The DatoCMS Blog
We made big changes to our Pricing model
Posted on February 18th, 2020 by Massimiliano Palloni

As you may have already read in our Community or while looking at the Pricing page, DatoCMS plans have changed. Again. Our process of continuous improvement also means that some things that worked before are no longer feasible and need to be improved to ensure excellent user experience.

Since it's not all about price, let's see together what has changed in detail.

A change of plan(s)

The old pricing consisted of three main plans: Core, Advanced, and Ultimate. The idea behind this solution was to offer a complete experience for all kinds of professional users. The only difference between plans was quantitative and not qualitative: you paid more for more locales, more roles, and more models and that was it. If your project had a limited scope, a Core plan was all you needed. Over the last year, however, we saw that this template no longer responded to the complexities of our software and the average customer use cases. The hard costs of DatoCMS have increased along with its functionalities, leading to extra charges on large Core projects. Hence the frustration of users too: if you think you're subscribing to a SaaS for 20 euros a month and you find yourself spending 300 euros or more for exceeding your API calls or bandwidth limit, how can you be happy?

For this reason the new pricing, based on the average use of DatoCMS, is divided as follows:

  • Fully-featured free Developer plan;
  • All-inclusive Professional plan;
  • Custom Agency Plan for multi-projects;
  • Enterprise plan.

We know it's a significant change, so we want to communicate our thought process behind this choice.

Why did we eliminate the Core and Ultimate plans?

With the increase in functionality, the Core plan has started to lose its usefulness. In the past eighteen months, we have added many features that we could not include within the plan because it was not economically sustainable with its price point. While we were happy to share all our new features with everybody, such as video streaming, the new media area or the full-blown revision history, we couldn't offer them without losing money. Also, with the extra charges needed to cover the hard costs of bandwidth and API calls, many Core projects ended up being quite expensive monthly, to the great disappointment of the interested customers.

The Professional plan allows us to offer all the features, more consistent support, and fewer extra charges every month. With this new approach, the Ultimate plan was also redundant, so we preferred the simplicity and clarity of a single base package.

Given the significant change in pricing, we decided to offer a 50% discount on the annual subscription compared to the old 20%, in addition to the already present 50% discount for teachers, students, and non-profit organizations.

There is a DatoCMS use case that the Professional plan does not cover, though: developers that work on small projects or a prototype and don't want to spend a lot. For this reason, we also revised the free plan.

A more complete and useful free plan

The old Developer plan was a glorified demo of DatoCMS, devoid of many of the features that a developer may like to try before committing to the platform. You couldn't use the videos, the roles, the locales, and there wasn't the advanced image editor. The new Developer plan has no features locked behind a paywall: you can try everything without spending a dime. We are pretty sure that the new Developer plan can be enough to build small websites and simple web apps. If the project grows, moving to the Professional plan can be done when you choose, and in a painless fashion. We think it's quite a good thing for the dev scene, but we are curious to know your opinion. Thanks to your feedback, for example, we have already increased the number of models compared to our first iteration of the plan.

Legacy Plans

As mentioned previously, one of the most important reasons for the change in pricing is to avoid bad surprises for those who subscribe to a plan expecting more features and less monthly extra charges. We want the user experience to be excellent and consistent straight from the first approach to the software. If you are already committed to our platform, though, there is no reason to revolutionize a model that you enjoy. Those who already had a Core plan before the pricing change, and therefore know how it works, will be able to continue using it. Not only that: they can also subscribe to Core plans for all upcoming projects.

If someone was about to sign up for their first Core plan and didn't have the time before the new pricing, contact us explaining your reasons, and we are willing to activate it!

Agency plan

After talking about it for a long time, we are happy to start offering our Agency plans, with discounted prices up to 80% per project. We do not yet allow automatic subscription to Agency plans because we are still shaping up the offer in collaboration with our customers and those who are contacting us about it. We want to offer a tailored solution to the real needs of the agencies before automating it.

Enterprise

The professional plan has all the features available and will be always up to date in this regard. That said, the Enterprise plan is the only one with guaranteed support response times, grade A onboarding services and uptime service SLA. The Enterprise plan also offers all the features that require the direct intervention of our teams, such as Single Sign-On, custom assets domain, and full white-label service experience.

Have a question?

The new pricing allows us to offer a more consistent and high-level experience for everyone, as as well as finally providing a free plan for developers good enough for putting a small project online. It is a radical change, and having doubts is reasonable; if you want to give us your feedback or discuss the new plans with us, we are waiting for you in our Community Hub!