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Very poor ' FREE ' plan option

Why do I need to buy a plan when I am still building out my website. A 2 page limit is a joke. I have several multipage websites to build out and I am told that I have to upgrade my plan if I want to design anything over 2 pages.
Why do I need to pay for a site I am developing, I am going to end up paying for several months plans when my website is not even live.
I tried to get an answer through support but the BOT is s**t, can’t find a direct email address, what a joke again.
You hype this app up as a better alternative to wordpress but you you really should re-think that message.
Yes, its good security which is the main reason I gave it a go but everything else is no better.
If I want to add a membership feature it is a monthly payment from an external app provider along with anything else that would classify as a plugin. For one site alone I am looking at £130 per month even with your $16 hosting package.
At least with Wordpress you buy the plugin once and you are done.
Unfortunately with the last update from Wordpress screwing up so many peoples sites / plugins etc it would appear the only safe bet is a custom coded site, a big initial outlay but when its done its done compared to the accumulative monthly cost of a fully functioning site here.
Why do you not let people develop full sites before having to pay a plan fee. If they spend the time building out a multipage site its unlikely they are not going to make it live and pay for a plan.
You also need to improve your customer service access and response BIG time


Here is my site Read-Only: LINK
(how to share your site Read-Only link)

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I understand the frustration.

I think the logic is that you pay for hosting, so as soon as you need more hosting than the free pages and CMS items, you’re asked to pay. It has little to do with wether or not you’re publishing your site to production. I can’t find an example of a service that lets you achieve a full product for free before paying for publishing only.

Another logic is, for those who want to develop several sites at the same time, with no or little limitations, to purchase a Designer plan: unlimited sites on Enhanced Staging, with 100 pages, custom code, and where the only real limitation is 50 CMS items vs. 2000 on CMS plan — but here, 50 is most often enough to finish the design of the CMS prior to pay for hosting and inject the rest of the items, if any.

The pricing, with the 2 different types of plans, can be counter intuitive. I made a comparison website, maybe that can help you at times.

As for the price of external services… I completely understand, it’s sometimes not at all realistic to pay 20 a month for a full fledge CMS website and having to pay an extra 9 there or there for just one feature. Webflow is only a few years old, features comes fast. yesterday on day 1 of the Webflow world tour, they announced publicly what they’re working on:

  • user systems, should prevent to pay for memberstack
  • ecomm. subscriptions
  • logic flows, could ease the pain on zappier and integromat price

Along with nested symbols, super powerful components, team collaboration inside the designer…. sadly no multilanguage yet, which can be costly too. But they already said they have a team on it, and the tour is only beginning.

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Hi Vincent,
Thanks for the reply and in response to your " I can’t find an example of a service that lets you achieve a full product for free before paying for publishing only. ", WORDPRESS - the platform that they are targeting to get the majority of their users.
I can also code HTML, css, use Bootstrap etc but the supposed speed and ease of a dynamic web builder with built in CMS is the appeal for most. It is an upgrade on the basic Wordpress platform however once pagebuilders ( Divi, Elementor etc ) are added it’s no better in terms of use. Its main attraction was the speed and security as we all know the flaws of Wordpress based sites when used with plugins and a large user / visitor base. I can develop whatever I like for as long as I like without cost for hosting.
In terms of app builders, even Bubble.io lets you build full apps before having to pay to mmake them live and that is much more of a full blown app development suite than just a website builder.

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I’ve never seen Webflow as a wordpress competitor. Wordpress is a great open source tool that’s empowering hundreds of millions of people to create websites. It’s older, it’s also on a different paradigm. And if you need to pay for a server to run your wordpress, you kinda need to pay for it during development, or you dev it on local, but you need to run a server, php, mysql locally, which… is something :slight_smile:

But yeah, they’re both tools to create and run website, you’re right.

However, a builder is only one part of the system, and having to use several different builders on the same website isn’t so appealing. What I like in Webflow is that it covers a lot of technical and creative things at once. To put it shortly, I like to design, not manage, update, debug etc. The time I save doing only design easily covers costs I could consider as extra.

I am not trying to push my opinion on you, rather share my experience and point of view.

Again, I understand that you can be frustrated. I just hope that shortly you’ll be overwhelmed by the increased quality of your work, the easiness of the maintenance, and that this will ease the pain and help the transition.

All the feedback is good to take and I hope ppl at Webflow are reading you. They have said publicly that they are coming with a simpler version of their pricing, which I have no info about at all. They have been harshly criticized for their difficult to understand pricing, I can’t deny it’s complex and that’s why I came up with Komparator to help. Let’s see if the new pricing model is more generous in terms of the free plan, I hope soon.

