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CMS hosting pricing a bit expensive for small websites

Again, I think it comes down to - if you don’t like the pricing model you don’t have to use the service. If Webflow is too expensive, you don’t like the direction, or you don’t agree with their decisions - no one is telling you Webflow is the only Web design tool out there. Feel free to jump ship and use another service that fits your specific needs.

When it comes to hosting, if you don’t want to pay Webflow’s hosting costs you can export your code to host wherever you’d like. Yes you will lose some features like CMS and form functionality, however this should be expected. These are processes and features that are handled by the server. If you export static front-end code (HTML/CSS/JS) - you should be aware that server-side features will not be included. What will be included is amazingly clean, w3c compliant, front-end code. Which you can then host wherever you’d like, for whatever cost you’d like.

I understand the form functionality is a main driver of people being upset, however there is the other thread where there are dozens of options & free services you can use to handle this.

Again, I know this is opinion but I want to say I am VERY happy with Webflow’s direction & costs. There’s a phenomenon in customer service where you are much more likely to hear from upset customers than happy customers. I think this is also a reason why you see threads like this. Please also keep in mind there are many happy Webflow customers who would rather Webflow not focus on what you are saying, but focus on their current direction.

So, you’re basically saying, “If ya don’t like it… you kin git out.” instead of suggesting that, just MAYBE, Webflow may want to take a listen to a large number of users who are asking. for. something. to. buy.

That kind of attitude is going to drive more people away than the lack of a low-tier hosting option ever could.

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I’m not angry.

It comes down to this;
You think it’s expensive, but you still use it. I don’t think $15 is expensive at all, even without the stuff I listed for the sheer time it saves. It’s definitely a matter of opinion of course.

But…

Why would any company reduce a cost if the demand is there and it’s being paid?

I DON’T use it. That’s the point. I can’t afford to. I WANT to use it (or, at least, a portion of it), but I can’t at this price point.

I WANT to be able to pay Webflow an amount of money to keep sites that have very, very low server strain on their servers. $15 per month per site is not that amount of money.

I am ASKING for an opportunity to take money out of my pocket and put it into theirs so that I can continue to use the editor (that is paid for by my $42/month plan) on 5-6 page websites without having to export them every time. $15 per month per site is not that amount of money.

I would LOVE to be able to just hit, “Publish” and be done with it when dealing with a website built on a tool that costs more than the entire Adobe Suite, and I would be happy to pay money for that. $15 per month per site is not that amount of money.

I would be THRILLED beyond belief to not have to coordinate 3 services together in order to have form submissions arrive in my customer’s inboxes without gaudy branding by “free” companies, and I would be happy to pay money for that privilege. $15 per month per site is not that amount of money.

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Ouch. I can’t say that I’ve ever heard of this business model from a web design/development company in my entire life. You’re hustlin’ backwards dude. I honestly, don’t really even believe you… how many sites are you even managing then? How many domain renewals are you on the hook for now on a yearly basis?

You can pay $120 a year to use Formspree - which shouldn’t really be a problem so no need to address the cost - just “hide” those fees and recover them from your next web pitch or even start charging people going forward a nominal fee for hosting on YOUR SERVER - problem solved.

The solution provided below is very simple - I believe it to be a very minimal amount of work that still facilitates a method of keeping everything nice and tidy inside each Webflow build.

As a suggestion, I would stop the “everything free for life” model. You can come off as friendly, knowledgeable, and transparent while still conveying that there are certain monthly & yearly “cost-of-doing-business” expenses involved with owning and running a website for their business, product, or service. If they don’t want to pay it, then they don’t want a website - it’s really that simple.

I mean, I get it - I don’t do the whole blanket monthly fee of X amount of dollars for “updates, maintenance, and hosting” to my clients either. I charge them what Webflow charges me - then if they need changes, whether small or large I quote those on a per need basis. I handle simple stuff for free because I like to be a nice guy that doesn’t nickel and dime my clients.

Change your pitch up, mine goes something like this:

"Are there any additional or on-going fees"
“Yep, you got a buy a domain - it’s about $10 a year, then you have to pay for monthly hosting which is like paying internet rent to park your new site on a bunch of web servers. It’s about as much as a few coffee’s or latte’s per month… so yea - nothing like your internet or phone bill”

Once you get to the finer details of $12 month annually, or $15 month to month or whatever it is… you’ve already let them know they blow that amount of money on trivial or unnecessary stuff (like coffee) and compared their new shiny marketing tool as just another “cost-of-doing-business”. By the time you get done throwing out buzzwords and phrases like 99.99% uptime, some of the fastest hosting available, assets served up via Content Delivery Network, Amazon Cloudfront, push changes with a click, SSL, security, backups, versioning, blah, blah, blah they are scrambling to sign the contract/proposal.

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You nailed it on the head, and I like how you tie the cost back to something tangible - especially something as common as coffee. When you really look at it, I don’t believe that anyone’s main issue is the price of the service, it’s their inability to sell the service to their clients.

I get it, selling sucks. I hated doing it at my first seasonal job selling TV’s at Sears, and I definitely don’t like it anymore as a freelance designer, but I’ve learned that good work doesn’t just fall on your lap. You need to work for it.

Not everyone will want to buy what your selling, that’s okay, but reducing yourself to selling a premium service at the lowest cost possible is only doing your business (and the industry as a whole) a disservice.

