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Free vs Pro

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I'm considering the idea of having a FREE version and a PRO version of WinToolkit v2.x. It's not set in stone. So here are some questions:

 

  • What do you think should be available to the PRO version but not the FREE version? Obviously driver + update integration will be free. 
  • How much would you be willing to pay for the PRO version?
  • Any other input?

 

 

I will add that if i did choose the pro / free options. I would have a bog standard installer with no offers and remove the ads (on links) for the pro users.

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I think driver + update integration & tweaks should be free. In my opinion about 15€ - 25€ would be fair.

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I have been around for quite a few years working on "integration's" with the various tools and resources that have been available. Unfortunately the demands on all the developers is extremely high which has caused the early "retirement" of far too many of them. I am a FIRM believer that some form of financial "appreciation" should just be common sense and fair but unfortunately it's not. YES I do know that some of the developers have said they do not want donations and don't accept them BUT I still would like to show appreciation.

 

I mean think about it... each of us are in different situations... some here need financial help more than others, some don't need it at all. If all the people that download and use these tools gave a small donation I am quite sure it would add up to something tangible for the developers. For those that don't want donations well... we all have holidays, birthdays, family etc... would it hurt any of us to donate the cost of a beer to show our appreciation.

 

Yes I know I am rambling on so I will get back on point. I am all for a free and paid Pro version. I think if you give too much away free then people will simply not buy the pro version and in essence it will be a similar finical situation as your in now. If you make the price too high then it becomes prohibitive to far too many people. I personally think somewhere around $20.00 is a reasonable number. (that's about 2 drinks at a bar here in the US :-) ) ... even $30.00 is reasonable.

 

Have you considered keeping v1 free and v2 paid? Many other software developers do that exact same concept.

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Have you ever thought of selling the tabs the user need ? update + driver integration for free and say about 5€ for every additional tab the user really needs (e.g. Wim-Registry Editor, Component Removal, AiO-Disc-Creator and so on) and about 25€ for unrestricted WinToolkit.

Edited by Snow

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Have you ever thought of selling the tabs the user need ? update + driver integration for free and say about 5€ for every additional tab the user really needs (e.g. Wim-Registry Editor, Component Removal, AiO-Disc-Creator and so on) and about 25€ for unresctricted WinToolkit.

Not bad the concept!

 

 

@compstuff

Good idea too!

 

Thiersee

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all for free and pro version.however pro version will attract pirates that cant afford if priced to high.happens a lot with free and pro version software especially.and before anyone asks I purchase everything legitametly.i think free version should contain the basics and the pro version the more advanced tools.

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Unfortunately I think your 100% correct and I too ONLY use free or paid.

all for free and pro version.however pro version will attract pirates that cant afford if priced to high.happens a lot with free and pro version software especially.and before anyone asks I purchase everything legitametly.i think free version should contain the basics and the pro version the more advanced tools.

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its just the way the world has become compstuff.

 

developers should get paid im all for that.its that damn  licensing policy which is crazy 1 year subscription.they charge a lot for something that will be useless after the 1 year period.then if you like it you have to repay and before you know it its costing hundreds of thousands of pounds.its a good job Microsoft doesn't use this policy we will all be screwed.

Edited by reptileodeath

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it will be hard to catch on as its been free for years, but good luck

I would get my own forum and make money that way with subscribers and Google adsense your toolkit

will bring thousands of people and you will make $ 200 a month from Google adsense alone, just my 2 sense.

I bet someone is making lots of Adsense money off your project right now, 90 percent of the traffic here is for you.

Maybe they are spliting it with you, I don't know, my point is keep it free and make money too.

Edited by kirk

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Hmm.... :)

 

I'll have to drop a few words here...

 

A lot of work and sleepless nights were put in this site. Members who were with us from the beginning know how much frustration we got with our hosting issues.

 

During our journey we have changed several hosting companies and numerous server configurations that include shared hosting, VPS servers, hybrid and semi-dedi servers at JaguarPC. We had issues everywhere until we moved to a semi-dedicated (dedicated) Hetzner DataCenter in Germany. During this migrations we had a lot of downtimes, frustrations, communication with hosting companies, DDOS issues, etc...

 

Site expenses? Oh yes. Please check for some semi-dedi server prices with similar hardware to ours, daily backups and full server support.

Our server has 24GB of RAM, RAID configuration, daily backups and full tech support.

