Upcoming changes to Netlify plans

We have received your apology email. And we have also answered you.

But I think we have to attend to two different problems.

One the miscommunication of these major changes and the disruption of our workflow without notice (:white_check_mark: Solved).

On the other hand, your new pricing plans don’t fit the reality of a small agency like us (:fire:).

Until now you have focused on apologizing and restoring service to affected customers.

But you have not said anything about whether you are going to continue with the new pricing policy.

We have 30 days to prepare for this change. But in our case we don’t know what to do…

With your new price plan we would be forced to pay an amount that we cannot afford.

And what we don’t understand is why pay more than x7 times for the same thing.

You force us to pay for users when we are willing to pay for services.

And the worst thing is that if in the future we have to temporarily hire more developers for a new project or one of my clients asks me for access to the Github repository, we have to jump to the Enterprise plan for which we don’t even know the price.

We honestly do not understand your decision.

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This pricing change comes unexpected and breaks our way of using Netlify.
We’re a small team mainly using Netlify for deploy previews, as it functions nicely out of the box.
We do not use netlify for production. So we don’t use much of the included traffic. We don’t use much of the included build minutes.
We were okay with paying an extra seat for a technical GitHub deploy user. But we do have several working students, and spending almost USD100/month to build a few deploy previews is not good value.

The alternative to spending so much money for little value would be to migrate from GitHub third-party app access for netlify to push from GitHub actions to netlify using the CLI. It would circumvent the increased costs, but it requires much more configuration effort and breaks the out-of-the-box use of netlify mentioned above.

Please reconsider this pricing change and consider the different types of use everybody has.

Thank you.

Where’s the CEO of Netlify to answer its customers!?

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Hey HallsYeah and everyone else -

do know that the entire company is listening and we are all paying attention to this thread. I promise that we are internally discussing basically nothing but this, and there will be more information forthcoming soon. Of course we don’t want to respond in a kneejerk, un-thought-out way when clearly sentiment is running higher than we maybe expected.

In the meantime, do you have a specific question you mean to ask, or are you echoing a specific question mentioned above? we’re trying to track people’s specific concerns.

Hey existo,

quick question - have you been in touch with our partnerships team already? I’d like to get you in touch with them if you haven’t already spoken to them. do let me know! thanks.

2 posts were split to a new topic: Pricing changes - how do they affect agencies?

Wow. We just discovered that our build process is broken and I’ve found this forum thread. This is not a small price raise, Netlify. Pricing based off of number of contributors to the site rather than any metric about the site itself puts you way off base. Hopefully you’ve already realized that, but in case you haven’t, let me put it into clear terms:

This policy change is going to almost 10x our costs. Meanwhile, we’re already a Cloudflare customer and their Pages product is a flat $20/month option that more than suits our needs. I’ve generally been loyal to Netlify and despite paying more than I could, didn’t feel a burning reason to move off of it. Until now.

With our upcoming website refresh, we’ll be leaving unless this new policy gets reversed before the new website is ready to deploy. It’s about 80% complete.

I hope management is truly watching this. You’re scaling your revenue on the wrong metric and it’s going to kill your company because you’re pricing yourself out of the market.

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This caught us off guard–we have active engagements that rely on these build processes, and were surprised to find out that they were not working as expected. We’ve been slowly moving new projects to Netlify, but not sure we’ll continue here if this is the new process for triggering builds. Netlify makes a very cool product, but this change tells us you’re going after a customer that needs far more bells and whistles than what we are looking for right now.

This is unacceptable in every way. Our company will be moving to AWS ASAP. We’ve adored Netlify for years now, but a blunder of this magnitude (masked as a “small change” — really!?) has completely compromised my trust in you. Our university depends on your notoriously fast builds and we suddenly have this backlog of deployments “pending review.” Review by whom? No one on our team has received any kind of request for approval. No documentation to guide us through this sudden and confusing change.

Not opposed to change. Not opposed to paying for a service. Strongly opposed to severe mismanagement of a rollout like this.

If we can’t trust you to resolve this kind of disaster quickly — never mind to give fair, direct advance notice and appropriate documentation to clients and devs so we have time to plan — then how can we reliably trust our stuff on your servers in the future?

Alas, it turns out you were too good to be true.

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Hi Hilary,
Our team was also not notified and now we are having issues deploying at all as the system seems to be broken – we can’t match members (they keep disappearing from the screen) and are now totally blocked.

The team is TED Masterclass (I am working for their agency) and this is affecting all of their sites (ted-at-work, ted-masterclass.

