Feedback: self-hosted pricing

Apologies if this isn’t the right place to post this.

Just some feedback on the new pricing model:

Frankly, it sucks - we self host our software; there should be no limits on the number of active workflows. We are already paying for the cost of self-hosting - may as well use Zapier if you’re paying $500 per month for the “privilege” of having 100 active workflows run on your own compute resources.

Second, there’s the total lack of support for Teams customers. What are we paying for besides multi-user support? There is zero value here for Teams on our side - the entire point of paying is that we would expect some sort of support for $6000 USD per year.

We want to support this project but the current pricing model feels like extortion for self-hosted customers.

And before anyone says it, I understand the Community edition is free - we hope it will remain that way in the future, but we also like to support projects that we get value out of. Just not at an exploitative pricing model.

I hope @jan and team take this feedback seriously - we are not trying to bash this amazing project or its wonderful team, who IMO deserve to be paid for their work. But the pricing model for self-hosted clients needs a serious re-work (think: annual fee for a limited # of support cases and perhaps 1-2 priority feature requests).

I take that very seriously, but just to understand you correctly. Are you saying that because you self-host n8n and you pay some other entity (for example Digital Ocean) for that, it is not “fair” that we charge for these additional proprietary features? Following that logic, should all Desktop applications, like Photoshop, Word, Excel, … also be free, as you also run them on your own computer. Transferred into the physical world would probably lettuce, meat, butter, … and all other groceries have to be free as well, after all, you do not just have to prepare the whole meal yourself, you even have to go to the store and get them. If you have to pay and on top even leave the house anyway for that, you can simply go to a restaurant after all? And do not even get me started with IKEA!
I guess they all sound absurd, but that is actually the same to what you are saying. Sure, you do some work (hosting) and you pay for that (assume something in the $4 - $15 range), but honestly, that is not even 1/1000000000th of the work and money we put into making it possible that you are able to do that. And is not so different from the steak or the IKEA closet, the only difference is that we actually give away 98% for free and provide even (if we stay with the grocery example) free cooking tips and help if a meal does not turn out to be as expected.

And the total lack of support for the Teams plan almost feels like an insult. Right now, we already have the problem that companies say to our face that they do not see the need to pay for special support, as community support is so fast and good. So why get special support, how much of a difference could it make? The only way to repair that would actually be, to stop answering questions here and make it only paid that they feel a need. (btw. for sure, nothing we have planned!)
But honestly, if we would start to give people that pay us $25 access to email support, that would result in exactly the same. After all, would we have to give them priority over others that do not pay, and we would literally not be able to answer any questions here anymore. On top is $25 or even $200, not that a huge amount of money if we talk about support costs. The people we have in support are very smart and technical people based in Europe. They earn proper salaries. So each question we answer costs us real money, which is more than the above-mentioned amounts for most questions. With questions via email having the disadvantage that people would not even look in the forum and just write because they can. All answers will then be lost forever and not help anybody else.

And calling it extortion and exploitative, I do not even know what to say about that. First, I am not a native speaker, but from my understanding of the words, I cannot see how they can be used in that context at all. Nothing changed between the day we did not have any paid features and the day we introduced them. We did not take a single feature away or introduced any limits. You and everybody else can still use n8n 100% the same. We just added additional features, which would be paid. Things that did not exist before and things you and all other people could apparently previously live without. (and btw. still adding tons of improvements and features constantly for free at the same time)
Sounds like that just because we give away so much value for free, we are not allowed to charge for other things a fair price? “Totally fine if Zapier charges $500, because I know I have to pay them. But not if n8n does the same it is outrageous. After all, are they currently totally free, how can they even think about charging something similar?!?!?!”. Which is, btw. not even the case, pretty sure that 95% of the people that pay us $500 for 100(!) workflows would pay a big multiple of that to Zapier (then the $10/month for the Digital Ocean server does not really matter anymore).

