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sh404SEF main control panel screenshot from 2008

Price changes and sh404SEF discontinued soon

Hi all,

What I like discussing about in these blog posts and podcast episodes is technology, new features, and new products. But sometimes other, less fun topics must be addressed, and today I have not one but two such topics.

We'll have a new version of 4AI released later this week, now that GPT4 is available for all at last, but for now let's deal with price changes and the discontinuation of sh404SEF.

How to increase prices without increasing prices?

The elephant in the room: most of the world has been taken into a spiral of inflation and cost increases over the last couple of years. I am no exception, and it's been a struggle to try and keep our prices as they were during that time.

Being a developer and not a business person, and coming from a history of free of charge extensions, I've always been reluctant to increase prices. But something's gotta give, and from today I'm applying the new pricing scheme which debuted with 4AI, our Joomla AI-powered assistant a few months back:

  • 4SEO, 4SEF, and 4Podcast now also have 2 subscriptions each: Regular has updates and support for 3 sites while PRO is for up to  200 sites
  • the 3-sites subscriptions keep the same prices as before - except for 4SEF which is now $69/year

The rationale is to try and keep pricing the same for individuals and companies  running their own site, while asking a bit more to those using our extensions on many sites, which usually requires more support.

A couple of practical things:

  • If you purchase a new subscription, pick either the regular or  the PRO edition based on how many sites you use or plan on using the extension (you can always upgrade later if needed)
  • If you are an agency using our extensions on a large number of sites, please visit your dashboard and upgrade to the PRO version. There's an Upgrade button next to each active subscription just for that. The time remaining on your regular subscription will be automatically prorated over the PRO one

As of now, these limits will not be strictly enforced meaning things will still work: updates will update and support ticket will be answered normally. But please ensure to upgrade, or purchase the proper subscription for new users if you use 4SEF, 4AI, 4SEO, or 4Podcast on more than a few sites. This is how I'll be able to keep prices as low as possible for everyone.

sh404SEF is going away

I started sh404SEF, just like many Joomla extension developers: because I needed it. That was in the summer of 2005.

Yes, at that time, Joomla was not yet a thing - although it was almost there. This was a fun side project for me, and over the next couple of years, I kept adding features, learned a lot of SEO along the way, and discussed it with other Joomlers who expressed interest and asked for more. 

A long story...

So much that in June 2007, I started a website for all my Joomla extensions and sh404SEF really took off, with thousands of visitors and hundreds of downloads per day. The Wayback Machine still has traces of it:

Screenshot of the sh404SEF support site in 2009

Another couple of years and it had grown too much for me to handle singlehandedly as a free of charge extension with more than 30 hours a week spent on development and support, on top of a demanding day job.

At this point, there were 2 options: call it a day and just shut sh404SEF down, or ... quit the day job and work full time on it. As you can guess the latter happened, thanks to Victor Drover at AnythingDigital.com (these days you probably know Vic as the owner of Watchful) who partnered with me to distribute and support sh404SEF. 

 From there things grew with other extensions joining sh404SEF, and in 2015 weeblr.com opened publicly to provide direct support and development.

...coming to an end August 17

However, the Joomla project ends support for Joomla 3 on August 17, 2023. sh404SEF being a Joomla 3-only extension, it is also the time I will discontinue the extension itself. This was announced nearly 2 years ago, but the time has come to say goodbye!

If you have not moved on to 4SEF and/or 4SEO, you should probably start working on it! You do not need to move to Joomla 4 right away as 4SEF and 4SEO both work on Joomla 3 as well but don't wait too long, as from now on no further development will happen dedicated to Joomla 3 support for both extensions.

Last note: you'll still be able to download sh404SEF as part of the 4SEF subscription, as a courtesy. Again, no further development or support can be provided for it after August 17.

That's all for now, I'll be back soon with other types of new: new features and new versions!