I can't tell you how many people just about lost their mind when we launched our initial plans for Managed WooCommerce Hosting. After all, our initial price was $250 a month. That's a lot of money. But you know who didn't complain?
That's right. Because we had people coming from other Managed WordPress hosts, from AWS and other hosts where they were using VPS and Dedicated servers. And in all those situations, they were often paying more than $250. One client couldn't believe that we were only going to charge them $250 when they were paying more than 4 times that somewhere else.
Real stores that had a lot of traffic have been enjoying our product for months. I can't wait to tell those stories as we round out a year and celebrate.
But what about those folks who really couldn't justify that price tag? Was there something wrong with them?
For months we talked with store owners
Just because your store isn't big and bustling doesn't mean it doesn't matter. I've spent the last several months talking to these store owners, and to the developers that have built their stores.
I hear three themes from them.
1. Store Owners don't know how to evaluate themes and plugins.
One of the most discussed dynamics in online stores is that the store owner has no idea how to determine whether their own developer knows what they're doing or not. They don't know if their developer is making great choices with themes and plugins, or simply finding something that works and just plugging that in.
The problem, of course, comes long after the developer disappears. Because when traffic hits and the plugins or themes slow everything down, they're left wondering what to do.
2. Developers have clients who want to limit their spend until they see success.
Another dynamic I heard over and over again was that developers couldn't recommend expensive hosting, regardless of who they would recommend, because the store owner just wasn't ready to spend a lot until they knew their idea would work.
That totally makes sense but is somewhat of a chicken and egg dynamic. You choose poor hosting that's cheap, and your store is slow, which means sales are down, which means you don't see success, which means you don't invest in good hosting. No one ever gets to success because their store loads in 6 seconds.
3. Everyone has a store idea but they fear the work that will need to go into it.
I spoke to people who were selling on Amazon who wanted to start selling on their own store because Amazon was showing their direct competitors when customers were viewing their products (or worse, were competing with Amazon Basics).
I spoke with people who were still only selling their products in situations where they were physically present – worried that building an online store would cost too much.
And I spoke with folks checking out Shopify because the message they got over and over was that it was easy and WooCommerce meant working with servers.
Can we chat about Shopify for a second?
I'll be honest. I like Shopify. I have no issues with Shopify at all. I have even, I know, recommended them to some people.
But what I don't love about Shopify is the $29/month price that isn't really $29/month. No one I've met or talked to yet, including the people I've sent their way, pays that.
Yes, you start there. But you add a couple of features, and in no time flat, you're spending $90/month. Plus 2% on transaction fees (which can add up).
But hey, I get it. They're not going to put an asterisk next to the price and say, “Most people end up paying 2-3x this price on this plan.”
So we created a new Starter Plan for new WooCommerce stores
After talking to all those folks, our product team went back to our sales team and asked how many people told us they were just starting out, and that they couldn't afford our price. The data told us we needed to create a new offering.
So that's what we did. For months we've been working on this. And now it's finally here.
We call it our Starter Plan, but the truth is, if you have a small store that you've already started, our plan may still work for you.
For more details (and answers to your most common questions), you can check out the new Starter Plan, starting at $19/month.
Plugins and Themes that Come Bundled
And before you take off, I mentioned that you get a lot of plugins and themes bundled with this plan. I know some of you will want the list. So here it is:
- Custom Product Tabs for WooCommerce from Yikes!
- Astra Pro (the fastest theme for WooCommerce stores)
- Beaver Builder Standard (the best page builder for WordPress)
- Ultimate Addons for Beaver Builder
- Jetpack (Image CDN & Lazy Loading)
- Jilt (Cart Abandonment)
All of that comes included. I know—it's crazy!
So like I said, check out the new Starter Plan, starting at $19/month.