Really good independently produced software that you pay for


I've been very happy as a business to shell out some money for software products and services recently because:

  • those software products and services benefit my business and make aspects of my work more pleasurable or less time-consuming or both
  • I really like the ethos of the small, independent companies involved and actively want to support them

Here's some examples.

Kirby CMS

I've already raved about Kirby, but I am honestly very happy to pay £87+VAT (or a bit less if they have a sale on) for each site I use Kirby on. I'm happy because it is a small contribution to Kirby being a sustainable and successful business that, as a business ourselves, we can depend on.

IA Writer (and IA Presenter once it comes out of beta)

IA Writer is definitely worth £50. It looks relatively simple, but so much thought has been into the functionality and design, and all of that care helps me write slightly better than I could manage without it. Here I am writing on it now, and soon I'll be pasting the results into Kirby. Combined, these two products have made me very happy.

And I'll definitely pay for IA Presenter (which I've also raved about already) once it comes out of beta, for similar reasons. IA have been publically ruminating about how to charge for IA Presenter. It seems typical of the company that they would lay out the issues so transparently, and get feedback from their users.


Ivory is a lovely IOS client for Mastodon. It makes Mastodon more fun. When the MacOS client comes out, I'll pay for that too.

Fathom Analytics

I'm very content to pay my subscription to Fathom Analytics because, by providing an ethical alternative to Google Analytics they add value to my business and help to differentiate it.

Not only does Fathom feel like a far better ethical choice than Google Analytics, it is also much nicer to use, and my clients notice the difference. I've been struggling with the user experience monstrosity that is Google Analytics for years, and Fathom is such a clean, clear piece of software in comparison.


I'm not actually paying any money to Buttondown yet for their email newsletter service, and I've only just started using it. But it already feels like a better experience than working with Substack, and if my newsletter starts to grow, I'll definitely pay for the service. One feature that I really like is the ability to automate a regular email based on your RSS feed - exactly right for my particular needs. Why not subscribe to my Buttondown newsletter? That will make it more likely that I start paying them a regular subscription :).

Do I always buy software and tech from small independent companies? No. Is it always the best solution? No. I so wanted to love my Fairphone, but it didn't work out for me. And I've so wanted to stick with every Linux desktop distribution I've tried over the years but here I am using MacOS. But very often, going small and independent, you will get a product or service that is beautifully tailored for its audience, and with support when you need it that is human, helpful and rooted in kindness.

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