WooCommerce Drops 50% Renewal Discount on Subscriptions

Customers who purchased extensions from WooCommerce.com are discovering that the renewal discount of 50% has been removed. Instead, they are now paying full-price.

The WooCommerce blog and the official Twitter account do not mention anything about the price increase.

We contacted Automattic and asked if the discount was removed and if customers received prior notice of the price increase. Todd Wilkens, head of WooCommerce, provided the Tavern with the following statement:

All customers receive notification of their upcoming renewal 7 or 15 days before a charge. If anyone received an incorrect price, please contact us immediately and we will make it right. As always, we are committed to making sure WooCommerce is affordable to the widest range of people while maintaining our high level of service and support.

A customer upset by the change contacted WooCommerce’s support desk and inquired about the price increase. The support representative confirmed that the discount was removed and that customers will need to pay full-price to renew.

The customer service rep also explained that the change is due to WooCommerce moving to a straight renewal process, similar to other SaaS products. The representative concludes the ticket by saying they’re monitoring and accepting feedback about the change.

WooCommerceSupportAnswer
WooCommerce Customer Support Response

Nathan Hadsall, who makes a living using WooCommerce, is among those upset by the change. “I have been a huge WooCommerce supporter and most of my work as a developer is spent working with WooCommerce,” Hadsall said.

“However this type of approach to business is very sad. I have no problem paying for a license despite the fact that GPL software is available cheaper and legally/ethically by other means.

“I will still stick to WooCommerce since the core is fantastic and is getting better. The biggest change for me will be the plugins and code I use to extend WooCommerce functionality. I will probably start to look elsewhere.

“The biggest gripe I have is with the way WooCommerce does business. WooCommerce has never seemed to care about their customers. Slipping this pricing change in was not an honest move.”

Raising prices for renewals is a part of business and something I think many customers expect at some point. However, raising prices on subscriptions that existing customers may have set to auto-renew, without explicitly notifying them about the change, can create a negative, lasting experience.

If you purchased a subscription on WooCommerce.com and have set it to auto-renew, keep a close eye for your renewal notice.

132 Comments


  1. This has huge implications to us and to our clients.

    This is, as you state, “Not an honest move” on the part of WooCommerce. Unfortunately, this seems to be par for the course with this company. Having experienced similar issues in previous years we chose to stick with them but this will definitely cause us to reassess other options.

    We will have to strongly reconsider our clients’ options and will be encouraging new clients to explore other ecommerce solutions.

    WooCommerce does not inspire loyalty with moves like this. I am really disappointed.

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  2. I love WooCommerce and so many of the extensions sold by Woo. I’m also happy to pay a fair price for the tools that help my business work. But part of what we pay for is support. Woo has been promising faster support for years and it just never seems to fully materialize. Unfortunately, they have not held up this promised part of the value proposition that balances the renewal price increase.

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    1. I agree. If I could even get a 24-hour response to my tickets it might help…we have a mission critical site and I was seeing days go by in between replies just a couple of weeks ago.

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    2. I hope that the renewal increase leads to much better support. It often takes days to hear back and, even then, the reply is usually generalized information that I already knew.

      When you’re talking about something as critical to business as an online store, having a days-long email chain isn’t getting it done.

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    3. Support has been under-performing in so many ways and I don’t believe that the renewal increase will improve this.

      When you get an answer after 5 days it’s seldom a straight answer or an answer that you cannot find by just doing some google search.

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    4. I have a couple more thoughts now that I’ve had a week to consider this.

      1. As I said previously, I don’t mind a price increase if it goes along with great support. One way to reduce the support burden is to service fewer customers. So if this increase truly makes a bunch of you go away, then I will likely get that better support response time I desire. :-) Not trying to be selfish, but this may be the practical result.

      2. There may be an unintended consequence of the price change. A discounted renewal entices customers to renew right away to avoid having to pay a larger price after the renewal deal expires. Now that there is no difference in price, I suspect many customers will just put off renewing until there are significant enough changes to an extension or until support is actually needed. That could reduce income to WooCommerce but it could also spur development work on more stagnant extensions to attract renewals with added value.

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  3. Well, now that sucks. WooCommerce has been integrated into so many themes and other plugins that any competition can’t really compete at this stage in the game. They are taking full advantage of a captive audience and they know it yet does not care.

    If I can avoid using WooCommerce in the future for any of my sites, I will. If someone else can come up with ways of doing things that a WooCommerce add-on does for less, I’ll likely use them instead.

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    1. Well, there are plenty of ecommerce packages out there. You don’t need to use one based on WP and even if you do, there are a couple of alternatives.

      There’s Magento. Bigcommerce. Craft Commerce (and Craft is quite nice as a CMS). Hell, depending on use case, there’s Shopify.

      People need to stop viewing WP as the only choice for a site. It’s a good one and my preferred choice but if it becomes overly cumbersome or expensive I’ll change.

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    2. Try Easy Digital Downloads, I’m using it and it’s great. And the developers are more honest.

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  4. If this is accurate, then I’m very disappointed. I’ve said this for a long time and it’s now even more evident that, for may users, WordPress is no longer a cheap platform when considering the annual cost of plugins and extensions. Having said that, supporting the software is vital, and can be understood and definitely justified. The way this price change seems to have been done is concerning. But then it may be the perfect opportunity for new businesses looking to break into the market with alternatives. Time will tell how this plays out.

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    1. Dont conflate WooCommerce with WordPress. If you dont like WooCommerce or other plugins, there are alternatives. That is part of the upside of the WordPress ecosystem.

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      1. Actually Athlone is right – if you want good looking and good working site, then you need to go with premium theme and plugins. The total amount usually disappoints. And it usually needs to be repaid every year. WordPress is far from cheap and far from user friendly.

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  5. The customer service rep also explained that the change is due to WooCommerce moving to a straight renewal process, similar to other SaaS products.

    Yeah right…. seldom heared such a lame excuse to increase a price by 50%. I will most likely advice any shop owner to swap to magento and or buy a similar like plugin at codecanyon.net or elsewhere.

    Woocommerce is shooting themselves in their own feet !

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    1. I’m planning on hiring programmers for my company when it can afford to do so and will be asking them to code any functionality that any sites need for WooCommerce that I can’t find for free, Neo. ;) It’ll be more reliable than CodeCanyon, where I’ve seen useful products disappear. :P

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      1. Yes that is true, but their are really good ones that are still maintained. But it is definitely a downside of codecanyon. The moment sales drop the developers loose interest and stop developing. But then again with prices that high for Woocommerce plugins one can easily set it up at codecanyon and make a living from it. What Woo is doing here sucks ! Soo much for the open source community. They first sell plugins with a life time free update plan at reasonable prices. Then they remove the life time update plan, i think it was about 2013, and now they remove the discount at rebuying. You get a empty framework called woocommerce for free and if you want extra functionality you need to buy the cherries year after year….. Neah that is not gonna happen. I will swap to other platforms and will advice any client todo so.

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      2. I’m considering to offer the plugins I have my company’s future developers code on sale at one of my sites. Priced right, my company could make some nice profits… :D

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  6. The problems IMO are loyality and honesty:

    If you are honest and upfront then these changes would have been made public / announced beforehand and explained pro-actively rather then having to rely on support to get some proper answers.

    An offer for existing, loyal customers to keep their discounts for products they have already set to auto-renew and giving customers an option to enable auto-renew until [~ 2 weeks time] to benefit from the current pricing model would have been the way to go.

