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The Thing About Pricing

Dusty Candland | | commandwp

Pricing is one of the things I've been struggling with on CommandWP. I want a simple plan that offers customers a lot of value. I want to offer pricing that I'd personally want to use.

While I figure that out, I've left pricing off the site, hoping to find early adopters to help me figure out pricing later. It seems most people don't want to invest time in something without having an idea of what the costs might be going forward. I'd want the same.

Here are some of my thoughts about pricing and where I ended up. CommandWP now has pricing!

Freemium or not?

On one hand, freemium is a good way for people to get started. But no one wants a freemium tier that's useless.

On the other hand, too much freemium and the business can't continue to operate.

I've gone back and forth on this. It's scary to make a decision like this. It feels permanent.

I think I've landed on a good middle ground. A freemium tier that should be very useful with a simple upgrade path.

It's the basic plan with a limit of 5 sites. After that, each additional site is $3/month.

Why limits?

I wanted to offer unlimited sites. I'd personally love a service with unlimited sites.

Each site requires server resources, and offering unlimited sites would probably result in a few big customers using a ton of resources and letting the average customer cover the cost. That didn't seem like a good business solution or good for the average customer.

At this point, I don't see a way around having site limits.

What about overages?

I think there are two obvious paths here. First, a whole series of different tiers that just increase the limits in blocks. And, a price per site overage.

Personally, I don't like the tiers approach. It causes large steps up in price for customers. And results in somewhat confusing pricing options. Or, at least, too many options.

For example, if you just need one more site, you might have to go to the next tier, which offers 25 more sites (or whatever). So that one additional site costs way more than it should until you fill the new tier. And then repeat.

That leaves charging per site. This model allows your business to grow at its own pace.

Why have tiers, then?

That's a good question! I decided on tiers for two reasons.

Having some tiers allows a division in features. The paid tiers offer more features for those that need them.

Tiers offer a price break when you're near, or over, the tier limit.

I'm not 100% sure it's the right pricing model. Actually, I'm sure it'll change over time. I think that's the nature of pricing.

CommandWP has pricing options now! I'd love to hear your feedback and thoughts on pricing in general, as well as for CommandWP.

Photo by Jens Lelie on Unsplash



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