 

Just to see what I am talking about, here are some of the prices for the hybrid servers that were not sufficient for our needs:

http://www.jaguarpc.com/dedicated-servers/hybrid-server/

 

Also, you can try to configure a server here and see the pricing :)

http://www.hetzner.de/hosting/produktmatrix/managed-server-produktmatrix/

 

Then, please check prices for Invision Board forum and Downloads module that we're using here:

http://www.invisionpower.com/buy

 

Have in mind that a lot of users are using adblockers these days and you really can't cover site expenses just from ads if you really don't have a huge and profitable site.

Therefore people are helping with donations and we are thankful for that.

 

Don't get me wrong kirk, but I just wanted to let you know that running a web site is not as cheap as you think :)

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as a hobby developer, i'll share my expierence

 

though i am no expert by any streatch of the imagination, i suspect i have kind of run the gammet with trying to monetize software and these are my personal feelings...

 

* 3rd party offers packeged with the installer (user can opt in/out) -- garbage - though it generated a small income, i felt 'dirty' doing this and will likely never do it again - you will (rightfully) suffer the wrath from users who miss the oppertunity to opt out and have junk installed they didn't want - the executable used to download crap may be downloaded even before the user opts in - you may not be able to offer a portable/archive package - may cause you keep the source closed should you want to open it

 

* donations -- almost useless, people don't donate to any significant degree - i assume you already know this, else you probably wouldn't be contemplating monetizing through other means :) - may cause you keep the source closed should you want to open it

 

* adware -- i HATE adware and i suspect many users share this feeling - personally i never even contemplate using any such software that contains ads unless it's not something i use often (like a tweak that is run once after OS installation or whatever) - may cause you keep the source closed should you want to open it

 

* desktop shortcuts for product offers -- useless - may cause you keep the source closed should you want to open it

 

* shareware/demoware/crippleware -- this is the method i currently use, though i am not entirely pleased with it - i would much rather provide software for free and monetize another way - users will obviously expect timely support (just sayin') - if the product is popular at all, you will have hackers distributing cracks for it - you have the whole licensing hassle; how to impliment it both client and server side, encryption, keeping track of licenses, etc. - may cause you keep the source closed should you want to open it

 

* free, clean software -- if you don't want to monetize the software itself, you can always create a website for it and place ads on the site - i am also trying this and it does gen a small income, but i don't get allot of traffic (you will likely get a lot more) - big dissadvantage may be that some/many software sites offer direct downloads or hotlink to your files, so users may never see your website, though you can probably entice them there through the software with support contact forms, user forums, software manuals/tutorials/videos/plugins, etc.

 

i would expect that WTK is fairly popular and has a lot of potential (look at nLite - speaking of which, you might want to contact him and see what his feelings are) and so, personally, if i were you and i needed the income, i would: a) keep it free and clean; B) advertise on the website; c) ask for donations in the software and website; d) possibly charge for priority support

 

most people do not want to pay for software, period, and you will lose a lot of exposure if you go this route, which is why i'm considering other options

 

being a developer myself and realizing the immense effort that goes into a project and the miniscule return realized, i still never pay for software, though i will donate generously to exceptional developers on occasion, usually for open source projects (actually i lie - i did buy ONE license - SandboxIE... oh, and for the original version of Half-Life :) )

 

i also never bother with anything for which there is a "pro" version and certinly never anything with a peridical subscription - for whatever reason, that is just a huge turn-off for me, just like adware

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Have in mind that a lot of users are using adblockers these days and you really can't cover site expenses just from ads if you really don't have a huge and profitable site.

Therefore people are helping with donations and we are thankful for that.

 

Don't get me wrong kirk, but I just wanted to let you know that running a web site is not as cheap as you think :)

 

regarding the ad blocker thing, i don't have any stats to support this, but i would suspect that the amount of revenue lost from ad blockers is minimal since we (i'm one of them) simply hate advertising and wouldn't click on the ads if they were visable

 

now combine that with the fact that i'm advertising on my own website :)  - HOWEVER... i personally don't run ads from an ad network - they are all useful, hand picked products/services that i actually use and/or recommend, so i actually like the ads on my site

 

and yeah, if anyone thinks runing a dedicated box is cheap, think again - and a site like this can't run on a web-hosting (shared) box

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Adblocking is actually very damaging to my revenue at www.wpiw.net

 

I really must say you are quite a smug person. I myself have on many occasions spent well over 40 hours a week on my program and have lost internet and many other things (I don't even have a pc of my own right now) due to the fact the people exactly like you never donate or purchase licenses. IMO you are even lower than the standard leecher because you just admit to being a jerk and don't care.