    I remember this was the case back in the day when WooCommerce plugins still had life-long updates and they grandfathered that so previous purchases wouldn’t be affected.

    Just getting greedy and stepping on some core values here – neglect your base and you will be hurt in the long run.

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  7. So since Automattic owns this website, is this their subtle way of announcing the price increase?

    Either way… Thank you so much for writing this. I didn’t even realize they jacked up the price. I just had faith in that WooCommerce (Automattic) would be honorable with their renewal pricing as they have been for awhile (shame on me for not paying close attention to the line items in those emails). And to compare themselves to a SaaS product… really? They are nothing close to such.

    I’ve just cancelled 39 extensions from being renewed, keeping a mere 4 in place. And those happen to be the least expensive they offer. Why so many extensions? Because I believed in continuing to renew plugins as a way to further support WooCommerce and I also played the “what if” angle of if I’d like to use various extensions in the future. To me that renewal pricing was acceptable and I showed it by not cancelling a single renewal. Until tonight.

    WooCommerce has been jacking prices up over the years (as many others have throughout the community, just not at the level that WooCommerce has done) and they have crossed the line with this move. And to not say a single thing, just hoping people don’t notice within those line items in their renewal emails… highly questionable and deceptive (in my opinion).

    So instead of the over $2400/yr I used to pay to them for my own company site, they will now receive $156/yr. That doesn’t even calculate the changes I will make to all my client’s renewals once I notify all of them tomorrow morning.

    They claim the prices are also balanced with their “premium” support backing? As the common plugin customer, it’s highly rare I ever seek support due to it being a joke to begin with. For the last 3 or so years, it takes several days to hear back from WooCommerce (sometimes as bad as 15 days to hear back at their absolute worst that I personally have experienced multiple times on separate occasions) and when you do hear back, despite how overly polite and informative you can attempt to be, it’s typically a rude, uncaring and unhelpful response in return.

    Shame on them. If this is the future of Automattic, they’ve now created a massive opening for a replacement to what they offer.

    This seems to be the year where companies such as Wistia, Amazon Drive and now Automattic begin to rip off their customers, going against their original price offering and Agreements in place when we all signed on (oh…but the excuse could be – well you “did” agree to allow them to change pricing at a moments notice…let’s not even begin to attempt that argument). 100% goodbye to companies that stand behind their pricing. Small price increases, no problem – outright shooting through the roof… not acceptable. For example, Wistia went from a $240/yr offering that they held for 2+ years to now changing that plan to over $3000/yr (insane, right!?). To much anger to go down that road again. They’ve since lost my business to Vimeo. I will deal with the lesser fancy features for less than what I used to be paying to them. They are not worth that amount of money. None of these companies are at these prices. To demand someone to pay full price to renew makes it far easier to not renew and repurchase only if absolutely needed. Thus, losing a chunk of a company’s renewal revenue.

    WordPress used to be a very affordable way in which we all could generate an income and our clients (start-ups
    + small businesses) would equally have a chance at getting a respectable website at a decent cost. The freemium model worked as everyone I know utilized what was free and purchased a solid amount of premium products in return – I guess the greed just took over for all these Executives.

    This hurts freelancers, this hurts agencies, and most of all, this hurts the end client.

    The person or small business whom would love to look even slightly unique against their competition, gaining helpful tools within these plugins, now has to rethink what they can afford and are willing to pay because all these product and service based companies seem to all want to cash in, not caring who they piss off or hurt in the process.

    These sort of price increases make people “think” about what they are buying – rather than someone seeing a fair price and just buying it – whereas the company is selling in massive volume. Before reading this post, I didn’t think twice about my renewals, I just accepted them. Now, seeing how many I wiped away – I’ve clearly thought about it. The price no longer equals the value.

    Now, to build a simple eCommerce site, between the high costs of WooCommerce extensions and the great deal of time one must put in for each client (including hands on support to the end client from myself) – a small business is facing thousands of dollars to a have a site built. With plugin pricing where it is, gone are the days someone can build a solid site for a business in need for less than $2000 upfront + renewal costs and still make fair money (obviously based on what the client’s needs are and the amount of time one puts in).

    So who does Automattic want to take the burden and pain of losing money… us designers/developers or our the end client? Someone now has to pay up. For me, I’ll take the 3rd option as I’m turning it onto Automattic by withdrawing the significant amount of money that I (and my clients) used to pay to them. I will not give in any longer to these insane price demands. I don’t care how much of the market they dominate. There are always other options one can take.

    My own curiosity… Where does the WordPress development community come from as it comes to their pricing? They are creating website software. Something that adds a specific piece of functionality but does not solve the entire problem and far from it. If you purchase Microsoft 365 at $99/yr, you get to install that software on 5 computers, 5 tablets and 5 phones. That’s 15 systems you get for $99/yr, not to mention all the added benefits you receive for that money. Several pieces of in-depth software, 1tb of online storage (for 5 people each!), *support* and it allows for 15 machines for $99/yr that can be used locally and online with syncing capabilities (no, I’m not selling 365, it’s the latest example I can think of as I see the absolute most value in their offering). When you look around at pricing in the WordPress community, you typically see plugins (single site licenses) ranging from $90-300/yr. That is one install, and one piece of software that only solves a small part of the overall problem. A place like Microsoft has thousands of employees. They don’t seem to have a problem backing up their pricing. Same with Norton. So why is it that our own community demands such incredibly high prices? Could many of us just be amateurs when it comes to business? Could we be the hypocrites when it comes to who gets what, for what and how it’s come by? Thinking we can just shoot out whatever price we want and claim “premium support” as the scapegoat? This sort of renegade pricing in the WordPress community especially is not sustainable and it just keeps getting worse each year.

    I’d love to see what these companies would charge if they removed support and only offered updates. I’d bet the honest person who leads an expensive plugin company wouldn’t charge much less than what they are already charging for these plugins and renewals (an honest person… hard to come by these days). That’s my point. Sure, I’m assuming here, but lets be serious, how much “support” is really calculated within these pricing models? One cannot truly calculate pricing in this sense without putting a strict and clear cap on what and how much support one is willing to provide each customer. So that figure is an assumption for all involved, aside from estimations based on prior years – which is still an assumption. That still doesn’t compare even remotely along the lines of what actual computer software is priced at these days (which carries far more problems solved than a single plugin on a single website). Developers cost money. Testing costs money. Marketing costs money, etc. Are we that different and special when compared to locally based small businesses whom have rent, whom have far more overhead costs than a distributed company, etc etc etc. If you go into a book store or a comic book store, you’re paying anywhere from, lets say, $5-40/book/comic. That book or comic took tons of time to create and involved loads of people, just as premium plugins do, yet their prices are not even a fraction of what a plugin in our WordPress community costs. And the store owner who sold it to you? They don’t turn around and charge a ton a money. That industry is stable and we as the public understand what to expect as it comes to cost. Our industry changes over and over again as it comes to pricing. Why.

    No wonder we are losing so many potential clients to DIY places and the public’s appreciation for great web design continues to go down hill.

    Our young industry must learn at some point before the public turns its back on all of us independents.