I also understand that maybe not everybody is able to pay for those proprietary features. Which is sad, and I would love it if we could charge $10/month for everything and be done with it. Sadly would that not work. It would surely be “nice”, but we would not be able to build a sustainable business. Meaning we would then, in 2 years, not discuss how we dare to charge meaningful amounts of money for our proprietary features, but rather about why there are no more new features, no bug fixes, no docs, and no support at all because we have run out of money.
Also, is that sadly how the world works. Not everybody can have everything they want. I can normally not order a great steak in a restaurant and then rather go with one of the cheap options, others can not afford the $799 Zapier Company plan, and our proprietary features are maybe too expensive for you. That is the problem with capitalism, but as we learned, socialism is also not the solution.
But in the n8n case, it is probably better to be happy and thankful about all the things we can offer for free and know that some people can afford the proprietary ones. After all, will those people/companies be the ones that finance the whole operation and enable us to keep on giving away the rest for free.

Regarding what n8n is and what it is not (in short, we are not the “free Zapier”). I wrote something about that before, so before repeating myself, I simply link to it here:


No, that is not what I am saying - I thought I was being clear.

What I am saying is that the pricing for Teams self-hosted in its current form is absurd.

We would happily pay for these extra features (multiple users, etc) but not $500 a month to still be limited to 100 workflows on our own compute.

What I am saying is that the # of workflows should be unlimited under the self-hosted teams plans, same as the Community edition.

And if you want to charge more, charge for support, # of users, enterprise features (e.g. SSO) etc.

Limited # of workflows is something that makes sense for the cloud-hosted versions.

We talked internally about pricing a lot. Doing something like that would sadly not work as also a lot of large companies would end up paying us very small amounts of money. After all, not all have huge amount of users, so do also not require SSO and are fine without custom support. Meaning it would endanger the future of n8n.

Not saying our pricing is perfect but sadly the best we have until now and we will keep on iterating. So your feedback regarding that is for sure another helpful data point. Thanks!

Something else we are doing is to give discounts to non profit organizations and also consider a startup program in the future. That will potentially also something that will help.

1 Like

have you considered charging based on employee count as a weighted parameter? if you are targeting enterprise they are used to this tactic,

1 Like

Using the number of users as a way to scale pricing was my first thought as well.
This however doesn’t work properly in a lot of cases. Smaller companies often have a few people working on n8n together as they help each other out and develop the integrations and stuff where they need them.
For larger companies, there are probably only a few people that actually use something like n8n as they are specifically tasked to do so. and others are not allowed to even touch it. Yeah maybe for their own little things, but that is probably gonna be desktop instances.
n8n is not like a BI tool for example where more people need to go in as the size of the company grows. it is used for backend applications, where the bigger a company can actually mean more restrictions for the people in the company and so also fewer users.

*Another option is that the larger companies will simply hire a few outside consultants to create everything. Then there will also be only a few users on the application.

not per user of the app, per staff size per org.

1 Like

how are you going to monitor and police that?

compliance audits, in regulated environments they wont bullshit you well most of them wont but thats something to think about at least.

1 Like

Yeah, this is not an option really.
Maybe for the enterprise license, but not for the simple teams license. :sweat_smile:

Enterprise environments can and do pay for support, and per user - what @RedPacketSec said is Microsoft’s entire business model, also Oracle, etc.

Also breaking features up is a key component - stuff like SSO can and should be limited to enterprises.

It seems like you are conflating two things:

  1. Enterprise and Small business - this pricing model hurts small business, who stand to benefit the most from a fairly priced automation tool

  2. number of Active workflows vs features - this was the main advantage of N8N over competitors until now. Based on this conversation it feels like the community edition will have this ability stripped in the future for the purposes of profit - why use Teams at all when community allows us to run unlimited workflows? There goes your business model (and no that is not what we want - we as an SMB want to pay for multi users, a little bit of assurance and a being able to host unlimited workflows because that’s the purpose of self hosting).

