Announcing a Free Plan

By Girish on Thursday, June 14th 2018

Starting today, we are making a Free Plan available. This plan will provide the complete Cloudron experience for 2 Apps and 5 users. This plan includes automatic updates and the Email solution. It's perfect suited for situations like:

  • Newly registered domains where one just wants to setup a web site and email
  • Users who just want to run a single app like NodeBB, GitLab or Rocket.Chat.

Please note that this does not affect current paid users. The pricing page looks like this now:



What is Cloudron?

For those unaware, Cloudron is a platform for running self-hosted and on-prem web apps. The idea is to deploy apps on your server via our App Store to get a SaaS style hassle-free continuous deployment experience for self-hosted apps.

Cloudron has two pieces of technology. First, the platform that runs on the server which can run apps and update apps (just like what Android does for phones). Second, the Cloudron App Store which is an app distribution mechanism (similar to Google Play).

Brief history of our pricing

When we launched Cloudron about a year ago, we provided a free plan that allowed installing any number of apps. Automatic app and platform updates were only available if you moved to a paid plan. Users on free plan could compile the app from source and update it themselves (all our app packages are opensource) or pay us for the convenience.

While this was great for onboarding users, we saw that users continued running Cloudron on a free plan without updating anything. To increase awareness, we tried sending out 'Updates pending' emails but these had little effect.

Having outdated Cloudron and app installations is a big security risk and somehow we felt indirectly responsible for this situation. It also breaks our SaaS continous delivery model which is the UX we want to deliver. Indeed, over time, we have periodically gotten support requests for help updating outdated/broken servers - a problem we set out to solve with Cloudron in the first place!

To fix the issue temporarily, we removed the free plan and instead offered a 15-day trial. This approach served us much better but a common request is to extend the trial period.

A True Free Plan

Which brings us to today. We have been working on a free plan that will let users use all the features of the Cloudron and get the entire Cloudron experience - just install apps and forget about keeping them up-to-date. With the free plan we are announcing today, users can start using Cloudron for free with a couple of apps. As the team grows and when they require more apps, they can switch to a paid plan.

Note that it is still worthwhile to upgrade to a paid plan with less than 2 apps if you require priority support.

Install or update Cloudron

New to Cloudron? Get started for free by running with 3 simple commands on your server.

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