Still don't understand pricing, especially with clients creating their own account

I’ve been working on a site using Nuxt, deploying to a Pro Netlify account. Right now, it’s our agency Netlify account, but we’re about to have our client set up their own account so it’s billed to them directly.

Here’s the problem. We want it to be their account, with one of us as a team member so we can set up and trigger deploys, etc. Reading through the pricing docs a dozen times, it sounds like there’s no way for this to happen without them paying for 1) their “owner” member, and 2) one member at our agency that can be a “git contributor”.

So this whole time, I’d hoped to tell them this new Netlify server (which is in addition to their current Wordpress hosting) would only be $19 per month. But it sounds like it has to be at least $38/mo, correct? Even if the client “owner” member never triggers a deploy?

On a side note, I feel like Netlify’s docs and pricing structure are still super confusing. Really concerned about fluctuating monthly bills and being able to tell our client that it’s going to cost X amount, but maybe it’ll be $38, maybe $19, but maybe one month $57? Puts us in a weird spot.

@AndrewJones It’s definitely not cost effective for the client to have their own account, (which is what’s recommended by Netlify). It was originally fine, but ‘Git Contributor’ pricing ruined it.

You can see the related discussions from the time here:

Thread #1 - Upcoming changes to Netlify plans
Thread #2 - Please read: changes to our recent pricing update

Unfortunately Netlify ignored the majority of the feedback given, and subsequently we no longer host our client sites with them.

@nathanmartin That’s incredibly disappointing. I’ve been championing Netlify throughout this project, which is our first to use a decoupled Wordpress and frontend. Now I may have to backtrack and recommend something else.

Vercel’s pricing seems the same, but Cloudflare Pages doesn’t seem to charge per-seat. Can you share what you’ve been using?


@AndrewJones You obviously can still use Netlify, I’d just advise that you not set up the projects “per-client” if a primary concern is to minimize the cost to the client. The way to do that is to keep all client sites in one agency account, (which minimizes the “per-seat” charges to the size of your agency, and is extremely cost effective if you’re a solo dev!), then invoice your clients a hosting fee that’s in alignment with their per-month expectations.

Vercel does have “per-seat” pricing and we’ve not used them for that reason.

You’re correct that Cloudflare Pages doesn’t charge per-seat, but we hit a few things that unfortunately made it a non-starter for our situation.

We’ve ended up going with Firebase Hosting which (at least currently) doesn’t charge “per-seat”, provides a small free monthly quota per-project and then charges overages.

The “best value” provider is very dependent on your circumstances and requirements, for us Firebase Hosting has (surprisingly) turned out to be 10 x cheaper than Netlify.

@nathanmartin Thanks for sharing that. It’s not so much about the cost itself, it’s not being able to give the client a consistent cost. To start, we’ll be telling them it’s $38/mo. But if a project requires that a second dev start merging code (which triggers deploys), then we have to let them know it’s $57 that month. It feels gross.

We’ve discussed just pre-paying for a Netlify account for a year and just charging it back to the client, but again, we’re still likely to incur extra fees some months. I may actually set up this project on Cloudflare Pages as a proof-of-concept to see if it’s even viable for our Nuxt app.

Thanks again

@AndrewJones It makes perfect sense, especially as we didn’t migrate away due to the cost, but rather the betrayl of trust that we felt as long term customers and perceived “risk” from the recent company changes and focus on Enterprise.

In regards to general fluctuation of prices month-to-month, we hosted client sites for many years and didn’t encounter that. If a client required a particular feature, for example Netlify Forms, we would just factor that into their specific monthly charges.

When the “Git Contributor” pricing came in it did increase our overall costs with Netlify by 3-4x, but the increase was stable due to all sites being within the single agency account, so each “developer” seat was only being charged for once.