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Petition to keep hosting discounts on paid plans. Pricing reviewed


#1

I can't help but worry. I believe this update will cause considerable damage to my prospects in the future. And it's because of this little sentence in the update notes.

We’re phasing out hosting discounts on paid plans starting on July 1st, 2017 (more details below).

Firstly, I understand that all plans with be grandfathered. But let's take a look at this more carefully and with more long term focus.

As it is today(with paid plan discount)

Basic Hosting
Monthly Payments - $5 per month, $60 per year.
Annual Payments - $5 per month, $60 per year.

CMS Hosting
Monthly Payments - $10 per month, $120 per year.
Annual Payments - $10 per month, $120 per year.

From July 1st 2017.

Basic Hosting
Monthly Payments - $15 per month, $180 per year. Increased by $120
Annual Payments - $12 per month, $144 per year. Increased by $84

CMS Hosting
Monthly Payments - $20 per month, $240 per year. Increased by $120
Annual Payments - $16 per month, $192 per year. Increased by $72

So let's take a real scenario. Let's say between July and December we get 20 nice new clients. 5 of which are fine with the basic plan and the remaining 15 are on the CMS plan.

5 Basic / 15 CMS Clients - Monthly
Current Rates: $175
Proposed Rates: $475
$300 more per month for 20 new clients!!

5 Basic / 15 CMS Clients - Annual (Let's give this promoted annual discount a try then)
Current Rates: $2100
Proposed Rates: $3600
$1500 more per year for 20 new clients!!

I don't get it. Webflow has always targeted professionals right? Then why does this new pricing model fail to scale with the user? A designer will use the tools that are necessary, Webflow is not necessary but yet the paid plans are extremely affordable for what you get. But the hosting is quite the premium and with this proposed pricing update it completely takes the cake. I know it's not my place or business to propose an alternative but look at this plan instead as an EXAMPLE and not the purpose of this thread.

Alternative Plan

A plan like this is more in line with the users of webflow. It removes all confusion and just lays out a road for the user to progress and be able to afford to progress. Hosting upgrades can actually be applied to relevant clients and selling these upgrades is a hell of a lot easier when the upgrades are seperated.

Please drop your feedback regarding keeping the discount on paid plans. It really will matter.


#2

@abysmal Thanks for putting this together! :clap: You're right, today's announced change does not scale well when adding many hosted sites, however...

We're actively designing a progressive discount system now, which will make sure that as you host more sites the per-site cost drops - we're still determining the best way to implement it and what the exact details will be. But rest assured that after July, adding that many new clients will not lead to the increase in prices you quoted above.

Can I loop you in privately as we design that bulk-hosting incentive/discount program for your feedback?


#3

Hello @callmevlad and thanks for the quick reply and most importantly thank you for not dancing around the numbers. I Just made a few small changes to what I listed in the link:

Alternative Price Scheme

It was just an example but please do keep me in the loop :). And you also might want to put a bit more light on this development of progressive discount on the forums. When you hit 50 live clients (in almost all cases they are CMS hosted) any small changes can really make a great difference in both a good and bad way.


#4

@abysmal I agree completely with your comments and how they will affect the bottom line for future prospects. This is changing the dynamics of what we had planed for. I hope @webflow considers keeping the hosting discounts.


#5

I am adding my voice to also ask Webflow to reconsider the new pricing structure as it will most certainly kill off hosting / cms resales. All of my customers are hosted / cms. That will dissappear going forward at $20 a month. To my customers, Webflow lacks features found in other offerings. $10 a month allows me to augment Webflow using outside services such as Ecommerce, Robust Forms Handling, Zapier as still 'sell' Webflow. Although, honestly, it is difficult. I am selling 'trust' in my recommendations. I need to protect that.


#6

@callmevlad I have been a paid up member with Webflow for a couple of years now and an observer long before that. Over that time, there have been multiple changes to pricing and structure, both in terms of hosting and the plans available.

This is not good. It results in confusion, disharmony, always provoking a backlash from your (often loyal) customer base and usually results in a lack of trust.

I understand that for a new business, predicting the take up of your product, how it will develop and the costs involved are difficult in the early stages and as such, adjustments in pricing are inevitable.

However, you should now have a much better idea of where Webflow is going, what you want it to become and what it is capable of, now and for several years ahead.

As a suggestion, the pricing that you set now for your plans and hosting, whatever you decide, needs to stick. It needs to remain at that level for at least 5 years, regardless of what additions or subtractions you make to the product itself over that time frame.