Any help resolving this would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Ben

I thought I’d give Netlify a chance by reaching out via their agency partnership form, but the response I received from a staff member in “Business Development” was absolutely pathetic, especially considering it provided precisely no details regarding agency partnership. I can only presume because I was so transparent the only thing that they read was “this customer can’t afford our exorbitant prices”, so they provided only empty platitudes and weasel words.

None of my concerns were addressed, no details were provided, a completely vapid response, you should be ashamed Netlify.

Hi Perry,
Reposting my reply to Hilary in the hope that we can get some fast response to our issue:

Our team was also not notified and now we are having issues deploying at all as the system seems to be broken – we can’t match members (they keep disappearing from the screen) and are now totally blocked.

The team is TED Masterclass (I am working for their agency) and this is affecting all of their sites (ted-at-work, ted-masterclass.

Any help resolving this would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Ben

@seso For future reference, instead of duplicating posts you can @ people, which will also notify them.

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Hi everyone,

I’m the CEO and co-founder of Netlify and have been closely following all the comments in our forums through our recent pricing change rollout.

For now, we have paused one of these changes, the new approval flow for Git committers, in order to give you more time to digest the change and for us to further streamline the experience.

Rather than coming with a generic response, I thought I would simply share what I told our whole team at Netlify in our Monday kickoff meeting:

Last week we launched a really important set of pricing changes that’s another step in aligning our pricing and our value proposition.

Back in 2020 we started a journey away from focusing on bandwidth, build minutes and similar metered charges, towards a seat-based pricing model. Our core value proposition is making our customers’ development teams more productive, and it’s been key to us that we charge our customers where we provide value, versus charging as a pure infrastructure platform.

A large number of developers that benefit from Netlify’s end-to-end workflow — through deploy previews, branch deploys, management of serverless functions, log drains, form handling, and so on — benefit without ever needing to go to Netlify’s UI. And this is a great thing. At Netlify we always try to go out of our way to reduce friction and let developers focus on writing code while our platform takes care of the rest.

Because of this, charging not just for UI team members, but also for the team members that got the full benefits of this workflow became a huge success on our enterprise tier and is now a proven model for us.

Last week, we finally took this pricing model to our self-serve tier to create a clear value chain from self-serve to enterprise. Allowing us to up our limits on bandwidth and build minutes and setting us up really well for future product development…

However, in our implementation and launch of committer based pricing we made one key mistake that has left some of our customers rightfully upset.

We broke our core promise of reducing friction by suddenly breaking the workflow for the customer segment on self-serve that had a large discrepancy between external committers and Netlify team members. We broke their workflow and then asked them to spend time fixing their deployments themselves by approving and inviting committers. As a product and engineering org, we have to always look at whether we’re reducing or introducing friction in peoples workflow, and something that clearly introduces friction should not ship. We should not be afraid of charging a fair price for our services — there’s nothing wrong with that — but we should go really far to never break the workflow or sites for our customers, and this time we did just that. So it’s no wonder some of our community is upset. On top of this, we didn’t communicate clearly enough about the change, taking some of our customers by surprise.

A huge thank you to our Support and Community Forum teams! You all responded with such empathy and patience while engaging with our customers on the difficult subject of the pricing changes, but also the impact to their current workflows and have unblocked individual customers as they report their troubles and I’m incredibly grateful for your hard work.

We’ll work with our product and eng team to find a way to improve our implementation of committer based pricing to remove the friction it introduced into some customers’ workflow and do our best to live up to our core value proposition of staying out of the way.

And in the future, we should all keep in mind how we stay true to always bringing less friction to our customers.


I’ve since met with our product and engineering team and we’ll be reaching out directly to the customers with a significant difference between number of committers and number of team members to help make sure their workflow is not in any way blocked by these changes and that we have a path to permanently fix the issues with the approach of having to manually approve and add team members.

We want to ensure we keep delivering an excellent development and workflow experience. We thank you for your patience and are taking your feedback into account to make improvements on the experience.

I’m also paying close attention to the segment of teams that ends up having 7 or more developers working on their projects while for some reason not being within the right segment for our enterprise pricing, especially agencies with contractors coming and going. We want to make sure we figure out the best possible pricing options for all customers as we keep refining our plans.

Best,
Matt

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My disappointment with this response is only matched by the certainty with which I knew it would arrive.

I wanted to wait until Netlify was able to digest the outpouring of anger from the community before issuing their own response, but this reply makes it clear that Netlify is unfortunately following the same trajectory as so many VC-backed companies before it. It is, simply put, no longer just a “product and engineering org”, but is instead an organization whose sole purpose is to maximize MRR, non-Enterprise businesses be damned.