    I’m sure there will be others whom put the blame on me, claiming the prices are more than fair and that I should look for better clients with more money. If that’s the case, look around the world – look at reality and try to even attempt to look inside yourself and ask yourself if you actually care and have true compassion for the ones around you. If you told your own clients that you will now charge them double to what they’ve been paying, how many do you think will accept that and not rip your head off – subsequently leaving you in the dust? Not everyone is made of money, especially in the present day. Making a profit above your overhead is one thing and should be expected (including the occasional and respectable price increase), but doubling a price, not notifying your customers and hiding behind line items, “support” and Terms and Conditions is an entirely different story. Even if Automattic retracts this drastic price increase, replacing it with say a 10-30% increase above renewals, the damage is done in my eyes. The changes I made tonight are there to stay. This is the 3rd time I’ve experienced significant price increases from WooCommerce and it’s 3 strikes from where I’m positioned.

    Let’s have a respectable debate if such is required in one’s mind.

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    1. Good reply !! Nail on the head !

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    2. This is an excellent comment! The Microsoft example and the comic book analogy are right on. There is an economy of scale that should be taking place as WooCommerce software is being used more widely. However, as they keep choosing to raise their prices, more people jump ship in favor of less expensive plugins or GPL software vaults and they won’t be able to obtain the economy of scale necessary to avoid exorbitant pricing. Since their greatest expense are personalized support requests (which currently take *forever* to get answered), a better option for them to consider might be fostering a more helpful and encouraging users-helping-each-other community atmosphere to avoid the expense of unnecessary support requests.

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      1. users-helping-each-other community atmosphere

        Well, that’s kinda why we started the WooCommerce Help Facebook Group.

        However, as they keep choosing to raise their prices, more people jump ship in favor of less expensive plugins or GPL software vaults and they won’t be able to obtain the economy of scale necessary

        And, ^^^that^^^ is someone who gets and fully understands the bigger picture!

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  8. Many of the comments above have valid concerns. For a price increase of this size you should be upfront with your customers. At least send out and email.

    However, I applaud the change to remove renewal discounts. WordPress products for too long have been price too low and undervalued. Think about it. When is the last time you got a renewal discount for anything outside WordPress? Netflix no, HelpScout no, GitHub no. So why should WordPress products be any different?

    Hopefully this change shifts the customer mindset and allows WooCommerce to provide more responsive and timely support. Customers should receive what they’ve paid good money for: quality code and support. Otherwise, they will jump ship to another product. I’m going to watch this to see how it pans out.

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    1. Well there wont be too much people joining you on this. I will also cancel all my renewals and will either maintain them myselves or seek for replacement plugins.

      … and allows WooCommerce to provide more responsive and timely support.

      What a Joke. The support was, is and will be poor and rude. They always wave away first before even reading the problem that is described.

      Neah i have had it with this. Sorry about that but this is not the way todo business.

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    2. This change could have been handled better. I don’t know which way this will go. Changing the customer mindset is entirely dependent on the individual. The customer will look for alternatives if they are not convinced. The costs are going to rise. If the customer is willing to bare those costs, then voila. If not, then the competition is going to eat that pie.

      Whether this shifts the customer mindset or not will be a thing to watch over the next couple of years.

      If the quality of support would have been at satisfactory for the customers, perhaps they wouldn’t grudge at this decision.

      The price change itself is not bad. If the customer mindset changes, all product owners would benefit from it.

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    3. When is the last time you got a renewal discount for anything outside WordPress?

      The Woo policy aside, on my computer right now I have UltraEdit, Camtasia, and IntelliJ – all of which offer discounts after the 1st year.

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    4. Yeah, but Netflix costs $120/year and you don’t need anything else to enjoy it. If you want to build a robust store on WP, you will need to pay far more for a theme, all the plugins and all the WooCommerce add-ons.

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    5. Devin, what I think you’re missing with the Neflix / HelpScout / GitHub analogy is that all WooCommerce extensions are open source. So if you stop renewing your subscription to any of these other platforms, you lose access. With WooCommerce extensions, the only thing you lose if you cancel your subscription would be support tickets and an occasional bug fix or feature add. So WooCommerce needs to provide a discount on renewals to give customers the incentive to stay a “part of the club”. Otherwise, the logical move is to just cancel your automatic subscription and then only renew it if you need support or a major release comes out.

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  9. I am disgusted by this. WooThemes ( WooCommerce ) has done this in the past with pricing increases and changes to pricing structures without adequately contacting customers. I thought they would have learned from their mistakes.

    I don’t mind paying for products at all but the fact is, as others have said, there was no notification of this change and customer support for years has been poor due to rapid growth.

    The only possible way to justify this increase would be to improve products and massively improve support. I’ve had issues with plugins for years were bug fixes are not rolled out for long periods of time, sometimes not at all as other plugins have more priority.

    You get discount vouchers given to you and apologies, but that’s not enough if the same thing happens over and over again. If the product is good and the support is excellent, then I have no issues paying.

    However, Woo and Automattic have shown disregard to loyal customers.

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  10. Hi,
    I think this is quite likely to be illegal and we may need a kind lawyer to bring a class action.

    You can’t go altering the terms of an existing subscription / auto renewal without specifically giving your customers notice and warning. Slipping it into a renewal email which I for one don’t even always read as I know I was getting the 50% discount and wanted to keep using m extensions.

    Very underhanded business practice and not how to treat a whole community of people.

    Dale.

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    1. Well that’s disappointing for current users – that means they now are paying twice the price – that’s a freaking 100% price increases on renewals – compared to what some of the extensions do they are already pricey – I know pippin had good results for his business rising his prices – but that move seems very bold!

      I wish they had at least be honest and communicated this move upfront. Or offered an optional no support renewal license or whatever :(

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    2. This is exactly what we said to them in 2013, when they tried to pull that stunt with removing everyone’s unlimited licenses.

      I’m furious about this. Especially because up until recently their own website listed that renewals would be 50% off.

      Anyone purchasing under those conditions should have that honoured and not have the rug yanked out from under them.

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  11. Are they using automatic renewal and price increase at the same time? That can’t be legal or the terms of services really sucks.

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  12. It’s obvious that Woo hasn’t figured out how to provide customer support and still make money.

    The problem with Woocommerce support is the user is running a critical plugin on unique architecture. So their hair is on ? if anything is wrong, but the support agent needs to consider 20 different things to make sure the right answer is given.

    That’s expensive.

    Expect to see a hosted Woocommerce product soon.

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    1. That is very likely why they are doing this.. To send us to a new solution, hosted woo.

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  13. So it’s this the way they act? I had some doubt during the buy process for some plugins of them… but now everything is clear. The guys from yithemes have a full package with lots of plugins inside, and some of them are better then the woo ones. I spent several hours these days reading about their support service on a lots of facebook users groups and it seems to be really fast and quality.

    Fortunately, they are not the only ones who make extensions for woocommerce

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  14. My guess is that this is paving the way for the introduction of a hosted WooCommerce product by Automattic. They need to be able to charge a set, ongoing amount per month, and don’t want it to compare unfavorably with the long-term cost of self-hosted WooCommerce, so, goodbye to discounted renewals.

    Four years ago, when radically changing their pricing structure, WooCommerce refused to grandfather in customers who had already bought what they were promised were lifetime and unlimited-site licenses.

    That was pretty shitty, but WooCommerce argued that it was necessary for the longterm health of the company. They pointed out that renewals would only cost 50% as an acknowledgement of the lower support burden of established users i.e. that the highest support burden comes in the first few weeks of using a new extension.

    As such, this latest change is a blatant raid upon clients who have built their businesses around what they were told was a sustainable model for WooCommerce. At the very least, existing customers who funded the growth of the company, until its eventual acquisition by Automattic, should be grandfathered in, their 50% renewals should be honored.

