goodwill and brand re-establishing that needs to take place. Let’s not get the cart ($) before the horse (users).

If you continue to build out viable features with most x.X and every X release, then I’m sure people would understand future incremental increases over time if the product indeed proves its worth. Seems too early to assume that at this point however, don’t out price yourself from the get-go.

I feel RM should ensure that all the basic functionalities and page types of RapidWeaver Classic are built into Elements. This core functionality, combined with a modern UI and code base, should be what users get with the base price.

To increase revenue beyond the base Elements app, I envision RM developing highly functional and valuable add-ons for Elements. These add-ons can either serve as examples or enhance the functionality of a potential “Pro” version.

By adopting this model, RM can focus on shipping and supporting a single app while allowing users to customize their version of “Pro” through add-ons.

Bottom line: this app must undergo constant, significant development—not just maintenance and tweaks—if it wants to succeed and grow over the next 20 years.

The real revenue will come from these add-ons, whether developed by third parties or RM itself.

I agree and hope to see vast features be built and evolve within the core app. Assuming they have learned what just having a shell app while lacking updates yields, seems like yes given Elements! In addition to that, how relying on 3rd parties to offer what should be core features effects their own bottom line.

Hoping the core app remains the meat and potatoes and 3rd party developers offer the optional sides. But until I taste the soup (beta/v1) I won’t know if it needs sent back. :grin:

2 Likes

I don’t know what your medium-term projections are in terms of unit sales and gross revenue from Elements. It is clear that you have invested substantially in the product and you want/need to recover a fair ROI in a reasonable period.

That said, the entry cost has to be factored in with the initial feature set, your periodic update policy and its associated costs, and obviously, the opportunity cost of alternative webdev tools on the market.

The memory is still very fresh of being burnt by Adobe Muse and all the widgets we licensed on top of the subscription cost from Adobe. It is therefore instinctive that we are seeking an elegant option and Elements certainly appears to be a"must consider" product.

However, there are still unknown factors to consider, such as:

  • Will RealMac and Elements be able to compete long-term with the marketing muscle and R & D budgets of corporates who have deeper pockets?

  • Will Elements work as advertised right out of the box? You have a loyal fan base who are hoping you succeed, but the proof will be in the proverbial pudding.

  • We assume the robust ecosystem of third party widgets, themes, add-ons, etc will flow as they did with Classic. How certain are we about this. I imagine that third party app/widget developers must have been spitting nails when Adobe decided to deep-six Muse and now with the end-of-life of Classic add-ons perhaps your associates are equally dismayed at their investments being redundant.

So, my take on the pricing model is this:

Both you and your loyal fans need to take a leap of faith and both parties must invest in the other. Both must be equally unhappy at the entry pricing.

You need to be more transparent than Adobe and others about the future road map for Elements and the upgrade/crossgrade and update pricing models.

If I had confidence that my above points would be satisfactorily assured, I would be prepared to INVEST (not merely buy it off the shelf) between $149-$199. Also, if you go with a pack prioce initially and then switch to an annuity subscription pricing model, that would really be a deal breaker for me.

Hope my ramble here helps move the discussion forward.

It’s probably also worth mentioning that unless your target market is primarily enterprise customers (and I’m pretty sure it’s not), subscriptions are becoming a big negative for many users.

I know RapidWeaver’s subscription allows you to use the app without updates indefinitely, but upgrades used to be cheaper than the initial purchase. Having to essentially buy the app again by paying the full purchase price each and every year is still just another form of subscription.

Maybe consider a slightly higher initial purchase price that includes updates for one year (but still enables them to use that version indefinitely), and a greatly reduced subscription price that allows users to continue to receive updates each year, or whenever they choose to upgrade for new features and bug fixes.

As excited as I am about Elements, I’m still very cautious about investing my time (and money) in it.

2 Likes

@bryanrieger Hi, I’m totally agree with you. In my case without an included RW classic option with Elements I will wait to see. @MikeSA just told something I told recently to a dev, great coincidence : I’m afraid that the Adobe mistake will be reproduce again. I entered the RW/Stacks ecosystem knowingly (Realmac/Yourhead) and chose to support both as long as it did not become unmanageable financially. With two thousand euros of stacks in stock (hehehe) I won’t choose to abandon them completely and immediately. Elements must integrate for a few years the survival of the ecosystem which brought and maintain it to life otherwise the risk of failure is very strong in my opinion. It takes time to evolve, but I’m just a psychologist not a dev…

1 Like

Thanks for all the feedback on pricing, it’s the main reason we posted here as we knew you guys would have a lot of great thoughts on it all — It’s all very helpful!

We’re trying to find a good balance between pricing competitively and making sure it’s sustainable for our team. There’s no point in us charging a low single feed because if we do, Elements will be dead as soon as it launches and no one wins then.

