Pro Apps for Free?

The 13.1 update is imminent, and along with the framework changes we are preparing some platform changes, too. I'll elaborate on specifics in the next few days, but for now I'd like to discuss one question....

We think about making all UNA Pro Apps free to download and use, with a Pro plan (or payment for individual app) required only to enable auto-updates.

While it may not sound like anything controversial (who doesn't like free stuff!?), I think there may be a case for thinking that we aim to "trap" people into using an app and then having to pay to update. That's not the intention, however I can see how it may be interpreted that way. We should make sure to communicate that auto-updates are not free beforehand, naturally, but beyond that what do you think we should or shouldn't do to introduce this change? What would work best for you?

Our goal is to get more people to try whichever apps they want and get started with minimal constrains.

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      • First would you please verify if manual updates are available in the free pro apps plan and the only difference is the paid version allows for auto updates? Personally I think the current pro plan is fair, what I would like to see is a multi site discount for the pro apps. You could also consider X number of pro apps at different prices instead of an all or nothing approach. I use pretty much everything but not every one needs all of them. I would also like to point out that I have setup several sites with the free apps and it’s amazing how much you can achieve with them. I honestly don’t think you can operate a Wordpress or other CMS for much less than $100 per month with all of the plugin and template costs these days. You could always take a page from GCP and AWS start out with a $300 credit to use as you want. Best of luck.

        • Yes, you can download all the new versions of the pro apps in our GitHub repo, however actually applying those updates manually is cumbersome process. We don't mind it, though.

          As for multi-site setups and individual apps pricing - one of the ideas we are considering is something like $1/update pay-as-you-go fee. For example, if you have 5 sites, using 3 Pro apps each - you pay $15 to update them all whenever new versions come out. It's a bit complicated on our end, as we'd likely have to switch to credits system entirely to process micro-payments, but still is very likely option going forward.

          • Awesome news !!!, I think it's a great marketing strategy. Take me for example, I love UNA and really did my homework researching and test driving as many open-source software out there, but just couldn't get my hands around all the necessary UNA module that I needed knowing it could solve my problem. Well, different stroke for different folks.... for some it might not sound good, but if you could go live with all modules free. I think you will have enough time to monetize your platform to at least generate an income to pay for the updates. Andrey....Your the man of the moment.!!! ...thanks buddy for reconsidering :-)

            • It sounds like a great idea, but some apps do not work well with other apps as they were created form existing PRO apps. If this has been resolved and all apps can be installed without conflicts then this is a good idea.

              • Pro Apps for Free?

                As a client/user, we can understand that in such a sluggish economic environment, you want to increase your income through various charging methods! 

                However, have you ( thought about it ?! the scale of the project is huge, similar to the current top10 various types of social media and the number of developers in these top10 companies is also huge! 

                The unique feature of the una platform is that it allows clients/users to create their own social platforms and also actually participate in the error reporting before each version upgrade. This error correction process actually saves a lot of human resources for the una development team!

                My suggestion is: the version upgrade still insists on the existing free method for members; for una Pro Apps in the platform, a charging scheme is adopted with a reward mechanism, that is,  the more bugs reported by members in the actual use of the platform, the greater the price discount they enjoy , and even enjoy free prices!

                • Designer2, Well explained but I got a little lost at the end. Would you mind breaking it down a bit more. What if it's done in a phase approach for example, bit by bit to understand the technicality of such challenges.

                  • Or create a complete dev environment.....I

                    • C'est une bonne idée @Andrey Yasko Andrey

                      • How would this work with UNA Plans in place that include the apps and updates? Would there be a slight discount if the pro apps were free and we were just paying for updates? Also third party apps need some looking into as they are still available on the marketplace but don't work with current UNA version and people using UNA Cloud servers cannot get third party apps fixed in a timely manner.

                        • The plans are still relevant. What I suggest is that we'd allow pro apps to be downloaded and installed for free, but updates would still require a subscription plan. Effectively it's the same as now, except you can try them without paying and choose to pay only if you're actually using them and have data that needs to be preserved, making it impossible to just re-install a pro app again. If this works I would encorage Market vendors to follow the same model - letting users try their products and pay when/if modules are in active use and vendor is issuing updates.

