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The Value of Command Center – Looking for Feedback

I created Command Center three years ago. Originally I created it solely for myself and later I mentioned it to a few friends and set them up. About two years ago I did a major overhaul and opened it up to the public. Since then it’s grown substantially in terms of what it features and in the amount of people who’ve found it. I’m extremely pleased with the growth as its mostly been word of mouth.

One thing I’ve routinely put thought into is the value of Command Center, and I do mean that monetarily. Right now it’s completely free, as you’re all well aware. However, every month I pay to have this site hosted and that comes out of my pocket. The more Command Center grows the more I find myself needing increasingly larger web hosting packages to accommodate the growth, and in turn more of my money.

Then there’s my time spent programming the site. I enjoy programming (otherwise this wouldn’t exist!), but of course it’s my own free time I’m committing to the site and I’d like to think I’m producing something of value to the community.

Which brings around the point of this article. What do you see the value of Command Center as? To explain my thoughts in regards to that question. I want to continue offering Command Center for free but what I’ve considered is offering memberships for extra features. For example, having free accounts able to create up to 2 or 3 rosters for free where paying members get unlimited rosters; plus whatever premium features I can devise to make the paid membership appealing.

I think you get the idea. Free accounts would have limited access where paying members would have free rein. Now, I’m thinking something that’s pretty insubstantial in terms of cost; something you wouldn’t think twice about paying if you enjoyed the program.

Now, I’m not throwing numbers out here because this is where I’d really appreciate feedback. I’m not a business, I’m a guy who enjoys 40K and created a program for use by anyone. I’m not looking to get rich either. What I am looking for is the ability for Command Center to pay for itself (web hosting, my time programming, etc.), and retain the recent popularity its been gaining.

Would you be willing to pay for something like what I’ve mentioned? Is there enough value here to justify asking for recompense? Would a simple structure like that with an insubstantial cost scare you off?

Finally, at this stage it’s just ideas and me thinking out loud. I mean, if everyone clearly said they love the program but would not pay for it then there’s no point in me charging for a membership. If people aren’t completely against the concept then I’ll put more thought to it and see what you all think as I get more concrete ideas. I very much want this process to involve you all, the community, instead of me taking a this is how it is approach.



Creator of Command Center and editor/author of Creative Twilight.

  • TheRhino

    I could see paying a nominal yearly fee for “members only” features. Those features could be decorative (the ability to upload and attach small images to the roster header, a sublimated image behind the roster, or selectable roster border line styles. Not sure how the programming on those would go, though.
    If you really wanted to make the membership a value-added feature, you could always make the presets (or just the preset groups) a paid feature.

    • All good ideas and stuff I was thinking about already.

      I likely would keep preset sheets as part of the free account so that people can get a chance to see the value in it. If I limited rosters to 2 then someone could have a preset sheet and a normal roster, just enough to see how it all works. I was thinking of moving the save as PDF to a paid account though.

  • JustHippie

    What about Ads? Not sure how much traffic this gets but it couldn’t hurt. AB is $12.00/yr for the ongoing updates and of course it is all on home PC/laptop.

    • I’ve tried and it just isn’t worthwhile because people are so blind to ads these days. I ran, have since removed them as of yesterday, ads here, on my blog and on the XRG forums and it was a pittance of money. I’ve been looking for other means but none of it really fits with what I do here or on the other sites.

  • JustHippie

    See if XRG wants to sponsor a list building site?

    • I can’t read sarcasm. Is there sarcasm in there? There should be. You realize who we’re talking about, right?

  • Brendon

    As a 40K beginner, I’d pay for this service because it is valuable and saves me time and I don’t have re-invent the wheel in Excel. $20 a year would be fair. Thor, check out Wishlist Member Insiders for strategies on running a membership site business and what to make premium content vs. free content.

    • Thanks for the feedback.

      $20 a year is definitely higher than I’d go, though glad to see someone feels it’s worth that much. Since I’m competing with Army Builder I have to keep that in mind with pricing.

      RE: Wishlist Member Insiders – I’ll definitely check that out. Much appreciated.

      • JustHippie

        AB is $12.00/yr. Have you figured out how many subscribers you’d need at what annual cost? Factoring your time at a going rate of course. You could always start out with a smaller fee to gain more subscribers and see how it goes.

        • Yep. That’s the easy part.