Simply Testable Blog

Figuring out how to automate away the pain of routine front-end web testing; the story behind SimplyTestable.com.

211 posts covering the initial idea, growth of the service, features, advances, failures and successes.

Premium Plans Have a Monthly Credit Quota

I wrote recently about the newly-launched premium plans and why they exist.

In that post I mentioned that each plan has a quota of credits. I'd like to explain now what these are.

Credits What?

Performing a HTML validation, CSS validation or JSLint analysis on a single URL requires one credit. Performing all three on a 10 page site would require 30 credits.

To be honest, this was a bit of tricky notion to introduce and it seems like a somewhat artificial constraint at the moment.

In the not-too-distant future I'll be able to work on introducing new types of test in addition to the HTML validation, CSS validation and JSLint static analysis currently available and this will then make a lot more sense.

Let's Go For An Analogy

Imagine your satellite or cable TV service all comes from one company through one wire to your home. That's an easy one to imagine as that's how it generally works.

Imagine your TV service started out with just ten channels and charged you a monthly fee for those channels.

Before too long, your TV service introduces a further 10 channels. You still pay the same monthly subscription fee and all is good.

Fast-forward 20 years to today where you have hundreds if not thousands of channels.

They've got three choices. One: increase the monthly subscription fee each time a new channel, or set of channels, is added. Two: Retain the .

  1. Increase the monthly subscription fee each time a channel, or set of channels, is added.

  2. Retain the same monthly subscription fee and let you pay more for additional channels or packages of channels.

  3. Allocate you a certain number of viewing hours per month and let you watch whatever channels you choose up to your monthly limit.

I opted for number three.

Increasing the monthly subscription prices each time a new type of test is added does not sound right. I'm sure you don't want ever-increasing prices, particularly if they are to cover the option to run additional types of test that you don't want or need.

Option two sounds good in the above analogy. It might work. At present I'm not certain it fits the underlying value of simplicity and ease of use that I believe in. It would also be more technically complex to introduce and as such I feel it is best left until seen to be more beneficial to you.

This leaves option three. With your account having a monthly allocation of credits you have a direct monthly allocation of service.

Credits Are Your Monthly Allocation of Service

Just as you might allow yourself a certain number of cans of soda a day or beers per week or pizzas per month, your account credits reflect the amount of service you're allowed each month.

The personal plan currently includes 5,000 credits per month. That's 5,000 teeny tiny bits of service that you can use each month however you choose.

As with any business, what works best for the benefit of both you and me is somewhat of an experiment. In the future I might see how packaged addons (similar, more or less, to a pacakge of TV channels to which you could subscribe) could work, where you have unlimited credits and instead pay additional fees for additional features.

For the time being, credits are an easy-to-understand monthly allocation of service. Let's go with that and keep ourselves open to improvement.