Hello fellow Woopra fans!
For over two years your Woopra team has worked tirelessly to build, refine, scale and support this new platform while overcoming the challenges associated with operating a service with a growth pattern that mirrors some of the biggest names on the Web. There is one significant difference however between Woopra and the other big names. Our business is privately funded, without a penny of venture capital investment. Yep, Woopra is a good old fashioned family business where the founders bet their own hard earned cash on the success of the idea.
I don't mind telling you, two years of work is a long time to wait to see the fruits of your labor, and it's a very long time to operate a business using your own money. It has been the strength and passion of the Woopra community that has driven - and continues to drive us - on to build the world's greatest Web analytics platform.
As we approach the 100,000 Website mark, we are preparing - with your help - to take Woopra to the next level. As a result, it's important that we involve every single member of the Woopra family in this next stage of our evolution.
I put together a short video to accompany my thoughts below. Before you watch it you must agree to the terms and conditions of the video:
- I'm from Texas, so I talk slow. No making fun of me. :-)
- I'm not much to look at, and I'm definitely not a pro. So don't expect a Dave Courvoisier or Cali Lewis. (Both long time Woopra users by the way!)
- Yes, that is my real hair. Yes, I have 3 monitors connected to my MacBook. And yes, I'm white as a ghost.
Now, on with the video!
Five Things Everyone Should Know
1. The Woopra Beta program is coming to an end.
In the coming weeks we'll remove the Beta label from the Woopra service, and make a few changes to some Woopra features. The most important change will be an end to the waiting list for service.
However, there is a catch. People wishing to sign up for a paid version of Woopra will be able to do so at any time, while those who are interested in the free version will need to obtain an invitation code in order to register a site.
The reason for this remains the cost associated with providing free accounts. Woopra simply must prioritize service for those who are able to help defray costs. Our priority is to reach a cash flow neutral position in order to ensure a sustainable growth model. So, I'm not sure when we will be releasing more invitations for free accounts. But as soon as we are confident that we can support the business financially, we will continue to make more free Woopra accounts available.
2. Page view limits will disappear forever.
As I believe everyone is aware, Woopra beta testers have been limited to 10,000 page views per day. This allowed us to ensure that we didn't over-extend our infrastructure's capabilities, and enabled us to share Woopra with as many beta testers as possible. But soon, you'll be able to instantaneously upgrade to any level of traffic necessary to ensure Woopra tracks all of your visitors, every day.
We are also moving from a daily page limit to a monthly page view limit. This ensures that daily fluctuations won't force Webmasters to upgrade just to see all of their stats simply because of occasional usage spikes.
Here is a sneak peak at our thoughts on the new Woopra pricing tiers in USD (These are not necessarily final! So you can't hold me to them.):
I hope you all notice that the bottom pricing tier has been set at only USD $4.95 per month. The decision to set this pricing so low was difficult, as it's much easier to support fewer clients paying a higher amount. Our goal has always been to make real-time analytics available to everyone, so it was important to us to be as inclusive as possible.
My hope is that these price points come as a pleasant surprise to most of you. I also hope you'll let me know if this is the case in the comments below.
3. Existing accounts to convert to the "Free" plan in the coming weeks.
Free plans sound good! But there's always a catch, right? ;-) The good news is that the Free Woopra plans are essentially unchanged from the service that we've all grown used to. But there are a few things to consider:
- Free plans are limited to 30,000 page views per month. This will cover the vast majority of Woopra users, but some sites will require upgrading or they will be restricted to the first 30k worth of visitors each month.
- These plans are limited to 90 days of statistical history. Storage is one of the things that really drives up the cost of providing this service. So we have to cut the historical reports to a bare usable minimum for free accounts.
- Limited features in other areas. You'll notice that free accounts can't run all the same reports, won't have multiple shared user options, and several other features. Its in the nature of free. :-)
- The new features we have in the queue will be mostly available only to paying clients. While there may be occasional new features deployed into the Free version, the majority of cool new stuff will be automatically available to those who pay.
When the change takes place, your account will revert to the free plan unless you opt to upgrade to any of the other plans. Of course, upgrading to any of the paid plans helps ensure Woopra's continued development, and will also help fund that huge list of upgrades we have planned for the future!
Frankly, even if you think the free plan will meet your needs, I hope you'll consider one of the upgrade plans to allow us to hire additional developers to continue blowing your mind with great new stuff the likes of which the world has never seen! :-)
4. Free accounts are for personal, non-commercial use.
Woopra's Terms of Service will soon be changing to reflect the fact that our free accounts are intended to be used for personal and non-commercial use only.
What does that mean? Well, we are happy to provide as many people as possible with free Woopra service for their blogs and personal Websites, but at the same time we believe that if you are using your online presence to earn a living, it's only fair to help us earn one, too. In other words, if you are a commercial entity - just like Woopra - we need your help to keep paying those big electric bills that all our big servers run on.
This clause is going to be based on the honor system. It's not our desire to police our user community. We just have to rely on you guys to do the right thing here, and I, for one, have absolute faith that we can indeed count on your support.
5. The customer loyalty program is in the works.
With several major projects nearing completion, we will soon begin development of a customer loyalty program designed to reward Woopra users who refer people to join our big happy family. Full details will be coming soon, but its our intention to provide those of you who are interested in participating with a unique link you can use for referrals. We will track those links and provide signup statistics inside your control panel.
You can think of this as an Affiliate Program, but with the catch that you must be an active Woopra user to participate. We simply aren't interested in referrals from people who don't believe in the service enough to use it themselves.
Now that I've shared all of this detail with you, it's important to note that over the next couple of weeks, there may be some strange things going on with access to the service as various features go live and changes are implemented. Please bear with us as always and know that we are working as fast as humanly possible to get things squared away.
It's also important that you watch carefully for our updates on the status of the service. If you use Twitter, please subscribe to the official @Woopra (for general Woopra news), @WoopraStatus (for maintenance, issues, and interruptions updates) and @WoopraMembers (just for fun!) accounts. You may also wish to follow me @JohnPoz, our CIO Elie Khoury @ElieKhoury, or our Editor in Chief Lorelle VanFossen @LorelleOnWP as we all three routinely post Woopra updates. Also, our high usage and business clients should keep an eye on Terry Green. He takes care of businesses with needs into the several million page views per day! And as always, don't forget about our Contact form.
I know that the transition from Woopra being a "free" beta to a paid service might feel a bit shocking to some. Even though our minds might tell us it makes sense, our hearts long for that which is free! Alas, neither Woopra nor anything else is ever actually free. So I would ask that you take a moment and ask yourself one question, "If Woopra was going to disappear without my support, what would I do?" Then please... follow your heart!