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Software Websites (Sucking or Not)

I'm building a website for a piece of software that I'll be selling shortly. I've read Matt Gemmell's take on software websites and, in general, agree with him.

I will say this, though: a site can change its goals fairly drastically if it's trying to sell $19 software or $500 software, and not always in the ways you'd expect.

For example - and this seems somewhat counter-intuitive - people will often do a lot more "demo testing" of a $19 app and a lot more research poking around the website and such than for a $500 application.

The reason being that with the $500 app they're buying a professional quality app (or one they assume is such). They're likely not spending "their" money (even if they're a sole proprietor) and it's for a business purpose or a hobby they seriously enjoy. For a $19 app, they're spending their own money on some little trinket app that will do some smaller, often non-business-critical function.

When I owned Freshly Squeezed Software, we saw these features borne out in $9 apps versus $59 apps - MailDrop was sold to about ten to twelve people who later discovered that it was a Mac OS X application… something which never happened with any of our other applications. And if you remember the FSS site, all the pages were the same - they had the Mac OS X logo, the system requirements, etc. all in the same places.