Announcing New LightCMS Plans with No User Limits and No Transaction Fees

We're excited to announce some changes to the LightCMS pricing plans that we know you're going to love. These have been in the works for many months and we're pleased to finally bring them your way. There's a lot to cover here so please take a moment to read all the way through this announcement to discover everything that's new.

No User Limits. No Transaction Fees.

That's right, all of our new LightCMS plans offer unlimited users and no transaction fees! Now you'll be able to set up user accounts for as many people as you wish, even on our lower-tiered plans. Plus, you'll save money when you sell products online with no LightCMS transaction fees. Keep in mind, you'll still be subject to the fees charged by your merchant account providers, but LightCMS will no longer collect any additional transaction fees on products you sell through our store.

Plan Name Changes

As you can see on the image above, we're changing our plan names as well. What were previously known as Basic, Plus, Advanced, Pro, and Premier will now be called Personal, Standard, Premium, Professional, and Unlimited.

The 14 Day Trial with Full Access

We're also moving away from the limited trial accounts we've provided thus far (free up to three pages) to a Free Trial model where new websites get full access to as many resources as they need at no cost for 14 days. After 14 days, websites will need to submit payment at whatever level their website requires based on the pages, storage, and products used.

One big advantage of the Free Trial model is that it will enable us to offer copy website functionality, a very highly-requested feature. Read more about this below.

Copy Any Website with a Click

The ability to create a new LightCMS website by copying an existing one has been a highly-requested feature for years. We're happy to announce that this new feature will be going live alongside these plan changes. The copy website functionality is dependent upon the implementation of a free trial model. Our previous model limited all new websites to only three pages so it was not possible to copy existing websites that had more than three pages. Now any website can be copied in its entirety with a click!

To copy a website, you'll visit Account -> Websites and choose the website you want to copy. Then, from the menu at the upper right, choose "Copy," and give your new site a unique name. That's it! The entire site with all of its content will be copied to create a second, identical website under your LightCMS account. This is great for using one website as a starting point when you're building out a new site.

Other Changes

Outside of what's mentioned above, all of our plans stay the same with two exceptions. Our Professional Plan ($69/month) will now have a limit of 100 pages (previously unlimited) and a limit of 5,000 products (previously 10,000). Our Standard Plan ($29/month) will now get an extra GB of storage for a total of 3GB. Also, resellers should note that the loss of LightCMS Transaction fees also means the loss of transaction fee profit sharing through the LightCMS Rewards program.

Opt In or Stay as You Are: the Choice is Yours

We're very excited about the advantages these plans and features offer to our resellers and customers, but we also know that some of you may prefer to stay with the plans you have now. So, we have built this release in a way to give our existing customers the option of whether to keep the plans they have currently, or to opt into these new plans and features.

As a result, if your LightCMS account exists before this release goes live, nothing will change for you unless you opt into the new plans. If you take no action, you will be able to keep your current line up of plans indefinitely. You'll still be able to add new websites that are free up to three pages, but you won’t be able to utilize the copy website functionality and all websites under your account will retain their existing characteristics including their user limits and transaction fees.

How to Opt In

If you want to take advantage of the new plans and features we're releasing, you will need to manually opt into the new plans. To do this, you'll need to follow these steps once the plans are live:

  1. Log in to your account.
  2. Choose “Account” from the User Session Menu at the upper right.
  3. Click the “Websites” tab.
  4. Select any of your websites.
  5. Click the “Upgrade” button (you won’t be required to upgrade if you don’t want to).

After following the above steps, you’ll be presented with a page describing the new plans with an option to enable them. Once you enable the plans, you’ll be presented with the new plan change page, showing which of the new plans the selected site is on currently. From there, you can upgrade/downgrade your site, or simply return to editing by clicking any of the buttons on the toolbar.

When you opt into the new plans, all websites under your account will be migrated to the new plans automatically. User limits and transaction fees will disappear from all websites under your account. You'll gain access to the copy website functionality and any new websites you add or copy will enjoy unlimited access to the system during a 14 day trial period.

