Forum Documentation Showcase Pricing Learn more

Plugin pricing model


#21

Thanks for your view. It’s always useful to have both sides.

Maybe @Bubble could rethink the comission fee. And maybe devs could bundle plugins.

I don’t know. It just feels way too much and I think it could be hurting adoption.

Also it would be great if paid plugins could be tested for free on the hobby plan and only if used on a paid plan you have to subscribe.

And again a monthly fee for a product/platform is reasonable, but for a plugin it just seems too much.


#22

good points, just a quick note:
as far as i know you don’t pay for the plugin until your next billing cycle to bubble, so if you uninstall the plugin before that, then you don’t get charged for it :slight_smile:


#23

@emmanuel would be great to hear your opinion on this.

Any idea how we can all win-win-win from this situation? Plugins devs, users and Bubble?


#24

Or maybe you could spend the time to learn it yourself it takes many many hours to learn a trade and it doesn’t really matter how many hours it takes to build something, at the end of the day your upset because you want it but don’t want to pay. I am a contractor and I get this all the time so it only took you 5 minutes to fix it yeah but what about the years it took to learn it and all the tools you have to do the job.


#25

This conversation is not about that.


#26

I think developer should charge whatever they want and can adjust based on demand. However, there should be more options on the platform for customers such as paying a flat $120 instead of $10/month. I’d be more inclined to make a one time larger expense for my business than to build my app to rely on a subscription.


#27

Thanks for you inputs and numbers. Indeed they help to understand a bit more why we are where we are. You did an amazing job with the plugin. Keep it up!

I think that using collective intelligence here we can come up with something that satisfies every one and that increases plugin adoption.

Another option could be a commercial license.

A lot of bubble projects are not aimed “for profit” and it’s a shame that plugins based on open source(and free) libraries end up with a hefty price tag.

Nobody minds paying for great plugins when they are making money.


#28

I agree I like to pay once as well but what about updates and future issues are they suppose to save the money unitl the future it wouldn’t happen. with a monthly fee you know they’ll fix issues when they arise.:grinning:


#29

Hey everyone!

It’s great to see developers and users alike exploring the recent surge in plugins and prices. We thought this would be a good opportunity to share our own experience and stance on paid plugins, from our side alone.

Before plugin subscriptions, we offered Stripe.js Plus through our website as a one-time purchase; the process was manual, but digestible for everyone. We were invited to join Bubble’s plugin development Beta as well as its marketplace Beta, which was exciting for all involved; Stripe.js Plus was the second plugin to be offered on the plugin marketplace! In the following two months, the block users were experiencing in acquiring the plugin corresponded with a drop in our revenue which caught our attention. Several emails from first-time inquirers stated they felt as though our $2/month price (the lowest possible) was unfair and without reason. Our requests to Bubble for adjustments such as one-time purchases didn’t align with their roadmap. One of the natural tradeoffs of distributing elsewhere is a disconnection from your own presence, which was a first for us too. Within three week’s time, we reposted our one-time option on our website where we saw far greater sales within days. Being able to remain approachable and accessible added to the benefits of keeping distribution with us, and so we ultimately removed the subscription offering from Bubble. In November, we made Stripe.js Plus freely available as Stripe.js. We’ve seen an increase in inquires, cross-sales, direct support requests and sponsorships; in fact, every plugin and plugin update we’ve pushed in the past four months has been on a wholly or partially-sponsored basis.

At the end of the day, we decided we were just more interested in enabling Bubblers to do more on their own and ourselves remain accessible (and as a business, viable) through our one-hour Sessions, courses on Education, MVP development and being a contributing member of the community. Regardless of our own thinking, everyone has their own approach which means more options for users and more opportunities for developers to drive the discussion further. :slight_smile:


#30

Interesting discussion. Since my name has been mentioned it is just right i come in.
As a plugin developer i can tell you that developing plugins is really time consuming. Then there is the support, new feature requests, and bug fixes afterwards.

There are several personal reasons my current plugins are free and you’re likely going to see me releasing a number of free plugins as long as i the find time (new one dropping tonight :smiley: ).

