Marketplace 2.0 plans!

We talked about this a bit in today’s town-hall:

For those who would rather read:

The marketplace is the last piece in this epic rebuild of our web presence over the last two years, and possibly the hardest part. Many of the decisions (and codebase) powering the current marketplace are over a decade old, so we decided to start fresh with Marketplace 2.0.

Marketplace 2.0 is a stand alone copy of Concrete that houses extension and license data in Doctrine objects that we can serve data from through the fancy new API in Concrete 9.2. It should be easy to support and keep updated for decades to come.

As a first goal in getting it live, we’re connecting it to our SaaS trial builder here Get a Site :: Concrete CMS Community
We’re planning on turning that into a free demo/leave it here for $20/mo solution where you can play with Concrete easily, and also install some of the extensions from our marketplace that make sense for a smaller site you can’t see/edit the source of.

While this is likely not the target audience for the developer heavy crowd in these forums, many folks visiting Concrete CMS just need a website quickly that does the job, and the fact that it’s open source is a nice “maybe one day” aspect. We need to make it much easier to try our product on if we expect to compete in a modern SaaS driven software economy.

We’ve already got working copies that let you add extensions to your site from your hosting control panel, and we can give you a free trial period to decide if you like the extension and then just start organically billing you monthly or yearly (or other ways too in the big picture.)

This deserves a clear call out we will be moving extension sales to subscription over time. We’ve already seen some add-on developers release v9 specific copies of their upgrades, which we support because - hey it’s a lot of work to keep your code healthy in a constantly changing ecosystem of the web in 2022. SaaS is the norm now, and for us to be selling a theme for $40 that people expect to be safe and “just work” for years and years is not sustainable or fair. We will adopt a model similar to other players where you can still download the complete source for a one time fee, but you’ll be billed again in a year so you can continue to get updates. We’ll try to generally just design systems to make this the default, but we won’t break a working site by design. You don’t want to pay for the next year of Theme X and Add-on Y? Fair enough, enjoy that version you (past tense) bought for as long as you want. Updates cost money.

That’s the goal, but launching Marketplace 2.0 with a focus on these demos/SaaS sites makes that easier to slowly make the norm.

We will always do our best to make it easy to migrate your site out of the SaaS model. If you decide you’re ready to start managing your own source and upgrades, that’s great. If you’re on a monthly plan we’ll prorate you to a point where you’ve at least paid for a year of an extension and give you a nice package to host somewhere (be it with us or somewhere else.)

Additionally we’re going to start working in other metering metric reporting. In the big picture we’d like to let a developer sell their extension by the number of users, pages, amount of storage space - there are simply different metrics that make sense and help keep a product competitive for different technology horizontals.

In time, once we’ve got the wheels moving smoothly at a small scale with our SaaS plan, we will pivot over to build a webGUI for the new headless marketplace and replace the legacy marketplace that serves 3rd party hosted concrete sites today.

Those are the big strokes, happy to answer any questions you have, and we’re super excited about where this is going!