    Incidentally, this opens the door to any ambitious, support-oriented company to provide ongoing support for WooCommerce extensions at 50% of WooCommerce price. My understanding is that the quality and responsiveness of the official support has long been a subject of dissatisfaction for WooCommerce license-holders.

    Many businesses who trusted that the 50% renewals would continue will now be feeling highly aggrieved and open to approaches from another provider, particularly if that provider guarantees that they will honor the convention of grandfathering existing licenses if raising prices in the future.

    Doubtless, many WooCommerce license-holders will not care about this increase, they are already making tons of money. Also doubtless, Automattic see this change as necessary for their future plans, and they are not stupid, they know that the last major change essentially gave birth to the GPL sites.

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    1. That’s an interesting assessment. Hosted WooCommerce was always being eyed ever since the acquisition took place.

      As for providing support by another company, even if a company does provide ongoing support at 50% of WooCommerce prices, they will need to provide plugin updates as well.

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      1. Good point about the updates Vishal, although I’m actually surprised that none of the GPL sites have provided some sort of updating mechanism. The software to do it is openly available and I would have imagined it would be a decisive competitive factor in that market, no-one likes updating by hand.

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      2. That’s right Donnacha. I have never used one of the GPL sites for my needs, but if they are going to sell 1000 plugins from their site, unsure how they will manage the updates for all those plugins & themes.

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    2. This! This is likely a preemptive move for hosted WooCommerce. I also happen to think this could be the breaking point for Woo.

      Its all GPL, someone should take the code from all the overlapping confusing duplicative extensions and repackage them into one or two neatly packaged bundles for specific shop cases. Like a “shipping” module where you could just turn on/off whatever shipping you needed instead of an extension for FedEx, another for FedEx and UPS, another for just UPS, another for flat rate…. it’s insanity.

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    3. No customers with lifetime licenses were refused – many customers still have lifetime licenses active. There was a question that asked back then if you would support the switch or if you wanted to keep your lifetime license.

      I have both a lifetime license and a yearly license on the same account.

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      1. Actually, initially we were refused our lifetime licenses in 2013.

        The reason they offered to allow existing customers to “opt in” to their lifetime licenses (yeah we had to opt in to keep them, not opt out, which was retarded) was because we put up a HUGE fight about it.

        There was was a ton of back and forth and they (Woo) tried to hold their ground about not grandfathering until the issue literally exploded in negativity.

        People were talking about taking legal action because Woo was trying to change the terms of an established purchase after the fact; which they’re also doing now.

        I also have yearly renewals in addition to my lifetime licenses. Those licenses were purchased under the express agreement that I would be getting 50% off renewals for those products so they shouldn’t be attempting to change that.

        This is literally the exact same behaviour from 2013 repeating itself.

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  15. Meh. Don’t worry, this will just drive more clients to start off with Wix or Squarespace (both offer carts), which eventually will force Automattic to become more customer-centric. Unfortunately for some companies it takes a near-death experience to understand this.

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  16. No problem with the price increase, just how it seems it was announced. Big companies needs to practice transparency, especially in the open-source world of WordPress.

    That being said, the actual price increase is probably a good thing. Most of the WordPress world undervalues their work, so the higher price point will force us to pass on the cost to our clients and learn to sell projects at a higher cost.

    My two cents!

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  17. How much is the subscription? I could not find the pricing info on their website.

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  18. Jeff, what is going on?

    My entire comment, 340 words, has disappeared.

    It contained no profanity, did not attack anyone, merely stated facts about the 2013 price change and my guess about why Automattic is making this move.

    Is a WP Tavern article about a company, run by owner of WP Tavern, being censored?

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      1. Ah, okay, thanks Jeff, I see.

        I now have some recollection of that happening once before, years ago, and I made the same mistake, back then, of presuming censorship.

        Thanks for reminding me! :D

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  19. This is absolutely disgusting and unethical behaviour, if not illegal.

    If Woo wants to change their pricing structure going forward, all the power to them. However, that should absolutely NOT affect already established purchase agreements.

    Their website listed the 50% off renewal discount up until just recently, which means anyone who purchased should have those terms honoured for as long as they are renewing those plugins.

    The biggest issue that I have with all of this was the absolute lack of communication. No email notices, no blog posts, no nothing. If I hadn’t been warned in a FB group I would have been none the wiser with my auto-renewal email and would have been billed full price for items I purchased because of the 50% renewal.

    This could hit the unknowing customer that’s expecting 50% off really hard. Depending on how much the “full” renewal is it could also potentially cause issue with people’s credit card (possibly going over limits, etc.).

    I stuck with them after the 2013 “unlimited” license debacle and here we go again. I cancelled ALL my auto-renewals.

    I know there are cheaper options and places like GPL Vault but I wanted to support the developers behind many Woo plugins (i.e. like SkyVerge). However, why would I go on supporting someone that isn’t honest with me.

    I have an open support ticket about this issue and the final response that I got today was “If you re-enable auto-renew, then we’ll credit you half off the memberships plugins as a 1 time discount, going forward all plugins will renew full price”.

    I haven’t responded yet, but I won’t be doing that since that wasn’t what was part of my original purchase agreement and I’m appalled at how they tried to sneak this in.

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  20. Exact same thing just happened to me!

    How absolutely deceptive!

    First, entice persons to buy and not look elsewhere with promise (and listing) of discounted renewal prices. Second, afford no timely notice of change that has occurred, and instead hide it until the absolute last possible moment (so customers are unlikely able to migrate in time to another solution). Not to mention their ‘support’ is latent by 4-5 days, if any real support. These people are crooks!

    WooCommerce like all to many others whom have operated so will fail or diminish to near failing in time! Give it time.

    WooCommerce has costed themselves my accounts of $6000 per year and all future business — not that they care, although they email you their canned apology for every such failing.

    Pathetic!

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  21. Not sure if changing terms, without notice, is completely within the law…

    …but then again, the legal issue is not the biggest issue… pissing off friends by being seen as deceptive/not informing/hiding/’hope they won’t notice’…is just dumbass (which is the very diplomatic way of saying something in a way that won’t get me banned from FB for a decade…)…that is the real problem…

    If Matt M. wanted to discredit himself, WP, and a lot more, then I think he is doing a wonderful job…

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  22. As other people have mentioned WooCommerce did this back in the summer of 2013 – and it is still odd way of doing business.

    It totally lacks creativity

    The guys over at WP eCommerce has a premium support services where you can buy access to premium support for 30 days or a year.

    The brilliant part here is they turn an expense (support) into a product.

    WooCommerce could adopt this creative product and offer paid premium support, then reinstate the former pricing model with 50% renewal discount on extensions to cover updates.

    The revenue from renewal will contribute to developing and maintaining plugins/extensions.

    The Premium Support service will eventually cover support. If not they can just increase the price for support.

    People would have a choice and no one gets burned..!

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  23. The problem with much open sourse is not the platforms…
    It is that most of the people behind it have no business sense…or any understanding of human nature at all…

    These actions can only make sense, if one is too much of a coward to be straight forward and decent…but then also not understanding that the pain that is avoided by not being straight forward will create a backlash that makes the pain at least a 100 times worse…

    …but then again…if one is happy with people not trusting (and despising oneself), then it seems like great strategy… :)

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  24. For what it’s worth I just went to open a support ticket and found they now have real time chat support. It was answered immediately and the agent was knowledgeable and responsive.

    That was a nice surprise.

