RW for All or none?

I have read with great interest the Subscription model debate and would like to add my thoughts as a user of RW.

@tav as always s been very helpful and stated quite recently that RW4All “primary purpose was to provide an unencumbered channel for the smaller stacks devs to offer support to their users and act collaboratively to help people.”

I love this forum and also joeworkman’s too - why? Quite simply they are a source of knowledge, support, help and most importantly when you get stuck with something you are THERE!
I am 60+ years and have used RW since v2, I possess no coding knowledge but I run and have run an e-commerce site for over 10 years with the help of many of you on this forum. This is my retirement income, I also have two other feeder sites.

These are built with Foundation, Stacks and other goodies from the likes of tav, Webdeersign, willwood joeworkman, Marten etc etc.
So here are my views for what they are worth: There are categories of RW “users” and they fall into categories (not inclusive) e.g. developers, designers, pro users down to newbies. There have been comments on this forum that “if people don’t want to pay a subscription then give them lower grade product”, the debate has been around subscription and once all payments. Also how we can support @isaiah.

Sites like Kickstarter and others mentioned are businesses set up to make a profit so I have an idea for this forum for you to kick about! habitualshaker did an amazing job last week with his Apple mini site, he spent time, effort and used his skills that I could only dream about to achieve a project which he then gave free to the community. This made me think that there are two types of people on this forum - “The Givers” and “The Takers” i.e those that can and those that want.

For want of a better word a forum “currency” (talents) could be made where the only winners are the developers or “givers”. e.g. I want something small like a partial or a need to do something specific then I would be happy to pay to have this done. There may be 9 others (example) who may wish to have the same so a developer says he can do this for X talents - this would then be paid for by the 10 people instead of one hence costs are cut and more importantly this helps developers get some income.

I see people giving @isaiah a list of things they would like in Stacks vX.xx then they would become payable developmental tasks, shared amongst “The Takers”. When the “live” version is available these people would receive a discount on the paid for app/stack or whatever form it comes in.
I know this a bit like a subscription model but there are people who expect everything for free - life’s not like that!

I can not offer much as “user” other than payment and feedback, I do support the majority of you all by payment or donation and most importantly if I NEED something that you offer I PAY for it.
THIS IS NOT A CRITICISM but an observation- I am a world expert in my field - not IT - I was always taught at a ver early stage in my management career to do succession training - I do this very well but people have always said I’m mad - why would I train someone to do my job - the answer is simple - so I could leave it behind to go on to my next challenges knowing I was leaving behind something stable. @isaiah you are brilliant and its obvious from this forum there is a lot of love for you but god forbid you were unable to work what would happen to your Stacks development?

You have recently given me help on joeworkman site and you always make sense.

I would like to finish by stating sincerely a big THANKS to you ALL for all you do and offer it keeps me from going mad in my old age! I would not want to list the people just incase I missed one but you know who you are!

Over to you guys pull my offering apart I have rhino skin and can take criticism - but beware I can bite back! :-)


@PaulM Love your post Paul and I agree 100% with your sentiment. I have received lots of help from folks on the RW forum as well as the RW4ALL forum. I have contributed when I felt I could be helpful. I am a novice at this and only started when I was downsized from my full time job at Kodak. I have found that sometimes it’s just one little piece of info that I don’t have or understand that keeps me from progressing and if I can get a quick answer from someone on the Forum, it’s a wonderful thing.
There is an app called Patreon that you may know about. It’s a way for knowledgeable people to share their knowledge and get some payment for it. Perhaps that would be something @isaiah and @willwood and others could belong to and then any RW users that want to thank them for their help could donate to their Patreon account.

Just a thought,

Just like the VW Bully (van/bus/transporter) there wasn’t a version 2 0f RW, it went straight from Beta (more or less) to version 3. That, however, is besides the point…

As you so correctly state, the human race is divided into ‘Givers’ and ‘Takers’ and the takers DO expect everything for free.
I also had a store online — with both Freebie BWD templates and more complicated, but low-cost templates. I volunteer at a charity, with next to no income and was also hoping to improve my financial situation.

