New Gitlab Product Subscription Model

I too have been a vocal advocate of GitLab for many years since first using it about six years ago. I started using it for my own projects two or three years ago and opted for the Bronze plan primarily to support GitLab as I appreciated what they provided in the free tier and liked the issue tracking features. From reading the email it sounds my money is not wanted and I’m actually costing GitLab money! Yet I could switch to free :thinking:

I use very few of the features in GitLab and I suspect I am a very light user but unfortunately one of the ones I do use - issue tracking weights and the burn down/up charts are now part of premium at $19 rather than $4. Which is far too much for a single feature. Yes I could continue for 1 or 2 more years at $4 a month but if I’m soon going to get priced out of it then I’m not sure it’s worth it. I was already half considering GitHub simply because it’s better known and it feels like GitLab is the one showing me the door. Dissapointing :frowning_face:


Thanks for your feedback @vfazio

I can assure you we do practice many of the items you suggested in considering changes like this. The team has engaged with customers directly, through extensive research and in group settings to arrive at these changes. I agree with the need to engage deeply with our customers, and we intend to continue to do that.

Re: licensing and dev/non-dev users - I appreciate this feedback. We’ll take this into consideration. We have plans to make license management easier so this is valuable input as the team works on those improvements. Thank you!

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Based on the reactions, I think some people would disagree that they felt engaged prior to this change being put into effect. Changes like this can estrange your customers and create bad blood if not properly communicated. Apparently I’m not alone in being in a situation where an application that I advocated for is now no longer providing the ROI I scoped out. I now need to either justify the rate increase or piece an alternate solution together by the time the license grace period ends 4 months after I convinced management to pay for this product

Please feel free to invite me to these group settings where changes with potentially large customer impact are discussed because I’d like to at least have the perception that we’re being heard. This is a good example. Are your account managers reaching out to paying customers to get feedback on this? I know a survey went out about it, but I definitely wasn’t aware this had been an open issue for months prior to today. It doesn’t have to be a zoom meeting… even a curated newsletter or something to highlight these calls for feedback would make a difference.


I feel very caught in limbo with all this. I work for a university, and convinced the central IT department to go to GitLab a few years back. Shortly after that purchase was made, GitLab starter was introduced, and we were grandfathered into that.

We are now rapidly expanding our capabilities. We are running an OpenShift cluster, we use GitLab CI/CD for deploys and such (replacing Jenkins), and our developers most definitely want to expand their DevOps footprint. However, the things they want to play with are up in the top-most tier. Our project managers, app admins, and other staff have 3-4 other products that are being used for issue tracking, wikis, and the like. So it’s really like we would want to skip the Premium tier and get the DevOps features in Ultimate. But we can’t… or, not normally. We have been in discussions about possibly offering GitLab to our institution, but that gets extremely pricey in a time when we are losing a lot thanks to Covid.

It just sucks. I want to be a champion of this product. All our developers are champions of this product. But I don’t feel we can afford to use it as well as it could - let alone making it highly available.


Groan. Folks this was a mistake. I’m cancelling. $19/month is WAY too expensive as a first tier.

I’ve been using the bronze plan for around 3 years now doing open source work to just help support Gitlab as a competitor to Github (and Atlassian which sucks). For $4 / month it was an easy subscription to keep (I don’t even use the CI/CD minutes on the Bronze plan… i could easily use the free one)

You could have just reduced what you get under the bronze plan to help the hurdle cost… however by forcing everyone to a MUCH more expensive $19/month plan you’re really cutting yourselves short.

tldr; it’s been fun, but thanks for all the fish. Gitlab has been a potential at my work (500+ developers) , but this just killed the project in my eyes.


(on behave of a member of one of channel partners) We got a rejection for deal registration for our customer for Starter license registered from Partner Portal (just) BEFORE the official announcement today. Could you re-check alignment of it again?

The team just removed all notation of Starter in the past releases (e.g., the latest 13.8), but existing users (customers) cannot get which feature improvements affect them from the past releases as well as upcoming releases. Removing “Starter” notation on 13.9 release note and later can be acceptable, but we do not need to remove them from the published release notes (that is, 9.2 through 13.8).

As far as I understand, when we (developers, from both team and wider community) implement at EE without tiering, the changes affect all tiers including existing Starter. Example features are Iteration and advanced search.

