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Plugin pricing model


#101

Maybe Bubble jumped too quickly into opening paid plugins.

Due to the limitations of the current plugin platform which only allows client actions it seems that the plugins that can currently be developed are very “simple” to justify some price tags.

I think also that the cost of learning the ins and outs of the plugin system and its workarounds are also being included in the final price.

For instance @levon said that it took like 80 hours to develop the drop-down plugin and while I do believe this I also believe it’s because the platform is new and the learning hours have to be accounted for because obviously it’s a cost for them. But I also know the drop-down plugin is an adaptation of an open-source library(correct me if I’m wrong @levon) to work with bubble.

Pretty sure that adapting that library to WordPress wouldn’t take more than 10 hours being conservative. I was a developer myself that moved to other waters but I still have an eye for development estimations.

So maybe Bubble rushed the paid plugin store and it wasn’t mature in terms of functionality and ecosystem.

Maybe an option would have been to wait for a stable base of free plugins that extend bubble functionality on the client-side. Think of browsing the free repository of wordpress plugins.

Then when the plugin platform allows server-side actions allow for premium plugins that really justify those price tags.

So we would see something similar to WordPress plugin ecosystem where a widget or a slideshow plugin that is nice looking is actually free and a full e-commerce solution has a 39€/month justified price tag.

And also people should open their minds and think out of their country borders. I don’t know your salaries but when you say that bubble is very cheap you are comparing maybe with what you are earning.

In my country minimum legal wage is 700€/month and the normal salary is about 1000€/month

Only companies can afford a 750$/month solution.

I believed bubble philosophy was to democratise no-code software building. And while in the US it’s easy to earn 60000$/year and maybe risk a month or two with a 750$ solution it’s unthinkable here.

At least in my country people are rarely going to pay 10$/month for a plugin that adds a cool effect. Not if they are not earning money. Not going to happen.

What I see here is a disconnection between Bubble’s first steps(bootstraping) and paid plugins. There is a mismatch between the philosophy of both.

It’s what I miss from open source philosophy. Giving back. I take advantage of open source and I think about ways of returning back the favor.

Here it’s like oh look I have the BEST no-code software building solution that has ever been built. I can start for free and learn absolutely everything and when I feel comfortable with this full featured product I can buy a domain and pay 16€/month which I can totally afford independently of where I was born and reside. Then I can scale this up if things go well. Even if I bitch at their forums I would fucking build a statue of Emmanuel, Josh and team. Because without them. Without their philosophy and vision. Without their bootstrapping I would have never built this.

But the problem comes when you are paying 16$/month for a bubble app and you see this nice addition to bubble’s core but you get this gigantic middle finger in the form of 7$/month because behind the plugin there is absolutely no scent or hint left of what Bubble means.

Bubble is about democratisation of software building and as a side effect they profit. Paid plugin marketplace is about covering costs and profit.

Bubble is more like a B-Corp while paid plugin developers are similar to an A-Corp.

For me that’s a huge mismatch.


#102

This is my biggest fear as a plugin developer even especially for my free plugins.
Most of us experienced what happened some few weeks back when an update from bubble broke a number of plugins.

So here is a question we all need to think about.
If one makes a one-time payment for a plugin and the developer leaves the platform, even if they publicly publish the code, whose responsibility will it be to fix that plugin should an update from bubble break the plugin?
Or can bubble guarantee us that a working plugin will never break, like what happened a few weeks back?
I don’t know how the plugin review process will work when the plugin store opens but even currently with few plugin developers it seems the process takes quite some time.

Then there is the issue of free plugins, bubble made it clear to me they can’t have time to review my free plugins. Which means i can’t even convince myself that my plugins may not break in the future due to maybe some vulnerability in my code. It’s one reason i’ve put a freeze on releasing any new free plugins.

We all have a part to play and luckily we’re at the early stages so we have the opportunity to deliberate and come up with a system that benefits all parties involved.


#103

@JonL If i may ask, why do you think only plugins that perform server-side actions should have a premium tag?

@JonL maybe the drop-down plugin is based on an existing open-source library, or maybe not, but so is almost all plugins including bubble’s own default elements.
For example the bubble default date/time element is based on the pickadate.js library.
But this doesn’t change the fact that currently it takes a lot of hours and effort to get plugins to work bug-free and efficiently with all the numerous features and customizations users demand.

I’m sure if it was currently that easy to create plugins and not time consuming bubble will have found some time and churned out several plugins themselves based on users demands.


#104

I spend more time thinking and building the backend workflow strategy than client side things.

Also the amount of work I have to put into workflows workarounds because I can’t execute a straight forward action in the backend is quite big.

For instance, create a user with a temporary random password that is sent by mail and make it change it on first logon. Add an expire date to the temporary password if there is no login. I would happily pay for a plugin that allows more flexibility as how you create users instead of having to create workarounds constantly.

