The reasons behind our Support price changes

Posted in Blog, Development, Support and tagged , , , , on by .

We created Jigoshop with one aim – to make the best possible WordPress eCommerce solution. And almost two years later, we’ve achieved a fair amount of that ambition, although there’s still a lot more to do.

Part of that aim has been to continue to evolve and improve our core Jigoshop product. But a major element is the support for when things don’t work quite as they should – and with a huge range of plugins, hosting providers and other factors, the need for quality support has grown massively alongside the numbers of Jigoshop businesses and users around the world.

As a result, we’ve needed to invest heavily in improving our support, and already we’ve:

  • Increased the number of support staff available
  • Ensured we have coverage across more time zones
  • Invested in more development and training for our support staff
  • Cut UK time zone response and resolution times by 20%

Despite the costs of adding staff, increasing our availability, and responding more quickly, we’ve tried to keep the costs of support as low as possible, and there hasn’t been an increase in prices since we launched 20 months ago – despite the state of the global economy, and the effect it can have on cash flow.

But there comes a point where we can’t continue to improve and develop Jigoshop, particularly Support, as a loss-making exercise. So from today, the new Support package costs will be $39.99 per month, or you can save 50% on the cost for 12 months by signing up for an annual subscription for $239.99.

This means we can ensure that if you’re using Jigoshop to power your business, you can be assured that your livelihood is well-supported.

And if you’re using Jigoshop to develop and design eCommerce sites for multiple clients, the cost is still very manageable. With 5 clients on-board, the annual cost of full support is less than $50 per client, per year, which could be factored into annual billing for hosting and other maintenance, for example.

It also means that although we don’t provide support via the free community forum, we can continue to offer it as a way for you to connect with other Jigoshop users, developers and more. And we can plan improvements to how it operates in the future to make it a more effective free resource for you, alongside our Premium Support.

This year we also want to spend more time explaining how Jigoshop is working as a business, and to keep building the relationships we have with you. Building transparency into our operations, and remaining committed to open source are two big reasons why Jigoshop is growing, and why we’re still as passionate about providing the best experience and community as we can.

Comments

  • Andy Web

    If you’re making a loss and you’re putting support prices up yet you passionately believe in OS what happens when you can longer support the free version and we have invested all our time in your ecommerce platform?

    Regards
    Andy Web

    • Dan Thornton

      Hi Andy,
      Apologies if we’ve caused concerns about our longevity – that certainly isn’t an issue for us.

      The reason for increasing Support Prices is that it’s a particularly labour intensive part of the operation – with such variety of installations and configurations, every case is fairly different and requires manual input, despite our constant evolution of the Knowledge Base. That’s separate from the development of Jigoshop itself, where obviously one update goes out to everyone at once.

      Without going into the specific financial details for obvious reasons, Jigoshop’s future is secure. The reason for the price increase is simply that Support by itself has proved difficult to price accurately before we had experience of how people used it, and it’s changing all the time as usage numbers increase. So to ensure our longevity, we want to ensure that it covers costs, and allows for continued future investment.

      If the Jigoshop business closed tomorrow, one of the benefits of open source is that the code, the community, and the third party developers would all still have access to everything produced, and would be able to continue development of the code. I suspect the core developers would probably also continue with it as a hobby, considering how much time and passion has gone into it.

      What we want to do is continue to develop and evolve the Jigoshop business which allows our core developers to work on Jigoshop full-time, allows for the Support staff, and also means we’re in a position to establish partnerships etc which benefit everyone.

      There’s no reason for concern at the moment – if Jigoshop was making a loss, or our future was in doubt, we’d want to share that information with the community to find the best way to continue.
      Dan

      • Andy Web

        Hi Dan,

        Thank you for your reply we will be continuing to use the jigoshop and it is our intention to take out paid support.

        Thanks
        Andy

        • Dan Thornton

          Hi Andy,
          Glad to hear you’ll stick with us! Please do keep giving us your feedback, whether it’s on our products or our business – we’re working hard on what we do, and the way we share it, and building a supportive community in which we can be as transparent as possible about why we’re making decisions etc.
          Dan

  • jmlweb

    Hello,

    To pay monthly support is totally bizarre, because in absolute terms we did not need the support of defined periods and these support requests may be minimal. Pay $ 39 per month it is against, overpriced and I do not speak of price year, this in comparison to other competitors eshop plugins. Why not rather to pay the plugin like any other, it is much easier for everyone. More I really hesitate to use your plugin because I immediately just a little problem I can not solve well, but paying $ 39 for a medium that’s really expensive. And finally to finish my post on the forum and the answer I obtained are far from good! So I think I’ll take a paid plugin that gives me a potential support when I need it!

    • Dan Thornton

      Hi,
      Thanks for the feedback, but I’m not sure what eCommerce plugins you’re comparing Jigoshop with. Most eCommerce plugins charge an ongoing support fee, because they’re relatively complex comparatively speaking, and to cover the potential amount of support required and be able to survive as a business, would need to charge 100s of dollars for the initial download.
      We regularly check our prices against our competitors, and monitor the amount of support requests received, plus the time taken by our staff to answer each one promptly and successfully. The prices for support were set, and have been tweaked, to allow for a better service which you can rely on existing now and in the future.
      It’s also why there’s a difference between the level of support for our paid service, and the community forum which is made available for free – if we provided 24/7 support for free, we’d be bankrupt in days!
      We try to make sure we’re offering good value for money at all times, whether that’s extensions, themes, or support – and by making the core download free, you get a functioning eCommerce site for nothing, so we think we’ve tried pretty hard on that front, but we have to support ourselves in order to be able to keep working on Jigoshop

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