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  25. I actually discovered this a couple weeks ago when I wanted to renew a license I had accidentally let expire. But they told me it’s full price to renew, so that had me reconsidering.

    Now, knowing that my existing subscriptions are about to double in renewal costs, I’m seriously considering switching to Easy Digital Downloads.

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    1. There is no other option. Pippin recently tripled renewal prices (which unlike WooCommerce were always fair). Pippin and Matt Mullenweg recently did a big podcast together. Cartel would be exaggerating but we’re in this direction.

      At WordCamp Europe in Paris last week much of the talk was about how to monetize and extract more money. Comparatively little of the talk was about how to bring maintenance costs down and make WordPress users’ lives easier. Much has changed on this platform which so many of us built for free.

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      1. didn’t listen to the podcast itself but the big difference there is they grandfathered in existing customers if they had an active subscription … and his prices were far lower than woo to begin with ;)

        I’m sure they reactions would have been far more calm if there would haven been an announcement or proper communication!

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      2. At WordCamp Europe in Paris last week much of the talk was about how to monetize and extract more money. Comparatively little of the talk was about how to bring maintenance costs down and make WordPress users’ lives easier. Much has changed on this platform which so many of us built for free.

        So sad to read this

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  26. 1. Provide advance notice for price increases. Give your customers a chance to plan. That’s common courtesy. Don’t strand your customers.

    2. I’m still mystified by people who resent paying about the same in fees for software add-ons that run their entire online business as they pay for Spotify and Netflix.

    3. Support and Support Documentation remain the redheaded stepchildren of the software industry. Almost no one gets it right. Support should be at the apex of the whole of the company, not managed like traffic court. I could write a book on that subject.

    Oh, wait, I am ☺️

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    1. when you do GPL, the whole business model revolves about not having documentation, and do only minimal passable UX, otherwise who would pay for support?

      Report


    2. Yes, but with Netflix the total cost is $120/year and you’re set, while to build an ecommerce store on WP you will spend $120 just on one WooCommerce extension. What about the remaining WooCommerce extensions that you need, non-commerce plugins, a theme?

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  27. The thing about the money is not the money itself but the value provided. Absolutely we want quality software. Definitely we would like it to be bug free and easy to use.

    Woocommerce largely provides that already if you know what you are doing. We have been long term users of Woocommerce and in 5+ years we’ve raised just three support tickets in that time.

    We run many extensions including some large ones like table rate shipping and subscriptions. Any issues we’ve ever had have been with plugins that are not provided as part

    We are designers and developers with a good understanding of hosting and we resolve most of the plugin conflicts ourselves. We choose good quality hosting, well coded plugins and take responsibility for sorting out issues that can easily be fixed. We only use woocommerce support as a last resort.

    So when people start talking about SAAS pricing then you should compare apples to apples.

    Take Shopify for example the $29 a month plan will do what in the wordpress world would take

    PCI compliant Hosting + Woocommerce + table rate shipping + lightspeed POS integration + Lightspeed POS Account

    Let’s look at the costs Shopify is $348/year

    Woocommerce is:
    – Hosting $29/mth for WP Engine (Say what you like about hosting you should be hosting Woocommerce on decent hosting) – that’s $348/year
    – Table rate shipping $99/year
    – Lightspeed POS integration $99/year (I’m using this as an example, thrid part sync services like linksync for Vend POS are even more expensive, abobut $1000USD/year, and terribly buggy)

    Then your Woocommerce powered store is costing you $546/year without any other extras and without the POS account (you’d need a lightspeed POS account for the above scenario to work)

    So how can you justify to a brick and mortar client that they should pay the extra for woocommerce what else on top do they get that’s better. It’s only wordpress. Shopify provides great support, excellent UI and easy to use mobile apps. If it is straight ecom there is NO advantage only extra costs to use Woocommerce.

    Before you remind me, I know that there are lots of montly paid add-ons for Shopify too and that your “ideal” store might cost more than just what I’ve outlined above but the same applies to woocommerce, it’s rare to build a woocommerce store that has less than three or four extenstions to provide the desired functionality. As this all gets more expensive the comparison to true “SAAS” products becomes more applicable and from where I stand Woocommerce will lose this battle. As a “bolt on” product to WordPress woocommerce doesn’t have the simple UI of something like Shopify and is definitely harder for our clients to use (we have clients that we’ve migrated from Woo to Shopify and that’s their words not mine). So Woo has to fight the battle on other fronts, functionality and value.

    So coming back to value, why should we as an agency pay 50% extra for the support burden that we are not putting on the company. We’d rather move our clients to shopify where we can offloaad the entire support burden (Hosting + ecom) straight to shopify and still make some commission money. Woocommerce is starting to charge SAAS level prices without providing a SAAS level product or service.

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    1. Seems like they may be higher than many SAAS solutions. As a potential client pointed out recently, Squarespace includes e-commerce in it’s $12/mo package.

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  28. People this is GPL. Don’t blame, if somebody ask for any price or do something one or other way. It is open source … take it and you can try to do it better, cheaper and your way.

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  29. The challenge they’re going to have is that, as the price of extensions increases, people are looking at an outlay that makes things like Shopify, BigCommerce, Magento and more attractive. That will vary by client of course, but if someone’s extension bill is several hundred per year, you can look at the above hosted services, pay them $29/month on up depending on your needs and not have to worry about hosting, site maintenance and the like.

    Now, if someone’s site really needs the rest of WordPress too… that’s different. But many ecommerce sites are really JUST ecommerce without a lot of non-commerce related content and guess what? You don’t need a CMS if you’re not going to manage content.

    The obvious tactic for Automattic to take in that case is, as Donncha noted above, hosted WooCommerce sites with access to some or all of the official extensions depending on subscription level. Will that hurt the third party extensions? Sure it will, over time as more and more Woocommerce sites use the hosted version. But do they care?

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  30. Euh…and is this the way to go to compete with Shopify? Smaller shops with standard product are better up with Shopify in terms of costs. When you wanna have customization or incorparated in a bigger site, then WooCommerce is the better. Automattic and WooCommerce convinced us that the open-sourceness gives you freedom, you’re the ‘owner’ of your store. But honestly, clients really don’t care. And more honestly, we also don’t care as long as there is no customization asked, right. Most of us use GMail and tens of tools that ‘lock’ us up too. But we use them. With all this price-drama and the up-market rise, the one thing i’m really concerned about is -in the long run- is the bitterness that probably comes in the minds of non-paid volunteering contributors; and that we see more and more a shift to paid contributors; who have their own agenda. And about the price-communication, it’s bizar for a WooCommerce-client like me to read the renewal-news on a third-party blog (discovered it on wpmayer), i haven’t seen a Woo mail about this.

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  31. No wonder so many nulled websites are popping up with monthly subscriptions. Quite a few are targetting WooCommerce.com plugins and some sites are offering clean untouched plugins.

    I have not bought a plugin from woocommerce.com since my credit card had freud payments done to it a couple years back in the big security breach they had. Happened while on holiday.

    I have been using sites like codecanyon and other authors, working well so far

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  32. I am shocked about the way this was done.

    It also appears to be a bad, unnecessary and possibly counterproductive pricing model. As an analytics person, I have spent large amounts of time analyzing software pricing models. Although the details vary by business, there is good data behind the common model of charging x dollars for the first year and somewhere around x/2 dollars for ongoing support. It is also common for customer retention to be far less costly than acquisition. I cannot speak for Automattic’s data, but would be surprised if this is really warranted.

