The DatoCMS Blog

Simpler and cheaper: lowering the price of DatoCMS for agencies

Posted on August 18th, 2020 by Stefano Verna

TLDR: Today we are thrilled to introduce a new "Scale" plan, offering 3 projects per €199/month, then €29/month for each additional project. This means reducing our previous prices by 32-70%, depending on the number of your projects. We're also simplifying our pricing by removing a large number of limits on all of our plans, keeping only the most characteristic ones. We hope that these changes will allow hundreds of new companies to adopt Jamstack and DatoCMS as their go-to architecture, even for their lower-budget projects.

Current situation

Six months have passed since our last update to our pricing and, despite some fair criticism received in the first few days, today we are happy to say that the overall reception of the changes has been excellent: we are continuously reaching new peaks in revenue (+160% since November), and we have never had as many sales calls as in recent weeks.

It is not just a question of quantitative, but qualitative growth. Just to give some examples, in recent months we have been chosen as a headless solution by big names like Vercel (creators of Next.js and one of the most popular hosting solutions for Jamstack), Polestar (Volvo's new all-electric brand), Shopify Oberlo and Harry's.

A selection of companies using DatoCMS.

As DatoCMS — by conscious choice — is a fully-bootstrapped company without a dollar of external investment from VC, this is great news, for us and for all our customers, as it allows us to focus on the product and tackle new investments with the right drive and serenity.

Extending, not replacing

Today we are excited to announce a series of further changes and improvements to our pricing that are based on all the feedback received in recent months, which aim at:

  • lowering the price for web agencies and all companies in general that build multiple projects on DatoCMS;

  • simplifying the offering by removing a large number of limits;

  • making the entire billing and invoicing process more rational and flexible.

While doing this, it’s important to emphasize that:

  • despite the many changes that we will be describing, the new pricing simply extends the previous one, it does not replace it. In other words, the existing free and Professional plan have remained almost unchanged;

  • all existing customers, unless they explicitly want to switch to the new pricing, will remain on their existing plan, without any changes.

We’ve got a lot of things to cover, so we’ll tackle them point by point.

From per-project pricing, to per-account pricing

Up until now each project inside a DatoCMS account lived a life of its own and had a separate associated plan:

The new pricing is on a global account level. All new plans offer one or more projects included in their price, and if you need more you will pay a fraction of the cost of your plan. In particular, the new Scale plan we're launching today offers 3 projects per €199/month, and then €29/month per additional project.

In the example above, this means cutting down costs by more than 42%:

This change allows customers to have a much clearer view of what they are paying for, and guarantees greater elasticity and flexibility in the price, allowing us to actually separate a fixed component to access all the current and future functionalities of DatoCMS, and a modest variable component based on the number of projects.

Doing the math, here’s the reduction in cost per project, as the number of projects increases:

Bar chart showing reduction in cost per project, as the number of projects increases.

We think this change will allow hundreds of new agencies to adopt Jamstack and DatoCMS as their go-to architecture, even for their lower-budget projects.

Less limits for clearer pricing

The second major change is that we've removed a lot of limits. Only the most characteristic ones have remained, reducing to number from 15 to just 7. Among those that are worth mentioning, the limits for the number of models, locales, API tokens, roles, build triggers have disappeared:

For all the removed limits we have still maintained fair-use limits, but they have been calibrated to the maximum uses that we detect on the platform, so in fact it will be extremely rare that these will ever be reached by your projects (and don't hesitate contacting us if yours are!).

Shared resources across projects

Third major change: some of the limits — most notably number of records, number of API calls, traffic and video streaming — are now shared across projects. This means that if you have 3 projects on the new Scale plan, you will have a total of 200k records to use as you like between projects.

This makes a lot of sense because it allows us to keep prices per project lower, and our usage analysis confirms that on average in an account, only a small fraction of projects normally consume most of the resources. Win-win for everyone, in short.

Automatic upgrades/downgrades

Fourth (and last!) important change: if until now the system blocked you when you found yourself reaching a limit regarding the number of collaborators or the number of records, and you had to change plan by hand to continue, now the system automatically upgrades/downgrades your plan to adapt it to your use - obviously notifying you via email of the change.

Let's take an example. On a Scale plan I already have 3 projects. Do I try to create a fourth? No problem, DatoCMS adapts the costs. Do you delete it after 3 days? No problem, DatoCMS lowers costs again, with prorated billing. In fact, you will only spend 3 euros more to use that extra project for those 3 days.

No interruption of work due to having to ask the project owner to increase the limits, and if you have groups of people you don't have complete confidence in and are afraid they will drive up costs, just assign them to less privileged roles.

Wrapping up

It is the responsibility of each company to periodically adopt changes to its offering to adapt to new conditions, both its own and the market's, and to feedback received. We also know that perfect pricing doesn't exist. We have evaluated these changes very carefully, trying to lower prices for low-budget agencies and projects without sacrificing the number of features available, and making the DatoCMS shopping experience as simple as possible.

It is worth remembering once again that for all existing customers, nothing changes unless you want to: the choice to convert your account to the new pricing is absolutely voluntary and you can stay on your current pricing indefinitely.

Having said that, it is a radical change, and we know that you may have doubts or criticisms. If you want to give us your feedback or discuss the new plans with us, we are waiting for you at our Community Forum!