When you opt in, we’ll also grandfather any existing free websites. You’ll be able to keep them under your account at no cost indefinitely (please note that free websites will retain their existing limit of one user). Also, existing "Pro" plan websites will retain their Unlimited Pages and their 10,000 for as long as they remain on the Professional plan.

Launch: Week of April 15, 2013

We look forward to bringing you these new plans and features. They are scheduled for release during the week of April 15th. Stay tuned to our website, forum, and social media channels for more specific information on when they are live. Again, this update will have no affect on your LightCMS account unless you manually opt in to the new plans. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us any time at support@lightcms.com.

17 comments (Add your own)

1. David Chapman wrote:
I think this upgrade will really help compete with some "other" company out there (wink).

Love that the transaction fees are gone and addition of unlimited users. That can help a lot of workarounds we've been doing.

It looks like the $29 plan has a 1GB upgrade (3GB instead of 2GB). That's where most of my clients are anyways.

The $69 plan seems to be the only "downgrade" with 5,000 Product Skus (10,000 before) and 100 page limit (unlimited before). But, this helps differentiate the top plan as actually being Unlimited.

Just to clarify, as a reseller I can continue to build and host 3-page sites even after the upgrade? I like the full featured 14 day trial (which I hope is reset for some people who may have old accounts). Just curious about the free aspect of the 3 page sites for developers.

Thu, April 11, 2013 @ 10:56 AM

2. David George wrote:
OUTSTANDING!!!!! Now fix the picture editor and everything will be GREAT!!!! The copy function is a LIFESAVER!!!!!

Thu, April 11, 2013 @ 10:58 AM

3. Melinda Ledbetter wrote:
YAAAAAY! This is super awesome! Great job and thanks for working so hard on these updates.

Thu, April 11, 2013 @ 11:01 AM

4. Tim wrote:
Thanks for the nice comments so far, everyone!

David Chapman, the free three page sites will only continue to be available to your account if you choose not to opt in to the new plans. I hope this clarifies things.

Thu, April 11, 2013 @ 11:10 AM

5. Snapper wrote:
You have NO IDEA how much this will help us! All of the changes are brilliant we couldn't be happier! We have only 3 clients not using this system and the transaction fees were part of the issue. The addition of Stripe and this makes our eCommerce sales a super easy sell! As always thanks for all of the hard work and caring about your design and development community. We greatly appreciate it!

Thu, April 11, 2013 @ 11:53 AM

6. Denny Cave wrote:
While I'm sad to lose access to the free plans, my clients will definitely appreciate the removal of user limits. The "copy website" functionality is a great feature and I'm excited to be able to make use of it in the future.

I understand the marketing concept behind a 14-day free trial, especially if you're targeting LIghtCMS toward end users, but for resellers/developers doing custom builds this is a huge and, in my opinion, unnecessary limitation.

As it stands, we'll have to upgrade the site almost immediately after we begin building templates and importing content, even if it's a large site with a launch that could be months away. This unfortunately has always been (once a site was past 3 pages, anyway) and now will continue to be a cost I'll have to build into my quotes or begin charging the client upon upgrade. This artificially increases the cost of development for a site that's not even live yet and puts me at a disadvantage when bidding on projects.

In the past, with the free 3 page site in the mix of plans, I understood that it would be technically cumbersome to avoid this limitation. But now with a free 14-day trial, I think the solution is simple - disable the domain name option for all new trial sites and enable it only after the site is on a paid plan. Until the site is upgraded, it will only be accessible at *.publishpath.com. Then give us, as resellers, the option to manually extend 14-day trials as necessary during development (or to give an indecisive customer a second go-around with the system). Even if you have to make users login to see the site after the 14-day trial this would still be an improvement.

One of your largest competitors works almost exactly like this and it's great for development. I think they cap off the maximum number of times you can extend a trial without contacting support, but the point is that there's a better way to cater to your development partners, and I'd love to see it implemented.

