New Gitlab Product Subscription Model

Discounts are welcome, however this does nothing more than to ensure our (and others) Gitlab spend increases by 5x within the next 3 years. There is no benefit for customers in this.

There is little explanation as to why a 5x increase in costs to maintain starter features on-prem is justified, beyond gaining additional premium features. It feels like a bit of a kick in the teeth.


Thanks for the feedback, Steve. The pricing page of our handbook explains why annual, up-front pricing is our only offering right now.

Might as well bite the bullet and switch to Github, their Enterprise plan basically costs the same as Premium.


Dear GitLab, are you ok? Force the customers into 5x higher pricing? Appears totally disrespectful to the existing customers. We will definitely change to Github because there is no reason to pay 19$ for the few features we really need. Maybe will hit the hurdle rate there.


Dear Team,

Thanks for the provision to have a free upgrade from Bronze to Premium for one year. And discounted price of 6 USD (and so on). This is superb for us.

I am trying to upgrade the subscription. But nothing happens when I click on the Upgrade for free icon. Have tried it several times. Is there an on-going issue?


I think the new tiers make some sense. Before there was no clear distinction between 4€ and 19€ feature wise – at least it seemed rather arbitrary.

Now the distinction on a quick glance over the features seems to be (rather broad, a few features skipped):

  • Premium: Project management features (ie a jira clone for better or worse) and high availability
  • Ultimate: Bad-ass security/dev(ops) features

In the longrun I am not sure if this categorizing for every small feature makes sense. Wouldn’t it make more sense to have a base user pricing (dunno 4€/month) and add feature bundles? This way you’d have broader categories and maybe a clear distinction of what is what. The feature bundles shouldn’t necessarily all depend on the user count and might have a fixed pricing.

Taking my categorization from above, for one customer I’d like “project management” & “security” features, I do not need HA (interestingly this is something many people can live without). To make the choice even harder is that I’d need to pay 99€ for every user just to get security scanning. Paying 99€ for every user even if quite a few users are only managing tickets is a hard sell. Lets be honest, not everyone in a company that has access to the “Service Desk” will even know what those features do but they are still paying for it.

I guess in the end I’d like more flexibility. Ie be able to get users with only reporter privileges at a lower price…

Not sure if that all makes sense, but I think I’d like to see a bit more flexibility for smaller companies to get ultimate features.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on my ramblings.


:wave: hey @jatin.bayestree thanks for flagging this bug.

We’ve created an issue here to track this bug with steps to resolve this. Could you take a look and see if that resolves the issue for you?


This is now resolved. thanks for resolving it so quickly. Appreciate all the help.



Hi @xli1 thanks for the directions, I contacted sales and will be waiting for their feedback.

There’s one more thing I’d like to suggest, something that has been mentioned here and on Reddit and I think deserves extra effort from Gitlab’s side:

Different pricing for different user roles.

About half our users are product/project people who dwell mostly on the issue boards and have no permission to commit code or run pipelines. They have no idea what happens on the operations tab, don’t know what Kubernetes is, you get the gist.

There’s no argument I can use in the world to justify paying 20 dollars for the functionality these guys can get for free from Trello and Clubhouse or for less than half this price from Jira or Notion or a similar platform. Most companies will just tell people to use Gitlab for devops only and leave project management to whatever else.

If Gitlab can figure out - quickly - a way to accomodate this scenario I think you would see a huge influx of companies to this model, happy to pay for Premium on the actually necessary cases.


We currently have a “Starter” license (with 200 seats, so we need to contact our sales rep), and I think going to “Free” will be too painful, so we will probably just end up paying. But I feel this is a dirty move.

For the differentiated pricing @guhcampos talks about, and I think it will also be worthwhile for @apollo13 , this has long been an issue:

I suspect this change will strengthen the need for a good solution to that.


I’d like to second @guhcampos comment about different user roles. We have nearly 200 users on our self-hosted Starter Gitlab and we’re paying for all of them, but only about 30-40 of those are actually developers, ops or DevOps. The rest are support guys, or product/project managers, etc, who are only reporting issues at best. We would happily pay the $19/seat if we could eliminate some of those users from our payment plan.

With regards to the Starter edition going away, I think this is a mistake. I understand your reasoning behind dropping the lowest SaaS tier and I get that you guys need to make money, but dropping the Starter edition for self-hosted doesn’t sit comfortably with me. There is absolutely zero ongoing cost for you with regards to self-hosted instances, except perhaps the odd support request (I can tell you we have made zero).

With this change you are effectively pushing us to either pay $19/user for 200 people, the majority of which don’t even use anywhere near the full functionality available, or drop down to the Free tier, which means you’re not even making the $4/user you’re getting at the moment, with zero costs to yourselves. We are now actively looking at alternatives if we need to drop to the Free tier, which is likely, because the increase in price ($9600/year to $45600/year) just isn’t going to work.



Thank you so much for the suggestion! I 100% agree that this is a very critical need, and we definitely take your feedback into our analysis.

