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My concerns about paid plugins

Discussion in 'General XenForo Discussion and Feedback' started by Robert Prost, May 11, 2012.

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  1. Robert Prost

    Robert Prost Member

    Hello all. I just want to share that I am am growing more and more scared of how things go around here. There are just very few plugins / feature addons and most of them are crap, sorry to say, but I tried plenty.

    Now I see a tendency towards asking unjustified amounts of money for plugins not offering all that much to begin with or offering features which should be standard issue in a professional forum software anyway, like f.e. changing usernames ... omg, yes?

    I see f.e. SMF which is a great forum software; I use it myself (also in combination with Subdreamer CMS) ... wonderful. And there are tons of good plugins, of course 90+% of them free or mostly for very fair prices.

    xenForo itself is very expensive to begin with and this tendency for high priced plugins, I see that xenForo will not incorporate those functions or evolve, thus not disgruntling the 'developers' here. I say 'developers' with hyphens, cause what I see in the resource manager, I can do almost all of it myself, no big deal and/or mostly ports from open-source PHP projects anyway.

    I am very concerned about where this going and I also see the cost of ownership of a decent xenForo rising to > 500$ ... sorry but no-go. Just my 2 cents.
    8thos, Adam Howard and 0xym0r0n like this.
  2. craigiri

    craigiri Well-Known Member

    $500 is about 5-10 hours work for most folks who are pro or semi-pro.

    Let's face it - forum software (paid) is dirt cheap compared to most things in life. Two tickets to a decent concert cost as much or more than XF.

    You have a point about free software. I love it - I use it.

    As to "where it is going", no one knows. Those of us with some experience in these matters (been online myself since 1986) see XF as a more modern framework than most which can be built upon by both the company and developers. Will that happen? No one know! Business is always a crap shoot.

    The plug-ins which I use, both free and paid, have been up to my expectations. I won't use one which seems flaky...no reason to base or bet the board on it.

    In short, if "Xenforo is very expensive to begin with", I have to assume you've never stayed in a hotel room or went out to dinner nor paid a cable bill.

    One inherent unfairness of software is that you don't pay "per user" or "per amount of income". A free or hobby site has to pay as much as a site that brings in $200K in profit per year. That's a problem with the whole model of software. One person buys Photoshop and uses it to create commercial projects day in and day out. Another buys it and uses it once a week for a hobby. It seems the later gets a bad deal....

    This is a business proposition and decision. A company like XF could (now or someday) make a "business decision" to follow various models...from giving the stuff away FREE and then charging for support and add-ons, to allowing for "executive" accounts with increased tech support, etc. etc.

    But most coders are not good business people and tend to follow the old rules....which are at least proven to some extent.
    The8thLegion likes this.
  3. Hatsu

    Hatsu Member

    If you can do almost all yourself where is your problem? :unsure:
    borbole, Sadik B and Doctor like this.
  4. RobParker

    RobParker Well-Known Member

    Hmm I completely disagree.

    I'd much rather pay a premium for an addon with the additional support/reassurance that it provides. Building your site around free features is all well and good until the author disappears or something breaks. At least with paid addons you have some expectation of long-term support.

    Also >$500 is still less than 1 months hosting costs for a medium sized forum. XF is cheap in my opinion.
  5. mrGTB

    mrGTB Well-Known Member

    Keep in mind some people cannot code mods, most are just not coders able to do it themselves.
  6. Robert Prost

    Robert Prost Member

    But I agree! :)
    1) The value does not live up to the $ here
    2) Totally standard-issue features like changing your username costing 10$? Sorry but if I were browsing to buy forum software, I would run.
    TheVisitors likes this.
  7. Deebs

    Deebs Well-Known Member

    That's not a problem. Don't buy into XenForo by purchasing a licence. It really is that simple.

    Personally for me, I can spend over £300 in one night having some beers/food with friends. XenForo and the mods I have purchased equate to me having to stay "in" for a few nights.
    Akela, Kevin, yavuz and 2 others like this.
  8. Robert Prost

    Robert Prost Member

    ... yep and that's what surely > 90% of people do and that concerns me and it should concern xenForo ;)
    TheVisitors likes this.
  9. Lycaon

    Lycaon Well-Known Member

    I have to completely disagree with you about a decent installation costing $500 or more. In my opinion XF doesn't need many of the plugins which are here. Yes some of them may make it a little more fancy but not using them won't mean you have incomplete software.