The pricing above is just one idea, we’ve been discussing some other ideas internally that would allow for a cheaper entry point (think Classic pricing or less). By having a lower entry point the included features would be paired back a little, users could then purchase any additional features/elements that they might need.

Happy to hear your thoughts on this.

@dan interesting idea, and I think it’s definitely worth exploring. The one thing that comes to mind for me is the feeling of being ‘nickel and dimed’ in that after purchasing the entry level product, you end up having then to purchase potentially countless other features and elements just to get to what you (as a user) consider to be a useable product.

If somebody purchases the base product it needs to stand on it’s own, and be compelling enough for them to feel it was worth that investment—it must meet their initial needs and expectations. If however, they hit the limitations of the app within hours/days/weeks of buying it, I wonder how eager they’ll be to upgrade?

In-app purchases aren’t a bad idea, but often if there’s too much choice it becomes overwhelming. Perhaps the basic app is $79 (or less) and the full app is $149 which unlocks all of the currently available features, and of course both versions would enable users to buy additional elements/packs to extend what their application is able to do.

Any thoughts on how ‘updates/upgrades’ might work with a more piecemeal approach?

The other thing I’m interested are what are the opportunities for me as a developer if I were to create new elements/extensions for Elements? Where does the core product start/stop, and where do the opportunities for 3rd parties begin?

The last thing you want is another Stacks situation where the core product lags so far behind that a 3rd party steps in to meet the demands of the community. You also don’t want to (once again) be in a position where you end up killing a 3rd party developers product(s) because you decided to build that functionality into the core, or go off on entirely different direction (aka Elements).

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Sadly, I thought I was not allowed to be part of the conversation anymore. :frowning_face:

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But it appears now I can, so I hope you will see it?

I keep thinking about this comparatively, I don’t mean to name drop (forgive me), but …

  • Blocs core is $99 with the Plus version being an additional $49 offering a few more convenience and productivity features, though not required.

  • Bootstrap Studio is only $59 Lifetime (WOW) and they just keep pumping in more and more features at that price.

  • Pinegrow Pro is $99 which includes a GUI for GSAP animations, for $149 you get the additional Tailwind visual editor, for $249 you get everything they offer including Wordpress Builder and WooCommerce Shop Builder.

  • Wappler is $540 and allows you to build frontend / backend solutions for websites, mobile and desktop apps visually.

There are some others Sparkle, etc., but maybe not in the same league IMO.

All the above prices are per major revision or per yearly. They are all available as local installs on Mac like Elements. So notwithstanding browser based offerings or actual subscription based offerings (like Webflow, etc.) and their price points.

So comparatively to Elements at the proposed poll price points? I have extremely high hopes for Elements but comparatively does it warrant such prices out of the gate until further developed and additional features?

Maybe the focus should be to onboard and keep as many users out of the gate?

For sure regarding this, but with only 30+ present votes and 300+ thread views, the price will need to be $1500 - $2000 with this approach and thinking. :thinking:

The same could also be true with overpricing.

EDIT: Continuing to think …

Obviously the elephant in the room is Stacks Pro and its direct competition. You have to capture existing RW users and compel them that this is the way forward past their existing conglomerate investment.

The same holds true for those who will consider instead Stacks Pro. Lastly, like me, you will have to foster goodwill to those who gave up and moved on but have kept their heart open always looking back at RM. :heart_eyes:

In all the above cases overpricing and self overvaluing initially seems like a real gamble verses on-boarding and trying to keep and regain as many users as possible.

I say price competitively in relationship to all mentioned above and put all your value in your own vision and skills knowing strong growth and revenue will be derived regardless solely because of the product you are making. Bet on yourselves and Elements, not a $$ quick approach.

:tired_face: I’m exhausted thinking about it, wishing much success to you @dan , @dang , @ben , @Aaron , @ everyone at RM.

4 Likes

I think I bought Classic for $100, Foundry 2 for $100 and the Foundry 2 add-on packages for $70 Stacks for $50. That comes out to $320. Of course it depends on what people’s needs are. I don’t know what I’ve spent on individual stacks outside of the packages. It would be hundreds more to that total. A lot of the goal of my initial websites was to test out as many different stacks as I could so that I could provide customers with example pages so maybe I spent more then some would need or want to but I don’t think you meant to say that the baseline should be $350.

It made a lot of sense that Foundry 2 provided a very good basic set of features for probably most users. To split some nice additional features into Potion and Thunder Packs for an extra $70 total made sense for many users. This sounds similar to what you are talking about doing with different tiers of Elements if you go that route. I like that approach since a lot of users wouldn’t use what is in that extra $70 add-on package or may want to replace a package so that they could buy individual stacks.

I think the long term goal would be to have a web design suite in the same way Affinity has a Universal License. Instead of having based around basic graphic design software have a suite based around web design software which could go after higher prices.