Last december Maciej Ceglowski, founder of pinboard has written a post about the fact that all great services which don’t charge are very likely going to disappear in the long run.
I love free software and could not have built my site without it. But free web services are not like free software.
The reason I’m writing this is that while premium services are making money they’re not necessarily attracting enough users to actually accomplish something while at the same time, free, VC-backed startups are doing exactly that. The middle way is to design a so called freemium service where premium users have to pay for free ones, but they’re obviously not going to tell them that.
Now after having migrated this blog over to a static version I needed a replacement to enable visitors to send me e-mail while at the same time not opening the doors for spammers. PHP scripts can easily fulfill that job but I want something else.
While having used the free version of Wufoo in the past I thought it’s a no brainer to go back and leverage it again. Obviously paying for it this time. Then it hit me while checking the pricing page. The cheapest subscription is 15 dollars per month, while free plans are displaying ads to your visitor. What are they thinking! Paying 15 dollars, which is more than I pay for hosting, while only receiving about two messages during that time period.
That said, please startups and SaaS companies, remove the free model and make premium reasonably priced.
As for Wufoo, i’d guess replacing the free plan with one where you’d pay 2 dollars a month would make them more profit than showing ads on those confirmation pages.
Dear Advertisers on Spotify, I don’t even pay for Spotify, I’m therefore worth nothing to you too. Sorry, Juan
And don’t waste your time looking for the contact form, I’d just put the e-mail address into the footer for now.