Due to Paddle having altered its payout rules, selling my partials is no longer viable — I would receive payment every two or three years…

My freebies, however, have been downloaded over 3,500 times. The ‘Takers’ go online and just click every available “download” button because “YAY!” IT’S FREE.

The annoying thing about the ‘Takers’, though, is that they take without giving back; and by giving back, I don’t even mean cash (and as Andrew will tell you — distributing digital data online does cost money) , a quick ‘thank you’ would let me know that I’ve helped someone — to date FIVE people said thanks — Andrew being one of them!

Exactly the same situation with my reviews and monthly newsletter — In the five years that I’ve been writing reviews and sending out the regular newsletter, eight people have thanked me — three of those were developers.

So, returning to your topic – There are two categories of RW users: those that purchase RW to build and maintain a personal site (perhaps even two), and those that use RW to build and sell professional/semi-professional websites.
The former are in the majority.

The initial outlay for RapidWeaver is $100. To take advantage of Stacks; a further $50 are necessary. Add to this the price of individual stacks and suites of stacks (you mentioned Foundation) and we quickly reach a total cost of $500 or more.

$500 for a personal website is extortionate!
$500 for the possibility of selling websites is a business proposition.

Although I would miss any ‘Added Value’ functions, a subscription version of Stacks would be completely out of the question for my financial situation. I just can’t afford subscriptions.
I can only hope that, if a subscription model of Stacks should appear, that it will continue to allow me to review new stacks.
I’m a ‘Giver’ and the few comments that I’ve received and the support that I get from individual developers, gives me the feeling that I’m contributing to the RW scene.

I apologise if you feel that I’ve hi-jacked the original post!


Woah! Hold on there. Sorry Rob, but have to call you out on that.

In one breath you’re complaining about the takers taking, then in the next you’re complaining about a notional figure you’ve applied to something and claiming it’s extortion.

First off, I’ve no idea where/how you got to $500. RW, plus Stacks plus Foundation IS NOT $500, it’s less than half that, and so IMO very reasonable even for a novice who wants to make one single website.

But, even if it were $500, it’s not extortion. It’s expensive? Perhaps, but only to some, not others, it’s entirely subjective.

Sorry Rob, but this sort of thing really pisses me off. I hear it constantly, people claim that something is overpriced, or extortionate, simply because the want it but can’t afford it. These are two very different things.

as I say, sorry Rob, I don’t want to fall out with you, I respect what you do for the community, but I can’t let comments like that pass, especially in the context of your main points in the post.

WOW, I pissed someone off!
My foundation stacks cost $100.
O.K. so I maybe didn’t necessarily have to purchase 200 stacks to experiment with, but MY version of RW cost well in excess of $1500; but that’s fine because I’m a fanboy.

Maybe the choice of “Extortionate” was slightly exaggerated, but I can envisage a normal working person (my brother for instance) finding the price of RW+Stacks+Foundation impossible to raise for the privilege of putting a website online.

Oh, and it takes more than you expressing your opinion to make me fall out with you!
You didn’t even call me a c[]#t!


Expensive is a relative thing and if something costs too much for the value you get, then you will consider it expensive. Many Weavers buy hundreds of stacks and every framework that appears and it is more of a hobby for those users, I feel. Others will be struggling to run a web creation business and the cost of RW + Stacks +The other stuff required, will be a significant cost. If you are running a charity site then that’s going to be a big ask to get the charity to pay for a RW solution.

I think Rob’s $500 figure is a good figure to use to buy a decent RW solution to build freeform web sites. RW, Stacks and Foundry plus packs was $295 last time I looked and expect there may be 20% VAT added along the way too. IMHO that’s a big expense when you can buy Blocs for $99 or BootstrapStudio for $60 all in, forever.


No, you didn’t, but some people do.

I think there is another issue here: RM are extremely opaque in RW pricing. They claim amazing websites can be built with RW, and have pages and pages of examples, it’s just not made very clear, some might even say it’s hidden, that you need a whole load of other stuff to make websites like those showcased.

That’s a very different subject.

I’ve only so many “c88ts” I can give in a day, and I prefer to save them for Tav.


Thanks Mary @Bpequine for your comment - Patreon is a business and does not get a very good write up and a great deal of patrons are let down by how much of the money they “don’t” get. I was trying to suggest something that’s unique to RW and the developers get all the money.

