We're making a change that won't affect our current customers, but we wanted to let you know about it. It's always been our goal to keep you informed about any changes we make to the platform or business.
Starting today, Ning will discontinue offering the Ning Mini plan as an option for newly created Ning Networks, except in the case of educators who start new Ning Mini plans via our long-standing Pearson full-sponsorship option.
This change will not affect existing Ning Mini subscriptions. If you currently have a Ning Mini subscription, we encourage you to keep moving forward with your current plan. You can continue to renew your monthly or yearly Mini subscription. Effectively, there is no change for our current customers.
Why this change?
Over time, we've seen that customers who choose the Mini option are both less satisfied and less successful at building thriving communities. Many Mini customers have told us pointedly that the Mini plan doesn't meet their needs; that it's missing key features, and that—perhaps most important—it doesn't offer the higher level of customer service they prefer to receive as part of our Plus and Pro options. We're committed to helping our customers be successful. By sharpening our focus on further development of higher-level features for the Plus and Pro plans, we're confident we can help more customers succeed over time.
Check out the FAQs below. They should answer any questions you have, but if they don't, we'll do our best to clarify.
Can I purchase a Mini plan at the last minute?
No. This change is effective immediately.
What about Pearson-sponsored Ning Mini sites?
Pearson-sponsored Mini sites are not affected by this change. If you are a North American educator and currently receive a complimentary Ning Mini subscription, we encourage you to keep moving forward in the same manner. Keep doing what you're doing! Keep educating and let Pearson pick up the bill.
Will you continue to offer Pearson Mini sponsorships?
Yes! We are happy to report that we will continue to accept new applications for North American educators for Ning Mini sponsorship. We've always been thrilled with Pearson's generous offer to partner with us to serve North American educators, and we're just as thrilled to have them extend their generous spirit into the future.
EDIT: As of March 2013, we are no longer accepting new applications for Pearson sponsorship.
Can I downgrade to a Mini plan?
No. We're discontinuing the creation of future Mini plans, and that includes creating a new Mini plan in our accounting system as the result of a downgrade to Mini.
What about customer service for Mini subscribers?
We've traditionally offered email support for Mini subscribers, and we will continue to do so. One aspect of this change that may not be apparent is that by discontinuing the Mini option, we are able to free up support resources going forward and apply those resources toward enhancing and adding support options that will benefit Plus and Pro subscribers. We want to focus aggressively on an even higher level of service for Plus and Pro customers.
Can I still purchase Add-Ons?
Yes. The genesis of our Add-On options was based on customer requests. It continues to be an option for Mini or Plus customers who need "that one extra feature" for their site.
Question for Eric.
I have a Mini Plan. It was created as a way of testing subscriptions with less requirements in the registering form.
But of course, I was going to hit the Problem when hitting 150 members.
My regular Plus Site is Social.Ning.com - Can I mount mobile.ning.com over Social.Ning.com? That is to say making ning to react to mobile.ning.com URL. That would solve my problem. It would be like buying an alias for Social.Ning.com
Is it possible? Or I will have eventually to go into Plus. It would be nice to have mobile.ning.com as an alias to Social.Ning.com but if not possible, then I will either move into Plus, or Kill it, before you Kill the Minis. I bet Minis will not survive 2013.
Regards, Justino Mora
Sorry, but I am not sure I understand. There's not a way to domain map a Mini network, if that is kind of the question. For the Mini plan you are talking about, I would simply wait until you hit 150 members and upgrade if you need to.
I'm sorry - I never understood the mini plan anyhow. I would think it would have been preferable to "rent" a group on a Plus or Pro network rather than have a "Mini" ning site, as you lose a LOT of the features. Speaking of... If anyone wants a "mini" from here on out (but now can't create one), feel free to host a group on my network. I'm a Plus network, so we have most of the features (I think uploading vids are the only thing we can no longer do - but embedded Youtube videos are an acceptable alternative, and we never did really use the music player anyhow). I don't even ask for money, although donations are always nice:) If you're interested, feel free to contact me for more information:)
Janette, that's exactly the solution I will use for some clients - have them as groups in a Plus network. It's still not ideal for all, as I preferred for all and required for some that they be in separate networks. That's why the mini worked great for me. Had all the features I needed and none that I didn't.
Mini filled a niche place for small not for profit societies who wanted a low cost way to gain initial membership with the possibility of later charging a fee when membership passed the benchmark. Currently I have a mini for attracting artists in my region to join and use the site to publicise their art works. None are professional artists. Another pro site I have is a nfp site to support a person jailed over marijuana importation in Bali. That site is growing steadily. The mini site is slow but I expect it to pickup and when necessary I'll charge a fee for membership and upgrade to pro to give the members more features. However, for struggling nfp societies I saw the mini as a viable and valuable alternative.
Mini filled a niche place for small not for profit societies who wanted a low cost way to gain initial membership with the possibility of later charging a fee when membership passed the benchmark (x2).
Yes, totally agree.
When you suddenly dropped the Ning Mini, did those of us with Ning Mini's lose features? I tried to add a discussion to my Mini network today and the toolbar (like the one available here to me while I type this) is missing. Huh?
No change. As noted in this announcement, This change will not affect existing Ning Mini subscriptions.
It sounds like your text editor isn't loading on the page. It would be great if you could contact our support team from the Support link on your dashboard. They can check it out. Support options are still the same for Mini subscribers and nothing has changed about the Mini plan except that it's not available as an option for future purchasers.
Thanks. Just did. Hopefully it's a quick fix, since my members pay for content.
A suggestion... maybe you could come up with a more spot-on title for this kind of important notification, like "Important change for mini plan subscribers" etc.. I should have read this announcement long ago because I do have a mini network and was thinking about creating another one. However, as I don't have the time to read all the posts I usually pick up those that I feel relevant, and I thought "Mini change" was about small changes(maybe I'm just an idiot? LOL) so didn't took note..... my little 2 cents!
I am sorry to see the Mini go. Does it have to be a permanent change?
I found it had just enough features to work as a research project site, and am currently using a Ning Mini as a low-budget conference organising site.
In the process, Ning will get extra eyeballs from conference members looking for information about our conference (SEE aroids.ning.com).
Why not keep the Minis but reduce support to a well indexed static advice page?
They are simple to operate, so do not need much advice, and other network creators can show newbies creative ways of using them.
Example networks could be shown in the support page for people to get quick access to examples and ideas.
I think Ning can achieve its goal of focussing on the more profitable and larger networks, while providing the low bar entry point for potential customers of the larger networks.
If the shift from mini to plus and pro has (apparently) not happened much it may be because Ning cannot actually track visitors to Minis who then start with a Plus.
I haven't seen it mentioned so far but were the Ning mini's actually losing money for Ning?
Like some of the above creators mentioned, it was the perfect plan for my small site and does everything I need it to do.
If I decided to start something like that now Ning would not even be a realistic option for me. Ten times the cost with no extra features I really need. I would have preferred even an increase in price to Ning minis in the future so they could be kept.
For me now I am fine because unless I get forced out later I can keep it.