But note that i’m not doing this as a job. I’m a (phd) student so i do this on my spare time. Also i personally don’t like the current plugin subscription model but i can understand why bubble will choose this model. For one, it keeps developers on their toes and make them responsible to their customers. If you’re not providing support and not fixing bugs users can just uninstall and go with a better alternative. So there are arguments to make on both sides, i.e. subscription vs one-time.

As you may all know, many platforms are charging anywhere from $50 - $100 per hour for bubble consultation. A plugin development can take over 100 hrs. So do the maths and see what is a fair price to pay for a plugin.

But i believe as the bubble community grows prices of plugins and templates will drop accordingly and both developers and bubble users will benefit.

There is a reason why people spend hours contributing to opensource projects. A lot of these plugins are based on these opensource libraries. Some of us can afford to spend hours upon hours creating free plugins to help grow the bubble ecosystem, but i don’t think it is fair to expect that everyone does same because to some people this is their job.

Happy bubbling :smiley:
seanhoots


#31

Finishing with that sentence makes it as if the debate is about that. But let me clarify that is not about that.

It’s about finding better premium models and probably reducing comission fees until the plugin market ecosystem is in a healthy state.


#32

I get where you’re coming from, but I will say it’s hard to charge for something that was once free (or charge more for something that was once cheaper.) If Bubble were to take away the commission, or reduce it, the world would explode when they go to increase it back to normal.

I’m also curious how you define “healthy state” in this context. I don’t work for Bubble, I just help moderate the forum as an avid user. I’m genuinely interested in what feels unhealthy about the current model, and what healthy would look like.


#33

Perhaps I haven’t understood this thread correctly, or wasn’t truly aware how much independent developers played a role in Bubble – but my main concern is:

What if all plugins (or the majority even) were to eventually become paid-for (at $5-$10 each) with different developers for different plugins? This would not only become an expensive venture, but what if that developer decides to leave Bubble? Offers no technical support or doesn’t update the plugin? Where would that leave the Bubble customer who relies so heavily on these plugins to develop their app with Bubble?

Trust is also a major factor here too. People may be putting their entire business operations through Bubble, or even their cherished start-up ideas.

Personally, I’d prefer to pay a set annual/monthly subscription plan to Bubble and have access to the plugins allowed in that package with full support from Bubble should anything go wrong, rather than pay for individual plugins and seeking technical support from individual independent developers.

This is not a dig at any developer here, nor do I mean to offend anyone, but this is just purely a view-point from a bubble customer with their own cost-concerns and concerns where their app is to be hosted for years to come.


#34

@andrew_bpco this doesn’t sound very healthy for example.

I see a healthy ecosystem as a reflection of every type of user feedbacking others.

In this case, due to bubble not being mainstream it seems that early adopting users will be getting the bad part of the deal in regards to plugin subscription as it’s made clear that mass adoption is still not there. Therefore us, as early adopters, will not feel inclined to take that part of the deal and developers may find that developing right now is not a good business. When the early adoption phase finishes and bubble is ready for mainstream the plugin ecosystem might not be in a good state because too many barriers were set at the beginning.

That is why I believe it’s Bubble who has to take the hit at this moment of cycle if they wish to end up with a healthy plugin ecosystem in the future.


#35

The more you think about this issue the more you realise it is not black and white and needs a very strategic approach.

But i don’t believe in re-inventing the wheel. There are so many existing platforms with a successful plugin system, e.g. WorldPress and the likes. How did they do it? How did they start the plugin market? What worked and what didn’t work? What will they have done differently if they were to start again?

I wan’t to believe the @Bubble team has considered all these issues and have chosen the model that aligns with their vision.


#36

The difference with wordpress is - it’s open source platform. And the plugins you can sell through your website if you want - people would download them, then install. Though - they will see the code. Of course you can obfuscate, etc. but they have the plugin “physically” on their drive before putting it online.