 

I get less than 40 a month in ad revenue and over the last ten years I have recieved less than a thousand in unsolicited donations.

 

So lets do basic math here:

 

BASIC internet = $30 a month times 12 = $360 x 10 = 3,600

Lost wages AT LEAST 700 a month

Hosting costs = at least $50 a month.

 

So your looking at a personal investment of at least 10,000 and then you waltz in here and pull that "I never pay" sh*t

 

By the way before you make helpful suggestions to me my programming is always open source, never add-linked or any adware at all not even nagware. And the only thing I actually ask for real money is when they want to use it corporate side. That's $100 and you know how many actually have bought licenses for that?? 12 companies. I get over 10,000 dl's a month from my server and my stuff is hosted everywhere yet I can't even afford a pc.........

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@Kelsenellenelvian - that was really uncalled for

 

i'm a "smug" person because i use an ad blocker? or because i don't click on ads?  or because i don't support YOU personally? you're funny

 

and where did i say that i never donate or purchase licenses? you're making an assumption that is completely false - you read my other post, WHERE do i say that wise guy?

 

i have donated to several developers, some more than once, and the amounts were very likely to be far more than what they would have asked for if they were charging

 

what a joke

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as a hobby developer, i'll share my expierence

 

though i am no expert by any streatch of the imagination, i suspect i have kind of run the gammet with trying to monetize software and these are my personal feelings...

 

* 3rd party offers packeged with the installer (user can opt in/out) -- garbage - though it generated a small income, i felt 'dirty' doing this and will likely never do it again - you will (rightfully) suffer the wrath from users who miss the oppertunity to opt out and have junk installed they didn't want - the executable used to download crap may be downloaded even before the user opts in - you may not be able to offer a portable/archive package - may cause you keep the source closed should you want to open it

 

* donations -- almost useless, people don't donate to any significant degree - i assume you already know this, else you probably wouldn't be contemplating monetizing through other means :) - may cause you keep the source closed should you want to open it

 

* adware -- i HATE adware and i suspect many users share this feeling - personally i never even contemplate using any such software that contains ads unless it's not something i use often (like a tweak that is run once after OS installation or whatever) - may cause you keep the source closed should you want to open it

 

* desktop shortcuts for product offers -- useless - may cause you keep the source closed should you want to open it

 

* shareware/demoware/crippleware -- this is the method i currently use, though i am not entirely pleased with it - i would much rather provide software for free and monetize another way - users will obviously expect timely support (just sayin') - if the product is popular at all, you will have hackers distributing cracks for it - you have the whole licensing hassle; how to impliment it both client and server side, encryption, keeping track of licenses, etc. - may cause you keep the source closed should you want to open it

 

* free, clean software -- if you don't want to monetize the software itself, you can always create a website for it and place ads on the site - i am also trying this and it does gen a small income, but i don't get allot of traffic (you will likely get a lot more) - big dissadvantage may be that some/many software sites offer direct downloads or hotlink to your files, so users may never see your website, though you can probably entice them there through the software with support contact forms, user forums, software manuals/tutorials/videos/plugins, etc.

 

i would expect that WTK is fairly popular and has a lot of potential (look at nLite - speaking of which, you might want to contact him and see what his feelings are) and so, personally, if i were you and i needed the income, i would: a) keep it free and clean; B) advertise on the website; c) ask for donations in the software and website; d) possibly charge for priority support

 

most people do not want to pay for software, period, and you will lose a lot of exposure if you go this route, which is why i'm considering other options

 

being a developer myself and realizing the immense effort that goes into a project and the miniscule return realized, i still never pay for software, though i will donate generously to exceptional developers on occasion, usually for open source projects (actually i lie - i did buy ONE license - SandboxIE... oh, and for the original version of Half-Life :) )

 

i also never bother with anything for which there is a "pro" version and certinly never anything with a peridical subscription - for whatever reason, that is just a huge turn-off for me, just like adware

hmmm says it right there ^

 

I was using myself as a example but its attitudes like yours that is the reason for the need like adware and so much less hi-quality freeware out there. People don't care about the little guys costs as long as they can get it for free.

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yes, it does say... exactly the opposite of your assumption that i never donate or buy a license, doesn't it -- whoops

 

so i come here and reply to a post, that isn't yours, with the intension of possibly assisting a felow developer, and you jump in and attack me, and I'M the one with an "attitude"? -- wow-wee!

 

you somehow have decided to catorgorize people who prefer an ad-free web as having an"attitude"?