    And the much of the competition is less costly.

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  33. I don’t really understand the problem. Anyone who signed up for automatic renewal and was overcharged can contact WooCommerce about a refund. If they refuse, contact your credit card company and file a chargeback. Spoiler alert, you will win and WooCommerce will lose.

    I also don’t understand why anyone would want to “renew” GPL software. It’s completely unnecessary and the concept of a yearly license renewal is contradictory to the GPL. I feel like I’m saying this a lot here, but read the licence.

    If you’re renewing every year for tech support purposes, I’m not sure it’s worth it. How good can their support be if they don’t inform customers the renewal cost is is jumping to 100% of the original purchase price? Good quality tech support starts with communication, something WooCommerce doesn’t seem to be very good at.

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    1. If you’re renewing every year for tech support purposes, I’m not sure it’s worth it.

      Not just about tech support. It’s about squashing bugs, rolling out new features, and security vulnerability patches. If you care about that sort stuff, it’s not only worth it but critically important for the site owner and consumers.

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      1. If someone sold you a plugin that had a bug that needed squashing or that had a security vulnerability that needed to be patched, don’t they have a an ethical responsibility to do such things free of charge?

        I’ve never understood how some premium theme and plugin vendors get away with that. I have no problem with them charging for new features. I do have a problem with them charging for fixing bugs or fixing security vulnerabilities.

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      2. No. All software contains bugs. Paying once does not grant you a license to perfect software. It grants you to use the software as-is.

        Sometimes bugs arise later, after something like a WordPress update, or a conflict with another product.

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    2. Except they’re not actually issuing refunds; at least not without a lot of back/forth and arguing the point.

      I’ve been in contact with them regarding this issue since June 12. Warren, the CMO, only just recently (as of yesterday) offered to honour my Memberships and Deposits plugin license renewal fee with the caveat:

      “we’re happy to honour the discount on your Memberships and Deposits licenses but all other licenses going forward will renew at 100%.”

      100% unacceptable because that was NOT my original purchase agreement.

      Since WooCommerce locks updates (as John above mentioned) behind a paywall, many of us were renewing for that along with support. I also liked to support the 3rd party developers behind many of those plugins (i.e. SkyVerge) but I don’t plan on purchasing a single license from the Woo marketplace going forward.

      Woo’s support times are god awful. The reason they gave for changing the pricing model in 2013 (which caused a huge commotion) was so that support would get better; it didn’t. So I highly doubt that this change will make it any better either.

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      1. Nulled sites have been handed a big opportunity with this announcement. :(

        I’d be really keen to see the Zendesk monthly reports for WooCommerce.com just to know how bad things have got, I’m a single Plugin developer so deal with a tiny volume of tickets by comparison; I post reporting bi-monthly.

        https://visser.com.au/about/#support

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  34. I get complaining about the lack of notice, but if you’re complaining about the price, then you need to check yourself.

    Do session guitarists complain about the cost of great guitars? Do yard workers complain about the cost of riding mowers? This is the most critical piece of your business infrastructure, and you’re complaining about a few thousand dollars (at most). Seriously, wake up.

    I run a WordPress e-commerce business and I can assure you that building, maintaining, updating, and supporting a product of that nature is no joke. It takes time, money, and resources to do it right. It’s not cheap!

    You think that’s bad? Try running a brick and mortar business, where there are so many margin-eating expenses that it’s almost impossible to launch a business, let alone keep it running.

    Software is a walk in the park comparatively, and you should be thankful that you have the opportunity to spend a few thousand in order to earn a few hundred thousand, all without getting out of your computer chair.

    If you want to discuss the nefariousness of Automattic’s master plan against .org, which I believe to be a true threat to all of us, then that’s another topic entirely. We should all be concerned about that.

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    1. One is stuck between a rock and a hard place. The base product WP or Woo is changed because of security issues and new features. And because of the latter most plugins, themes need to be updated as otherwise the shop does not work anymore. Well thank you ! The owner of the base product is laughing as he knows he gets loads of money in his pocket because of his addons which are sold at a steep price and which stopped working because of changes he made in the core system. So in order to get income they just keep on changing the base product so that people are forced to renew and spend money again to keep their shop working. If the security updates were released separate for the version you are running there would be no problem as the plugins would keep on working aswell.

      Did you see the prices of those addons in 2012? They were life time ! And very acceptable priced. In 2013 they changed life-time to annual renewal and increased the prices more then 50%. And now they made annual renewal 100%. Any sane human being would normally walk away.

      If i have a guitar it will be working until i throw it away because its broken or sell it. Even if the guitar needs a update because it has a malfunction that can cause electric risk for people using it we find it normal that that update is free. Look at the car industry. Cars get called back because of updates (security or not). Nobody ever needed to pay for such. Even extra’s you bought with the car keep on working. What would you say if those extra’s stopped working because a update the manufacturer applied to your car? No problem i will rebuy them ! Yeah right. You would not accept that and threaten them with a lawsuite.

      Look at what woo did in V3.0 they changed the single product image code f……. up all plugins and themes that were using and modifying the old way of presenting the image. Forcing them to change the their product. Woo should at least be backwards compatible. But hell NO ! Its a free products so what are you complaining about…. knowing that their own addons need to be renewed. Money, money, money !

      I dont mind paying for stuff, but i do mind that i have to pay again and again because of changes they made to the free product and my paid addon stops working. Changes i cant refuse because they also contain security patches.

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      1. In fairness, all software relies on multiple application layers to work properly. Changes in any one of them (jQuery, PHP, and many others), uncovering vulnerabilities, changes in browser and web specs, all drive changes. Not just features, although that’s critical too.

        Software has to evolve and adapt. I very much doubt anyone would be satisfied with Woocommerce version 1 today, even if it could work in a modern stack. Premium plugins and extensions are at the heart of what makes WordPress a great option for millions of people, and that model sustains a large and growing industry of entrepreneurs and their employees.

        The choices are there for consumers. You can either use another existing option, pay fees for premium plugins you use, or create and manage your own.

        Honestly, most people are going to use established, supported, products like Woocommerce, EDD, etc. So, this is really about the poorly executed increase in fees, not the fees themselves. I totally understand that part.

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    2. Actually, I know several session guitarists and landscape contractors. Yes, they complain about price increases on equipment and services all the time – especially surprise price increases.

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  35. So many thoughts, so little time.

    Sometime this weekend, I’ll make a video explaining some more thoughts that which aren’t quite considered, being looked at, or explored…. both FOR and AGAINST this decision.

    For now though, these comments are quite ……interesting

    ;-)

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  36. Like some others on this thread, I’m fine with a price increase but the seeming lack of transparency is pretty stunning and certainly doesn’t build a loyal customer base. Even with the price increase, I feel it is still less expensive than investing time in coding the functionality myself. If one is making a reasonable income via a Woo store, it seems like the increase wouldn’t be business-threatening for many companies.

    That being said, with this increase in price their support response times better stop dropping. I’m certainly not happy with the response time for any of my “premium” Woo plugins, including their own. Getting a first response in two to three days is totally unacceptable (and I’m not talking about weekends). It’s stunning how bad it is…

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  37. There are a few related but separate issues here:

    1) Price. This is a doubling of the outlay that people have been used to and needs justification from that point of view. No one cares about their vision, etc – if we’re paying 2x the price, what do we get?

