When sitecake version 3?

#1

Hi. When sitecake version 3?

#2

Hello -

What it looks like from here is, only @Predag and @Nik are the only two working on the project. It also seems to be a side gig for both of them.

According to NIk, [quote=“Nik, post:1, topic:452”] So if you have a website and want it adapted for Sitecake reply here. Pricing is simple $50 start + $10 per page.[/quote]

He then goes on to say that they don’t receive this cash, they pay third party coders to make these changes.

So… How about this: Predag sets up a donation button that we can all chip in so that instead of P&N doing all the coding, they could use the cash to pay these coders that they trust to work on parts of the puzzle? I’m not rich, but I could kick in 10 bucks every now and then.

Maybe they could make a simple outline of what needs to be done, and how much it would cost them to farm out some of the work, then we could toss 'em some cash when we had some.

What do you all think? @MichaelC I’ve been thinking about our exchange in October. What do you think about this idea?

Anyone?

#3

@dagwood

I think you got the right idea. Maybe setting up a Patreon account would serve them better as well as provide us, the community, more value. They can set their monthly income requirements and then we’d know what the progress is at each month and donate accordingly. In return, contributors would have special access to the devs as well as beta releases.

I might be willing to pay for that. I say “might be” because I still have yet to use Sitecake on a client site. I bought the WhiteLabel version a while ago and have been sitting on it ever since…even though I think it’s really the best tool of it’s type.

That all said, I think the problem is that I’m not sure Sitecake has done a good job in their marketing (my background is in marketing, hence why I noticed these things).

For example, compare the Sitecake site to a competitor like PulseCMS, which has done an excellent job in making their case. The tool is very powerful but it’s also a lot more expensive. I was considering it before I discovered Sitecake.

As an aside, I think Sitecake is much better because I think the toolsets and features in PulseCMS get in the way. I believe it’s possible for a tool to have too many features or be too powerful. You start to lose people at a certain point.

Also, I hate to say it but I also think the price is too low. Sitecake should be $99 and the Whitelabel should be $199, if not higher. I think they could easily get that if things here were presented differently. They really need to work on the site and marketing to help generate sales to really push them forward.

Even Sitecake’s Facebook page is several weeks out of date and has virtually no engagement. For a product like Sitecake, they need to be all over Facebook and social media. I’d like to see them engage better before I’d consider donating to the cause.

Anyway, just my 2 cents.

#4

@MichaelC

I assume that Patreon is the same as GoFundMe. That might work, but I don’t have an opinion about that.

I see Sitecake in a Catch 22 bind. I don’t think it is worth a higher price as it stands, as simple text styling such as bold, italic, size, color, highlight, etc. don’t exist, nor are there indents. Even this forum editing box has more options. I’m not talking about something as complex as ckeditor, but something more than notepad.

Picture placement is not possible, so you can’t put photos anywhere except left aligned on its own line. This isn’t a criticism, but it limits the useage quite a bit. So that’s the Catch 22 as I see it. Not enough functionality to sucessfully hit a higher price point, but the current price point isn’t enough to meet the developer’s financial needs.

It seems to me the improvements need to come before a marketing push. It’s like having a grand opening when you’re only half stocked. In addition, if they don’t have the time to make improvements quickly enough, how can they spend even more time marketing?

At this point in its development, it is more grand idea than a grand piece of software. I mean no insult here. The idea that you can log in and edit your text right where you are is unique as far as I can tell. I have searched literally for years to find this concept implemented. Most people with websites don’t want to spend a lot of time figuring out the intricacies of WordPress, Joomla, and other works of the devil. :wink: Heavy database content managment is soooo 2015.

My fear for sitecake is that it won’t get developed fast enough before someone else gets this idea and flies past it. In my humble (ok, so not so humble) opinion is the bottleneck is only having two developers working part time on this. Not sure how to fix this, but since they’ve chosen to not be Open Source, coming up with more cash flow to hire contractors is the best first step than I can see.

#5

@dagwood

Yes, Patreon is similar to GoFundMe (I think) except that Patreon is almost like a subscription where you can continuously fund on a monthly basis. You should take a look at it.

Anyway, sure…I would like additional improvements with Sitecake but I don’t believe that’s holding them back at this point in time. Personally, I don’t expect nor want Sitecake to do my job as the designer/developer. I view it as a post-launch tool where my client can make simple edits themselves.