Thanks for removal of Starter section from Upcoming features for paid tiers. One more to do looks to be GitLab upcoming releases | GitLab.


Hey @kallisti5 - I just wanted to reach out and let you know that I am thankful for your candor here. We are of course sad to see you go, but understand that this change can’t make 100% of people happy. If you have an account rep, I encourage you to reach out to them. And let me know if there is anything else I can do: my DMs are open.


Thanks for letting us know! Please help to ask the channel partner to reach out to their GitLab account manager so that we can help to resolve this.

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Thanks @tnir!

The team just removed all notation of Starter in the past releases (e.g., the latest 13.8), but existing users (customers) cannot get which feature improvements affect them from the past releases as well as upcoming releases. Removing “Starter” notation on 13.9 release note and later can be acceptable, but we do not need to remove them from the published release notes (that is, 9.2 through 13.8).

Thanks for raising this. While we are unlikely to release any future Starter features, existing releases do have them and people on Starter could upgrade to utilize those features.

I think the challenge here was that this was a change in our blog template, rather than editing specific blog posts. I will opened an issue to investigate how to best solve this: How to indicate what features are Starter for existing releases (#10542) · Issues · / www-gitlab-com · GitLab

Thanks for removal of Starter section from Upcoming features for paid tiers. One more to do looks to be GitLab upcoming releases | GitLab .

Thanks for highlighting. I’ve pinged the PM’s responsible for those features so they can re-evaluate what tier they belong in. Some may be Core, some may be Premium.



Thanks again for letting us know!

Hi @aaron_d - the link in the email will take you to the Customer Portal ( Once you login - you will be able to see the options available to you.

The offer that you will see in the portal is the offer already highlighted in your email. Hope this helps resolve your issue.

Hi @ShakataGaNai,

Thanks for your understanding!

You can find the Free vs. Premium (previously Silver for SaaS) feature comparison on our website, and check out if Premium will help you or Free is good enough:

All the features in Bronze are already in Premium(Silver). Those features stay in Premium.


Hi @ahbrook,

Thanks for sharing the detailed context!

I might have a good news for you. We are going to roll out an education pricing program. You might want to reach out to your GitLab account manager and see if that can help.


People also felt left out when GitLab tried their “we’ll track every user, even on self-hosted instances” last year, I really doubt they’ve done much to engage users prior to this.

And this is another example of not considering anybody but people using GitLab for developing code. Yes, they might benefit from the features in Premium, but as it is also clear for this thread and from

many f your customers have quite a few non-developer users, and for them this is mostly just a massive increase in cost. - Thankfully it’s not administrators you (directly, I guess some will get the feeling when they have to configure competing products) crap on this time.


I just noticed something in the announcement, it says

at your next renewal receive a discounted GitLab Premium price for the next three years

Does that mean customers will be charged for three years at their next renewal?

Hi @grove - no, you can get a discounted price for 3 years - paid annually.


I use GitLab EE with the starter/bronze license model. I’m the only developer on my self hosted instance. All other 7 users are reporters only, 6 of those users only use the license < 5 times a year. I never really used some of the features that were included within the starter/bronze license, but it somehow felt good to support GitLab by paying at least some money for this awesome product instead of using the CE edition for free.

With the new license model, it is not really valuable for me any more to pay 19$/month for the 7 reporters. So it seems a downgrade to GitLab CE will be the only option for me when my license expires :frowning:


HI @ahbrook,

Thanks for the detailed feedback. We are really excited to see Universities adopting GitLab! We understand the fiscal challenges associated with scaling, especially in these tough times.

We’ve been working hard to make it easier for you. As @xli1 mentioned, we are launching a new offering, GitLab for Campuses. This new licensing model offers our top-tiers for the entire campus, including IT department use and student/faculty use, in one simple affordable price. We encourage you to reach out to your account representative and keep an eye out as the website will be live soon!


This is the exact same position we are in. The current payment structure doesn’t make sense for most of our license seats. We have a number of different teams that collaborate using GitLab, and the 4 dollar tier was a reasonable compromise between developer features and that collaboration with non-developers.

Don’t get me wrong, as a developer the premium tier has a lot of things I want, but what I want doesn’t apply to us as a whole. We need role based pricing.

Developer and up? The price is warranted… but a role that is just using the issue board? a total loss in value.