Bubble - the system is quite closed (at the moment) and we don’t know the Team’s plans. Personally - I would appreciate few things regarding the plugins:

  • choice Stripe OR PayPal, without limiting the developer to one platform to join the Marketplace
  • possibility to join Marketplace without any of above and offering plugins for free (0$) BUT without opening the code to public; this one then brings another problem - billions of spammers with plugins doing nothing, mess in the Marketplace, resources to deal with the mess… yeah, I want it, but i stay bit pessimist on the result :wink: on the other hand - today anyone can publish MIT license plugin, and there seems to be no mess. So…
  • various payment models - monthly, one time, etc (not sure about this one though); maybe at least some free trial, then monthly or yearly (discounted) subscription; AND/OR free in the development mode (maybe) - subscription starting the moment you go live; to be defined;
  • mechanism (maybe it exists - I don’t know yet) preventing plugins from deletion if anyone is using them, even if the developer quits the platform
  • few more features in plugins, but that’s another story

#37

I don’t mind paying for a plugin, but I agree start to add the cost of multiple monthly fees it starts to add up and becomes a nightmare to manage!

A single payment fee per app I would be more than happy to pay!

If Bubble starts to rely on the dev community to fill in the the gap then it starts to negate the strategy of being code free, we all go back to square one!

The reasons I am here is so I don’t have to rely on developers to make updates and create functionality to get the concept off the ground.

But I am now finding that it makes sense to start learning JavaScript to make the idea a reality, not why I am here! Otherwise I am going to find myself stuck with unsupported code - after all we all move on.

Having slowly seen the prices of plugins increase I can see them hitting $20 or more a month.

What’s the answer?

Well if some one comes up with a JavaScript course specifically around the purpose of learning JavaScript to build plugins sign me up!

Better still, some one please come up with a Bubble like visual plugin builder! Definitely sign me up!


#38

One-time fees for plugins and templates do work. You only have to look at Envato’s marketplaces (e.g. https://codecanyon.net or https://themeforest.net) as a model – they serve hundreds of thousands of users and their top developers are making $10,000-100,000 per month. They require their contributors to support the plugin for x amount of time, provide bug fixes, etc, otherwise they’re banned.


#39

A couple of people have already mentioned this but I thought I’d throw in my 2 cents as well. I think a lot of people are developing on bubble with the intention of either cutting their business costs down, i.e. something for work that can replace another tool that they’re using, or to ultimately resell their app to other users. In both cases the operating cost of the app is something you’ll always be thinking about. For example if you’re building a CRM for your own business you could reach a point where the app you’ve built costs much more than it is worth to you to have your own app, and other tools start looking more attractive despite not being customized to suit your needs. If you’re working on a new app to sell you’ll be considering what it costs per month to get you started. How long will it take to get enough paying users to turn a monthly profit? How far in the hole will you be already by the time that happens? I love plugins for the same reason everyone else does. Someone else has done the heavy lifting and now you can integrate something awesome into your app with a snap. Coming from WordPress I can say that I have always been much more inclined to pay a one-off fee for plugins than monthly subscriptions. If you’ve got the extra cash and you think it’s worth it you pull that tooth once. When it’s a monthly cost it goes straight onto the mental balance sheet that you’re constantly worrying about. $5/month doesn’t seem like a lot, because it isn’t - but somehow it’s so much harder to justify (for me anyway) than paying even 10 x that amount to have the plugin forever and stop thinking about it. The best thing that can happen for bubble is if it explodes in popularity. All of the hardwork from plugin developers will pay off ten fold over night - and I do anticipate this happening. That said, the currently small user base of plugin users shouldn’t justify developers gouging them. At some point in the future plugin devs will do better out of bubble than any of the rest of us, hang on for that day. Not that $5-$10/month is gouging by any means - I’d probably want to charge more. My only gripe is with the lean towards monthly subscriptions. If my app costs me $200/month just in plugins the whole prospect of developing on bubble gets a bit scary. I’d honestly rather pay a grand once for those plugins and go back to thinking that my new app has low overhead. But maybe I’m crazy.


#40

@tom1 totally agree!