    If I’m paying renewal fees for GPL software, there are only two benefits you can give me. One is updates. Ideally, feature updates that make the product better. Yes, bug fixes are nice, but they are, by their nature, fixes to mistakes. The second benefit is support. If you’re raising the price then we need to see either 1) significantly more feature development on the extensions or 2) much better support or 3) both.

    2) Predictability. This is the second time they’ve changed pricing terms without much notice. It’s perfectly fair for people to wonder what this means for the future.

    3) Competition. Unless a client has some compelling need to run WordPress that’s unrelated to their store, the increasing price should make any rational ecommerce business look at the competition. New businesses will look at the low barrier to entry from Bigcommerce and Shopify and need to see a compelling reason to bother with finding a host, getting the base WordPress/Woocommerce install done, then adding the various extensions vs simply firing up a Shopify account, picking a theme and getting going.

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      1. Commercial licenses often restrict one’s ability to continue using software unless you pay a fee. GPL doesn’t. Theoretically, I could find and download a copy of the software and not pay for it even if it’s sold by Woo. I happen to believe that’s unethical but it’s not a violation of the license whereas it would be for any commercial license I’ve seen.

        But, yes, you can read that sentence without the GPL word in it and it’s the same. If you want me to renew a license for software you need to provide value.

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      2. Well, there’s nothing new about your value justification for price increase argument. Automattic clearly believes that value is there and it’s market bearable. If consumers think differently, they can try and persuade them to lower price points, or they’ve a decision to make. GPL has nothing to do with it.

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      3. Of course they believe that. Belief, though, isn’t reality. Right now they’ve doubled the price and have yet to explain what’s in it for the customer.

        One of the primary reasons to use WP + Woo is that it’s a low cost, high quality solution. Change that to simply “High quality” and you let in all kinds of competition.

        Consider this – high quality WP hosting is already $15-30 to start (for an entry level site). Add enough extension cost and it becomes very compelling to just say “Screw it, I’m not messing with all the server BS, I’ll just move to Shopify or whatever.” Of course, a hosted WC service would also be a choice if such existed.

        Also, quit nitpicking. Jesus people… way to over focus on a single word.

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      4. I think the value/price argument is very much related to the lack of transparency with the change. My guess is that had woo come out and explained their position, the reaction would still have been heated but much less so. Something along the lines of stating that they feel that the business model of 50% renewals is not sustainable for them in order to maintain updates, improvements, and quality support (which they don’t have now imho)…yadda…yadda. With a reasonable argument, most people at least simmer down a bit and are more reasonable (though my still certainly disagree).

        The folks who make Migrate DB Pro also went through a price increase that wasn’t well received by many. But in their case they were transparent, forthright, and actually reached out to owners with an attractive “upgrade now for less” offer before increasing prices. That, imho, was handled much better.

        Instead, we were all caught off guard — though as I stated above I’ll still be paying for updates/fixes.

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      5. I think some of the heat is that Woo already has poor support times. Sure, they could have argued that this would improve support but then the last license change they did should have helped and it didn’t.

        Saying they need to deliver value for the increase may not be a new argument but that doesn’t lessen its correctness. As it is, they have doubled the price and not committed to any clear customer benefit. For people who use a couple of cheap extensions, eh. But for the people whose extension cost is hundreds or more per year? Those folks will look long and hard at this.

        After all, if a customer isn’t getting faster and better support, why auto-renew? As Ken Klages points out, there’s now no advantage to the customer to auto-renew (i.e. “auto renew before your license expires and get a discount”) so the smart thing to do is to only renew when the extension adds something you value or when you do need support. I’ve had other licenses hit their expiration date recently and in all cases the vendor has emailed out an offer to renew early because it’s in their interest to do so – they keep me as a customer.

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  38. I am disappointed by this and sincerely hope they reverse the decision or I’ll be looking elsewhere. I steer many clients their way and the reduced renewal rate is a big selling point. With this change they’ll be getting much less, or none, of that business from now on. Furthermore their customer support has not improved in any way that warrants this change.

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    1. 100% agree. Support times are atrocious, they never really got better even after the 2013 pricing model change; which is why they made that change in the first place. I’m not holding my breath that this increase will make a difference in support.

      It typically takes 3 – 5 business days (no weekends) to get a reply and even then it’s usually something that’s not overly helpful.

      I’ll be turning off all my auto-renews, no point not to at this stage in the game. For my personal sites if I need a plugin I’ll look at places like GPL Vault. I have 0 desire to give Woo my support or money after this nonsense.

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  39. …still reading comments
    …still baffled at one little point that no one seems to have mentioned

    Legality?

    Has no one realized, discussed, or considered that…

    1. Without disclosing this change “…IN WRITING” and…
    2.While continuing to advertise, promote, and invoke communications such as “…. enable auto-renew and keep all these goodies for half the price….” like this —> https://prnt.sc/fn3ar1

    Did Automattic just roll out the red carpet for a class action suit?

    Let’s be direct, to-the-point, and cut out the horse-sh!t #wpdrama for a second (….or more!)

    If TOS were violated, advertising was misleading, & any number of other factors….. then let’s put a cork in the whole #wpdrama factor for a minute & remember that Automattic isn’t immune to a class action, store owners deserve fairness, and lawyers enjoy money :-)

    https://lanierlawfirm.com/legal-practice-areas/intellectual-property/

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    1. I actually raised this possibility in my first post.
      They have altered the terms of an ongoing renewal subscription agreement without getting consent or even notifying us.
      I for one would love to work with a law firm but being based in Australia we would need some US based folks to engage the lawyers I imagine.

      Dale.

      Dale Reardon Founder, My Disability Matters The new social network for the Disability Community Friends, family, carers and businesses welcome
      Phone: 03 6286 7305 | 0420 277 457 | Skype: dale.reardon Twitter: @audisability | Linkedin | Facebook

      Report


      1. I believe this is part of the reason that Woo decided to “grandfather” people into their lifetime licenses in 2013.

        There was talk then of if it was legal to change the terms of an established purchase agreement and legal action; shortly thereafter they came back and gave us the “option” to choose to stay on unlimited licenses.

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  40. This is outrageous.

    Simply not fair, and not the deal I signed up for. Worst of all you really need to combine so many plugins to get the entire functionality which should have been part of the standard e-commerce plugin.

    And I have spend so much time building with woocommerce, and each time I need support I get poor support.

    I am very upset.

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  41. What I have been doing is turning OFF all of the automatic updates and letting my plugins “expire”. Then, since there is no discount for renewing on time, just WAIT until there is an important update that is needed. For a plugin like Print Invoices and Packing Lists (which should be part of the core functionality anyway, for god’s sake), we may be able to use the older version for a very long time and then Automattic gets NO revenue from me until I NEED an important update because something quit working, or there is an important security patch.

    If everyone cancelled automatic renewals of every plugin, maybe that would send a message. There is no cost penalty to let it expire and then renew it in 2 or 3 or 6 months. If you let it lapse for 6 months and then renew, you have given yourself the 50% renewal discount back again.

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    1. This is exactly what I will do, and I think we all should to send a message.

      But I am considering alternatives and will probably switch to memberpress on membership sites, and ditch membership and subscriptions all together.

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    2. That strategy “might” work but WooCommerce “might” release a major Plugin release in that period breaking compatibility with those outdated Plugins as happened with WC 3.0.

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      1. If they do that enough, leave. That’s abusive behavior (or incompetent product management to not consider backwards compatibility).

        Again, it’s not like Woo is the only ecommerce solution out there. Again, it’s not like you need your ecommerce solution to be based on WordPress.

