Alex Lindgren in Technology 2 minute read

The market for Umbraco packages

Recently, the prominent Umbraco package developer Matt Brailsford tweeted about using Kickstarter for developing an Umbraco package:

I had some thoughts on this but they don't fit into 144 characters, so instead I'm posting them here.

First, I think the Umbraco community would benefit from a strong, third-party package marketplace.  I think it's benefitted other platforms (ExpressionEngine and Magento come to mind).  But that said, there are a couple things that make this challenging. First, Umbraco is still a niche and thus the potential market for a package is still small. Second, as Niels Hartvig chimed in, easier to make a product than to sell it:

I think it's useful to survey the landscape and see what is out there and how they are doing.  I'm aware of Richard Soeteman's (@rsoeteman) commercial packages and have purchased licenses of his CMSImport package in the past for client work. This becomes a win-win for both sides: provides us with a solution to a problem -- thus requiring less dev time of our own -- while compensating Soeteman for his work.

My agency has benefited from Brailsford and others sharing their projects for free and it would be nice to see them receive at least some compensation for it. That said, I’m not sure crowdfunding a project will be the best approach.

I think in some cases offering reasonably priced, commercial licenses for projects makes the most sense. The projects could still be open source and free for personal and not-for-profit use but require payment for those of us who are making money with it. Unfortunately the tip jar or ‘public radio’ approach (asking for donations), does not work. In my case, I need to be able to tell my boss or client that we must pay to use a package. It doesn’t need to be highly enforced with some licensing software but I definitely could get a small budget to pay for packages that require it.