                          • Version upgrades usually include two main contents, one is to correct errors(Fix bugs), and the other is to enhance functions or add new functions. 

                            My suggestion is: Divide version upgrades into two categories by marking and distinguishing version upgrade numbers: 

                            the first type of upgrade (Error correction) is free; the second type of upgrade (New addition) is charged! 

                            Please verify this real-life scenario: the reason why the number of users who purchase or use the una application platform is growing slowly?! That is not because there is insufficient investment in marketing, but because there are too many bugs encountered during use or trial!

                            • Andrew, you are talking about Pro applications, so UNA, not third-party applications, I understood correctly?

                              • Well, I can seriously do with them being free now....All software packages were developed with multi-platforms in mind. When microsoft release an upgrade, please bare in mind that they expect programmatically software feedback that in most cases happens in the background and so they begin to release patches. Microsoft is a paid product but to get something for almost nothing, we can be okay with it. NOW, my advise and has always been to my clients back in the days when I was a system analyst, never upgrade immediately because the only way vendors or software house can really sign-off on an upgrade release is by means of that extra journey by going live. It's part of the life cycle. For business it might not be so good if you have sla's in place, but we don't want to disengage our visitors or customers, For those who run small enterprises wound mind to upgrade that easily because the roll-back might not be so dramatic. But we have to eventually upgrade to stay relevant with the latest trends and technologies Everyone got a valid point, but if a module now becomes free and you paid it already, what's the deal really.....if it's free , bugs will be picked up sooner and when our guys release and upgrade....could it be that oracle or mysql had an upgrade to fine tune performance and lesser code this side.....there are only so many reason why we need to move on (upgrade)....nothing good comes easy.

                                • A very reasonable suggestion. That would also shorten bugfixing cycles.

                                  • I'm more concerned about third party apps still on the market place that don't work. I get UNA wants us to work with third party devs to solve issues but it's really hard when third party devs don't have access to UNA Servers and UNA Devs don't prioritize ensuring third party app bugs are fixed. I still have an app that I paid $60 for and it doesn't work. Sent email to support and still no response from both third party dev or UNA Support. So I have an app that's badly needed for my site that when installed breaks the site yet the app is still on the marketplace. I would gladly pay an UNA Dev to fix the bugs so it's operable on my site but there is no real direct way to do this. A robust marketplace with apps that work is the answer. Any new site creator can accidentally start buying apps and quickly run into problems finding out alot of apps have bugs or aren't compatible and this will frustrate many new users who believe that all apps on the marketplace have been screened and are immediately usable. Waiting months for a dev to get back to finding the problem or a fix can put a site user quickly in the red plus add more expenses trying to get it fixed. Details on UNA Apps that distinguish wich ones aren't compatible with UNA Cloud users (Streaming App) and removing apps that no longer work. A healthy Marketplace that encourages third party Devs with testing standards before it is placed in the Market Place. I understand that some apps won't work with other apps. That's fine. I'm talking about Apps that by themselves will break a site.

                                    • That is really accurate👍the time wasted and the despair of losing a pile of work is devastating!

                                      • My opinion may be unusual because I am a marketing man. I think including all the pro apps free at first would cheapen the brand for UNA, and end up leaving people feel trapped into buying upgrades when old versions hit EOL or core code becomes incompatible. They may also feel trapped into having to hire UNA to configure the pro apps if they cannot do it themselves due to lack of skill or experience.

                                        Maybe half price instead of free helps preserve the brand but sooner or later people are going to feel like they have been trapped. Then there is the fact that an upgrade itself can break a site.

                                        I don't mind paying for code that works. That's the real issue: UNA code just needs to work, out of the box, no questions asked. If you give away the front end for free you may end up having a lot of users who are incapable of running a site in the first place due to lack of experience. Then they will run around giving bad word of mouth.

                                        Using UNA is not like using WordPress, which is pretty beginner friendly. It's more like rocket science or at least advanced math class. The experience reminds me of something somebody once said about choosing UNIX as an OS back in the early days of UNIX. Choosing it as an operating system was like booking an airplane flight on an carrier where you had to bring your own seat and your own tools so you could bolt it to the floor before takeoff. It's still a little bit like that without something like cPanel. lol.