Yes I know that Bubble uses a big chunk of open source code. It’s normal.

This is just an an extreme example so please take it with a pinch of salt.

Bubble may use 100 open source libraries, costs 16$/month and solves a huge pain.

Some plugins use 1 open source library, cost 7$/month and solve a minor itch.

Sorry but doesn’t feel right.

Just repeating that Bubble is undervalued to justify a plugin’s price is not a valid argument. It’s just a self-convincing argument. It’s completely biased.


#105

An out of the box authorization access plugin would be something that I would happily pay for.


#106

If bubble want to keep building their client base I think if a plugin is sold externally and bubbles update breaks a perfectly working plugin prior they will infact provide support. I would like to think at very least the community would even be there worst case if its a free app and bubble wipe their hands of it.
What I would like to know is what makes a person a bubble or a developer. The entire idea of bubble is in development, by developers, so people that dont know how to code can develope their own digital ideas and now they have in my opinion made the single smartest move possible to achieve bubbles ultimate goal.

they have opened creative control to the world - this being a good place to make a note of why client side needed to be before server side. I myself have found risk areas just leveraging clients side, there is no less of a power house here than server side its just a different set of tools used in a different way, except one has far more potential to cause a much wider spread issue if bubble were to jump on server side first not knowing how the community would manipulate that kind of access.

On the topic of using external libraries, This is one of the most common practices throughout any plugin enviroment but more to the point its why computer systems/software are exponential in growth and oppertunity. rather than reinvent the wheel you find the building blocks that are secure, proven & well tested then develope your concept knowing where your skills are sharp is on point and the base is just as strong. I have alot of plugins that dont use other libraries, some are my best selling plugins, yet even then you could argue that a browsers programming interface is it starting block or javascript in itself made it possible. We really need to keep singing this song so we all get to a settled, workable, far less “us and them” mentality at some point because this is were a more request then build/collaborate will shine and benifit the masses. From an MVP standpoint a $7 per month plugin for a noncoder to overcome an issue or function can be far better than the price of a bubble sponsorship too.


#107

@JonL But you do realize that what is challenging and dificult is application dependent right.
Maybe for your application having some server-side plugin will save you a lot of pains but for other applications having a client-side plugin will do same.
For example someone creating a booking app may need a client-side date/picker or calendar that offers him the ability to block several dates, or select several dates with just a click.
So i’m struggling to see why someone will think client-side plugins don’t deserve a premium tag.

I haven’t made that argument. I value a plugin based on the number of hours that will go into creating it. Currently bubble service/consultation comes at a premium price. Some services are charging as much as $100 to $120 per hour ($2/min) for bubble consultation.
I’ve spent far more than 100 hours on one of my plugins alone. So at the end I ask myself if I was to sell how much can I sell it to make enough money to compensate for my time? Is it worth the effort? Shouldn’t i also just go into consultation which has a high demand and still pays very well?
Some developers have already publicly stated here that they were loosing on spending time creating plugins so they quit and went into other bubble services. At the end if developers quit creating plugins because they’re not properly compensated for their efforts the whole bubble community suffers.


#108

First of all I just want to mention that I’m not finger pointing at anyone in particular. I’m just saying what are the arguments being used in the developer side(and not everyone uses it).

When I said the argument of bubble being underpriced I meant that I’ve read it already a few times in this thread from different people and I think it’s a poor argument to the discussion but I will go even further. It’s a double sided axe argument. If Bubble is undervalued it means that Bubble should increase the price. Plugin developers are already suffering sales wise from the initial small user base of Bubble.

So do people really want for the user base to shrink even more at this time?

Increase bubble’s price and you get a set of Bubble users with bigger budgets that might be able to afford in-house development to have further custom control over their plugins.

In any case it’s not really the developer who gets to decide the value of their own plugin. Developers might have control over the cost of it. But value is decided by users.

When I was a developer I used to think in those terms. I had to move to a client facing and sales role to understand how wrong I was as a developer.

Value != Cost


#109

Among a few things for me its more seeing what we can do about the commercial store’s structure to keep everyone moving forward, I cant be the only one selling plugins outside the commercial store and im getting far more sales there than in the bubble store so even if value !== cost, want > oneOffSales


#110

Also developers tend to justify the value of the work by the amount of hours it costs. It’s a common argument between developers. I used to use it also.

Fun fact: nobody cares. Not because you don’t deserve that care, but because the social interaction that caring needs is absent when there is only a money exchange.

To be harsh and honest. Unless it’s time and material paying clients don’t give a f*ck about the amount of hours you put into your work. They for sure don’t care about sleepless nights. It’s not going to happen because when transaction is not emotional but physical it’s impossible to feel the pain. It’s just how it works. I recommend Dan Ariely’s works on behavioural economics.

