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Bricks Builder Switches To Yearly Pricing While Oxygen Scrambles To Catch Up

Bricks Builder leans into subscriptions to fuel product development as Oxygen makes the same choice only a few years late. Both builders will soon be yearly subscriptions
A wide-angle view from slightly above, featuring two robot WordPress characters in a fighting ring. Made with DALL-E 3
A wide-angle view from slightly above, featuring two robot WordPress characters in a fighting ring. Made with DALL-E 3
November 29, 2023 10:12 am

Bricks Builder recently announced upcoming changes to their pricing model, including new annual subscription options for their popular WordPress page builder. The move shows Bricks leaning into a recurring revenue model to fuel further development, while rival Oxygen Builder has lagged far behind on implementing subscriptions until even announcing the future move this year.

Specifically, Bricks will offer annual plans ranging from $79 to $249 based on site numbers starting January 2024. However, existing lifetime customers will be unaffected by the changes. For Bricks, it's a logical evolution of their pricing strategy after successfully using low early access pricing to drive adoption and feedback.

Compare this to Oxygen Builder which has been around since the middle of 2016, yet only now in 2023 has introduced subscription pricing. This comes well after many users felt betrayed following the launch of the stripped-down Breakdance Builder product which signaled a shift in attention away from Oxygen.

Many viewed Breakdance as a "betrayal" and believe Oxygen leadership deliberately let their original product stagnate in order to push users to the subscription-based Breakdance alternative. This damaged trust and called into question their commitment to supporting Oxygen's existing user base.

Regardless, Oxygen is still alive and well, regularly pushing updates that actually make the builder better. So it's not dead, but there's still many who wouldn't use it anymore because of the "rugpull" Breakdance announcement. I personally use Oxygen and won't stop until it doesn't work anymore (I'm just lazy to switch over and adapt to the new learning curve).

Bricks has upheld their loyalty to early users, while still evolving their pricing model to enable sustained innovation through recurring revenue. Their transparency and grace period before pricing changes are very respectful, and they've been very open about their timeline and features.

As Bricks solidifies recurring pricing that still rewards early adopters, Oxygen is scrambling to catch up after eroding user trust for too long. For a product that seemed poised to lead the page builder market just a few years ago, it now finds itself playing from behind against more strategic competitors like Bricks.

While I use page builders because of how good they are (which is why I will use Oxygen for as long as I can), you can't discount the bitter taste left in my mouth as well as many others around the world for the botched release of Breakdance last summer.

Once trust is broken, no amount of updates will ever bring back the community that moved to a seemingly more sustainable product.

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Written by Justin Gluska
Justin is the founder of Gold Penguin, a business technology blog that helps people start, grow, and scale their business using AI. The world is changing and he believes it's best to make use of the new technology that is starting to change the world. If it can help you make more money or save you time, he'll write about it!
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