WooCommerce has moved the goal posts and ditches it’s 50% renewal costs.
A while ago I wrote a post entitled “The True Cost Of WooCommerce” and I described the cost implications of running an online store utilising what is essentially a fork of JigoShop.
Now that post caused quite a bit of controversy in fairness, with supporters chiming in with x and y and some agreeing with statements I made. Recently it would appear WooCommerce is in the process of shafting a majority of its paying customers.
The cost of running a WooCommerce store per year
Well for some who want a bare bones online store and only have a handful of products the cost is relatively minimal. For those who have used WooCommerce in a big way and rely on it times are a changin.
According to a recent post on WP Tavern WooCommerce have dropped their 50% discount on renewals for extensions for WooCommerce.
A customer of WooCommerce contacted the support team due to a discrepancy on renewal costs being 100% not the much lauded 50% discount. WP Tavern is showing a screenshot of the email, so I have typed up the screenshot see below
Happy to help answer this. Yes, we have moved to a full-price renewal cost.
To give you some insight about this change, we’re looking at moving to a straight renewal process; like a lot of SaaS products where the renewal is “100%” of the original pricing.
We’re doing this for a variety of reasons – our products are premium extensions, developed and supported by the same team behind the core WooCommerce plugin, along with updates delivered automatically to your site.
I know our response times have been lagging recently, however we provide support for our own extentions with a team distributed across the globe, this allows us to have someone answering your ticket at some point during a 24 hour period.
Finally, like all businesses, we assess how the pricing reflects the delivered product and related support.
We are collecting feedback about this, and I do invite you to please let us know your thoughts.
Yup, now that’s a kick in the balls to anyone using WooCommerce, or even recommending WooCommerce to clients / customers.
Let’s just say your store costs (hypothetically) were..
$400.00, just as a rough guide. Let’s say you have the following installed and only on a single site license:
Table rate shipping = $99.00
Paypal advanced payment gateway = $99.00
Smart Coupons = $99.00
Dynamic Pricing = $99.00
If you had them on a multi site license they would be as follows:
5 site license
Table rate shipping = $149.00
Paypal advanced payment gateway = $129.00
Smart Coupons = $129.00
Dynamic Pricing = $199.00
25 site license
Table rate shipping = $299.00
Paypal advanced payment gateway = $199.00
Smart Coupons = $199.00
Dynamic Pricing = $299.00
Now imagine the above with a 50% discount when it comes to renewal time. Now imagine them without.
No mention on the WooCommerce blog, no warning anywhere
Something as big as this should be mentioned to the countless number of individuals who rely on WooCommerce for their online stores. Nothing at all. In fact the last post on the blog is dated the 12th of June.
This is absolutely disgusting behavior, I cannot believe in this day and age that no prior warning has been given.
Individuals, businesses and web companies will have needed to provision for this and the impact it will have on their business as a whole.
Had a quick look at there Facebook page, that was interesting.
Whilst I was searching for some sort of announcement of the renewal discount being discarded, I chanced upon Facebook. Some of the comments regarding support and the length of time WooCommerce take to come back to people is quite alarming. Take a look at their Facebook page here, to see what I mean.
WTF are WooCommerce doing?
Are they going to hire more staff to deal with support queries? Which from reading around the web they are not too good at. The money from dropping the renewal discounts could help some way towards that.
Are they gearing up to release their own platform for selling? Will they be offering a WordPress.com offering but purely using WooCommerce as SaaS and charging for that?
Who knows, what I do know is, right now at this very moment, there is going to be a shit ton of unhappy people using WooCommerce.