Please tell me if I the following assumptions are correct and if possible give me a short statement on your intentions behind your pricing policy:
If you have 20 different customers who want a website+CMS you have the following possibilities:
1st POSSIBILITY: You “buy” a Starter plan and create 20 different accounts for your clients.
For this webflow charges an overall amount of 400$/month. Of course you can now try to sell your client a hosting for 20$ per month, which I agree is possible (if the client has no idea how much a hosting usually costs). Unfortunately this could cause some “why did you sell me such an expensive hosting” discussions once they find out that you usually pay 5-10$.
I tried to sell it to one of my latest clients right after the CMS launched and I got familar to it. But the following proplem occures in such situations: The client doesn’t care a single bit about the tool I use to create the website (and the ones who do care are strictly against webflow because they insist on their actual CMS like silverstipe/typo3 or wordpess …). The only thing that is important to my clients is that they are NOT bound to a single designer or a CMS system that nearly nobody can work with. They always want the opportunity to be able to change the designer and the developer (actually they never do but giving them the opportunity often seals the deal). But if they ask me if that is possible with webflow my honest answer is NO. The reason for that answer is simply because webflow isn’t big enough and nearly nobody can evolve an existing website in webflow. So if I ask a client if he wants his website to be custom made by my developer (based on a free CMS) OR if he wants to pay more to be bound to me as designer (and to webflow as a tool) + increased costs, I am pretty sure you can imagine the answer of my clients.
2nd POSSIBILITY: You buy a Personal plan and create 20 different websites on your account.
Let’s do the math again with 20 different customer websites incl. a CMS. Webflow will now charge 10$/month for each of the sites (and if I understood correctly for only one domain? - not sure about that because it makes no sense due to the fact that some clients need multiple domains for one site). My first thoughts on this: nice price! - a little bit more than an I usually charge for hosting but it’s an really awesome CMS so I guess it’s ok. Overall price now: 20$/month (account) + 200$/month for all of the sites…
if you continue to be successful and get more and more customers you soon have to pay 42$/month and then 84$/month. That alone isn’t the problem (although 84$/month for a single tool is pretty insane). The real problem in my opinion is now that you won’t ever be able to cancel your 84$ subscription because all your clients CMS-sites are on this account. So if you cancel the subsciption all sites will be unavailable, right? So what if I don’t wanna use webflow in 3 years anymore because a better tool is on the market? Or maybe I quit my work as a freelancer cause webflow needs a new CEO? I could continue this but if I assume correctly you cannot cancel your subscription anymore if you don’t want your clients to kill you – so you continue to pay webflow just because they force you to.
Riot Games developed a game called League of Legends. Over the years it became the most successful game and gained a huge user base. Why? Simply because it is a good game and due to the fact that you can play it for FREE. So you might assume that other big games, for example like World of Warcraft, which force the player to pay ~12$/month, still create far more revenue. But the truth is that Riot made 1,5 billion dollar in 2015 (twice the amount of World of Warcraft - please don’t nail me on that, I just googled it).
How did they manage to do that? They offered the user to pay cosmetic items in the game which actually have no impact on the game itself. But users who have more money spend FAR more than 12$ each month and so they compensate the millions of users who pay nothing and just play it for free. In my opinion this is a very clever strategy because every single user strenghtens the userbase and the game grows and grows and so more of the paying users will occur in the future.
I know that’s kind of a poor comparison. Webflow is not a game and you need a different pricing policy for such tools. The reason I used this comparison is simply to show the different mindset of those companies. On the long run it can be better not to squeeze money out of the clients and force them to pay forever with some sneaky subscription plans.
Please don’t get me wrong. I don’t want to use webflow for free or for a cheap price. It’s an awesome product and if you want to use an awesome product you have to pay for that. And as I mentioned I wouldn’t mind paying far more than 20$/month. But I don’t wanna create my business based on a company that forces me to stick to them forever. (BTW it’s same reason why my clients are happy when I tell them that they can continue to work with everyone else if they decide to do so for whatever reason.)
I can’t talk for others but that is the reason why I don’t wanna use webflow which in my opinion is the most awesome tool of the last decade. Sad but true.
PS: Sorry for the wall of text and for my clunky english. It’s kinda hard to deliver all those thoughts if you are not used to write in english.