Take your time. Remain competitive. Get it right. And stick.


#7

Agreed - Economies of scale should stabilize pricing. Increased customer base should reduce cost, not increase it.


#8

I also believe that as DanUK1 has commented on, Webflow seems that lack real focus on who their customers are. And this one of the real problems that lead to discord in the community. Excuse my limited perspective but I'll try to be as deductive as possible where I am lacking.

Without looking at the marketing, comments, comparisons and reviews. From my experience in both a web department and a freelancer, Webflow is a commercial tool with an unofficial resale platform. It's definitely not as beginner friendly as other web builder competitors and that is because it's less restrictive. Let's take a look at the user base.

The One Time Users
Those who use Webflow for their own single website are more than likely somewhat savvy individuals who felt like breaking beyond fixed templates on competitor website builders. They will give Webflow at the most $20 per month and their long term involvement is questionable. Therefore, they shouldn't be the focus, but they also shouldn't be ignored as one build may turn to many if the user suddenly gets "the bug".

The Utility User
These are the designers and developers who use webflow as a visual aid and mock up builder. They don't invest in custom domain hosting and can quite easily use the free account forever. They will use Webflow resources more than the "One Time Users" and will pay nothing as long as they stay within the limitations which wouldn't be hard for just single page mock ups. This is why free forever does not work with a design tool. A trial perhaps, but not forever.

The Freelancer / Small Agencies = TFSA.
TFSA will not only pay the big bucks for Webflow, but they will also bring Webflow hosting package sales in as many numbers as possible as long as they get their share from the surplus. They are Webflows unofficial marketers and sales force. The TFSA will use Webflow as both a leased utility and hosting supplier. This is a unspoken partnership where Webflow benefits from TFSA success. This is where Webflow needs to push better tools, scale pricing correctly and most of all pay attention to where their TFSA users are having difficulties.

For example: Search, CMS limitations such as galleries, Hosting Limitations, dashboard organisation. All of these limitations can be solved and the pricing of such options can be discussed. We can all expect CMS updates to be included as they fit into design, but other heavier features such as searchengine, membership, form submissions limits, CMS item limits can all be individual hosting addons as we too can sell those to our clients. To limit our pitching options for hosting with fixed hosting plans with bumped pricing just means that we have to sell the features our clients need for the price of many other features they don't. I have a client who will have more than 2000 form submissions a month without the need for high CMS numbers or bandwidth. I'll also get a client who needs to have high bandwidth but only needs hosting in Europe. You see our predicament? Work with us here. Please.


#9

@DanUK1 Thank you for that thought. That was actually the main idea with this announcement - to come up with a structure that will work for many years to come, which is why we took over 9 months to heavily research it.

@rayjnorris @abysmal We're working on a program that will provide very significant discounts for multi-site hosting customers (@abysmal what you call "TFSA"s), and hope to announce the details soon - definitely before the current discounts are phased out.


#10

I'm glad that this is in the works, but sadly sceptical until then. Frankly all we've had is the bad news so far (with the exception of the great set of features). I hope those 9 months of research have not concluded a fixed decision regarding what Webflow has yet to announce. The hosting plans as a whole are "problematic", this is mainly due to the feature sets coming in waves. Is a flexible and more simplified hosting plans out of the question? Start with the standard (with cms 500) and give the option to bump forms, visitors, cms items and editor accounts with micro bolt ons?

Example - The Nordic Cabin Resort.
They don't get too many views but they do need unlimited submissions and good accessibility from all over the world.
Base Hosting Price - $5 (25,000 Views, 500 Submissions, 500 CMS Items, 2 Editors).
Upgraded Form Submissions Unlimited +$5
Upgraded to Global CDN Upgraded +$5
Total - $15 Per Month.

Example 2 - The Metal Processors
They machine high quality components for the offshore industry.
Base Hosting Price - $5 (25,000 Views, 500 Submissions, 500 CMS Items, 2 Editors).
Upgrade to Global CDN +$5
Upgrade Monthly Views To 100,000 +$5
Total - $15 Per Month.