 

and then attempt to reason that, because of the ad-haters, MORE ads are needed? LOLOL

 

the world is changing my friend, whether you like it or not. adapt. there are other ways to earn a living.

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You say clearly "I still never pay for software". Yes you do say on occasion you donate. I am pretty jaded towards people with that kind of thinking. Software costs way too much due to the fact that so many people think they shouldn't pay for it at all or just use only free software while rarely donating. This is the core of the argument. Lego is only wanting to charge because there is not enough support without charging a fee. He (And most other developers including I) did not start thinking this would be a career or wanting to get rich, but Lego (And many others I know) are actually much worse off for attempting to put free open source software out there and not even being able to make ends meet. (Saying you have bought a game and sandboxie is not really saying much, are you using warez os's to browse and post that with?) have you ever bought MS office or Windows? You seem to say you haven't

 

I can access stats that show what my ad driven revenue on my site would be without ad-blockers and it would be considerably more. 

 

You seem to insinuate that ads on the site should be enough to cover basic costs and it is not. I am trying to make it clear that developers like us spend thousands yearly on services, supplies and time that we don't see back, yet when we bring up the subject of charging everyone throws a fit.

 

My argument with you is not the ad free it is the pedestal you set yourself on coming here with the intention of helping and then saying you never pay for software. (Which you very clearly say)

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yes i did say "I still never pay for software", after which i said "though i will donate generously to exceptional developers on occasion, usually for open source projects (actually i lie - i did buy ONE license - SandboxIE... oh, and for the original version of Half-Life)" which nullifies your earlier statement, "people exactly like you never donate or purchase licenses"

which leaves me wondering how your argument can even be applied to me, unless it is just a rant that isn't really directed toward me, which appears to be the case, yet i'm still the recipient of it

i see you assume that i use cracked s/w - well you're both right and wrong; i don't anymore, but yes, i used to on occasion - how about yourself? - and as for my frequency of license purchases, i'm sorry they are less frequent than you would like, but i prefer FOSS over proprietary any day, which means i use very little shareware - why would i want to pay for something like MS Office when Libre is open source and free?  as for windows, anyone who has bought a PC with it installed has paid a license fee, though since i have no respect for MS as a company due to political influence, ethical reasons and proprietary software, i will likely never buy an MS product again

as far as Lego trying to monetize, that was exactly my purpose here: to let him know about my experiences and hopefully offer some alternatives - one does not have to monetize the software to make money from the software

2 of the devs i donated rather generously to are nuhi and Ryan - nLite and RyanVM - and if i use and like WTK and actually start building installations with it (i only played with it a couple times so far, long ago), i would be likely to donate to Lego as well, not that i'm sure how that's any of your concern

 

WAIT A FRIGGIN MINUTE - I DID DONATE TO LEGO - just realized that! he can verify by looking for a lavabit.com email address, which is probably the one i used

 

other projects i've donated to include Mozilla, Classic Shell, several Firefox extension devs, the people who run UER, a couple of crowd sourced movies, riseup.net, lavabit.com, FindBar Tweak, Notepad++ (i think) and i don't know how many others over the years, and if i could afford more, i would gladly donate more

like i said, the world is changing and this utterly childish monetary system which we are slaves to, and which we base everything off of, is either going to be replaced eventually or we will kill ourselves -- and everything else -- trying to maintain it - until then, yes, some of us need to earn a living, but if something isn't working, then i think it's utterly pointless to gripe that it isn't working - if you dislike ad-haters, then find another way because you know very well we are not going to disappear, nor will arguing why you think ad-blockers are evil will cause anyone to magically agree with your opinion and disable their ad-blocker, nor will arguing that "warez" is bad going to cause a revelation among crackers

i understand and sympathize somewhat with your reference to warez and all the rest of it, but let me ask you this; does it do any any good to gripe about it? has it done the MPAA and the RIAA any good to gripe about bittorrnet or shut down "pirate" sites? they are people with an antique mindset who refuse to evolve by adapting to the market and what good is it doing them? in no way whatsoever are they going to change the mindset of people who refuse to pay in any meaningful way, so they WILL have to either evolve or die

the people determine the market (to an extent at least) no matter how vehemently you or i or anyone else might wish it to be the other way around

 

while i see the point of part of your argument, again, you aren't going to change anything by griping about it ... and you have painted me with a very inaccurate brush

 

Edited by atomMan

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WOW this escalated quickly. I will add that if i did choose the pro / free options. I would have a bog standard installer with no offers and remove the ads (on links) for the pro users.

 

Calm down people. All opinions are welcome here. But please don't start personally attacking people. :)

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