“Money is the root of all evil.”
Piwik Developers… thank you for your hard work in creating the open source piwik. Your goal to provide an “own data” analytics alternative to GA was valid and needed.
You built it, and we came.
I have (mostly been trying) to use piwik for about 4-5 years now. Dealt with lots of issues over the versions. But, I dealt with it because it was open source and like many others I provided feedback, suggestions, etc… Then more and more plugins started coming in… and that made piwik even better… the best GA alternative. I appreciated the direction, the community, and you developers.
Like many other ideas: developed as open source > community grows > commercialization > restriction … = typical future: portions of the community have been soured and a seed has been planted for a piwik alternative.
I get it… you invested a lot of time and work, and now that you have a large community base, MONEY is desired.
The problem… is your direction decisions are ruining the core values. Let me explain:
Offering a “PRO” commercial/enterprise/supported option is good. It is good option for companies that want/need the solution handled for them - those who don’t mind paying for typical reasons. There’s nothing wrong with charging to install, manage, and support the solution as experts of piwik. That’s a wise choice.
However, you’ve gone beyond that. You’ve crippled the community by limiting functionality with “premium features” - the dreaded pay to play.
So now, the larger of your community, who I bet are single developers or small development teams (who likely can install and manage piwik on their own) are being forced to pay to use “premium plugins” as they’re only available with “PRO” piwik (which charges for what those developers can do on their own). And on top of that, there’s not even transparent pricing.
You’re following in the footsteps of common commercial products and the tactics that come with them, and history shows how that negatively impacts their open source communities. It’s one thing to go from commercial to open source, but completely different going from open source to commercial.
The ONLY differences between COMMUNITY and PRO (cloud or hosted) should be what you provide as services (tech support, training, integration, hosting, etc…). If you want to add value with the “premium features” include the plugins without additional cost! Community version should have access to all of the same features. If you must, charge for premium plugins. Let us purchase plugins we want. Don’t force us to go to “PRO” just to have access to plugins. I see others having the same opinion and experiencing the same frustrations. Don’t turn your back on the community that helped make piwik what it is.