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Changes to our free plan

Hello everyone,

Today we’re announcing some changes to our free plan. These changes only affect new apps created going forward as of today, February 26, 2021; apps that are currently on the Hobby plan are not impacted.

After looking at usage and conversion data, we’ve come to the conclusion that we need to limit a little more what free apps can do. Our goal remains to enable people to keep learning Bubble for free and to be able to have free apps to test things, but in order to expand our ability to work on new features, build our team and improve hosting infrastructure, we need people who start using their apps in production to subscribe to a paid plan more frequently. What this change means in practice: the new free plan (called ‘Free’, not ‘Hobby’) does not offer the ability to push to live, does not give access to the API and doesn’t offer the ability to revert to previous versions of the app or the database. We’re also introducing some usage limits; for instance, the number of things stored in the database will be limited to 200, which should be enough to test and learn.

I know changes like this one are stressful for the community, and I want to explain why we felt it was necessary to do this. Our goal, since the beginning of Bubble, is to build a web-scale platform that can scale with our users. To realize this goal we need to keep building our team and invest in our technology, and to do this, we need to be able to invest (through revenue or fundraising). That’s where growth is critical, and where making sure people who use us seriously are paid users matters. When we looked at our usage data, we found that many of our engaged users were not paying. While we have always seen the fact that so many people use Bubble for free to be a net plus for the platform, we felt there was potentially an opportunity to get more people to upgrade and access more features of our paid plans, thus improving our ability to grow. After some research and testing, we found that this Free plan improves conversion significantly, which can have a deep, long-lasting impact on our trajectory as a platform. What we’re trying to optimize here is the long term success of the platform, to make sure that everyone who spends time learning and building on Bubble will be able to use their no-code skills for many years to come, in any kind of organization.

To be clear, as mentioned above, apps that are currently on the now-legacy Hobby plan will keep their feature set, so things won’t break suddenly for your apps. New apps and apps that are being downgraded will be put on the new Free plan.

We thank you for your support as we’re expanding Bubble for many years to come!

Emmanuel

62 Likes

I always found that the free tier was one of the coolest parts about bubble. I volunteered to build a nonprofit in India a workflow tool through bankers without boarders using your free tier and wouldn’t have been able to do that. It felt already so heavily limited not being able to choose a custom domain and only being able to roll back beyond 24 hours, i always thought even slight success for most commercial projects would have been upgraded.

I fear many people that previously would have used or tried bubble now won’t. This is such a competitive market, why use bubble when your competitors have more attractive free tiers?

I love bubble and I appreciate the transparency, but I’m sorry to say that I don’t like this update at all.

40 Likes

This seems like a fair change. I was always a bit surprised how much Bubble allowed with the free plan. If you’re using more than that, you’re likely past testing and $29 for the next plan isn’t that much to pay and is a fair price.

11 Likes

Would be nice to see some API access to continue testing new ideas.

21 Likes

I think this is fair for all

4 Likes

Thanks for the update and the transparency! Long live Bubble, that’s what we all want! So I guess changes like that are necessary :slight_smile: (even if it means that I won’t be able to use Bubble for some of my projects)

4 Likes

Thanks for the transparency and updates @emmanuel!

Gotta add, I think that this initiative does help out the ongoing issues with the #cad-mdt that @kevnobrega @devin.fraze @hacker all brought up in multiple threads on this forum.

7 Likes

@emmanuel, Thank you for the update. When you say some hobby plan apps will be “downgraded,” what does that mean? The reason I ask is I just migrated to Bubble and literally just shut down my WordPress site/hosting service, so I had a mini heart-attack when I saw this announcement as the Hobby plan is what drew me to Bubble.

1 Like

This impacts apps that are being downgraded from a paid plan: the Hobby option will no longer be available to downgrade to, but any apps currently on Hobby will stay on Hobby. :slight_smile:

5 Likes

I think it’s ok/fair. I started on hobby plan to build out the functionality, as soon it was ready for live I pushed for personal plan as I needed the option to connect my domain.

