Restrictions Lifted; Privileges Returned

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  • Updated 6 years ago
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Honestly, this is somewhat of a complaint rather than a question, but there are questions invlolved.
I've been using Yola for nearly 4 years and the new restrictions on free accounts are bugging me. I've come to the point where I have outgrown some of the features Yola provides. The customer service and support used to be much better and I could send a query through email and get a response from a Yola representative within 24 hours; now, I think, in order for me to do that I must pay for Yola services. I am on a tight budget and I use Yola free to edit a gaming website that is mainly for my education and leisure, as well as education of others. I cannot upload a .js file anymore, PHP and ASP are not supported, and new users have page restrictions. I understand the reasoning behind this, but is there a way that certain users (ie. those who have actively used their account for an allotted amount of time with no problems or safety issues) could have some of these restrictions lifted without paying? For example: a few months ago I was able to upload a .js file on my free account, but now I want to upload an updated version of that same file and I can't. I do not have a page restriction like newer free users, but I would still like to be able to upload a .js file. If I had the time and the money I would probably buy Dreamweaver CS6, redesign my website from the ground up, and switch hosting to Godaddy because Yola, in my opinion, has gone downhill. I understand that Yola's community and customer base has grown over the years, but users that have been active for several years should not have privileges taken away from them. Taking away privileges from users is not good customer service. Please, if there is some way to change my mind about this, make it happen. I have referred people to Yola in the past and even helped them learn how to use the site builder, but that won't be happening anymore with the new changes. Yola may be making progress, but its progress is degrading how some users feel about the corporation.

My name is Paul Alexander. I use Yola to build, edit and host xander360tips.yolasite.com. I have used Yola since it was SynthaSite, and I am disturbed by what Yola has become.
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Paul Alexander

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  • frustrated

Posted 6 years ago

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Laura Thomas, Social Media Coordinator

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Hi Paul,

We appreciate your feedback and we're sorry to hear you are disappointed with the direction Yola is heading in. While we can understand your disappointment we also feel strongly that what you are requesting is not sustainable for us or for any other company looking to be financially independent, let alone profitable. We have always tried to be very clear that the purpose of Yola is to allow small to medium businesses to launch and grow their online presence. While we do have personal or hobby users, and we are happy to have them use our platform as long as they abide by our terms of service. That said, they are not our target customers and so our packages are not designed specifically with their needs in mind. In addition, regardless of the reason people use us, our intention is that they make use of the free package for a short period of time to see the benefits and then upgrade. While we do not impose a time limit on the free trial and therefore allow free accounts indefinitely, we also do not explicitly cater for the needs of those who wish to use us for free for years on end as this is not our business model.

We make a point of not taking away privileges from current free users, and actually go to great lengths in order to achieve this in a way that creates a lot of complexity for us in our database in that we have to have a lot of variations in account limits. This is precisely why you do not have a page limit enforced on your account while customers who signed up more recently do. Many other services do not make this effort and impose changes on new and existing customers alike with little or no prior warning. We believe that we have gone above and beyond the call of duty in this regard.

In terms of support, our support began with this forum and we later added on premium services such as email and phone support. As much as we would like to offer premium support to all customers this is becoming extremely expensive and we simply cannot justify the cost of offering it on an ongoing basis to free users. However, we have always felt that a forum, where many people help each other, is the absolute best form of support. By encouraging all our customers, and yes, especially free customers, to make use of this channel we are not depriving them of tech support, rather allowing them to enjoy the very brand of support that we are famous for. Also, our forum is actively monitored by our staff on a daily basis so the support received is both from Yola employees and other members of the community.

To the best of my knowledge .js files have always been restricted to free users so I am unclear how you managed to upload it in the past. It's very likely that it was due to a technical error that it was not suppressed previously. We have not imposed any new restrictions on file uploads recently.

I realize this is not the response you were hoping for. While we appreciate your point of view and your past promotion of our brand, we respect you enough to be honest about where we are coming from and hope that this will allow you to make an informed decision about whether you would like to upgrade to enjoy full access to all our features, or make use of a service specifically designed for free, hobby users.
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Paul Alexander

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Hi Laura,

I thank and commend you for your honesty. This thanks and commendation is not only for you, but for the entire Yola staff. In fact, that was a perfect response to my mal-natured post. You suppressed my frustration and supported the reasons Yola has certain restrictions implemented. That being said, I will continue to use Yola free service, while simultaneously learning more about different coding languages to build a website from scratch, until I decide to upgrade.

Once again, thank you for clearing things up for me :)
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Laura Thomas, Social Media Coordinator

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We appreciate you being so open to hearing our point of view Paul, many thanks!