For example, a retail store might change their hours seasonally or a contact page might change as employees come and go. Sitecake it perfect for things like that. After all, as limited as Sitecake is, it’s almost preferred because clients can mess things up only so much. With competing tools that have more features and functionality, it’s easy for a client to completely break their site.

Also, the way to justify a price increase is look at it from a different perspective:

  1. Many web designers/developers charge at least $50 to $100/hr. Certainly much more with agencies. Therefore, $99 for Sitecake is really worth a few hours of billings. That’s super easy to justify.

  2. If you’re making a good living development websites and you amortize the cost of Sitecake across all your client sites, it turns into maybe a dollar or a few dollars per site.

It should be said that even the term “price increase” is relative. If you’ve never heard of Sitecake, land on the site and saw the pricing at $99 and $199, you wouldn’t necessarily know that the price went up. You’d have to make a purchasing decision based on those prices, which I think is easy. Regardless, $39 is way too cheap. That’s like 1/2 a tank of gas or a nice dinner.

Again, the competition has pricing models that makes Sitecake a bargain. They’re either charging monthly or per site.

All that aside, there’s a lot of people out there using tools like Mobirise, Blocks 3, Pinegrow, Dreamweaver, Rapidweaver, etc. They are all looking for a solution like Sitecake but don’t know it exists. This site should specifically target those communities.

It would be great if on the Sitecake site, there were specific pages with instructions on how to integrate Sitecake into Mobirise, Blocks 3, Pinegrow, Dreamweaver, Rapidweaver, etc. If I owned Sitecake, that’s exactly what I would do.

#6

@MichaelC

Yikes. I didn’t realize it was $39.00. I purchased the white label version, and misremembered the price as $99.00

I agree that $39 is too cheap. However, instead of raising the price, if I were the boss, I’d scrap that version altogether, and just have the white label version for $99. That would have two benefits, by eliminating the cheap version, and only have the white label version for the developers to work on. I would think that most developers would want white label anyway.

I agree with your statement “Personally, I don’t expect nor want Sitecake to do my job as the designer/developer. I view it as a post-launch tool where my client can make simple edits themselves.” The only difference between us is that I consider text size, bold, italic, and text colors/highlights to be part of simple edits. An example would be <18 pt red>Sale! This week only. Two do-dads for the price of one. Must be a new customer.

I also agree with you that giving clients the option to create and manage pages and menus is asking for trouble, and is removing design and site flow from us, the developers. That is moving sitecake into a cms, in which case, people would compare it to the gazillion other cms options that have been around for years.

For me at least, and I think you as well is that sitecake stands alone as a way to incorporate client editing into a page we design, easily and efficiently. Using that as the comparison, sitecake is at the top of the list.

I believe that sitecake has an identity crisis. Not sure if it is for developers or for end users. An answer I got early on here was when I asked about locating sitecake above public_html, and the backups and temp folders in individual sites. I believe it was @predragleka who said they wanted to keep it simple for people who weren’t so tech savvy. That makes it seem like an app for the end user.

On the other hand, you have to edit config files via ftp programs, making it seem like an app for developers. Since I am a developer, I have my prejudices which way it should go, but as the Bible says (a bit paraphrased) “A developer cannot serve two masters.”

As a sidebar, and certainly none of my business, I am sorry to see sitecake to be on codecanyon, unless it is making them money hand over fist. In my experience, that site downgrades the seriousness of an app, as there are many flaky and abandoned sites out there. I used to purchase many scripts from there, and am still using one.

#7

@dagwood

You said it perfectly, “For me at least, and I think you as well is that sitecake stands alone as a way to incorporate client editing into a page we design, easily and efficiently. Using that as the comparison, sitecake is at the top of the list.”

That’s exactly how I feel.

To answer the question of who is Sitecake for, I believe it should be marketed exclusively as a designer/dev tool. It’s just too technical for the average person to integrate into an HTML site.

Selling it to end users would just create a lot of support tickets/cases that the devs don’t really have the time to deal with.

Maybe that is exactly the problem. Is Sitecake being marketing to end users? If so, I believe that’s a mistake. That might also explain the price points. I’m sure an end user would find $99 and $199 expensive whereas a designer/dev would find it extremely reasonable.

However, yes, Sitecake should be kept simple because the person using it will be the end user. All the designers/devs is doing is integrating it into the site.

As far as codecanyon is concerned, I haven’t purchased anything from there in many, many years so I can’t really comment on it. Maybe that, itself, says it all. LOL.

