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.
What??? The outrage!!!
LOL, I figured I would get that out of the way. I imagine you got a lot of complaints that the mini was lacking features the other packages did not have.
yes that's right.
I think Mini plan was boring.
I think Ning is losing a niche that can be more explored, like in Minigroup.
Oo I like the Minigroup option you posted. Checking it out for a resource for my team at the office.
Well, Ning can do more than Minigroup.
Unfortunate. I've been using mini-plans successfully. I've been using them as collaborative workspaces for individual client workgroups. They had just the features I needed, none I didn't and were "just right." The Plus/Pro plans are not an option in my work for those clients. I'm not in education so now I'm off looking for a replacement solution (including Minigroups - thanks for the tip, Thiago).
But why are you looking elsewhere? If you already have mini plans you get to keep them. Nothing changes. This applies only to NEW customers.
That I can't create new mini-networks does affect me, and existing customer.
We've been told there will be no more new mini-plan networks except for education. I understand they'll let me keep the ones I've already created for my clients.
But when I get new clients, I can't create new mini-plan networks for them.
I used them for client projects that last between several weeks to a few months. A one-year subscription for a mini was perfect.
The confusion here seems to be that in his announcement, Eric said the change doesn't affect current customers, which isn't exactly correct. It would have been more accurate to say the change won't affect current networks. He's saying that current customers can't create new mini-networks, and that effects me.