For those who are coming to this fresh and wanted that Hobby plan- even If you want to test your mvp it’s not too expensive to buy first plan up and have it running for some-time, enough to decide if your mvp has any potential.

Here’s to bubble growth!

2 Likes

Does it affect Agency plan?

This is fair.

Looking forward to all the new features coming for bubble…aham, the new responsive engine :eyes:

6 Likes

Thank you, @eve and @emmanuel. That makes sense. I appreciate how open Bubble is about the reasoning behind these changes. Definitely understand how this change will help. Wouldn’t want to see anything happen to Bubble as your platform is great.

I’m new to Bubble and am starting up a side business but have limited finances, so Bubble’s Hobby plan was a Godsend. My wife is a Leukemia survivor who also deals with chronic health issues, which leaves her unable to work full-time. Your platform has made it possible for me to begin building without going into debt just to demo a start-up prototype. Thank you!

3 Likes

@emmanuel

Have you thought about creating an extra $ 9 plan with limitations that are between Personal and Free?

This could improve the conversion rate considerably and you could limit it in a way that makes sense for the customer to upgrade.

If he wants to use his own domain, test API, live version has the Start plan for only U$9.

If you want to remove the bubble logo and other functionality only the Personal plan for only U$29

For example:

Plan Start ($ 9)
With Access to live version
With Custom domain & SSL
With 1 day Data backup & restore
With API (limited)

1 GB file storage
Support from Community or Email

Without White Label (With Bubble logo)
Without Import / export as CSV
Without Scheduled workflows
Without Logs

What do you think about that?

In the home page, says 801.641 active member in bubble, probabilly the most of them is in free plan.

If 5% conversion for U$9 plan:
40.082 new customers with U$360.738 MRR

If 10% conversion for U$9 plan:
80.164 new customers with U$721.476 MRR

If 15% conversion for U$9 plan:
120.246 new customers with U$1.082.214 MRR

What do you think?

58 Likes

Absolutely. I think users should be able to test and build (before going live) using API workflows for free, which are the only way in Bubble to perform loops.

Right now, if you are building a serious application (which will need to use loops at some point), you have to start paying, even if you won’t be going live for months.

I never understood this limitation. I am in favour of restricting the free plan with measures like restricting the number of items in the dB, live push, performance throttling…but restricting a key feature to fully learn the product (api workflows, or loops really) is something I just can’t understand.

32 Likes

Totally fair! Bubble offers a lot for free, and it allowed me to quickly concept out my ideas without having to hire a developer. I changed to a paid plan (which is still cheap) very quickly once I saw the value I was getting. Happy to pay a little for a lot of value.

4 Likes

I understand the other limitations, But most of the apps we build using Bubble will require using the API to integrate and use other services, that what made Bubbe powerful, making new users see that from the start is important, removing that completely from the free plan is not a good idea in my opinion.

How would I know if an API would integrate without any problems with Bubble?

Users now will be forced to upgrade in order to build, not to launch., some apps will take months and heavy planning before launching and upgrading!

19 Likes

Well Bubble is not a NGO but a business.
When you create a Product that solves pain for your Users, it is quite normal that regular Users pay for it.

The pricing seems as far reasonable for me. But it has in my opinion a gap between the 25$ personal and pro / production plans at 115 & 475$, not accessble for small businesses.
Another option between them would be welcome.

11 Likes

I understand that this is a business. That said, I think the removal of the API in the free plan will prevent some potential customers from converting into a paid plan because It allows newcomers to become familiar with bubble.

Even if it was available as an ala carte add-on, it would be a better option than simply not available.

17 Likes

Makes sense as to why you did this, but maybe offer the old hobby plan as like a $10 a month payment? This way people can use those benefits and it still has Bubble branding and Bubble makes a profit as well?

11 Likes