#8

@predragleka @Nik

Any thoughts on our discussion?

Dale

#9

Hi guys, sorry for late response. Lots of good proposals and observations here.

First, you are right that this is basically a side job. Don’t get me wrong here, when I say side job I don’t mean less important. We take everything we do seriusly, and sitecake is after all our first born :), but we can’t live out of Sitecake sale and that’s why some things are progessing slow. The lack of funds is also the reason why there’s almost no marketing except few promotion sales and campaigns on few different services (codecanyon among others).

Also, I agree that if we want to speed up development, we need to figure a way to raise more funds. Sitecake from it’s begining has changed several pricing models. We had journey from open source to now days pricing model. Also had experiment with different prices for both whitelabel and non-whitelabel versions. We even had freemium version of sitecake with limited functionality at some point, but current pricing model (with prices we have them now) turned out as best solution so far. But it’s obvisly not good enough.

As for identity crisis, I wouldn’t call it like that, but you are right when you say that we are tryint to walk two paths toward both developers/designers and end users. In last few months we are putting our thoughts on how to distinguish those two paths and which one should we take at the end. So we came up with idea to create SaaS (Sitecake as a Service :)). This path would satisfy designers and developers who would have easy solution for their clients with smaller websites where they woudn’t have to think about server requirements and settings, FTP, charging… They would just need to upload template (or buy it on SaaS platform) and instantiate new sitecake site. This also opens up possibility for designers and developers to sell their templates (and plugins after Sitecake v3) on SaaS platform and it would take some burden of Sitecake core team in regards of support because support tickects would mostly be real issues opened by develeopers and designer with technical knowledge and usage support from end users would be handeled by designers/developers them self. That means less time on support for sitecake core team and more time to focus on main product which is Sitecake CMS. So, Sitecake CMS would remain focus of our development, which is important for all developers and designers who wouldn’t use SaaS.

All that being said, it’s clear that we have an idea of how should we continue from here. Only thing that left to figure out is funding.
For SaaS solution we will try to ensure funds through some kind of sturtup accelerator as SaaS platform would be a new service.
Further development and maintenace of Sitecake CMS would need to fund it self. So what would you say if we would start charging Sitecake CMS per site (domain)? There were mentions of donations, but that wouldn’t be neceserry in that case. I think that @MichaelC is right when say that many designers/developers charge $50 to $100/hr so that would be at least $1000+ per site. Sitecake price in compare to that is preatty small. Designers / developers wouldn’t even need to take that of from what they charge to their client. They would simply offer their clients Sitecake as solution for content editing, and if on our site official price is per site, it would be legitimet to ask your client to pay for that if he want Sitecake integration. We don’t even need to implement any kind of restrictions or checks, but go with our users honesty. As there are more sites with sitecake installed that would mean more funds and more stability and new features and improvements. Most of sitecake users use sitecake on more than one website, so that’s means at least double funding.

So, what do you think?

#10

@predragleka

Let me first start by thanking you for all the work you’ve put into Sitecake and the support you provide here.

I would need more details on what you have planned for your Sitecake as a Service and how it would work specifically before I can make any informed comments.

At the end of the day, there’s a lot of competition in this space. Whether it’s WordPress and the dozens of CMS tools available or the many flat file competitors to Sitecake. It’s important for Sitecake to carve out its niche. Thus far, I think you’ve done a good job. I did some extensive research into flat file solutions and finally settled on Sitecake.

As such, I urge you to Google “rapidweaver cms” and see what these companies are doing, their price points and try their demos. I think you’d be surprised. There’s one that sells for $99 per domain and I don’t think it’s as good as Sitecake. Again, they’ve carved out their niche and are doing quite well.

#11

Rapidweaver charges $297/year for their PULSE - unlimited sires

#12

I tried the demo on pulse and coudn’t figure it out, too confusing. Wouldn’t spend my money on it.

#13

@MasonVT

Exactly what I’m talking about. Pulse is a good example of where I believe Sitecake is better/easier/ cheaper. Yet, they seem to be a thriving company with a number of employees.