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I feel like the page limit should be removed

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Hi @vincent, totally unrelated to the op but any chance we could find the day 1 video of the World Tour? We’d really like to talk about that on our blog.

Cheers.

No I don’t.

In case of: I am not working for Webflow, I’m just a guy :slight_smile:

The videos will be released one day soon but they don’t yet publish them because they need editing.

BUT each date of the tour is pretty similar to the others. The keynote, albeit hosted by different people, is the same one for each day. So you can catch up as soon as today 17:00 (EDT) with the NYC conference keynote. It will be the same as yesterday and tuesday. Tonight, it’s hosted by @brjohnson.

After that, some sessions are unique to the event and some others are repeated, such as “3 ways to supercharge your Webflow sites using Jetboost” by Chris.

As for myself I’m preparing popcorn for @brjohnson later session “Breakout session: Evolving design systems tooling in Webflow” because I haven’t seen it already.

Don’t miss the keynote, it’s rad. I’ve watch it yesterday, it was hosted by @gaby_izarra, it’s… DENSE! There’s also a very good ambiance in the chat.

So, take your ticket (free) now: https://events.webflow.com/events/details/webflow-webflow-world-tour-presents-webflow-world-tour-new-york/#/

Also take a minute to fill your profile, add a profile pic that will be helpful in the chat.

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How would you then keep an incentive to switch to a paid plan if you remove the page limit?

Hi Vincent,

Actually it’s simple more simple than you may think. What most people want to do is to build their full site and then pay to host it. Now to your question on incentive, the main reason I would then upgrade is because of the ads and not being able to add custom domain. The last two thing are fine as every builder uses them. Take Wix for example, its more basic, but you can build a site on it fully. You can add as many pages as you want. The incentive for wix users to upgrade is similar to yours (albeit the page limit) which is ok. Your page limit actually has a reverse effect on users. For example, I want to build my site. I want to upgrade it so it actually looks professional, but first i want to create the whole site, but seeing as I cant create the whole site I don’t actually want to upgrade it. The webflow ads and domain are definitely enough to stop a site looking professional, driving the incentive.

Anyway these are just my thoughts,

I think you would actually find more people upgrade if the can build a full site and add the finishing touches using a paid plan.

Let me know what you think,
Thomas

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Totally agree Thomas. A couple of other things to note -

I decided to try and style the CMS collection page which is present by default. Not a chance.
I loaded the example posts then added them to the page but do they display NOOOOOOOO.
Unless I am missing something I understand that I cannot publish them and get them to display unless I have a paid plan. Another job that takes time before the website is up and effectively paying for itself with advertising / client aquisition etc.

What happens if I get nearly all the way through building a site only to discover some functionality I need is not available. Yes I know these things should be checked but my past experience tells me that as a site develops my ideas sometimes change and a different direction is taken with certain things. If I have paid for a plan and spent time only to find I cannot do what I need that is time and money wasted.

Eric

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Well, I tried, have a great time with Wordpress.

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Vincent,
Why the withdrawn post ?
I know you are not a Webflow member and this is in no way a personal attack but you get me wrong - I hate Wordpress. It just happens to be the best solution for what I have had to build previously. While I dont consider myself as a coder by any means, all my Wordpress sites have been done usining a custom wriiten theme coded with HTML, Bootstrap ,CSS and some very cobbled together PHP. I avoid plugins as much as possible. I cringe at the security and the measures you have to take to make it hackproof ( mostly ) but I know how to do it and its free to develop on a local server using a free tool like Xamp or Wamp. My last site took several months because of the things stated above.
When complete I hosted with built in backup and Security for £11 per month. Updates didnt cause any bother as I only ran the base installation with a couple of plugins that were fully supported. ( £70 purchase and inclusive of 12 months support ). That website is now not my problem as I sold my printing business.
If I had made that website here it would of cost me several months plan costs before it was running live. In truth it would never have got live as I doubt the custom postage calculator and the custom pricing facility for the prints would not be doable here.

My gripe is that for a platform that I do want to use, has reasonable capability, security and speed why do they antagonise users with such a petty thing as a 2 page limit. No, $16 dollars is not a lot but I begrudge paying it just to develop a site, especially if it is going to take me several months to get to a launch stage.
I have paid serious money for hosting in the past and dont mind if it is relevant but it was for a LIVE site not a development site.
I always use custom domains - I want the site to appear professional and I dont want stupid ads popping up all over the place so along with the development time spent I would definately buy a plan when ready.
Why do you say there needs to be incentives to buy, anyone with a sense of professionalism about their site would surely buy the basic plan WHEN THEIR SITE IS FULLY DEVELOPED.