Again, we’re so appreciative that you took time to share your feedback and suggestion with GitLab. And I’m enjoying all the collaboration with you. Collaboration is one of GitLab’s most important values and pricing philosophy as Sid drives Pricing model | GitLab.


Thank you for sharing your context! I agree that this is a very critical need, and we definitely take your feedback into our analysis.

just wanted to echo thoughts already mentioned, as a self-hosted starter tier business, this decision is a disapointing one. while I appreciate the additional features it would bring, we dont currently have a use case for them which is why we are on starter and not premium already.

as others have said, a large portion of our users arent developers so dont have access to code or pipleine features and consist of support staff raising/checking bug reports or project management teams creating issues and planning sprints/etc.

if we had the ability to assign users to a specific license so they could use the features they need it would be a lot easier to justify the additional spend as we could pay for project teams to use epics/roadmap/etc, and devs could use ci/repos/etc, rather than all users on the same license all of which only use half the features

the only way I can see us being able to justify the additional spend would be if you dropped the ‘free minimal access users’ to premium so we could assign supporting staff to that tier so only those that need the additional features are charged the full rate

  • All Bronze/Starter customers can choose a free upgrade to GitLab Premium for the remainder of their subscription for the first 25 users.
  • At your next renewal before January 26, 2022 , all Bronze/Starter tier customers can choose to
    • Either renew at the Bronze/Starter tier for US$ 4 per user per month for one additional year
    • Or opt in for discounted GitLab Premium prices for the next three years. For customers with 25 users or less, your discounted transition prices (paid annually) are US$ 6, US$ 9, US$ 15 per user per month for your first, second and third renewals respectively.

To be sure; If you upgrade now to Premium for the rest of your license period, you still get the renewal at the end of the period for 6 dollar in year 1, etc. Right?

It’s not an OR statement but an AND statement.

I also agree on the already mentioned roles. Half of the people in my instance just report issues and don’t do anything like commiting code etc. Hell, if we want to have a “bot”, we have to create a user for it and pay for it.


Hi @PeterN,

Thanks for asking the clarification!

Yes, If you upgrade now to Premium for the rest of your license period, you still get the discounted renewal price at the end of the period for 6 dollar for your 1st 25 users for year 1


Hi @gavtaylor,

Thanks for sharing your use case!

First, I understand where Gitlab is coming from with this change. Simplifying offerings helps reduce the overhead of maintaining all of them, that’s fine.

That said, the biggest issue I have with this change is: if you’ve been considering this “for a while” why are we essentially being blind-sided with this change. You really need to engage your customers in a more effective way… like having one-on-one or regional calls with your customers to discuss these changes and not count on unadvertised Gitlab issues or randomized surveys to convey your intentions! Our organization just purchased starter without any indication that this was going to happen. Your account managers need to be made aware of these initiatives and be communicating them with their current and potential customers. Why would we purchase Starter to then be bait-and-switched into premium? That’s a shady thing to do.

Re “dev/non-dev” users: it’s a start and is obviously appreciated. Having user/role based licensing is something you should be doing regardless and has been a long-standing request from the community. It should not be seen as a salve to take the burn out of the tier change.

Re licensing: I think you’d be better served having license pools that can be consumed per group/project. There are certain groups/projects on our self-hosted instance that we’d happily pay premium prices for. There are even certain projects I’d say warrant Ultimate, however we cannot justify paying these prices for every licensed user in the instance because they just don’t take advantage of the features included with the license. Spinning up multiple instances of GL on different licenses is a maintenance nightmare.

DUET: Difficult for us, easy for them. “Them” being your customers. Will architecting and reconciling the license be difficult? Yes, but you’d have happier customers because they’re paying for exactly what they are consuming.

just my $.02


I’ve been a vocal advocate of Gitlab for many years now, and have moved both of my last two companies onto self-hosted instances with the Starter Plan. In my current company it was a fight to get approval for the licensing costs at $4/user/month - there is no way I’m going to get approval for $19/user/month, especially if annual billing is the only option.

It’s worth pointing out that you say that “many Bronze/Starter customers adopted Gitlab just for source code management”. Yes - that’s exactly what we use Gitlab for. We don’t use CI, Issue Tracking, or any other features offered even in the free version, but we do want to have a couple of the SCM features offered in the Bronze/Starter tier. Do you really think that customers like us that are only looking for SCM are going to pay more for unnecessary features?

I believe Gitlab will lose money from this action - either because the current paying users decide to make do with the free tier, or they move their business elsewhere.

I’m going to recommend to my workplace that we move our business elsewhere when our current license expires. I won’t be able to get approval for anything else.


Recently upgraded my bootstrapped organisation to bronze. Now we get this sprung on us. Finally if you do want to opt in to the ‘offer’ of reduced premium membership clicking on link ’ To claim this offer, please visit the GitLab Customer Portal.’ in the email doesn’t actually take you to see the offer. Its a poor a day for gitlab’s customer engagement.