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Paid version of Form Tools?
#1
What to do?

I just don’t have time to help out in the forums these days, and I know people are running into problems. I’ve stopped taking on any additional paid contract work (in addition to my day job) so I can work on 2.1.0, but I still have projects for some a larger clients that need to get done. I’ve all but abandoned my other Open Source project – generatedata.com – much to my chagrin.

I was very saddened to read about an old Form Tools user switching to another script this last week due to a problem that cropped up – one that I’m sure we could have solved had I had the time.

It’s beginning to feel like Form Tools has gotten as large as it can be with the resources (me and Joe!) at its disposal. The bulk of my time is no longer spent on the script itself and more on the documentation, maintaining the website and support. If we had an income, we could hire new people to help. Heck, maybe I could quit my day job and work on this full-time. Plus, BOY it would be nice to hire people that knew more than me! I’m pretty good at what I do, but I know my own limitations.

I’ve been discussing this possibility with Joe, my business partner for a long, long time – and it seems like that ultimately, moving to some sort of commercial model is inevitable if we want the project to grow.

So what do you think? How would you feel about two versions of Form Tools? One paid, one free.

Perhaps just paid modules – or even making the upcoming Form Builder component being paid?

- Ben
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#2
Thumbs Up 
Hi Ben,

I've never been so happy to be asked to pay for Software. ;-) Yes, I want to.
Donation is not a sustainable way to pay for a good product for your personal or corporate use.
It is hard for us users to estimate the efforts that are behind all these pretty codes.
I do not want to pay more than needed but enough to get your salaries well paid and the project to grow.
Please tell us what we need to pay so that you can run the project as you would like to.
Form Tools is fantastic and I am confident that it has the potential you are talking about.

What I really miss from your side is:
-> Reliable (paid) support for time critical requests
-> Realisation of all the great ideas and further improvements that you have on your to-do-list (Media Galery, etc.)
-> Customized (exclusive or non-exclusive) modules

I would like to see you sustain what makes Form Tools so outstanding:
-> Keep a Core/Community Version which is Open Source (all the privat user who just want a simple contact form should not pay anything)
-> Keep the great community platform where User can support eachother
-> Keep bug-fixes and security updates free - for lifetime..
-> Keep the modular way Form Tools is build.
-> Do not provide an "all inclusive" solution. The User should only need to pay for the functions he needs. And you should get paid for every inovation and new feature you come up with.
=> Paid modules would probably be the best way to go (Form Tools "Apps" ;-)). There is no reason why the Form Tools User should not pay for the upcoming Form Builder.
=> In addition to the Community Forum you should add a paid support request system with guaranteed response times and hourly paid high priority support.
=> You will allways have more ideas than you two can realize in your limited time. Enlarge your staff or outsource it and put it on top of the price. :-)

Looking forward to see how your plans and the project will develop in 2011.
As you know we are just about to completely swich everything to Form Tools. Smile

Cheers,
Hannes
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#3
This product (and support for this product!) is definitely worth paying for! Whether it's helping to iron out little, inevitable bugs, or to develop new features, I would be happy to support this project!
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#4
Absolutely. I searched high and low for this product and am absolutely in love with it. It's a perfect solution for any web developer with forms that doesn't know PHP. (*clears throat a little*).

While I enjoy the Open Source aspect, perhaps offering a paid service (like support) or something is certainly in order. I wish my web host offered FormTools as a defacto standard. (Hint, hint).
Not a FT employee, just a FT user lending a hand. If I've been helpful, please rate.

[Image: giraffe_long_85.gif]
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#5
Fully support for paid version, perhaps a paid support service as a start?
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#6
Thanks for all the feedback so far! Smile

Joe and I are still mulling over our options and we'll make a post when we have some concrete plans.

- Ben


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#7
Considering that I have adapted this to a work as a CMS I would gladly pay for the product and pass that cost onto the client(s) to ensure further development.

Thanks for the long nights building this!

Brad
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#8
I would happily pay for Form Tools. I have, in fact. I sent a contribution soon after starting to use it, I was so impressed and happy with it. Form Tools has made me look smarter for several years. Maybe it's time to send another contribution.
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#9
(Dec 18th, 2010, 10:57 AM)Ben Wrote: What to do?

I just don’t have time to help out in the forums these days, and I know people are running into problems. I’ve stopped taking on any additional paid contract work (in addition to my day job) so I can work on 2.1.0, but I still have projects for some a larger clients that need to get done. I’ve all but abandoned my other Open Source project – generatedata.com – much to my chagrin.

I was very saddened to read about an old Form Tools user switching to another script this last week due to a problem that cropped up – one that I’m sure we could have solved had I had the time.

It’s beginning to feel like Form Tools has gotten as large as it can be with the resources (me and Joe!) at its disposal. The bulk of my time is no longer spent on the script itself and more on the documentation, maintaining the website and support. If we had an income, we could hire new people to help. Heck, maybe I could quit my day job and work on this full-time. Plus, BOY it would be nice to hire people that knew more than me! I’m pretty good at what I do, but I know my own limitations.

I’ve been discussing this possibility with Joe, my business partner for a long, long time – and it seems like that ultimately, moving to some sort of commercial model is inevitable if we want the project to grow.

So what do you think? How would you feel about two versions of Form Tools? One paid, one free.

Perhaps just paid modules – or even making the upcoming Form Builder component being paid?

- Ben

Absolutely!
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#10
Ben, even if you had to abandon the open-source idea and have JUST a paid version of the software (at a reasonable price, preferably below $100), I could still convince my clients to pay for it. Or perhaps FormTools would work free on web site, but then we could pay to have it work for additional sites. Or something. Either way, we'd be happy to pay for it! There is no other alternative that does what FormTools does, at least not one that does it as well. It would be a SAD, SAD day if FormTools went away. In fact, I alone would have to spend LOTS more time researching an alternative, then spend even more time implementing that alternative to many sites. Would not be a happy time.
Not a FT employee, just a FT user lending a hand. If I've been helpful, please rate.

[Image: giraffe_long_85.gif]
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