If you want me to connect emotionally with your effort you need to change the type of transaction from physical to emotional. That is why apps like Patreon are killing it. They have removed the money as the main transaction. Of course there is money involved. But I’m not paying for their product. Funding a project allows me to transact in emotional terms with the creator. Similar case to crowdfunding apps.

@seanhoots I would happily fund you through Patreon every month so you continue building awesome plugins and supporting them. Provided you update me on how many sleepless nights you are going through to go-live with it or how annoying are those guys on the Bubble forum.

But as of now I don’t really care about the 100 hours. That is because plugin developers have decided that the transaction will not include an emotional component but just money. So don’t expect emotions to affect perceived value of the plugin. Human behaviour doesn’t work that way.

Someone already suggested a Patreon model for plugin development. Maybe someone should give it a try.


#111

That is a very blanket statement. There are several plugin developers here that are not just after money. Of course some are businesses and so they have bills to pay and they are in it to make profit.
You feel plugins are over-valued and people are telling you how they came by those numbers. You can agree or not but no one is asking for emotional support.

All my plugins are for free and i still provide good support to the best of my abilities.
I’m not planning a career around bubble. I will be graduating from my phd (computer science) by end of the year and start a career with hopefully some “big company” in an area i’ve spent my whole life training in.

I ended up developing plugins by accident. I paid someone $5k to develop a bubble application for me. I wasn’t happy with the bubble default date/time picker the developer used for me and when i asked they said that is what is available. That is when i decided to create the Air Date/Time picker plugin for my own application and made it available for others to use. Then people started asking me to create some plugins for them and that’s how it all started.
So as you can see, its very wrong to think everyone is here to make money or rip people off.


#112

So as you can see, its very wrong to think everyone is here to make money or rip people off.

Never said or thought that. Never ever.


#113

You said this.

And you also forget that there are still plenty free plugins even from those that are selling.
People like @levon are running a business, they have to pay their employees (at premium salaries) so yes they have to care about the money.


#114

Paid plugins sorry :slight_smile:

All this conversation revolves around Plugin Pricing Model. It’s the subject of the thread.

Free plugins are out of the debate of course.

Yes, I know @levon has bills and payroll. But I yet have to find value in his plugins they have developed. Maybe tomorrow I have a need that I can’t workaround or bother to build my own plugin and I will happily pay. But I haven’t discovered that pain yet. At least until today.

On the other side, from an emotional perspective I would love to share his pain of starting a business and having to pay premium salaries to support his company and his products, but at those prices I don’t even have the chance to help him. Also there is no emotional transaction so I can’t feel, share the pain. I will only pay if he solves a big pain for me. Because it’s a business.

I would rather pay you whatever I have even if I don’t use your plugins @seanhoots just because there has been an emotional transaction and because I’ve been in your situation in the past.

It may sound moronic I know, but it’s just human irrational behaviour.


#115

But it is the same developers creating free plugins that are also creating the paid ones.


#116

Yet perception is different. How amazing is human behaviour! Anyone that aspires to sell anything needs to understand beforehand why people are willing to pay.


#117

Pretty much nailed it @JonL in your last statement! If people don’t want to buy it understand why. Applies just as much with the thousands of Bubblers giving their idea a go! If the value for the customer isn’t there, you can’t force people to buy it!


#118

Solution: Bubble to focus more on providing a high performance website / web app builder, sell domains and become the next big thing in that market.

All plugins included in subscription plans.


#119

Hi @mikescullion, with this your suggested model who will be developing the plugins since you said bubble should focus on performance?
Yet still you’re suggesting plugins should be included in the subscription plan.
Someone has to create the plugins and i don’t see and don’t expect bubble to do this. So who pays for them, bubble?

I don’t think this plugin pricing model is that complicated as we’re making it to be.
Other platforms like WordPress have successfully done this. Maybe they also experienced similar issues at the beginning and maybe it’s normal to have these challenges at the beginning.


#120

Hi @seanhoots,

Please don’t take this personally, but I had salmon for my dinner tonight, although I don’t necessarily care who caught it.

I don’t mean to offend anyone, there is a lack of appreciation in all types of trade – but I am speaking purely as a consumer in this market, who was drawn to Bubble because of their “build software by pointing and clicking” and “no coding” slogans… and to be fair, the plugins!!

I can see clearly in the forum there are more and more people in the same boat as me who are drawn to Bubble for the same reasons and with a no-coding backgrounds… whether it be small/medium sized business or organisation interests, to start-up ideas and even kids who wants to make one of those CAD/MDT systems for their role playing thing.

I just think Bubble can hit a bigger market by being a high performance website / web app builder, even if it means having a limited number of Bubble built plugins and other limitations.

Many people are putting a great deal of trust in Bubble with their projects. Can the same be said for a third-party plugin developer who can easily enough go AWOL one day, leaving our Bubble app in tatters?