                                        Back to the brand issue: Consider Apple. Apple stuff has a reputation for being easy, and just working so that somebody doesn't have to have as many tech skills to use it as compared to android or windows. You take a new apple laptop out of the box and turn it on and it finds your network all by itself. I remember the first time I saw that happen. My jaw dropped.

                                        I suppose the gap is closing, but look what Apple can charge for their hardware compared to what others can charge (that price and profit differential is the whole point of doing good marketing (keep in mind that product development should be an integral part of marketing). The more problems you solve before they become problems (read make things easy and idiot-proof) the more you can charge while maintaining a happy and loyal customer base at the same time. When the goal in business becomes to sell more units at any cost, instead of make something the best it can be, the battle is already lost. Lot's of discount appliance stores have gone out of business over the decades trying to lose a little money on each sale while making it up on volume... ; )

                                        • I think that UNA is absolutely ideal from a layman's point of view, anyone who can install wordpress can also install and use UNA.Problem is when you can't set up the server and its features, learning to manage UNA is then only a matter of time.

                                          Regarding Pro Apps for free,i think it's not good, reduce the price yes, but no free. The money you collect can be used for further development and improvement of UNA. Also think about others who have already paid for Pro Apps.

                                          So that anyone can try the installation, modules and environment, it is better to set up, for example, a 14-day test server for new users, you can delete it at any time.

                                          • Free Vs Paid apps? If you want the platform to move forward someone has to pay the developers or they will go somewhere else. It like you working for free at your are OK with that? UNA need revenue to pay developers so just like you need a paycheck at you work. My earlier suggestions were:

                                            • 1. Make apps available on free trial basis for a set duration like 30 days. This gives UNA clients time to determine if it fits their needs. Should increase sales.
                                            • 2. Make apps more affordable after the trial period as an incentive to purchase. Perhaps a tiered pricing system based on total purchases.
                                            • I must have misled people with the title of this post. I didn’t mean that Pro Apps would be completely free in this scenario - rather free to download and install, but paid when updates are required.

                                              In the long term however we would like to step away from charging for apps and monetise through integrated services, such as media server, notifications server, mail server, analytics, monitoring, etc. A lot of these services are necessary for a site to function but can be expensive when it’s just starting. For example, running your own streaming server when you only have a few streams sometimes is really inefficient - it has to be quite powerful even for a few hundred of viewers, but it would idle most of the time on a smallish network. We can offer and “shared” system integrated with UNA. Other things like, say, frontend apps or analytics can be integrated efficiently if we handle the service and still be economical for the network operators. The end game is to get revenue from clients in proportion to their success - minimal at first and more when the networks start scaling.

                                              • The overall concept and features of are impressive, and having a provider like to manage high usage app seems feasible. However, I'm hesitant to invest money in something that may not be stable and could require constant bug fixes. I'm also cautious about spending money on ads for my website, as I fear that I may fix something now and next time it returns or discover a new bugs which discourage users to recommend or use my site. I believe the first step is to create a stable product, and once that's achieved, more clients will naturally follow and use your upcoming services or products. Right now, I'm hopeful that the next update will address some of my concerns and allow me to launch my site with confidence.

                                                • I think providing services like streaming for low volume sites if the price is right would be a great benefit for startup sites. Example: I have a linux server that could handle 2Mbps per user for 400 concurrent streams using a 1Gbps fiber optics connection, but the main reason I am not using it is because I do not want to be tied to a local server and never take a Holiday, for fear that it will go down while out of town. If I were to pay to host a streaming server it would be an overkill and not very practical until the concurrent users reach a set threshold. I had a client (a free lance reporter) that was interested if they could live steam their news reporting to several social media sites about the time you introduced streaming for the UNA platform and was still in development. They lost interest because of the delay. So how far off is this service and what is the projected costs?

