I don’t think I’ll do this, but it’s an interesting idea: the software remains free, but each download costs $1. Just $1.
I think it’s safe to say that most people could afford to pay $1 to download one of my apps/hacks/etc. You download it, can’t get it to work, don’t like it, etc.? Too bad, you’re out $1, no big loss. You already downloaded this version once but lost the zip file? Too bad, you’re out another $1. It’s only $1, no big thing – right?
It’s such a simple idea – even if it cut my downloads by 2/3, I’d have upwards of $10,000 so far instead of the nearly $500 I’ve gotten in donations (stats are updated on the Donation Page). I’d (of course) set it up so people who have already donated are exempt for the download charge.
The only real problem I see is that the barrier to entry then becomes PayPal, and it seems lots of people don’t like PayPal. Ah well, it’s an interesting idea – who knows I might try it down the road.
Interesting idea. I posted some thoughts about this and a couple of related polls on my site at http://graphicssoft.[...]a/009468.htm
The early results of your poll support me giving it a shot. 🙂
Have you looked into StormPay.com? I think they might be new.
StormPay.com looks like PayPal, but with additional transaction charges.
Hey Alex, Great program tasks, i’ve sent you a donation too this morning – i would have sent more but i’m a bit tight at the moment.
As for paying for stuph – have you though about sms reverse billing – you pay from your mobile phone.
I’m looking at it presently for clanmobile.com that i run.
BTW, i noticed you have catergories and i’m so jealous to know how to get something similar working in MT – i have already made different catergorys in MT but have no idea how to display them like you have.
Creep Creep. 🙂
Thanks for the idea (and the donation) Phil, I’ll check that out. Unfortunately, I have no idea how MT handles categories. I was going to install it at one point to test the tasks-to-MT posting, but it looked a bit complicated. 🙂
I really like freeware, and don’t mind donating if I like the software, but I would be quite unwilling to pay $1 for a download. When I search for freeware, I am usually looking for software to do a specific task. I’ll download 10 or more programs sometimes, then go through each and decide if one or any will work for what I need I would skip right over the software if I had to pay just to see it.
By the way, nice pics of Zion, I too just got back from a trip (sep 10-20, 03) to Arches, Mesa Verde, Grand Canyon, Zion, and Bryce. I bought a second memory cartridge for my camera 1/2 way through the trip.
Thanks for commenting Syndey. The software I’d be charging $1/download for would have an on-line demo, so you could test-drive it before deciding to download it.
If I actually had a donation from everyone who emailed me saying they would, I’d have another 30-40 donations – about double what I’ve received so far.
The problem I’m seeing is that people want the software to remain free, but also want me to add their favorite feature (or lots of features). I don’t mind making something available for free if I built it for myself, but when I start adding features for other people, that cuts into my free time and I am likely not to do as much of this development if I’m not being rewarded for it.
I’m trying to come up with a more creative and less expensive way to fund the development instead of just charging for the software.
I would like to reopen this topic. I am a developer myself. I have paid donations of $100 to two open source developer’s products. But the other side is that these are highly professional products and I am a developer making money from products that use these. I am very much interested to know about any donationware experience from end users.
After talking with a number of independent developers, I’ve been convinced that unless people are forced (limited trial, etc.) to pay for something, they probably won’t do so.
I’m making the transition from donationware to paid software, so I probably won’t end up experimenting with this after all.
Alex, you do know that many of the user of your plugins/script are in a country that is not supported by PayPal (I assume that you use paypal to take donations).
Please take a look at my donations page, there is no need to assume.
Again you say the software is free but requires a payment of a dollar. Sort of like you can get a free car for about $10,000. Please stop using the words “free” and “donation” if you’re not sure what they actually mean. I’m not against you getting paid for your hard work but for goodness sake be honest about it and just say it’s a fee and not fRee.
There is absolutely no fee required – you’ve got your facts wrong.
[…] them freely available. Any little amount is appreciated – perhaps I should try resurrecting the $1 donation for each download concept again. I still think that’s an idea that could work. If even a fraction of folks who […]
[…] source software than traditional donationware . In particular, I liked the idea of asking for $1 per download. I’m certainly not going to put up a paywall barrier to the stuff I make available here, but […]
Just sent you a donation for some of your WordPress plugins I find useful. I always try and donate to the developers of software I find very useful. I really appreciate that you are keeping your stuff free, but strongly suggesting donations.
My $1 is on it’s way to you via PayPal. Thank you for the Mobile Plugin. I have used it, and love it. I just wish there were more people using it, so surfing on a PDA or Nokia N95 could be as a pleasurable as surfing your website.
Keep the good work up, and I am sure you will reach your target.
As a resume writer who understands the little things that can cut into billable time, I don’t mind making a donation for something that has improved my blog. Thanks for providing useful plugins!
Perhaps you should consider making some of the material on your site only available as part of a membership for which you can charge an annual/monthly/whatever membership fee.
I think the concept of finding creative ways for people to chip in for the software you write is a great idea. The key, I think, is finding a balance between making it easy for people to contribute, and not turning people away.
You could try adding a checkbox next to the download link that says “Care to chip in $1 to my development efforts?”, which would route them through PayPal before initiating the download. If the box isn’t checked the download starts right away.
I’ve been looking for a good plug-in like share this for awhile. After ditching the one I was using and trying out yours, sending you $1 is a tiny thank you for your efforts. I hope the collective thank you will be more financially rewarding.
[…] actually written a bit about this on my site in the past. Back in 2003 I postulated that micropayments could be a better solution. […]
I know this is in response to an old post, but I think I can make some good points on the subject.
I believe I might be a good example of your average Joe looking for plugins and themes since I’m just starting out and with little money to use to make upgrades and add content.
I’m fine with a one time user fee as long as it’s reasonable for the product/service I expect to access after paying the fee. I’m more likely to bookmark and save it too if I’ve paid for it.
You’re more likely to have user input/feedback or suggestions which could be really valuable for not only your site and it’s popularity, but would better aid future users of your site’s services.
Keep up the good work. By the way, I have not donated, at least yet. I’ve only got three dollars in my account and don’t like even being that low to avoid overdrafting. However, I’ve bookmarked your site and plan to look for more useful plugins and themes later. I found a couple that I might like now. I hope to find more Christmas themes in the future too. 🙂 They are too few to be found online. Also I should not mind if I have to pay a reasonable fee for anything I find later on, although it should also come with some kind of satisfaction guarantee.
Another point I’d like to make is that if people are paying for the plugins, I think they should be encouraged to post a link to their site in their comments mostly because that will afford the site the opportunity to show examples of sites using the plugins and offer your paid users a little extra exposure. Therefore, encourage links instead of discourage them. That can be ran on a registration basis so that only registered users could post comments anyway.