Should the “Lite” version of TopStyle be killed?

Now that I’ve started working on TopStyle Pro 3.11, one of the big questions I’m asking myself is whether to continue TopStyle Lite. If you’re not familiar with TopStyle Lite, it’s an extremely scaled down version of TopStyle Pro (it’s basically Notepad for CSS) that I give away for free.

There are several reasons for my considering this, but here are the primary ones:

  • TopStyle Lite was originally created for inclusion in HomeSite 4.5, thanks to a deal I had with Allaire. Basically, HomeSite customers benefited from improved CSS features, Allaire benefited from not having to code their own CSS tool, and I benefited from the obvious exposure. However, since that time Allaire has been purchased by Macromedia, and HomeSite’s future has been up in the air ever since. At this point, I get little benefit from having the Lite version bundled with HomeSite.
  • I had similar deals with other HTML editors, but most of them no longer exist.
  • Now that TopStyle Pro is a full-blown HTML editor, there’s little need for integration with third-party HTML editors anyway.
  • Despite the fact the TopStyle Lite displays a great big message about the Pro version, I’m constantly hearing from people who think TopStyle Lite is TopStyle (I see similar messages in newsgroups, too).
  • It’s obvious from support questions that the vast majority of those who use TopStyle Lite will never purchase the Pro version.

I realize many people won’t wish TopStyle Lite to disappear, but from a business standpoint it’s not making much sense anymore. Comments?

57 thoughts on “Should the “Lite” version of TopStyle be killed?

  1. enable the community to self-support the lite version but stop developing it for them.
    port your stuffs to os x please!

  2. I’ve got to agree with Mike. I’ve used the trial pro version, but I like lite much better. Notepad for CSS is exactly what I love about it. I’d even pay for the lite version.

  3. I started using TopStyle Lite in combination with HomeSite. When I got to know there was a TopStyle Pro and tried it I stopped looking for another editor (I’m coding mainly in PHP) and bought Pro version.
    I assume that you can leave the current Lite version and stop offering future ones. Your reasons are persuasive enough.

  4. I am a daily HomeSite user, and often need to edit a bit of CSS. Rather than open TS Pro, I just select “edit syle block” and do the deed in Lite and get back to my HTML; I don’t think that TS Pro would be as quick for this type of light editing. Just like I use NotePad far more often than I use MS Word; for a lot of things, Word is the right tool, but it is overkill (and just the wrong app) for doing a little text editing and pasting into another app… Lite is like that. I’d suggest freezing it. I wouldn’t remove it from the lineup; using Lite is what got me into buying Pro…

  5. I would like to see the Like version stay around, maybe not updated as that probably doesn’t make business sence; but still available as a download. I use it, and like it. I realize it’s nothing more than css for notepad, but it’s still a nice, handy, free tool.

  6. I bought pro after registering HS. This was when HS was still in contention as the ‘best’ in the field. Back then, the lite version was good marketing. Now that HS development has pretty much stood still for 5 years+, I don’t see that there’d be much benifit from it’s inclusion. TS can stand alone on it’s own merits.
    For lite, if the ROI isn’t there, then why bother?

  7. I’d much rather have HomeSite back than TopStyle Lite.
    And I think you should change the name of one or the other product (TopSite?) to cut down on confusion.

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