If Webflow staff are reading this please address this point urgently, I am sure you are losing customers because of this.

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I agree fully,

Basically webflow staff (@forresto @cyberdave etc. ) I love your platform, but the page limit may do you less favours in terms of monetization than you may think

And also (@forresto @cyberdave) who would the best people to talk about this with be?

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First of all, I’m not ranting, merely a little frustrated. A site won’t look “professional” with webflow logo and address, and yes this is ok, and I get this is an incentive to upgrade, which I have no problem with and would happily upgrade. I wouldn’t, however, upgrade until my site was finished which I can’t do with a page limit.

Sooooo long story short, I won’t upgrade until I finish and am at the launch stage, but I can’t get to the launch stage unless I upgrade which is a catch 22.

I hope this clears things up for you.

@EricD @Thomas_Milton

I think this discussion once again boils down to “Webflow is expensive”. I understand the desire to pay less while getting more, I am human as well after all, its a basic need. But it is what it is, I don’t think you would hate Adobe for subscription (which is probably more than Webflow) to use its tools?

Yes, Webflow owners decided that their product is good enough to ask for money from people who want to use it, their monetization strategy is different from open source solutions, true. I am personally happy to pay the price - Webflow is my number one work tool, there is no saving on those (ask any chef - good knives are goddamn expensive). After all my tools bring me money :slight_smile:

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Hi Dram,

Im not so sure. I’m happy to pay to upgrade but feel the page limit is an unnecessary incentive as i would only upgrade a finished site. The page limit means I cant finish. So therefore i wont upgrade.

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Think you have to remember that you get the developer, cdn, security, cms and so on for free.
You can publish for free using a webflow domain.
I don’t see anything like that anywhere else.
My website even on the free 2 pages was super optimised from the go with no effort from me.
You want more than 2 pages, get your credit card out! it still bonkers cheap.

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I mean you don’t pay for Adobe product only when you are ready to upload an image on the web, right? You pay during the whole production process so the model is the same.

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Just to clarify something.
I posted this becuse I cant get hold of anyone from Webflow direct and thought it might provoke some response from them only to find that its only the users providing comments.

In regards to Adobe, I left their service long ago. Their photographer package is good value but the cost of Illustrator as an app is overpriced. I purchased Affinity Desiner $49 one off price and it does the same thing. I still have my copy of CS6 to fall back on if needed. I have a lot more background in graphics and art than web design believe me, but it is now a personal interest not business. Its all about what you perceive as value.
The problem with a subscription package is that it must offer continued value every month and as I dont run either a graphic design business or a web design business I am very opinionated on what value is.
If I want to use something I prefer to buy it outright. Adobes switch to subscription was because they were getting their apps ripped off and the subscription model is just about the most profitable business model out there. As a home / personal user it no longer provided value at the prices they were charging. I know a LOT of people who have left Adobe for the same reason and a lot of those are professional designers.

In terms of Webflow, I dont think the hosting is expensive. It has never been a question of how much it is to use it - just when that cost should become applicable. It becomes expensive when you have to add external apps on a monthly cost, but that is a choice.
I have just never come across a platform that I want to use that imposes such limits on its users. I have used .Bubble.io, a full blown, no code app development platform and they do not charge for design time nor have limits on size etc. You pay when you launch.
Shopify - it has a time limit for trial but you can produce a FULL site for free during that time.
If you run a business you should run it efficiently, check expenditure, no waste etc.
My website is for my business. I am not getting paid to develop it by a customer. If I have to purchase a plan to develop it, it then becomes a non recoverable loss until it it goes live and starts generating traffic and leads. Yes, its a deductable expense but its money I consider wasted by principal. Expenditure without return is a poor plan, reardless of how little or how much.
Why not have a no page limit for free but without a publish option so you are forced to buy a plan when you want to go live. Its that simple and thats my issue.

Opinions will differ but those replies that dont understand the principal I am complaining about are the people using Webflow as one if not the only tool for their business and so their opinion is bound to be different, not at all wrong from their perpective of use and I appreciate that - just different compared to mine as I dont get paid to develop websites.

Hopefully I will get some reply from someone at Webflow

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I think it is fair to charge the minute you start uploading assets to their server. The 2 page limit makes sense because advanced developers know that it is possible to scrape pages and re-upload to another hosting environment.