As a raving fan of Netlify from day one, I wish I could at least say I was sad or angry or, at the very least, astonished at where we’ve ended up. But the worst part is, I’m not even mildly surprised.

So long Netlify, and thanks for all the fish.

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@biilmann Thanks for the response and for clearly defining the change as committer based pricing, the kind of clarity that was missing from the initial announcement.

I’d like to say thanks for all your hard work and that it’s been a great experience using your products since the Bitballoon days, it really is appreciated. Unfortunately with this new trajectory I can’t continue my journey with Netlify, nor can I in good conscience continue to refer other businesses or fellow developers to use the platform.

I miss the early days when we could live chat with you in the admin area, and I’ve been increasingly disappointed with how corporate all the more recent responses from Netlify have become. It’s like there’s now a thin veneer of developer marketing over a cold hard corporate core.

While I can’t refute how good the Netlify feature set is, if I were assessing providers today there is absolutely no way I would select the one with committer based pricing that leads to such a steep enterprise pricing cliff at such an arbitrary metric.

To all in this thread (and any reading but not commenting), if you need assistance migrating away from Netlify feel free to reach out to me. I’m not drowning in spare time, but I’ll help you if I can.

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Dear Mr Billmann,

You didn’t convince me.

You’ve written 795 words and 4,622 characters, and your discourse doesn’t contain the essential phrase “We apologise” or “We feel sorry” to your customers for the stress and damage you’ve caused.

Honestly, you must resign from the CEO position you are in right now, as a true leader wouldn’t make a dishonest, unprepared, unclear, and inconvenient breaking change as you did and call it “Small changes”.

You left your support team writing down excuses in your name because you were not prepared to deal with the situation until this moment. I feel bad for them.

An open-source project can take up to thousands of contributors. Does it mean it needs to cost, for example, thousands of dollars?

A college project made by five students really needs to cost 5x19 dollars? To avoid you from taking another week of thinking time, let me answer for you: No.

I defended Netlify to every client we had in my agency, and partners as well. We hosted Premium Brazillian campaigns over Netlify for companies like Netflix Brasil.

I can’t imagine saying all our other customers we’ll need to move out from Netlify because its CEO is incompetent and suddenly rolled out an update that breaks workflows in all possible terms (technical, financial, etc).

Your text doesn’t worth nobody’s time.

Best,
Pitter.

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For our particular situation, these changes aren’t good.

When we outsource work, we give temporary access to some devs on Github, let them commit and leave it there. Netlify shouldn’t care about it.

Actually, having more bandwidth on Netlify is not even interesting for us since we had to put Cloudflare in front of Netlify to avoid huge bills due to a sudden spike in traffic.
We don’t need everyone who’s committing code to be part of the team on Netlify, nor are we willing to pay the extra cost. At least if it were reduced to let’s say 5$ a seat, we could still have 20 people for 100$.

Thus, depending on the situation, we might look elsewhere, like Cloudflare pages.

Note I still think Netlify has great value and will use it for certain projects, but is probably not friendly anymore for certain type of organizations.

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That would be fine with us.

Thanks for the comments, @biilmann. However, there is still a major issue with the narrative presented that I don’t think you or your team has fully acknowledged.

So far, it seems like you didn’t notify anyone at all prior to the change–except for a post on the support forums (this one).

Everyone with a github connection was affected by this change–probably more–you should be reaching out to all of your paying customers, not just the people complaining or those who hit some abstract ratio of git contributors to team members.

There’s still been no communication via email past the post-implementation email and the initial “whoops” email that was sent out last week. You may have seen a number of upset responses here, but a quick search on twitter will reveal the problem is much more widespread and those are only the folks that are complaining.

We’re all losing money accommodating this change–“we’re trying” isn’t enough. We need the git contributor workflow changes rolled back until we all have time to accommodate the change with proper notice.

Thank you for rolling back the deploy approvals, however, we’re still not seeing any substantial communication outside of this thread. (I just did a test commit to see if this was true because we didn’t get any notice of this outside of your reply on this thread)

Ultimately, our team is left asking: Does the leadership team have any idea of the scope of impact of these changes? Should we continue to trust Netlify given how poorly the rollout of these changes was handled and how the response has been equally unsatisfactory? Currently it feels like the answer is “no”.

Your support and engineering teams are doing great work, but they’ve been failed by the leadership team–they don’t seem to have the resources, information, or directives necessary to address our concerns.

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