Example 3 - The Working Man
He fixes problems in student houses, he wants to stand out
Base Hosting Price - $5(25,000 Views, 500 Submissions, 500 CMS Items, 2 Editors).
No Upgrades
Total $5 Per Month

Example 4 - The Art Gallery
A small group of 5 friends run a gallery
Base Hosting Price - $5(25,000 Views, 500 Submissions, 500 CMS Items, 2 Editors).
Editor Limit Upgrade (up to 10) +$5
CMS Limit Upgrade (up to 1000) +$5
Total $15 Per Month

Example 5 - The Charity
A local charity runs a blog to follow and record events
Base Hosting Price - $5(25,000 Views, 500 Submissions, 500 CMS Items, 2 Editors).
CMS Limit Upgrade (up to 1000) +$5
Search Function Upgrade (Basic) +$10
Total $20 Per Month

It's all a matter of cost of resources right? these would be tailored and reasonable to the end client while not leaving room for abuse.


#11

@abysmal There was nearly universal negative feedback from our private research around micro-addons, as most customers felt they had little predictability about what things would actually cost as the needs of the client changes. That's why we ended up removing the add-ons and bundling much more functionality in the base plans without raising their base prices. I do understand the sentiment though, since our initial inclination was to have a very similar model as the one that you just suggested, but the real world data didn't pan out to strongly in favor of it :\


#12

I see! I'm not surprised as the "micro-addons" do carry a sense of uncertainty unless examples are given. I hope that with the time frame given that Webflow has left room for change as more feedback on the hosting plan proposal delivered. I can say from my own experience that the Business Plan will be a hard sell to suitable clients. This usually stems down to a conversation such as.

"We can upgrade your form submissions from 500 to unlimited by increasing the price by $30 per month (basic - business), this also includes _________ALL OTHER FEATURES_________"

"But I don't need any of those other features, how much for just the form submission increase?"

It's at this point that I don't sell the business plan and just integrate a third party form solution (Spread a high cost account across multiple clients) and add $10 on top in order to break even.


#13

I am new to Webflow, but wouldn't this new pricing structure make it hard to sell hosting to clients? A lot of hosting providers have plans that are as low as $4 /month, which is significantly lower than $15 (or even $12 for annual plans). Just a thought.


#14

To be fair those lower tier hosting packages don't compare in terms of quality. Not to mention form submissions of up to 500. BUT the majority of clients who work locally would be fine with lower tier, and webflow needs to keep competitive pricing so we do.


#15

@callmevlad We're in the same boat as @DanUK1.

We've lost trust in Webflow as a long-term solution because of the repeated pricing changes and lack of scaling of the pricing. We currently host over 40 sites with Webflow and will be making plans to remove them all from Webflow if they cannot win our trust with guaranteed pricing that scales for agency clients.

We sincerely hope that Webflow learns the short term gains of price increases are not worth the long-term losses of client trust.


#16

I'm also in a similar boat. Personally I have small numbers as I've recently gone standalone from a larger company. But I still advise for my previous employment where I started a web decision with webflow as the primary tool / Hosting solution. They have 45 hosted sites and another 30 in progress. I'll be advising the next route of action in the new year.


#17

@Lou667
You can export your webflow site and host it elsewhere.


#18

@Blaise_Posmyouck

That is true, but if you want to use the webflow CMS it needs to be hosted with webflow. So your kinda forced into the hosting with them.


#19

@callmevlad

Hello,

I love the new features, can I also say how great it is that you've learn from your mistakes about keeping things a secret from the webflow community.

While the new features sound amazing, the price increase for hosting has suffered massively because of this.

lets just go with the monthly CMS price, it has doubled which is a big concern as us designers now need to try and sell a service which has doubled at the same time of trying to make a profit, how can we make a profit on hosting when it will now be $20 a month? There are many cheap and reliable web hosting providers out there for under $5 a month.

If we cant sell the CMS, us designers will be out of a job which also means webflow will also suffer.

We've built our business around webflow and your pricing structure, for the price to double like that just isn't going to help.The price increase is ok for new webflow users as they haven't built their plan around webflow as of yet.

In my opinion webflow should honor ALLl new hosting accounts for current webflow users for that reason.

Cheers
Matt


#20

Personally I host all my clients sites away from webflow on our own dedicated servers. This is because their pricing model for hosting has always been expensive to me in comparison to what it cost me and what I make hosting on my own server. This has also meant I am unable to use the CMS. I'd like to build sites using the cms but then it becomes even more expensive and is cost prohibitive considering I have better more affordable options for providing my clients with cms that in turn has higher profit margin for me than if I used webflow. Unfortunately. Plus we use our own forms processor so clients aren't stuck with webflow form processing and the limitations thereof. So yeah, the webflow pricing model has always been a little iffy for me which means if there was or becomes a better solution it would be hard to remain loyal.