Desktop live web statistics service Woopra is gambling – dangerously, inevitably or both – with it’s ratecard rollout, selling the cool factor to the ‘Web 2.0′ crowd.
Maybe you heard, Woopra has announced an end to its 2-year beta programme, signalling costs for established web sites. The tracking service remains free for startup sites and blogs, with a tiered ratecard for those with over 30000 monthly pageviews.
Here’s some analysis. First up, the ratecard, (although not set in stone) ..
|Rate||PVs monthly||Storage||SSL support||Users||Export||Chat|
So what does that mean?
If yours is a non-commercial baby site or blog, with under 30k pageviews per month, you continue to pay nothing for detailed information about site visitors, with live stats direct to your desktop. The catch is that you have to submit a domain for approval and it may take a few weeks to get that.
In other words, you can’t lose. The worst than can happen is that, while awaiting approval, you have to put up with Google Analytics.
This is the group most affected: people like me! We will have to re-ask ourselves a big question: are we wasting too much time micro-analysing traffic rather than creating great content and working out how to sell it?
.. ‘Probably’ is the likely answer. We still need traffic information though.
We start paying for stats.
For most sites with established revenue streams, up to now Woopra would not have had the toolkit they needed anyway, and with traffic stats having been capped at 10000 daily pageviews. How Woopra will compete with feature-rich and way-cheaper Clicky will be interesting, and possibly painful, to watch.
If you saw Woopra SEO John Pozadzides’s video about the new changes, you may have been struck by three things; how closely he is targetting the ‘middle web’; how heavily dependent on loyalty is his business; how desperate for cash he sounds (hey, no surprise there then).
I can’t help but think, Woopra’s pitching its beta-prices based on the cool-factor, and I wonder if this is a dangerous mistake. It is a good-looking realtime application, installs and runs beautifully cross-platform, and the community is super-friendly. You know there’s a ‘but’ coming, huh!
But. As soon as charges are introduced – and inevitably they have to be, somehow, for any business model – loyalty has a tendency to wain, and swathes of the ‘Web 2.0′ crowd may switch (especially those who just don’t need live chat and can use GA for reporting.)
Overall, I’m in two minds about the new pricing. On the one hand, I like very much the Woopra product and their culture, want to see this innovative product succeed, and am convinced they will continue to listen closely and improve the feature set. Then again, I would have liked to see their new business model being more imaginative, offsetting more costs against advertising and anonymous stats sales, and offerring an on-client-server statistics history option to reduce one core cost, the server farm.
Meanwhile for the higher end plans, I think Woopra’s offering is way too expensive, comparatively, and lacking many features such as Twitter/Feedburner stats. Then again, I don’t think they are really pushing the pitch to that market anyway .. yet.
For the record, I’ve used Woopra pretty much since Guvnr launched, and I love it. Then again, I can’t pretend I’m not considering my options now, as this blog does not directly generate income to cover strictly unnecessary costs. Then again, again!, that is beginning to change and there are certain plugin providers I want to $thank in turn, Woopra included. Like I said, it strikes me, Woopra is banking on this fair trade attitude.
This is a key moment for Woopra. They know it. Talk about all hands on deck, John P is answering (mainly very positive) responses to his news announcement personally and with the ratio of 2 ears and 1 mouth.
The next few weeks will be interesting. Woopra’s in-house stats would be the most telling of all.