Hey there @webflow - we need to talk!
first of all let me state that i'm a new user and not a customer yet. I don't know about how Webflow has been before the launch of CMS so my whole concern is not about changes in pricing. This is the reason why i chose to open a new thread instead of just posting in one of the others.
Also let me add that i'm basically totally thrown away by what Webflow offers. It surely is a great product that offers great value and is worth some dollars. So this is also not about 'hey you're too expensive'.
This is more about confidence. faith. trust. This is somehow important to me when entering a walled garden like yours.
While on my way for thinking about how to realize a new side project which should be somehow special (not exactly a blog but doable with some custom wordpress work but though very coding intensive) i stumbled across Webflow with its new CMS feature. I saw a video what was possible with the CMS features and thought that would at least satisify about 90% of what i need in the beginning. As i saw the first site is free i thought about starting out with Webflow. I looked around a bit closer and saw the 2-static-pages limit in the free plan. Well ok, then go with the personal plan - i'm totally able and willing to pay some money into a side project. 16$ per month is around double of what i would pay with Squarespace (where i'm already running another side project and am quite happy with) but as Webflow seems to offer me more i'm okay with that.
Then i came across the discussion in the forums about pricing. I noticed that 16$ only is the price as long as i don't publish the site. Wait what? Ok, i got note of the fact that Weflow somehow seems to be for agencies instead of single site owner guys and therefore the 16$ plan lets you build 20 websites and export them (as long as you don't use the CMS). But what i frist thought would be 10$ ended up beeing an additional 20$ to my already existing 16$ which makes it 36$ for a single site to be pubslihed as CMS site without limits. Oh well limits. I came across this pageview limit only a little bit later. You're only allowed to transfer 25k pages per month. That's less than a thousand a day. And then? Well if you're over that they tell you to contact support and promise to help out.
And here the question marks above my head really started to rotate. What the hell? Why don't you make this any simpler and transparent? A views per month limit? Really? I mean you fully control the software. It's your CMS and if you're doing it right you are probably doing a lot of static caching that costs you nearly nothing in terms of server performance. I mean we're not talking Wordpress with a thousand plugins from a hundred plugin authors here but about your own server architecture, right? And as this is not enough i continued looking closer at your plans and at the end they only seem to exist to make people pay more and are in now way oriented at customers needs, right?
Form submissions. Really? They do cost nothing. Apart from the fact that you don't even tell what that means (email only? Is that anyhow bound to the CMS?) Are we really limiting to 100 form submissions per month on a 16$/month plan? And still 1000 on a 70$ plan charging per additional submission? I guess these forms must be gold plated somehow.
80 pages per site? I mean... not that i'm planning to have more than that but why is that limited? What is the reason? it's even 80 on the 35$ plan and 100 on the 70$. It sounds like you played a dice to find out the right values for that.
Password protection, branding, website transfer, shared templates, form branding - i do start paying your service and still have to advertise you in form of branding?
and at the end i saw that these aren't even monthly prices but yearly
These plans look like they were made for people reaching one of this silly limits which forces them into the next bigger plan. This is simply unfair and let's me lose confidence quickly. From what i'm reading through the forums you really sound as you are listening to your customers and as you're also aware of customer satisfaction. This lets me even understand less of what you are doing with your plans.
Maybe i'm just not the customer you are aiming at but personally i would expect to have a clear pricing scheme that would enable me to fall a decision in 2 minutes and not think about it for days and while thinking uncover yet another limitation that i have to watch for.
As critics is nothing without a suggestion here's what i could imagine as a (rough) plans scheme:
- $x/$y per custom domain/hosted website (if this really makes a big difference for you make x and y different for static and cms but i think one price for all should be possible)
- 10 free public websites (branded)
- 10 free private websites
- all features included (why would you not?)
- completely unbranded
- maybe add a page views limit but don't set it anywhere below 100k a month - this doesn't make any sense. Also most of your customers won't even get anywhere near this range and fort those exceeding the average 100k per month should still be a good value. But: communicate it clearly. The actual limit isn't even listed anywhere.
I would think that $10-$15 should be a good price for the hosting then and you could still think about volume prices for the guys running a small agency and serving there customers. (Something like pay $50 for 10xstatic hosting). Also you could do something like white label (which i read is planned anyways) and add it to a volume/agency account.
Anyways. This would make it a clean pricing scheme. I would love to pay 3x15$ for 3 cms websites which would make it a $45 bill for me.
For anyone serving customers could easily start with one site having 10 public websites free for customers to look at. For your own publicity these sites are branded.
Of course a free plan might still be worth thinking but personally i'd rather do a trial instead of a free plan. Make it a 30 day trial without the ability to export or custom domain. This way people could intensively play around with the features and find out if they're willing to use and pay for it.
my 2 cents.
ps: sorry for my possibly confusing writing, i'm not an english speaking native.