@rob it is OK to have an opinion thats what this site is about remember the “primary purpose was to provide an unencumbered channel for the smaller stacks devs to offer support to their users and act collaboratively to help people.” You stated that to date only 5 people have ever thanked you - I think you may miss the point of the like button which I often “do” for your articles. I do apologise to as I thought did have a version 2 but it was£ I stared with. Thanks for pointing that out.

I did respond to a post in Weaverspace about charities, but got zero responses or likes! that doesn’t bother me but I will repeat it here:
“In Uk you can charge Charity full amount for work with invoice. Then make a charitable donation back to charity for that amount then the donation is tax deductible. Everyones a winner!
Also you can ask them to put an advert in “free” in any charitable newsletters/handouts etc for you for doing the work “free” of course! Or get your logo added to their pages as a supporter.
Use local media to have a picture of you “handing” over your donation of “free” work!”
There are ways of “making” money if you think outside the box.

@steveb as often you go off piste when people post, thats Ok too but why don’t you comment on the post rather than having a “personal” spat and try and be positive. This only detracts from the original post and also steers things to you agenda.
I am trying to suggest ways we can help each other and support those who need it to make the RW platform what we want. So let’s have a bit of support on how we can achieve this.

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I think the problem with RapidWeaver is that it is used by a mixture of totally inexperienced amateurs on the one hand and professionals who want to work with prefabricated elements.

Among the amateurs, are those who want to create a small project for the football club or for a relative who are not willing to invest much money in their business. There is the driving school or the hairdresser, who wants to create a website by himself because they save money with DIY. The fact that in the end we often only get ugly and unfunctional websites is one thing. The other thing is that these people don’t care. Their main intention is that they have to spend little or no money.

The others are those who earn their money or at least a part of their livelihood by creating websites. Here the approach to a web design tool must be quite different: I invest in good tools that I can use in a way that allows me to make as much money as possible with a certain amount of effort. Time is also money. If I can save time, if I can save money by buying pre-built solutions in the form of stacks or themes. But I have to be willing to pay money for these time saving tools.

Afterwards I charge the customer for the website I create with these tools . Surely it is often difficult to convince the customer that implementing or changing even a small element on a website can cost a lot of time or money. But ultimately this is the daily struggle I have to bear. And if a customer is not willing to pay with my work, I have to consider whether I am willing to lower my price. The whole thing is just a business. You get what you are willing to pay for.

I earn a profit and I have to think about how good my tools should be. I can buy tools somewhere from discounters, but I can also go to the retailer and I know from the start that the retailer will charge me a higher price, but also wants to offer me better quality and better service.

When working with RapidWeaver and stacks, it’s not much different: I can create a website with little time and money, then the customer has to pay less, but he has be satisfied with less website experience. I can create a website with a lot of self-created code, then I have to spend a lot of time and effort to learn code, HTML, Javascript etc. and study for years. But I can go the short way and buy stacks - for this shortcut I have to be willing to pay. Webdesign is not a charity event, but a business.

What I’m trying to say is:

In my opinion RapidWeaver and Stacks should be offered in two versions:

A version for the hobby user, for a club member or for a small businessman, who wants to quickly create a website for his driving school or his football club. Therefore we should have a basic RapidWeaver with a few basic stacks, maybe everything template based. You can do nothing wrong with it, you get good results quickly and everyone is satisfied. This should never become a subscription model, because such a user will never be able to get back the expense for the running costs by a subscription. I think a maximum € 300 for such a package of RapidWeaver, stacks and templates is acceptable, but I also don’t think that a higher investment is necessary.

A professional version follows other requirements. This is where my job generates long-term income, so I can also get involved in paying for a long-term subscription on a regular basis. I just have to be sure that I will be able to edit my websites for years. I don’t see € 500 as too high for a one-time investment in tools with which I can create unlimited websites. After all, even with a simple website I quickly earn well over € 1500 - and this several times with the same tools.