    Again I disagree about XF being very expensive. Not saying that's it's cheap but I wouldn't say expensive either - I think it's sitting at the right price.

    As for the cost of the plugins, if you don't like the price don't buy them. No one is forcing you to buy/use them and it's not like XF won't function without them.

    I do have a question though, if you can do most of what's available yourself why don't you just do it? I mean you could also add here for free or cheaper for anyone else who may feel the same.
  10. Robert Prost

    Robert Prost Member

    I don't cause my time has gone beyond 200$/hours since quite some time :p
  11. Chris D

    Chris D XenForo Developer Staff Member

    I couldn't disagree with you more.

    No it isn't.

    vBulletin is $195
    IPB is $170
    XenForo is $140

    Of course there's free ones, but most people agree XenForo is great value for money and superior quality.

    How can you say it's unjustified? Most authors here give most of their add-ons completely free and then continue to support and upgrade them for free too. They don't have to. Some authors have created incredibly complex and functional add-ons and charge for them.

    This is their right if they've dedicated time and effort to support these add-ons. Just as it's your right not to buy them.

    Erm, how exactly??

    I run a large forum, it's cost us $140 so far, not a penny more.
    The8thLegion, borbole and yavuz like this.
  12. craigiri

    craigiri Well-Known Member

    Which you have made clear!
    The older CMS and Forum I was using decided to go exactly the other way you suggest...that is, they have vastly increased the price of their package and made it so that fairly expensive add-ons would be needed to really make the package suffice for many.

    As a result, they probably lost ALL the hobbyists and bloggers, but retained massive amounts of higher-end web design shops....

    The point is that a successful business model can be of many various types. You have made your opinion clear, but it does seem as though you are less than open to others views. So be it.

    BTW, have you made many millions from your software and business models online or off? If so, they work - and congratulations. If not, you might want to stand back and consider that an almost infinite number of such models exist.
  13. SneakyDave

    SneakyDave Well-Known Member

    SMF has been through more turmoil and stagnation at the same time than any forum software I've ever seen. There were even threats that one of the main developer's "real name" might be published! Oh the drama!

    If you're happy with that type of "road map", then by all means knock yourself out.
  14. Chris D

    Chris D XenForo Developer Staff Member

    Oh... so you're a hypocrite.

    Your time is worth money but no one else's is. Nice.
    borbole, DBA, Kevin and 2 others like this.
  15. Russ

    Russ Well-Known Member

    I don't really see a problem... if I'm going to be investing into building a community I know there's time and MONEY involved. Not every start up board needs to start with a ton of additional paid mods, XF stock is great itself, on top of that there's some amazingly, and surpisingly free add-ons out currently.

    Prices will adjust, if something is priced extremely high, the author should find out eventually based on the lack of sales and adjust the price.

    I find it silly to call anyones work to expensive on this board because I have yet to seen an abnormal price on an add-on. In fact I'm surprised more plugins aren't being charged for.
  16. mrGTB

    mrGTB Well-Known Member

    I'm not bothered just as long as we see new features added into XenForo over time and the paids mods here don't stop some features the same being implemented as stock. As long as that doesn't happen, mods can be sold here. But if paid mods ever effected some features not being added needed as stock, then it should be stopped on this community to avoid a conflict of interest with people selling them on their own forums instead.

    As a customer and none coder, I don't want paid mods advertised here having an adverse effect on some very obvious features like "Show Edited By" in posts for example, which most forum software out there has as a stock feature. Not being put into core because somebody is selling a mod doing it from this forum.
    TheVisitors and Robert Prost like this.
  17. Robert Prost

    Robert Prost Member

    Really? That is hilarious :D
    I will reply in synopsis to all other replies, cause I can't 'post against' 4-5 people and keep it 'real-time' ;)
  18. Robert Prost

    Robert Prost Member

    I never said that ;)
  19. Deebs

    Deebs Well-Known Member

    Why should it concern you? If you don't buy a licence then you won't be affected if XenForo is not around in the future. You have lost nothing.
  20. Robert Prost

    Robert Prost Member

    Actually I bought 2 and brought friends to xenForo and they are a liiiittle bit pissed at me to be honest :D
    TheVisitors likes this.
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