EDIT 3: 3/21/22 View the latest updates here: Pricing: continued discussion / community trust
and here: Pricing: the path forward from here
EDIT: see latest comment here: Changes to how we charge for applications going forward - #414
EDIT 2: see this update: Pricing change is on pause for now
Today, we’re excited to announce a change to our plans that will improve app performance and make our pricing easier to understand. On March 23, we’ll introduce a new set of plans that use a different set of metrics (at similar price points as current plans). Instead of primarily using capacity (which has proven to be hard for people to understand and predict), new plans will use the number of items/things in the database and monthly unique daily visitors, which is more in line with the industry. The base prices for Personal plans and Professional plans remain the same as today, and we’re significantly lowering the base price for Production plans.
While we think this new system will be better in general, we know pricing changes can be stressful, and we have come up with a set of rules to ensure current paid applications won’t see changes to their bills until the end of the year (but we very much recommend migrating). This post is fairly long: I’ll start by explaining why we’re making this change, then explain what the new plans will look like, and finally how things will work for existing applications.
Why we’re replacing capacity with two new metrics
Something we’ve heard over the years is confusion around what “capacity” entails. We originally introduced capacity in an effort to enable people to pay more as they scale. However, we’ve realized that it was very hard for our users to forecast and that, since people often didn’t know they could/should upgrade, applications would face downtime as they hit their limits. We also can’t count the number of times we received emails (or saw posts on this forum) from potential users asking “Which plan is right for me?” That in and of itself made us realize that our pricing approach wasn’t right.
With that feedback in mind, we sought to build a model that is clearer, easier to understand, and more predictable. After talking to many users (old and new) and looking at what our peers do, we found that monthly unique daily visitors and database things were much clearer to users and better aligned with how their apps scale on Bubble.
- Monthly unique daily visitors represents the number of unique visitors that land on your app every day, summed over the calendar month. As an example, if the same user visits on three days, they count as 3 towards your monthly total; if the same user visits three times in one day, they count as 1 towards your monthly total.
- Database things represent the number of things (rows) in your database.
The new set of plans
On March 23, 2022, in a week, we’ll introduce new plans and a new pricing page.
The fundamental idea behind these new plans is that they’ll offer much more capacity, with 15 units on Personal, 25 on Professional and 35 on Production (so that apps actually rarely hit their limits) and instead will have limits on their unique visitors and things in the database. We came up with these numbers by looking at existing usage data and took a generous approach that would allow most users to avoid hitting overages at their current volumes. If an application on the Free or Personal plan goes above its plan limits for monthly unique daily visitors or database things, there will be a grace period during which the application will keep functioning normally, until the app owner upgrades. Applications on Professional and Production plans will be able to go beyond their limits and will incur overage charges. Previously, with capacity, if you hit your limit, your app would become unavailable, and we recognize that for scaling businesses, a flexible model that can accommodate surges in traffic without interrupting service is much more appropriate, so we will now allow pay-as-you-go overages if you exceed plan limits.
To summarize this new approach:
- Each plan will have a limit for the maximum number of monthly unique daily visitors and database things.
- If you exceed this limit on a plan without overages, your app will continue working for a period of time, but we’ll ask you to upgrade to a higher tier plan, or to bring your usage back below the limits.
- We will be sending emails and in-app notifications to users as they approach these limits on plans without overages.
- Higher plans have overages available; they will be applied to invoices on a monthly basis.
- For applications that go significantly higher than what Production plans offer, our sales team will be able to help you find a price that better suits your volume (applications would be hosted on the main cluster or a dedicated one).
These plans also respond to user feedback on a few other aspects of our pricing, specifically
- We’re reducing the Production plan price from $529/month to $359/month on a monthly basis, as we’ve heard repeatedly that the gap between Professional and Production plans was too large.
- We also are offering 4 collaborators on the new Professional plan (versus 2 on the old plan) to enable teams to iterate earlier and faster with more collaboration.
- We’re significantly reducing the cost of additional storage, at $10/100GB (so 10 times cheaper than on current plans).
Moreover, we recognize that these metrics were difficult to track in the past. With the launch of this new system, you’ll be able to directly see your monthly unique daily visitors and database things on your App Plan page. As you consider the plan to which you’ll transition, we recommend cleaning up your database and optimizing your application.
How this impacts existing applications on current paid plans
Apps currently on a paid plan will be able to stay on that plan until January 1, 2023, or for yearly plans, until the end of their billing cycle, whichever comes later. That way, people will have time to assess which plan is best for them and potentially make changes to their applications (for instance, deleting database things that are no longer needed). That being said, we recommend that applications upgrade to the new system to take advantage of expanded capacity, and because that’s where we’ll invest going forward in terms of new features and performance improvements. Practically, here is what will happen for applications created before March 23, 2022.
For three months, from March 23, 2022 to June 23, 2022
- Existing paid applications can switch between legacy paid plans and/or convert to yearly legacy plans (without usage metering).
- Existing applications on the Free plan will not see their monthly unique daily visitors limit enforced, so that people have time to adjust and understand what plan is right for them.
After June 23, 2022
- Without any action from the owner, legacy paid apps stay on their plan until the end of the year (or the next yearly billing cycle, whichever comes later).
- All apps can only switch to new pricing plans (legacy pricing plans will then be unavailable to select).
We value the trust that you’ve placed in us by building your app on Bubble, and we want to make sure this pricing change works out for everyone. We are confident that for the vast majority of applications, this change is beneficial and will lead to clearer, more predictable pricing as your application scales up. That said, we are aware that there are some applications that have an unusually high ratio of database things or monthly unique daily visitors to capacity usage and would end up paying significantly more on the new pricing. If you fall into this category, we’ll be reaching out to you over the coming months to discuss your situation and find a way to make sure you are able to continue using Bubble. You’re also welcome to reach out to us at [email protected] at any time.
We’re incredibly grateful for your support over the years, and we’re looking forward to supporting your journey as you scale on Bubble for many years ahead!
Emmanuel & Josh