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Another, but different EE pricing post.

I’ll admit that when I first came across this blog post by Jason Morehead on EE pricing that I rolled my eyes and quietly mumbled “Oh here we go again.” But then I realized who wrote it and then actually read it and, well, it was a nice change of pace in the conversation dominated by pricing complainers.

Jason talks through the common complaint that EE + add-ons is too expensive and WordPress is cheaper. We’ve all heard it a million times before and, honestly, I just ignore the topic at this point. I don’t give it publicity here on EE Insider and I don’t spend any time arguing with anyone. Why? Because if someone is approaching EE solely based on cost, they’re already missing the point of why EE is such a great deal.

In Episode 24 of the EE Podcast, we talked a bit about this. The topic was never supposed to be whether EE was too expensive (I say this because I noticed on Twitter that some people didn’t listen to the whole show before shooting off comments), but we did talk about it. One thing I mentioned is that I’ve found ExpressionEngine’s low price (compared to a lot of solutions that some of us regularly bid against) is the real problem. Some clients see that as a liability after years of paying thousands of dollars per year for some CMS that would make your eyes bleed.

In the comments of Jason’s post, I think Brandon Kelly summed it up nicely:

Pricing complaints are usually a sign that the pricing is spot on. If EE (and add-ons) were actually *too* expensive, people would stop complaining about it and just move on.

And Greg Ferrell wrote:

I think that’s the trouble that a lot of people have a hard time seeing. If you NEED those $430 worth of addons to get a website done, that’s a large website and needs to be upcharged accordingly. If you are charging $600 for a website that requires all of that, you might need to rethink your pricing.

If the cost of getting up and running in EE with basic add-ons is only $500, then I think that’s a great deal. If your site budget is less, then EE probably isn’t the solution for you.

Posted on Aug 13, 2010 by Ryan Irelan

Filed Under: EllisLab, ExpressionEngine 2, Life as a Web Professional, Software

Rob Howard06:49 on 08.13.2010

I am right with you in terms of not addressing the pricing issue too much - you end up either running up against people who don’t think good software should cost money, or who want you to buy their crazy .NET server package for 100k a year. For my part, I just lump the cost of EE and add-ons into the project fee and let the client know that it’s all-inclusive.

Internally, I know that ExpressionEngine and its add-ons save me countless hours of development as opposed to hacking Wordpress or rolling my own CodeIgniter app, so it’s a no-brainer win for me to spend some money and support awesome developers. It also means delivering a higher-quality and easier to use product to my clients (specifically with Structure, Wygwam and tons of other great add-ons), so it’s an investment that lets me really blow clients away.

Shawn Berg07:11 on 08.13.2010

I couldn’t agree with Greg more! Great article!

Shawn Berg07:15 on 08.13.2010

Just read Rob’s comments as well. We don’t build it in automatically, but completely agree that it’s an almost unbelievable value for the price. We used to roll out custom ASP/.NET apps for things we now do so much more effectively and easily with EE.

Sean Smith17:57 on 08.16.2010

What’s to complain about, the client pays for the add-ons. I do think some add-ons are a little over priced, but then I also think there are several add-ons that are under priced. If I need the add-on and it fits into the project budget, I buy it.