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Pricing & Marketplace Feedback

Following the latest Webinar, where total overhaul of pricing was mentioned, I feel eager to give my two cents :slight_smile: I would like to suggest some criteria for building a good pricing model, without suggesting a specific model itself. If Webflow find these criteria useful, they could apply them as a checklist to their own ideas.

  • pricing should allow client ownership and designer access without any extra cost - well, this is the biggest problem I myself experience with the current pricing of Webflow. Currently the whole pricing model is conceived in a way as if all Webflow users are designers and this creates a lot of confusion. What if I am just a user who wants one single web site with advanced features, why should I be paying for 20 private projects on the Personal plan? And then, what if I am a designer who wants to build a site for a client and give the client full ownership and access to that site (wchich is just logical)? Currently this is possible only with the collaborator feature on the more expensive plans. This is just insane. My suggestion is that every single site goes with one additional user access covered in the price, so that designer and client could both access the site. (This should be available regardless of the CMS collaborators feature. Some clients simply do not need a dynamic site and others are confident to tinker with the designer mode. Still others may just insist to have full control over their site no matter if they are skilled to edit it or not);

  • pricing should not impede organic advertising effect - I have raised this before ( - for instance any feature which increases the site performance in terms of speed should be covered by all plans, instead of being optional. Why is this important? Because fast sites are a great for demonstrating the power of the platform. Imagine me trying to convince a friend to consider Webflow and having to explain that the site X could have been faster if I paid for this or that feature, but since I have not, it is not at its fastest… The demo effect is ruined. Same holds true for having Webflow in the classroom. Webflow is just great for teaching kids how to make sites and this is the biggest free advertising you could possibly think of. So then, why not have special educational access accounts for teachers to use in the classroom? With easy password access, full functionality access, etc.

  • there should be a limited free version for new customer acquistion purposes - currently available with the Starter plan and implemented quite well as a whole;

  • pricing should be easy to compare a Webflow site with a Wordpress site - this needs no special explanation, Wordpress is the king on this market and if you want to make money, you need to outplace it. In order to outplace it, you should make it easy for consumers to compare Webflow against Wordpress;

  • niche features should be optional and charged separately - this concerns the upcoming plug-ins marketplace. Features which are essential should be covered in all pricing plans (e.g. site search). Features which are very specific should be optional, that is, available as plug-ins. My stance is that plug-ins should be available only and solely from Webflow, instead of being available from a marketplace where different developers compete with their own plug-in creations (more on this:

  • pricing should allow flexibility - e.g.

  • pricing should allow a user to affect the development roadmap - what if, let’s say 2% of the yearly spending of a user were deducted to a special “investing fund”, available for the user to invest them into a roadmap item of his/ her choice?

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Along pricing, I would also like to mention a few words about the templates marketplace, as well as the upcoming plug-ins one - because, at the end of the day, those costs add up to the total one and therefore they are a component of pricing, even if not an immediately visible one.

My suggestion is for Webflow to completely give up on the templates/ designer/ plug-ins marketplaces as potential revenue streams. Such marketplaces are a completely different game from the visual coding tool as a product:

a) marketplaces are outside the focus of the visual coding tool - the more time and money you spend on them, the less remaining for improving Webflow. If Webflow was free, then they could have been a legitimate income model. But currently it’s the other way around - Webflow is the product you charge for. If you pursue making money on both you’d lose focus and the victim would be your value proposition - that is the visual coding tool.

b) online marketplaces are an all or nothing game. You hardly have place for more then two significant marketplaces under the sun. The simple reason for this is that the more variety a markeplaces offers, the more people it attracts, and then the more people it attracts, the more chance for greater variety… How many significant competitors of Themeforest do you know? :slight_smile: How many significant competitors of Upwork do you know? :slight_smile: Developing marketplaces is something huge.

I can guess that you would counter me by saying that you are building marketplaces for the Webflow community itself, so you do not have any competitors currently. But then, you are not taking advantage of the advertising effect. If you have all Webflow templates published on Themeforest, instead of having them on, you automatically win exposure to people who are not converted Webflow users and this is just great. But then, you would not be able to control quality of template submissions? No problem with that, you could simply make a certification program, and for a fee certify themes as Webflow approved. Then you’d have both unapproved and Webflow approved themes on Themeforest. Let the client decide.

c) extra revenie is still possible within the focus of the visual coding tool - continuing from above, you might say now, but what about the potential revenue lost by not making money on template sales? Well, let me repeat, you core product is the visual coding tool and the more you improve it, the more money you’d make on subscription plans. Let the themes be an advertising channel (which is money saved on advertising) - do not charge anything except the certification fee, let designers sell them in whatever way they find best. Plenty of good themes is good advertising, do not try to extract money from that. There are ways to make extra money on the visual coding tool alone. What about feature development on demand for example? You could make “a Kickstarter inside Webflow” - e.g. let users sponsor thefaster development of features of their choice or something like that. Or develop a form-building service (