                                                  Thanks for the interaction

                                                  • Cannot install module

                                                    Please help me, I have downloaded the free modules in here. And many modules cannot be installed, how do I solve this problem? because this is my first time installing Una, and just trying it. Thank you for those who have answered and stay healthy 🙏

                                                    • This is very true. There is to much advancement and not enough fix what exists. Nothing is going to work Properly without first fixing what is still non functional or properly addressed.

                                                      • I think this is a better option as it's give us the opportunity to build our community , start generating income before subscripting to pro payment as upgrade

                                                        Once we are able to build a sizeable community, then payment for regular update becomes feasible

                                                        So sir when is this starting ?

                                                        • I personally would like the ability to download all the pro apps dependant on whether my download period hasn't expired. What do I mean by this? My suggestion would be for UNA to offer a 6 months download period for e.g. $50. USD. Therefore as long as my download period hasn't expired I am able to download any or all of the Pro Apps. I might not renew my download plan every time it expires if I think I don't need all the updates. However, when there are upgrades, bug fixes, etc. in various apps I'll be sure to renew my download plan. Having said this, I might decide to renew my download plan once it expires as way of showing full support for UNA.

                                                          • When will 'Pro Apps For Free' be implemented?

                                                            📷 Michel - 🌎 Meta-Travel 🌴 Community Hub

                                                            • @Michel - Travel Notes , I was hoping for a reply from our UNA team to your question above. I don't wish for them to do it at a lost at all, but hope they have found the recipe or formula that will enable them to proceed with the 'Pro Apps For Free'

                                                              • I know I'm totally late to the party here, but want to input my two cents anyway. I think this is a great idea - but the wording I'd use is that it's a "free trial." Depending on the speed of updates, it could be marketed as a year-long free trial - which sounds incredibly generous.

                                                                I do Wordpress based web development quite a lot, but I can't really code beyond basic HTML/CSS. I will spend HOURS reading through the documentation on a paid plugin before purchasing. Then I'll purchase it, and the thing I thought I could do with it doesn't seem to be possible. I'll spend hours more frustratedly trying to get the plugin to operate the way I thought it would. If it were a free plugin I'd just delete it and go back to the repository, but I PAID for the dang thing so I'm going to try everything before giving up! This has happened again and again - to the point that I'm REALLY gun-shy about purchasing paid plugins of any kind, simply because it might mean BOTH money and time down the drain, because I was confused about something.

                                                                With UNA, it's really difficult to figure out which collection of apps you need for the exact functionality you want on your site. I've just spent days installing and uninstalling a bunch of free ones to try to muddle it out, and I'm still not 100% sure! Because it's so hard to figure out which ones we need, it means we're limited to free apps until I finish learning how UNA works. Paying for an app or two is doable (and we want to support UNA) but paying for apps we won't use is of course a problem!

                                                                • Hello @Indie Sellers Guild !

                                                                  Typically, the recommended approach for achieving desired outcomes on your website involves clearly defining functionalities, thoroughly understanding module descriptions, and seeking clarification from module vendors through pertinent inquiries.

                                                                  • Thank you for the quick response, @LeonidS!

                                                                    I think the struggle I have when building web sites/applications is I'm often trying to build things that don't exist yet - haha there is a saying "wine taste on a beer budget" - I have "developer taste on a no-code budget". Whatever software I'm using to create whatever I'm creating, I am pushing to the ABSOLUTE limits of its capabilities, because the idea for what I want to build is brand new! And I'm building something for fun, or to help people, or for my creative small business, and unfortunately, I can't afford to hire someone and so my own skills are all I have access to!

                                                                    I try really hard to not waste a developer's time with what I'm concerned will be dumb questions - so if there is an option to just install software and spend a bunch of time myself trying to figure something out, that is what I prefer! But from your response, it seems like UNA had to cancel the "Pro Apps for Free" plan - I'm guessing because there were too many ways unscrupulous users could just keep getting all the apps for free by manually downloading the updates, and you couldn't lose the income stream? Of course you must do what is best for UNA!

                                                                    Finally, I want to mention that when I said UNA was difficult to figure out, I did not mean that as a criticism of the software - honestly I see the difficulty as a byproduct of UNA's best feature: customizability. I'm writing documentation to explain what UNA is and how it works for our members, and that's the first thing I say about it, lol!

