Pricing update -- Apr 5

Hi all,

Continuing from our latest pricing update, we have spent the past two weeks doing extensive user research, speaking with almost a hundred users to get their feedback on what matters for them when it comes to how we charge for Bubble, as well as following the continued conversations on the forum, email, twitter, and other venues.

Based on your feedback, we’ve come to the conclusion that our initially-planned pricing model does not present a viable option for our users and we need to go back to the drawing board.

As announced in our last forum post, we’ve decided that we will not introduce a limit on DB things for paid plans. Similarly, we have heard significant and consistent concerns from users about restricting monthly unique visitors. Based on that, we have also decided that we will not introduce any limits on monthly visitors.

Instead of the originally-introduced limits on DB things and visitors, we have decided to work on a model that will offer users the ability to auto-scale on database storage and capacity usage. This is much closer to how our pricing works today, and we expect it to align much better with the needs and preferences of our users.

Because this is very different from what we had planned initially, it will take us some time to figure out the specifics and implement the required product and engineering changes. We want to make sure we get this right and will communicate the details of it once we have done the necessary work to get there, which involves both engineering and continued feedback sessions with users.

As we work on this, we plan to take into account some important lessons we have extracted from the feedback we have received so far:

  • Different Bubble use-cases have different needs. We want to make sure that Bubble remains affordable for our current user base, and will do what we can to avoid changes that would price people off of the platform. As mentioned in our last monthly update, our goal is to keep Bubble affordable for entrepreneurs, and to have pricing scale up in a fair and sustainable way for larger companies and enterprises. We plan to extensively benchmark any future changes off of our currently-existing apps to make sure that this is the case.

  • Visibility and predictability is important. If we release new pricing, you all need to be able to understand how that pricing would impact your particular app. We plan to build clear metrics and dashboards in advance of any announced pricing so that it will be easy for you to understand exactly what the implications of that pricing is for your app, as well as any tools necessary to manage your costs.

  • Even keeping the above two lessons in mind, users need time to transition. You all have plans and commitments, and sudden shifts on our end can be disruptive. After we announce the changes to pricing, there will be a window of at least a month before changes come into effect for new applications, and a window of 18 months that users can remain on their existing paid plans. Our hope and expectation is that auto-scaling (with the ability to cap spend as desired), which has been a repeated ask from the community, is sufficiently attractive that users will choose to switch sooner, but we will make this optional.

  • Get user feedback early and often, especially with regards to concrete numbers. We will not announce any new pricing without getting a broad range of user feedback on both the overall structure of the pricing and the specific numbers, to ensure we do not make another mistake where we underestimate the impact that changes would have on the community.

We take extremely seriously the responsibility we have to the Bubble ecosystem to keep it thriving and successful. We understand that migrating off of Bubble is a tremendous amount of work, and although there are no short-term technical measures we can take to change that given how our technology works today, we hope to become a trusted, stable platform comparable to companies like Amazon Web Services, where investing in us is viewed as an extremely low-risk decision. We know that getting there requires continued investment in our technology, in the way we run our business, and in our relationship with the community, and we plan to conduct any future pricing changes in a way that reinforces rather than undermines that confidence.

Thank you for all your trust in us so far. We really, really appreciate it.

Best,

Josh and Emmanuel

95 Likes

Great to hear! Can we please have a guarantee that future prices will not increase beyond a certain amount? I.E., for all apps on the professional plan or above, Bubble will not charge more than 3X the actual costs of hosting above the plan price.

This will give me the confidence to go full-time with Bubble. As it stands currently, with no pricing guarantee, the rug can be pulled at any time. How can you build a house on a foundation of sand, or an app on a Bubble that can pop at any moment?

7 Likes

It sounds good @caden, but I’m not sure that’s practical. I’ve been going full time since mid-2017 – You have to roll with the punches, so to speak. If I had not started my Bubbling then and said “I won’t start unless I get some future guarantees”, I would’ve lost out on a lot of awesome and profitable opportunities over the past 5 years.

5 Likes

Good for you for taking a big risk that paid off @w.fly. But it doesn’t have to be that risky - infrastructure for building long-term shouldn’t be prone to radical pricing changes.

If you have a 1-year time horizon, then no guarantees is fine. But if you’re building with a 5-year+ time horizon, you need some kind of assurance. Maybe the exact idea I suggested wouldn’t work, but there’s definitely a way to make some form of guarantee that prices will never exceed some multiple of costs. @pwpickett puts it well:

I agree. Some assurance that the price will not be raised yearly above a certain index would be fine. We have this type of assurance in almost every long term contract we sign in Brazil. It is almost mandatory to have this type of clause, and it is something that we can also pass/extend to our clients, so they can also have some sort of security regarding “price changes”.

4 Likes

Yup, this is how it’s done. Good job @josh @emmanuel

4 Likes

Um, isn’t this that assurance?

If I am reading that correctly, they could raise the price as much as they want, but you get to keep paying the same price on your current plan for a year and a half. That’s pretty damn good, if you ask me.

4 Likes

Easily the best thing announced today. Thanks for the update.

2 Likes

Yes, that feels way better and this will promote good development behaviors :wink: - in my opinion.

