Note: In case it was not obvious, or you've come to this page at a later date: This was an April Fools joke. Bolt 3 will not be a commercial product, but remain Open Source and free to use. We are very committed to Open Source, and we wish to thank everybody for their passionate responses in the comments section and on Social Media.
Bolt has always been free software. Both as "Open Source" as well as "Free to use". As you know, Bolt 3 has gone into beta last week, and so far the response has been mostly positive. In the next few weeks, we'll continue releasing a few more public beta's, but for today we have an announcement to make, regarding the Bolt 3.0 final release.
We've enjoyed working on Bolt tremendously, and the support of all our contributors has been invaluable. Over the past few months we've seen more and more developers move towards a commercial pricing scheme. Take Taylor Otwell, for example: His Spark project was assumed to be open source by most people, until Taylor dropped this announcement, out of the blue:
(loading tweet) https://twitter.com/x/status/705489410372956160
Since the response to that move has been unanimously supportive, we've decided to follow suit. Going forward, we will change Bolt 3 into a commercial product. Doing so allows for the ongoing development of Bolt and a more aggressive push into the very competitive CMS market. We're thinking of hiring a team to cold-call prospective clients, as well as renting a few billboards. Here's a quick mockup, of what it could look like:
Starting with the release of the upcoming stable version, Bolt will come with a yearly subscription fee of €200,- (~ $200) per site in production. We believe this is a fair price, for using a product of Bolt's caliber.
To make sure people won't 'freeload' the new version, we're going to incorporate some DRM measures into the source code, that will "phone home" to check if your license is still valid. We are confident that this feature will be only a very slight nuisance to people. Since almost all of the privacy experts agree: 'If you've got nothing to hide, you've got nothing to fear', we're pretty sure this will not backfire at all.
In the coming few days we'll update this posting with more details about how we're effectively going to proceed, and to make sure that everybody who's currently on a free version of Bolt will upgrade to the new commercial version. Thank you for your business! We appreciate it!