Platforms like Webflow make that sucky part of my job that much easier.

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First of all, I apologize for being so verbose in my response … I’ve always been a bit long winded

I am new to Webflow, having investigated (created) a website using WordPress and plugins, but found it very cumbersome. I then, over the past couple of months, started working with Muse and found it very appealing and easy to use, but Adobe dropped a bomb, in my opinion in terms of future viability, etc., became a non-starter. I then stumbled across Webflow and from what I have learned (viewed all the videos and read most everything on the site in terms of training), seems to be an amazing platform.

However, trying to understand the pricing plans and which route to take while in development was / is very difficult. I have read this entire thread and sort of understand the various viewpoints and pros/cons, and here is my take and comments/frustrations.

Just to level set and provide my point of view. My wife and I have a brick and mortar store we started about 2 1/2 years ago that is doing well; and now we are working on branching out to eCommerce. We do have a web presence (not eCommerce) that is doing well for local SEO and we have a five star rating with over 100 positive reviews. I mention all this because I am not a designer / freelancer looking to make a business out of web design (but who knows); so I am looking at the costs for Webflow from a little bit different perspective (being a mom & pop store owner)

I agree with those respondents, that if you are looking at making an additional margin on the hosting costs, (which should really be passed on to your clients) really doesn’t make sense. For example, we sell a lot of print products and sometimes they have to be produced at a different location which incurs an additional shipping cost. We have made the decision to not mark this cost up and only the product. Basically a direct pass through cost to the customer. We itemize our invoices and they will obviously see they are paying more for shipping than they have to and would think we are being too greedy. They are however happy to pay for our products which include our markups , our design expertise and excellent customer service. I am not saying that Webflow hosting is cheaper or more expensive, but the hosting cost could be flowed to the client.

Where I have an issue with the current cost structure is this:

The starter plan only has two static pages, which really isn’t enough to build a full website in preparation for launch. I ran up against the wall when I tried to add more pages and it said I had to add a hosting plan to keep building it. This is puzzling because our site is no where near completion or ready for hosting. I was also not able to do any work with the CMS side of things, which again required a CMS hosting plan. Again very confusing since we aren’t ready to have our site hosted in the first place.

Today I then learned that the CMS hosting subscription that we paid $192 for in order to get the ability to create more than 2 pages and have CMS capabilities was only applicable for one project. It was never stated anywhere in the pricing pages that the hosting plan was only applied to a single project, not our entire account or any of our other projects. I view the other projects as testing grounds or when I want to clone a project / get ideas for what will eventually become the final site. But now, the CMS hosting is attached to a site I cloned for use in our final site and has basically locked down the capability of using the CMS hosting for any other final project. I guess my only alternative is to wipe down the project that has the CMS hosting option paid for so I can move what I really want there back in.

All this to say, is that clarity is really needed in what to expect in the differences between the account charges and hosting charges. Personally I think it’s fair to have these two charges, one for designer and one for hosting, but if you pay for the designer charges, then you should have all the designer options like CMS, additional pages, and basically everything you need to finalize a site … and then pay for the hosting and other relevant functionality that is needed for hosting (SSL, CDN, etc). I don’t mind paying when I am using the amazing Designer tool while I am building the site, and I don’t mind paying for both when we go live. But I shouldn’t have to pay for both while I am designing and building, just to get the functionality that I am needing at the moment.

Anyway, glad to be a part of the Webflow community, but I do feel a little duped in thinking that I could pay a reasonable cost while I am working getting things going, but in reality actually have to spend twice as much during the time we are building.

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Hi @msteveng

I understand on the confusion with pricing when you are new to the product - I think there’s some room for improvement on clarity, especially where people have been used to a different model.

Specifically for your use case - I think you should maybe consider the Lite - Designer plan. This would give you up to 10 projects to draft things, and to build with the CMS, before you add hosting to an individual project.

Hopefully you’ve had some more clarity from @PixelGeek via the support channels - if you decide a Lite plan might be better for your needs - make sure to discuss that with them…

So Lite would let me develop with full CMS, more than two pages and work with up to 10 projects to test things out without having to worry about hosting at this time? If so, that would be great.

I wonder if there is any way to transfer what I paid for CMS hosting over to the Lite plan?

Thanks,

Steve

Hi @msteveng, can you send us a message on our contact page about the cms hosting? https://university.webflow.com/contact.

We can help move the credit for the hosting to the account so that you can get the lite plan, no problem.

Thanks in advance

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Hi Dave,

thanks for the response.

Micah took care of me and I am now on the Lite version.

Thanks

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Just checked the price about E-commerce. 42$/months. I know they want money, because we are selling stuffs, but for people who are just starting and selling like one item per year, it’s very expensive. I’m not selling anything right now, but just saying…

Currently, I host my website for $72 USD/year. With Webflow, only the basic without CMS would be $144 USD/year and if you add CMS it’s $240 USD/year. https://webflow.com/pricing

Webflow look great on paper, but for people like me who are just creating a portfolio and a small blog, better keep Wordpress.

Currently coding my website by hands (HTML5 and CSS3) and I will convert it into a Wordpress theme with Pinegrow when it will be finished. Will be the same as Webflow, but will cost me a lot less.

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