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TLDR: We chose to change our pricing model. No more record limits and new prices based on variables that you can actually define at the start of a new project: pay for complexity, not quantity.
DatoCMS was founded inside one of the most significant web agencies in Italy, Lean Panda, to solve an internal issue: help us build static demos or websites easily, using static site generators.
Since its public launch on August 2015, DatoCMS's pricing model has always been based on quantity: number of records, number of uploaded files and so on. The idea was pretty straightforward. The more you use DatoCMS, the more you pay. Seemed like a fair and reasonable pricing model at the time. Well, turns out it was not.
One of the most significant problems that we faced last year was to observe our customers not being able to answer the question “how many records will my project need?"
This question may seem easy for a developer, but it's tough for managers and content editors to guess how many records a project might require. Heck, who am I lying to? It's hard for a developer too.
Just an example: you’re a web agency and you want to use DatoCMS for one of your new clients, a new ultra-hipster bar in Milan, Italy. They want the website to communicate the location of the bar, the team, its products - brewed coffee and homebrewed beers, mainly -. That’s it.
“Awesome”, you think “a DatoCMS basic plan will fit this project just fine”. You prepare a proposal and communicate the monthly cost to the client, he accepts it.
“Uh, I just forgot something” the client says, before closing the call, “we discussed this internally, and we’d like to have a blog section too, we’ll write 2-3 posts a week!”.
And this is the point where our old pricing model started to get in the way. Just adding a single section would completely change the monthly pricing. And, maybe worse, it would make DatoCMS become a variable price, growing month after month. No one likes variable pricing. It almost feels like we want to punish our users for using DatoCMS too much.
So, how can we remove obstacles during the decision process?
From now on, you will pay complexity, not quantity.
No more records limit. No more uploads limit. No more bandwidth limit. They are assets, and DatoCMS offers them for free.
This is our assumption: it's hard to understand how many records your projects will use, but it's clear to define how complex your project will be. We defined these main criteria, which we think can be better estimated:
A few examples:
Do you need to build a simple landing page? Probably you need just one user, no roles, one locale. A big company asks you to build a corporate site? Well, your needs are very different: more users, roles, locales, and a composite data model.
You only need to determine — with your customer — how many users, roles, model, locales your project demands and if you are interested in some of DatoCMS's great features, like frontend search or content versioning.
Back to the hipster bar in Milan. The project needs two editors, a barman and a content manager, two locales and less than 15 models. It's super easy to choose your pricing. 19 euro/month. The client wants a blog section? No problem, it’s just a couple of new models to DatoCMS, the price won’t change.
Are you looking for a free plan to use in your project? DatoCMS developer planstays free, forever. Moreover, it has grown. We’ve increased the records limit from 100 to 5.000 (!!), and file storage from 200MB to 1GB. This plan keeps being a great choice for small projects.
Are you looking for a discount? Well, select yearly pricing. Every plan will be discounted by ~20%.
Are you a Nonprofit or an Educational Project (a School or a University)? Well, we offer you a free Basic or Plus project, a 60% discount on Max plan and a 40% discount for enterprise plan. Just contact us.