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Hint.css is free again!


Hint.css is FREE again after being a paid product for nearly 3.5 years! 🥳

Back Story

Hint.css is a CSS library I built back in 2013. It is a CSS-only solution to create tooltips. After it launched, it quickly gained a lot of traction, thousands of stars on Github, was featured twice (🥶) on the homepage of HackerNews, featured on ProductHunt and mentioned on countless websites. It was launched under the MIT license and was free to use, no matter how you used it.

In 2016 I decided to monetize it. I came across a resource aggregation website called Uplabs which had also started its own marketplace. It was still free for personal projects. But if you did use it in a commercial project, a license had to be purchased. I decided to monetize it for a number of reasons:

  • It was a very popular tooltip library
  • I had never monetized any of my product before. I wanted to try it out.
  • Who doesn't want a few bucks from a side-project! 😬

And Today

After a period of 3.5 years, I have finally decided to make it free again! Here is why I have made this decision:

  • It has not been getting too many sales recently. There is a life of every product on a marketplace.
  • I think it has earned me enough, considering it was a few hours project! (and some days of maintenance) 😃

The Fun Part

Okay, now the interesting part. How much did it earn me!! I have experimented a lot over the years with its pricing. I don't have an exact count of the number of sales (Uplabs doesn't give that). But till date, Hint.css has made $1902.88 in sales! I think it is pretty good considering the library is just a few lines of CSS I wrote. 😎


Few Learnings

  • Experiment with pricing. It's difficult to guess what something is worth. I didn't expect people to purchased Hint.css for as much as $70!
  • Side projects can teach you a lot of things. Hint.css taught me open-source maintenance and product monetization.

I am really proud of this sweet little experiment of mine. 🤩 And now that Hint.css is free again, go and use it to add some quick tooltips to your websites. Ciao!