#14

@MasonVT @MichaelC

There is no comparison at all between Sitecake and anything else. Pulse is a designer suite of cms pages, blocks, blogs, media, stats, etc. That is probably why they have the staff and cash mentioned. But Sitecake isn’t a cms, nor is it trying to be. It is designed to be an extremely simple text management system for developers, and perhaps end users to simply plug in editable sections into a pre-existing site. That’s the beauty of it. It doesn’t involve a huge learning curve. You build your site with Pulse, Dreamweaver, or whatever, and use whatever structure you want (Bootstrap, Foundation, html, etc., and don’t have to learn anything besides how to install it. In my opinion, that is the beauty of it.

As far as Sitecake finding its niche: not only has it found it, it has created it as well. I have searched on and off for years for this, and have found nothing. Everything wants to impose its structure, markdown, markup, plugins, extensions, and all kinds of crazy shit that I don’t want or need. All I want is what sitecake offers: Add a div, create a password, and let the client go nuts. Even if they totally screw things up, the scope is limited, and with as many undos as you give them, they really have to work at it to cause any major damage.

I don’t want to learn pulse, grav, rapidweaver, simplecms, etc, etc, and neither do my clients. They just want to keep their site up to date with new information, not be a part time web designer.

@predragleka says there are plans for plugins for v3, and there are already ways for clients to create pages.

How about this, both for pricing and features:

  • Drop the $39.00 pricepoint
  • Have the White Label version be the entry level at its current price, and as a download, not saas.
  • Split Sitecake into two versions.
  1. Let the current 2.4.7 feature list stay as it, both in features and in price. (Heck - as far as I’m concerned, you could even remove page manager, and add bold, italics, colors and highlights to the text, as I mentioned before. Similar to CK Editor, but way pared down. As far as I can tell there is nothing like this, and the price and features would accommodate the needs of small time developers like me.
  2. What you are planning with v3, saas, etc, could then go as far as it wants, and charge as much as you want for these designers MichaelC mentions who charge $50 to $100/hr so that would be at least $1000+ per site.

=============================================================
From a business perspective, trying to create a new CMS is a great way to fail. There are thousands of them out there, with decades of development. Plus to create a new one is more development time, more support time, more keeping up with the browser time, and more marketing time, all for two people who are working on this part time. I see no road to success trying to compete in the CMS market given your current setup. However, to keep focusing on what the current version does, and keeping it up to date and adding text formatting options (I know, I can’t shut up about that). It would take MUCH less development time, and a chance to refine what exists, and spend more time marketing what you have.

Once ss (simple sitecake) is established and paying you what you want, then you could consider expanding to the (suicidal) path of creating a full blown CMS.

Well, there it is. Sorry for the delay in replying to your “What do you think” question, but I finally did.

Merry Christmas!

#15

I was not promoting Pulse, just the opposite. My problem is having to edit or format a whole block of text as opposed to being able to manage just potions of the text. Maybe I’m missing something?

#16

I would argue that Pulse has the “staff and cash” because of their great marketing and understanding exactly who their client is. It wasn’t always a “designer suite” but that’s what it eventually turned into over the years.

If I owned Sitecake, I know exactly what I would do and it would certainly be a different approach. Here’s an example of where Sitecake’s marketing needs to do better: I stumbled onto this tool called Blocs, which is a visual web design app for the Mac that outputs HTML. It specifically mentions that you can develop CMS driven web sites.

I figured that maybe they developed something similar to Sitecake. Then you continue reading and it states, “Blocs has integrated support for a range of premium (paid) and open source (free) third party Content Management Systems.” They mention Pulse, specifically.

Well, why isn’t Sitecake on the list? Imagine if the people at Sitecake worked with the people at Blocs to help integrate Sitecake into Blocs?

This is exactly what I’m talking about. This is exactly what I’d be doing…finding all these HTML-based tools and working with them to provide integration. Heck, maybe even work out a bundling deal for the $39 and they can upgrade to the whitelist version directly from Sitecake.

Ultimately, there are entire communities of people who have no idea that Sitecake event exists. This is really the problem and it’s a relatively easy problem to solve.

#17

Once V3 is out, I would sugest dropping the 39$ price tag as well, and just charge for plugin and theme transaction like open cart and wordpress. I buy lots of modules and also make them. Would love to see that here. I was working on a CSS animation plugin but I will wait for V3 instead.

#19

@virgiltu
I know this is old but, a plugin for v2? Do you have any working boilerplate example to share?

#20

Plugin system is ready and operational but we are not going to release it untill we find a developer who can work on further development and documentation maintenance.

If anybody is interested feel free to apply.

#21

operational in current version 2.4.10?