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      2. Well it is nice to avoid sync of user sessions and user data, across systems. It was a nightmare on joomla, not having a decent cart system.

        And political it would be a disaster to be responsible for synced data from 2018 in the EU when the General Data Protection Regulation act kicks in.

        So keeping the cart with your Cms is a more secure thing.

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      3. Agreed. I have a customer who was so afraid of updating to Woo 3.0, she waited until two weeks ago to update, and then her Wholesale Suite plugin form stopped working, so we had no choice but to update Woo itself.

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      4. Yes there have been so many minor comparability updates to woo after 3.0 was released. So I believe that if you stay with woo, you will be forced to renew before you like it.

        And 3.1 is jus around the corner.

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  42. Really we should all go and cancel the renewal of our extensions. That is the only right thing to do.

    I will.

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  43. The history of WooThemes now WooCommerce has always been disappointing when it comes to customer relationships. I dumped them a long time ago when they were WooThemes over sudden changes. I see it’s STILL good riddens!

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  44. Another erratic move by WooCommerce. I had expected something else from them since they are now owned by Automattic. But anyway. For my part, I am not going to support them anymore but make a decent donation to my favorite GPLClub who provide all WooCommerce products for free.

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    1. And which club would that be?

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  45. We feel so glad at the moment to not integrating WooCommerce with ListingPro, our directory solution even after repeated requests from several customers. For a bit we considered to do an unofficial integration for limited users but now it’s a big NO as far as I can tell. Like our rest of the solution, we will seriously consider building the eCommerce piece in-house.

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    1. Well I still think there are good reasons that everyone does not reinvent the wheel.

      Wc is still an excellent cart / ordering / payment system, and it is free, GPL and supported by auttomatic. Why not support that, just stay independent.

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      1. @Henrik, I agree with you. WooCommerce is excellent and we do sell WooCommerce Product too so as far as an eCommerce site is concerned I would support it if users are willing to pay the extra bucks.

        I was referring to integrating with our other product whose core value proposition is not eCommerce. Thanks!

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  46. Our web design company added an e-commerce platform to our other client offerings. About six months ago we heard some rumors from trusted sources that Woo as going to do what they did so we decided to partner with Shopify. We miss some of the functionality we get with Woo and WP, but we don’t miss having to explain the high priced renewals to clients and the poor service. Shopify has treated us very well and it was a good decision for our business model. No one wants to do business with an arrogant vendor and that is what Woo and Automatic seems to be becoming,

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  47. WooCommerce/Automattic pumping the gas on those Plugin sales and now renewal commissions (50% of each sale), don’t expect better/faster L1-L2 support or more interaction with Plugin developers. :|

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  48. Perhaps WooCommerce should charge for use of the basic ecommerce plugin itself. It’s a very robust plugin, and while most customers I have purchase some sort of premium extensions, I think most would be more than willing to pay a modest price for the basic use of the shopping cart. You can’t sell on Etsy without paying them listing fees and fees per sale, and some other sites like Big Cartel charge based on number of products listed. You also don’t get the range of options with some of the other ecommerce providers that many want in their shop… so if Woo were to charge, say, $30/year for use of their plugin, I wonder if this would help them bring in income and enhance their support. Also, because many people never purchase an official Woo plugin – they look to places like CodeCanyon – so Woo isn’t making a cent off of them. And Woo devs need to be compensated somehow.

    I was surprised just now as well, to read about this change in policy, as I didn’t receive any direct email from Woo. Grandfather in the folks who are already customers and make the change for newcomers, perhaps. Many of my customers are very low budget, who use Woo but sell perhaps less than $1000/year on their sites. If they have 3-4 premium plugins, this could shut them down if those prices now double.

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    1. Many of my customers are very low budget, who use Woo but sell perhaps less than $1000/year on their sites.

      This is something that people overlook. Elsewhere in the thread here someone made the argument that if someone sells hundreds of thousands of dollars per year, this isn’t a big deal. But many people DON’T sell that. They sell $1-10,000.

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  49. I don’t see the problem. My experience with WC has been nothing short of outstanding. I would even gladly pay a per-incident support fee if they required it, and have no problem with their pricing model at all. The system is extraordinarly flexible and the people I have had the pleasure of working with at WC have always set my expectations correctly. When a problem arises they can help with, it’s 110% commitment until they have helped as much as possible. Great response times, super-stability no matter what we throw at it, and fantastic people. Their pricing model is very reasonable. I have no problem with removing the discount. Totally their perogative because it is their company and they provide quality at every turn. Anyway, that’s my take.

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  50. I’m so incredibly stupid.

    Can you believe I actually thought web design freelancers, WP enthusiasts and small web agencies were the evangelist that created WordPress and Woocommerce’s success?

    Sure, I’ll admit it was tough convincing non techie start ups to go with Woo. Heck, they can have a store running for $29 and have none of the worries of multiple vendors, but I pushed through that.

    It’s WordPress I said. Community. Freedoms. Growth. Camps. T-shirts. Flowers. Glitter…

    OK granted, there were some heavy clues I may not be giving great advice. WooThemes seemed to enjoy alienating their supporters at every opportunity. But still it is on WordPress… Community. Freedoms, warm sensations in the tummy etc…

    And then… yay the day came… Automattic took over… even better… under the banner of “democratizing the web”.

    Automattic – everyone!! These guys will know how to make a scalable business from our collective desire to see WordPress succeed.

    Of course they will. They paid $30+ million for forked GPL software and look how quickly it went from 17% to 60% of the market share.

    I know, I know, I’m gullible!

    Anyway thank you Automattic for making it crystal clear you are not for my small business clients and friends.

    You have actually saved me a lot of conflict and update headaches going forward. I wish you luck in your further communication on who WooCommerce is for.

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    1. Hi,
      I tweeted WooCommerce publicly about the underhanded way they have handled this price increase. Below are the 2 tweets I received in response. I am a lawyer but their response really stuns me as even a lay person realises how contracts work – you start with an offer which once accepted forms a contract agreement. The 50% renewal discount was an offer and once ccepted thorugh our purchase formed part of our ongoing subscription agreement – Note their astrounding assertion that the pricing hasn’t changed!:
      @DaleReardon We’re listening to all the feedback. To be clear Dale, the discount isn’t an agreement. it was an offer that we have now removed. 1/2 ^doug

      @DaleReardon 2/2 the pricing hasn’t changed, what has changed is there is now no renewal offer applied. ^doug

      Just amazing and they completely failed to address the real issue of no communication and making the change secretly.

      Dale.

      Dale Reardon Founder, My Disability Matters The new social network for the Disability Community Friends, family, carers and businesses welcome
      Phone: 03 6286 7305 | 0420 277 457 | Skype: dale.reardon Twitter: @audisability | Linkedin | Facebook

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  51. I just noticed this change as some plugins were coming up for renewal. I understand that you may wish to tweak your business model along the way but I don’t remember receiving any notification stating that the discount would go away.

    When they original switched from lifetime licenses to subscriptions they at least gave ample notice and the option to lock in your current plan or adopt the new model. This just seems to be an attempt to sneak in the price increase without everyone actively tracking their costs noticing.

    The support is also very limited and slow as others have mentioned and was barely worth the 50% price, but now it has essentially doubled I will probably be using less official extensions. Right now it would actually be cheaper for me to cancel my active subscription and use the birthday coupon on a brand new account than to wait for it to renew in a few days.

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  52. How is JigoShop doing these days? This might be their chance?

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