                                                                    UNA is designed to empower people to create community-owned alternatives to any major social media platform (or something brand new that contains any combination of features found in major social media platforms.) Customizability is the name of the game, and that customizability is achieved by installing the exact correct combination of modules, and configuring them to function in the exact way you want.

                                                                    We're building a site with some heavy customizations, and that's where the difficulty level comes in.

                                                                    • These UNA devs here in the background - how many hours each day do they devote to this project? Not just in the present but in the future we will also be counting on their fixes and improvements.

                                                                      I notice from the green dot next to his icon that one UNA trouble-shooter is online sometimes for 8-10 hours.

                                                                      I'm curious about this. Surely, if this is their full-time gig then they must be compensated somehow. Their own bills cannot be paid with online "thank you's".

                                                                      I wish I could host a big block party in Atlanta for everyone of you interesting people but some would have to travel thousands of miles to attend. So, that would not work...

                                                                      • I've been here for a long time and I'm sure the guys from the UNA team are doing their best, you can see it on our websites anyway...They spend maybe more time on this than we all realized, so they have a great right to demand some compensation for what they offer ...that's my opinion on free modules.

                                                                        I would rather like it, and maybe you would too, if there was someone who checked and marked "tested" third party modules before publishing them. Sort of like UNA verification.

                                                                        This way you avoid unnecessary disputes and frustrations when you buy a module and it doesn't work as it should, or even lose your work.

                                                                        I know this is easy to write and will be difficult to implement, but it is worth considering.

                                                                        • good, Great people, great goals: Everyone can create SNS apps (instant messaging, videos, photos, etc.)

                                                                          Unacms Pro apps are too expensive.

                                                                          Plan -->The annual expenses paid are unaffordable for many people

                                                                          10 website owners x $490 x 12=58800

                                                                          Small profits can lead to high sales.

                                                                          10000 website owners x $10 x 12=120000

                                                                          Download Plugin - Free

                                                                          Attracting website owners to use UNACMS to build websites. The increasing number of website owners leads to greater profits.

                                                                          Free to use, can provide a better experience (unclear text description).

                                                                          Free use can better protect consumer rights. Avoid buying plugins that have many bugs.

                                                                          Free to use, website owners can start from the same starting line.

                                                                          For example, A's website features Photos and Videos, while B's website does not.

                                                                          Operation of B:

                                                                          1. Pay to purchase Photos and Videos

                                                                          2. Closing one's own website (losing confidence)

                                                                          3. Wait for the website to make a profit before making a purchase (lack of competitiveness, the website will soon shut down)

                                                                          4. Choose other CMS and build your own website

                                                                          Upgrade plugin - paid

                                                                          Example: Video plugin

                                                                          All developers are developing this plugin, only this one, and there are no other video plugins. Focusing on a plugin is essential for iterating into a super powerful plugin.

                                                                          Only super powerful features can attract Facebook users.

                                                                          Each plugin plan: basic features (free), professional features (installation cost+upgrade cost)

                                                                          Basic function: We use Unacms to generate rich content. (Publishing videos, managing, reviewing, etc.)

                                                                          Professional function: Website owners convert content into money. (commission based on playback volume, paid playback, etc.)

                                                                          Unacms has 100000 website owners.

                                                                          Each person pays $1 for each plugin upgrade, totaling $100000.

                                                                          This $100000 is for developing video plugins.

                                                                          1. Pay the developer responsible for the upgrade this time.

                                                                          His hourly salary x hours=salary

                                                                          2. The official reviews the developer's code and pays the corresponding fees to the official.

                                                                          Code specifications, code security, plugin testing, etc

                                                                          3. Official planning fees.

                                                                          The video plugin needs to plan out its main functions. What functions need to be developed next.

                                                                          Next step: Hire developers to develop this feature

                                                                          4. Official miscellaneous expenses (server, personnel expenses)


                                                                          $100000 will be mostly used for development (over 90% will be used for development)

                                                                          I have written a lot of words.😀

                                                                          😏If I use the unacms Pro APP for free (I can use all paid functions for free in the future), I will provide more suggestions.

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