General Question

Breefield's avatar

What's the cheapest solution to charge my SaaS users?

Asked by Breefield (2728points) September 24th, 2010

I run a webapp, I’m not going to say it’s name so as to avoid self promotion.

It’s getting to the point where I need to cover some of the costs I’m incurring for Slicehost server space and Amazon S3. I’ve looked into Paypal, Chargify, Braintree, and most of the payment/merchant providers on this list: http://wiki.github.com/Shopify/active_merchant/gatewayfeaturematrix

I’m pretty sure I may get like 2–5 people paying if add additional features which you can pay for. But that’s only going to be $10–25 a month in charges.

All to say, while I’m still proving this website’s viability, how can I make it viable for myself–as I don’t have much money to throw at it.

EDIT: By cheapest I mean like $20 a month. I know I’ll get what I pay for to some extent. But think in that range (if you know a lot about this kind of thing).

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5 Answers

jrpowell's avatar

This a one instance where I think a link to your site is OK. Monetizing a site is hard. And it is damn near impossible without seeing what you have. Link away. You have been here long enough we know it isn’t spam.

Breefield's avatar

The app is called Recurse – it’s a tool for designers to upload mockups of their client’s website in progress. The compositions are displayed more like an actual website (you can set a foreground & background image, and change the <title> attribute of the page).
I would probably just want to charge like $5 a month for unlimited projects/clients. So the initial revenue would be very low, perhaps only low enough to cover the expense of running the site.

tablack01's avatar

Just so I am understanding correctly, customers are using storage space right? And that is what varies based on the amount of content? If that is the case you should have different packages with different costs. The more you upload the more it costs. Look at what you are paying to house the information and pass some on to the consumer. You can supplement the remaining difference by many putting an ad or two on the page. If I understand the service incorrectly let me know and I will revise. Oh and another thing. Don’t limit what you charge without having a plan for this company to make money. If you are giving customers $100 worth of service for $20 you are more than likely going to get slammed and have to close up shop.

Breefield's avatar

Well, storage space is stupid cheap. Amazon is only charging me like 10 cents a month for all 500 user’s images. That’s not something I’m too concerned about. I’m more concerned about the server cost, and just having the application cover it’s costs at all.
I think “plans” might hinder sign-ups at this point. I’d like things to be simple, not confusing.

Breefield's avatar

I found the best/cheapest solution to be http://recurly.com/ + http://payments.intuit.com/

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