4 Likes

No. When we close a long term deal, at least in Brazil, we already have an agreement about monthly payments. And this payments usually can not be increased (year to year) above an agreed rate/index, exatly to prevent what we call " abusive price increase". Bubble’s price is part of many items that compose our cost, so if the price rises 10 times from a year to another, we will have difficulties to repass it to our clients.

I mean, say “you have 18 months to quit if you are not happy with our price raise of 10 times” is fine, but not fair, as quit Bubble and have to do everything again on another platform can ends up being more expensive.

That is what I was trying to say…

1 Like

To this point I’ve been pretty critical of how you guys have handled this whole situation however, with this update I’m personally pleasantly surprised as I’m sure many others are as well.

Thank you for hearing the community, I’m still a bit skeptical on how much of an effect this may have on certain users as I’m sure some will see a large price increase and others potentially a decrease.

All skepticism aside there are a few things I feel you guys did perfectly that I hope other people take into consideration as well.

  1. The plan to release a pricing predictor for our apps 1 month prior to the actual update. This is quite relieving as it gives us insight to make an strategic decision on how to proceed and knowledge needed to decide if parts of our apps will need a rework to optimize for the new structure.

  2. You increased the grandfathered time from 12 mo to 18 months allowing MOST users more than enough time to move to custom builds if needed while still running their current setup as well as prepare clients.

Is it an ideal situation? No but such as life and we either pivot or keep pushing and you are ensuring we have time.

Thank you for the update.

4 Likes

I had a feeling you would say that. :slight_smile:

Given your stance on the matter, I would be very surprised if you (and probably caden, too) get the assurance you want, but I guess we’ll see.

Transparency: my feedback from the direct bubble interviews.

Roast it or upvote it. :heart: Or :poop:?

——-

Hope we get the unlimited server capacity and pay pro usage of the server in time coins.

So the user gets always “full power” of the server. And we will not have any “my page is so slow” crying in the forum.

Also Storage should be way more pricy like wasabi or amazon cloud - right now a lot of people switch to plugins already.

example: every time a user works in a heavy app with a lot of workflows the server counts the time to run all workflows (for example 1sec serverside) for full workflow usage

Also sites that are really light where the server needs only 0,01 sec i only “pay” for that small workload and more user can be handeld on the same plan. (For apps with less workflows but more visiters)

I would create a credit system for this where i pay upfront and have some extra cash per account if i need more coins (bubble can recharge automatically- but way more predictable as automatic server peeks upgrades

So 1 bubble coin cloud be 1 milisecond
And starter plan has 1000 bubble coins/month etc (pls bubble calculate this by yourself)

Another Pro for this: Bubble can give best practices to structure DB and workflows to make the apps even more efficient and need less time on calculating on the server - so people save coins for better building their apps. (What you planed with db limiting)

Also pro: (i am not a crypto guy but maybe some people want to trade coins lol)

Btw - kick the Free Plan!!! :bomb::bomb::bomb:

I would change the free plan to a plan called: “stependium” or “Bubble StartUp Invest”

In this plan you get free Bubble coins for building (100Coins for example/ month) so people see that bubble is investing in them.

To many people take the free plans for granted cause they do not understand.

This btw was also my feedback in the interview bubble did with me - they liked the idea - if you like it to give it a vote or write down your concerns! Thx :slight_smile:

PS: the whole concept is not new - if you book server and host websites you have to calculate like this (i have a whitelabel hosting reseller plattform) cause everytime a website is opend the server is blocked for this time with calculating.

Bubble also pays for server usage - so we would do as well

Scaleable and fair

Pay what you use

3 Likes

:rofl:

I mean, this is not something mandatory to have and I also think we will not have this type of assurance (I don’t see this type of thing in any online service), but I wanted to point something that is very familiar for us around here.

1 Like

Bubble is already super flexible and extensible as a software development platform. I believe Bubble would be perceived like AWS sooner when the pricing is right.

1 Like

@josh great to hear that. Hope new pricing will be a win-win situation for both of us.

Hoping that the price for “auto-scale on database storage” will be reasonable keeping in mind those bubble developers with large databases but small user count.

Thanks for listening!

The formulated “lessons learned” show that you have really listened to your customers (which is not a given with all companies).

Bubble is a great tool. Please keep it attractive!

1 Like

I use the free plan to construct prototypes before having it approved by my executive team. Don’t think my org would have invested in Bubble without being able to see what I could do with it and how it could benefit them. Otherwise it’s a pretty abstract and scary proposal for many who have been burned by developers in the past.

Heck, I would never have learned Bubble if it wasn’t for the free plan. I don’t think the free plan should be eliminated, but it certainly could be restricted to more of a prototype/learning tool. Otherwise Bubble is going to lose a ton of prospective customers who are going to be turned off by the sticker price before coming to terms with the power of the platform.

6 Likes

Same as you.
I stared to using Bubble on free plan to learn how to use it!

Maybe just restricting the number of apps you can create in free plan could be another way around.

After you have 5 apps, and you want to create another one, you can archive one of the old ones.

Glitch has a similar model, people create plenty of apps there and I imagine keeping them running all the time must be huge cost.

Anyways, hope they won’t take it out. Lot of people could be discouraged by it.

2 Likes