Here, the price model for a professional RapidWeaver including the Stack plugin, stacks and frameworks can be completely different. Here I would agree to pay regularly - but only for a package. I wouldn’t be willing to pay for my tools on a myriad of levels: A subscription for RapidWeaver, a subscription for the Stacks plugin, subscriptions for various stacks, a subscription for a CMS, a subscription for frameworks. If that were the case, I’d think about saying goodbye to RapidWeaver. So I’m not against a subscription model, but such a model should be designed to integrate multiple layers.

I think the idea developers should join together and professionalize RapidWeaver, isn’t so far away. But I doubt whether that’s realistic.

Right now I see RapidWeaver as stuck: Too fast development on the one hand, but too many errors in the individual versions on the other hand. And RapidWeaver advertises with the false promise that every ‘dumb bastard’ can create a breathtaking website on a weekend and save a lot of money in the process.

Sorry for my English…


@Webdeersign - Gary as you know I support you and often buy your projects which are brilliant by the way - I would like to say that you are spot on, it’s also each one to their own and sadly I face this everyday. My product I sell costs £30 yet it so far has lasted 10 years and we give a life time guarantee. There is a product which does a similar job which is “disposable” and costs £3 it lasts about 3 months - sales of this product are great - however which is the true best value and which is the perceived best value?
Sadly people do want everything “free” but would you go in to an Apple Store and ask for a discount let alone free? So let give people what they want, let’s get developers their fair whack and make something that everyone wants - I think they call this branding! :-)

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Not sure if all the posters here are aware, but there another somewhat similar thread at Pricing Models: Subscription vs. One Time Purchase

One of the interesting things to come out of that was Isaiah setup a Patreon account at

@Cyclist - Michael thanks for your ideas - I agree that tools of the trade are very important and sometimes its quicker to DIY that bring in a professional so to speak - you have given a great deal of thought to your response and I appreciate that. A response from some developers on your points would be good to read.
I am in awe of you for your learning HTML, Java etc. I wish I had the brain capacity! However from my point of view there are sometimes when I need a little something to make my website better - like some script, a partial or the likes where a developer could do, others like that and they could do with and collectively we all pay a little something to achieve this.
I personally think your English is fine - perhaps its your Anglo Saxon you need a bit of work on! :-)

@Webdeersign - Gary I am aware and that thread has about 5 people saying split the thread so I thought I would! Patreon is not well liked and gets a very bad write up - it is a money making business and I was trying to suggest something just for RW developers like yourself to keep all the money.
These are on top of the comments made by @IvoryBlack re: Patreon in that link.

The heading is “subscription v pricing” I was trying to suggest a third way as everything is not black and white. I want to support you as developers directly not give money to a third party to give to you.

I didn’t really understand the original post, couldn’t work out your points, but read it, and replies, with interest.

I would hardly call my comment a personal spat.

I don’t have an agenda, I was just pulling Rob up on his comment. Were it not for that I wouldn’t have posted in this thread.

That has been the point of many of my posts, since forever and I’d have thought it surely very evident. So not really sure where you’re going with that comment.

Anyway, I shall cease taking this thread off-piste, as I always do it seems, many apologies for doing so.

I only mentioned it because others may not be aware or it, and that was quite a diverse multi discussion thread too.

Where I thought that discussion was most interesting was that Isaiah could pursue other non RW related areas for Stacks or Apps that could have applications in other areas.

Again it is interesting that to see such activity here that is nothing to do with web creation. Always interesting.

@steveb - thanks for your reply - the original post was to try and explore a way thats different to “pay or subscribe” models. Basically I am a user - I have a need - I ask for help on that need - a developer says I can do that - it will take me x hours and cost y - a number of other people are interested in getting this too - they collectively pay a share to the developer direct by using a “currency” on this forum - no kickstarter type of programme where developers don’t get all or none of monies. Win:Win situation.
“agenda” what I meant was you were not commenting on the original post but were saying you were “correcting” Rob.
You do post regularly and often I have a good laugh too but my post is about trying to help monetise developers so they can continue to survive!


Possibly would have been better keeping things in the one thread then, not starting another, but each to their own. Seeya!

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@Webdeersign - Gary - I have the uttermost respect for @isaiah and also the likes of yourself, @tav, @joeworkman etc. (too many to mention so please don’t get upset I didn’t mention you!) for what you do, I was just trying to point out that there are other ways of funding than subscription v pricing models.

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