Thu, April 11, 2013 @ 12:17 PM

7. Blair Rorani wrote:
I remeber my first feature request for unlimited users in like 2008? Good work. Will it be possible for users to sign up themselves? If so, can this be linked to a paid subscription? That would mean I don't have to use Wordpress to build a membership site.

Thu, April 11, 2013 @ 12:26 PM

8. Brian Cole wrote:
What will happen to sites after the 14 day trial if they haven't been upgraded? Are they still accessible to the public?

Thu, April 11, 2013 @ 12:49 PM

9. David Garrison wrote:
Thank you for your efforts but I do not believe I will opt in to any of the services. I'm glad to see we can opt out. The traditional 3-page site is a huge selling point for my business. I'm disappointed that the $69 package no longer unlimited. I have several websites running on this package. I assume that if I opt out, my clients won't experience any issues?

To us, it is very important that everything stays the same. If we opt out, things stay the same?

Thu, April 11, 2013 @ 12:53 PM

10. Sarah wrote:
So it sounds like even if you upgrade your other accounts, your current Free sites will remain free?

Thanks for the site duplication feature! Much needed.

Thu, April 11, 2013 @ 1:15 PM

11. Tim wrote:
@Denny - thanks for the feedback. We hear you and those are all questions we consider heavily when making decisions. At this point, I can't say when or if any changes will be made in that regard but it is definitely something we are always evaluating so we appreciate the input.

@Blair - glad your wish has finally come true! These plans won't change the way users are created, it just removes the user limitation.

@Brian - sites that aren't upgraded after 14 days will become expired. This is similar to disabled websites currently. On the public side they will have a message that they have expired. You will be able to log into the site, but you can't add or edit content. Content created during the trial will be retained and if the site is then upgraded it will be restored.

@David - thanks for your comments. To answer your question - yes, everything will stay the same. It's not a matter of "opting out" so much as just refraining from opting in. You will see the message about opting in whenever you upgrade a website, but you can ignore it and choose to stay with your current plans. As long as you don't opt in, everything will stay as it is currently for your account.

Thu, April 11, 2013 @ 1:24 PM

12. Tim wrote:
@Sarah - yes if you opt into the new plan structure, any existing free websites under your account will remain free. Any new websites you add after the point of opting in will be free for 14 days.

Thu, April 11, 2013 @ 1:25 PM

13. Denny Cave wrote:
@Tim - Thanks for the consideration. I look forward to seeing what options the trial model may provide for implementing this type of a setup in the future :)

Thu, April 11, 2013 @ 1:29 PM

14. Snapper wrote:
I am curious if making these changes will allow us to add individual elements to blog and calendar posts (and maybe a global element)? I assume that part of the reason these (very heavily) requested items haven't happened is due to the risk of using one of the 3 free pages as a blog element and then creating posts to use as pages with different content instead of upgrading.

It sure would be nice to have a calendar post that we can add a form too or a blog post that has a different piece of content in the sidebar that doesn't show up on other posts without using some JS hack. Maybe it's wishful thinking, but one can only hope!

Fri, April 12, 2013 @ 1:10 PM

15. Worthyglo wrote:
This is so sad. I teach Web Design at a Community College. This Fall, I had planned to teach my students how to make themes for the LightCMS system. 24 new web designers would have had sample LightCMS sites. $19/mth is too much for a student to afford. Now I will have to find a different platform.

Tue, April 16, 2013 @ 7:54 AM

16. Holly wrote:
The 14 day trial is too much of a limitation for people developing custom sites over templates. I second Denny Cave's ideas on disabling domains and reseller extensions for the 14 day trial. That would be perfect.

Perhaps there needs to be a better differentiation between single site users and resellers/developers. I had hoped Radium3 was the answer but that doesn't seem so.

Additionally as a reseller I still don't like that the plan prices are posted publicly—its not really white label then is it?

Wed, April 17, 2013 @ 7:44 PM

17. David Chapman wrote:
@Tim,

I understand after 14 days, you will be disabling the site. What happens if we want to copy that site to make a new site. Is that possible or is that feature only available for current paid sites (or active trial accounts)?

Thanks,

Sun, April 21, 2013 @ 9:57 PM

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