@marcusquinn Thanks a lot for the comments, really useful!
I have actually received several similar suggestions regarding the userTrack name. I thought about it for a long time, but for now I have no plans of changing it. A big reason is that when people are Googling for "user tracking" they will stumble upon userTrack, which is one of the most privacy-friendly solutions for "tracking" users (self-hosted, cookieless, hashed IPs, multiple privacy settings, etc.). This is in some way similar to getting "earthIsFlat dot com" and posting on it content that proves the earth is not flat.
Another reason why I am still using the name is because it's self-hosted, so the web administrator can actually name the user-facing scripts whatever he wants.
I agree that a more user-friendly name could help, but currently the existing brand power and SEO benefits make this change unlikely to happen.
I highly recommend looking at the EspoCRM, Wordpress, Matomo open-source, premium add-ons business-models
I have considered and tried many pricing models over the years. Working on userTrack for over 9 years I have also always watched other similar platforms and their business model and always debated whether going open-source would help or kill the project. For example, Matomo is really awesome and it's open-source, but their focus is NOT on the open-source part. Being a business, their focus is to attract users to their premium offering so their open-source version drops in quality/features (some core features are only available for the cloud plans for a very high cost).
Open-source is not free of cost for users, they pay you with their time, testing and feedback
This is true, but keep in mind that paying users also pay with their time, testing and feedback too.
Don't cut off that source of improvement, just get better at managing a public Git*** repo and issues, embrace the community spirit, and I'm sure you will have great success - including here
Doing open-source well is REALLY hard. Take Matomo for example, which is a huge organization, yet their repo has thousands of open issues and tens of unmerged Pull Requests. Although this seems like good activity, in the end I feel like it also means many human-hours of effort have been wasted trying to create, analyze, accept/reject all those suggestions. All this while the user-facing progress is overall slow and the platform starts to feel outdated.
I also recommend watching this great talk about the not-so-good parts of open-source.
I am not saying in any way that userTrack will never ever be open-sourced, but for my current goals with the project this is currently a no-go (working on userTrack as a shared/paid-source project for over 9 years has worked really well and most of the customers are extremely happy with the product). I want to mention that it's not about the money, it's mostly that switching userTrack to open-source would move my focus away from my envisioned end-goal for the product and self-hosting ecosystem.
I wouldn't consider anything with compiled or obfuscated code in though - and would spend 5 times the amount to have it decompiled and published
userTrack's source-code was actually entirely unobfuscated and visible up until v3 when I rewrote the entire application in TypeScript and React. Because those technologies require a building process, which means dev tools and maintaining a dev documentation, I realized that I wouldn't be able to provide a proper developer experience while focusing on improving the product. My goal now is to create an awesome product that just works, without having to fiddle with code (so the target audience also includes non-programmers).
That being said, the server side (PHP, MySQL) and tracking (JS tracker) source code of userTrack is completely visible and unobfuscated. The only obfuscated part is the JS of the interface (dashboard UI) only because changing it would require me to provide numerous extra development tools and write extensive documentation. My plan is to soon add a way to extend userTrack (eg. via plugins), so you can still customize the dashboard if you want but without having to learn and setup a complex dev environment.
Thanks again a lot for sharing your opinions, it's really useful to know how different communities have different opinions on how a product should be in order to be useful for them.