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Xenforo - are paid modifications or add-ons better?

Discussion in 'Resource and Add-on Discussions' started by jauburn, Oct 15, 2013.

  1. jauburn

    jauburn Well-Known Member

    I've noticed that, for whatever reason, a lot of xenforo mod/add-on developers are charging for their products. Perhaps Xenforo somehow has this as part of their business model. I'm not sure. I do know that I find myself reluctant to shell out even, say, $5 for a modification about which users in the mod's discussion thread are posting concerns and notices of bugs--not at all uncommon.

    This situation raises questions for me, especially since the community of vB add-on developers have and continue to offer so much of their work for free. Do you feel this community of Xenforo developers, which seems increasingly to want to be paid for their work, is actually offering better-quality mods because they're fee-based? Or is the quality no different than, say, the mods that one could get from the vB add-on developer community?

    I wonder, in other words, what effect the culture of paid vs unpaid contribution is having on the xenforo user community as a whole.
  2. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    Third party resources are completely independent from and in no way affiliated with XenForo Ltd.

    XenForo makes no money at all from third party resources.
    Adam Howard likes this.
  3. John

    John Well-Known Member

    The developer world (and designers as well) is a much different place than it was just 5 or 6 years ago in regards to this. It is no longer the relatively small, tight knit group of enthusiasts it once was. Now a days, everyone and their brother wants a piece of the pie right away rather than doing it "just for the fun of it" or honing their craft, so to speak. This is not unique to Xenforo, it's that way everywhere. That's been my observation, at least. This is not to say that I think the majority of the mod/add-on offerings here aren't worthy of their price tags...they are. It's more of a culture shift than anything.
    Forsaken, yavuz and jauburn like this.
  4. Daniel Hood

    Daniel Hood Well-Known Member

    The best way to tell is to look at ratings and read the discussion tab. It's not possible to compare the two because there are some excellent free add ons and some crap paid add ons and vis-versa.
    Morgain likes this.
  5. Digital Doctor

    Digital Doctor Well-Known Member

    Addons are very helpful.
    As we all know Xenforo shouldn't bloat the core.
    So Addons are a reality.
    It's impossible to expect I get every addon I want for free.
    There is nothing wrong with paying for addons.

    Almost no one is making vB5 addons. vBulletin 4 might work now, but it's a has been forum with no future.

    I'd like Xenforo to distribute addons more like IPB does (via a IPB apps store).
  6. jauburn

    jauburn Well-Known Member

    Interesting perspective. Thank you. Isn't this "wants a piece of the pie" mentality based upon naivety, though, or lack of information? I mean, in other words, that I think outsiders or newbies imagine that there's much more money to be made in all of this online forum stuff than there actually is. Or am I wrong?
  7. Shelley

    Shelley Well-Known Member

    Not everyone wants a piece of the pie. I personally (speaking for myself) provide free resources and I don't expect anything for it or expect anything in return. I personally do it because i enjoy forum design so in that respect there's still a few people that do it more for the "love" than wanting to gain any incentive.

    That being said. There's nothing wrong with resource providers charging, not at all. If they've developed their talents, educated themselves to build add-ons and provide quality resources they have the right to charge for the service they provide.

    Comparing with vb I am almost positive there are more paid add-ons (resources) at vb than there are at xenforo. You only notice it on xenforo more because xenforo kindly houses paid add-ons which helps the authors where all paid resources for vb were house off-site. This way xenforo smartly condensed both free and paid resources (resources in general) and housed them into one site which is very convenient for license holders.

    Personally, I don't mind people charging and happily pay for a quality resource so it's good.

    With regards to the quality of Paid vs Free that can vary and depending on a number of factors. Talent of the author. I've known free resources to be better than paid and known paid resources to be better quality than free it really depends on the talent of that person providing and in some cases free vs paid doesn't even come into play.

    And I end by saying what @Adam Howard once said "Xenforo - it just works". :)
  8. Adam Howard

    Adam Howard Well-Known Member

    And thank god for that. I pray it never changes.

    I know all to well exactly what happens when a forum development team / company decides to jump into the mix and take a small cut of the pie on the paid resources. In such instances free developers and open source is "allegedly welcome" and "technically allowed", but can't help notice a difference in "tone" toward such people in that environment.

    One of the better things about XenForo is they don't jump in the mix or take a cut of the pie.
  9. Adam Howard

    Adam Howard Well-Known Member

    I don't think that happens everywhere and thankfully not here (on XenForo) as the ratio of quality free and quality paid thus far (so far) has remained balanced. As it has else where.

    I do know some developments where that does sadly happen though
  10. Flexin

    Flexin Active Member

    Price doesn't always mean quality. Free doesn't always mean its a great deal.

    I love free add ons because they don't cost me a thing. Unless they cause a problem with my site then they cost me time. Who doesn't like free?

    That being said, I have about 4 paid add ons on my site. One is $5, two are about $40 each and then one is about $52. There is at least three more that I want to buy. One is about $5-8 and the other two are in the $40-75 range I think.

    Why did I buy them? I had a free add on which I really wanted and it just wouldn't work on my site. I couldn't solve the problem and I was getting no support in the thread from the developer. He/she could have been away but I waited about 3 days or so. During that time I was told about another one that was $5 and did the same thing. I looked at that thread and problems were fixed fast. Support wasn't an issue there. I got tired of waiting and bought the $5 one. That one had issues too. It work a bit but didn't work 100%. I posted in that thread and in a short time the problem was discovered. It was an issue with my install of 1.2. Once I fixed that it worked fine. That could be why the other one wasn't working but at the end of the day, it was worth the $5 to have it working right.

    The more expensive ones don't have free ones that I know of or ones that compare.

    I don't have a problem with people charging. Some times or most times, more time is spend offering customer support then it takes to make the add on. Not everyone wants to do that for free and that is understandable. Some might love doing it so much that they would like to try to make a living out of it. If they can that is great.

    One thing that I find great is the community. I asked some questions in a thread for a paid add on last night. I received answers from 3-4 people and the developer. It seems like everyone is willing to help. They share how they use it and so on.

    I think there is a good balance of paid and free on here. The larger one I expect to have to pay for. It is more work. Anyway you look at it, I think its great for the community. I even noticed developers helping new developers with problems. I think things are good.


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