Joomla Extensions Business Models

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ghardin
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Joomla Extensions Business Models

Post by ghardin » Wed Mar 07, 2018 5:03 pm

I would like to take a moment of the readers time here to put forth some things I find annoying regarding how some developers of Joomla extensions approach their businesses. This is not meant to be so much a complaint as it is constructive criticism. These things are often a problem in much of the world of application development as they are in Joomla apps.
We all know that there are literally thousands of Joomla extensions of all types available. Some are pretty reputable and are obtained here and there are others that are less so and should be used with caution. So my comments here are pointed at the developers who put their extensions on this marketplace. I build websites for various clients and I almost exclusively use Joomla for that purpose because I have used it for more3 than 10 years (since Mambo) because I believe it to be the most powerful and flexible platform for the job.

My issues come from those app deveolpers that offer paid extensions for various applications. I do not have a problem with anyone selling their work and it is a livelihood for many. But when I see a product that may be a solution for one of my clients, I would like to be able to test it to be sure it works as intended and will actually do what I need. But the many of these developers do not offer a decent working demo or one that even represents what their app can do. So then I bite the bullet and pay for something that "may" do what I need, only to find out it is less than advertised. When I try to get my money refunded, it is a difficult process, if the developer even cooperates at all! And some do not even provide a way to contact them for any reason.

Many developers seem to lack the ability to provide any kind of substantial documentation for the extension and it seems that once they have your money, they want nothing more to do with the transaction. If you are going to create a product to sell, it is good business to stand behind your product and support it. If you can't do that then get out of the business.

Extensions should always have a decent demo that shows off how the product works, in both the front and back end, or provide a free evaluation version so the user can actually install and work with the product to determine if it will satisfy their needs. Then they can either enter an unlock code or purchase a full version to get all of the features. I am not interested in wasting money on trial and error products. I have to provide my clients with working websites within a specified time frame. You are developers and if you can create an extension, you should be knowledgeable enough to provide these options for your products. If that is too difficult, find other work.

My last objection is to those developers that only sell their products tied to a monthly or yearly support package. Having used Joomla for many years, I pretty much know how to install and configure any extension. I understand that there are many who do not have my experience that may need this support, but I do not need to pay for an inflated support package that I may never use. Generally I only request support from a developer when the extension is not working properly or contains errors or flaws. I can appreciate that support costs money, but I expect the extension to work out of the box, as advertised. When it does not, I expect the developer to address those issues without charge because that is a defect and defects should not cost money to correct. Developers that use this business model should make the extension available at a competitive price without any support for those users like myself. And then offer up a fee based support structure that might be one time support requests or some kind of regular service for some agreeable price. I have begun to see a number of developers who host support forums on their sites, but the only way you can ask a question is to subscribe. Even if you purchase a product, you are often locked out of these forums unless you pay another fee. Those developers that do this fall to the bottom of my list.
I realize that this is a VERY competitive business and in order to make a living, many find they have to do this to sell their product. My business is also very competitive and I need the best extensions I can find in order to build the best product I can for my customers and I stand behind my work 100%. Most often my customer service requests come from an extension that is causing a problem. I have to fix that and I need to be able to rely on the developer to take care of the issue. The problem is that more often than not those products are substandard. Those developers than understand customer service and commit to doing whatever it takes, within reason, to support their products are the ones that will be the most successful. Going forward, that is going to be one of the top considerations in who I deal with.
I know that there are MANY developers than provide good quality products, stand behind them and provide support that is included in the cost of the product. This post is aimed at those who willingly chose to take the lesser path and provide substandard goods.

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stutteringp0et
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Re: Joomla Extensions Business Models

Post by stutteringp0et » Sun Jun 10, 2018 3:47 am

I started developing extensions for some of these reasons. I provide many of the things you complain about - full demos, documentation, support, several ways to contact me, easy refunds if there is something I can't fix (which has only happened once, someone needed Joomla 2.5 compatibility).

Maybe try your hand at being the architect of your own solutions. It's very satisfying.
My extensions: http://extensions.joomla.org/profile/pr ... ails/18398
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