But what do I know - I’ve only worked in this industry for 18 years

Honestly have never seen pricing that everybody liked.

In the end, you can ask ten different people and receive ten different answers. The only thing they usually all have in common is that they will propose something that makes it cheap for their use cases (and I am not different in that regard, it is human nature). In our case will users with a lot of executions argue for charging by workflows. Users with many workflows but few executions will argue for executions, and so on.

So if we would change it today, the only thing that would happen is that tomorrow somebody else would be unhappy. Unless we find a price that ensures that everybody pays very little, for unlimited everything. Obviously, like that, we will not be able to build a sustainable business.

Honestly not sure what you mean with “Based on this conversation it feels like the community edition will have this ability stripped in the future for the purposes of profit”. That is not what I am saying or have ever said. The community version is and will stay unlimited regarding the amount of workflows and executions. And we are incredibly far away from anything which can be called “profit”. The goal, for now, is to become self sustaining, which should be in the interest of everybody.

And you made a great point with “Why use Teams at all when community allows us to run unlimited workflows? There goes your business model”.

  1. That is exactly one of the problems we are facing. We give incredibly much value away for free, but we have to charge for something. And is again the same as mentioned above what we charge by. Here people will always argue that the features they need are free or cheap, and the ones they do not require, to be expensive. But we very purposefully choose features people do not require to use n8n successfully.
  2. It shows that n8n is still a viable product for you and others, even without it. You get thousands of dollars worth of value even without paying anything. But there are also companies that can not simply operate without the sharing functionality. Especially the larger ones and that ones we want to monetize.

Regarding being able to host unlimited workflows because that’s the purpose of self hosting. That can be one advantage and apparently the main one for you. But for most of our users, especially the larger ones, is the main advantage, for example, that it runs on their infrastructure which is important for security and data privacy reasons.
That also brings me again to what I linked above. n8n was never supposed to be the free/cheap solution. It is rather the most powerful solution out there. That is maybe also where this disconnect comes from. Anybody should be able to run n8n for free if they are on a budget. But it is not given that n8n (the pro features) will be cheaper for power users or big companies. It is possibly even more expensive, and that is fine for them. Again because they do not use n8n over Zapier/Make/Workate … because it is cheaper, they use n8n because what they want to do can not be done in others.

Regarding the $500/month you mentioned. Why should you, for example, not pay that? In my eyes, is that not a crazy outrageous price. Especially if I think about what we are paying for some apps. Many one-person startups or stores seem to pay that and more for Zapier every month. Even if each workflow just saves you 15 min a week, do we talk about 100h/month.

For me, it feels like, people have a tough time paying reasonable amounts for open-source/fair-code projects. They are OK paying a lot for proprietary ones because they are used to paying for them. But if they start with free, most of them are okay with paying something, but that something is often way lower than what the proprietary solution would cost.
A possible reason is that for the proprietary product, they consider the value of the whole product, and price X seems fine.
For open-source/fair-code, they get so much value for free, which they take for granted. And then see that the paid plan adds only feature Y, and that seems crazy. How can all of that other stuff be free and that one small, simple feature so expensive? What they forget is, that even though companies like ours may charge just for that one feature, they still have to build and maintain the rest. So they do NOT just ask for money for that one feature, they ask for money to build the whole product, maintain it, create documentation, give support, and so on. Just because they give the rest away for free, does not mean it is cheaper or free for the company. The only difference is that they only charge for that one feature and give away the rest for free.

So the assumption that using an open-source/fair-code project has to be always cheaper than their proprietary alternatives is a misconception that has to change! 100% of the same work goes into it, and a lot of that work goes into supporting users that will probably never pay, and that is fine. But that should not be a reason for trying to shortchange open-source-fair-code projects.

And to make it clear, I do not speak at all about any particular person. That is a problem I generally see.


Why should you, for example not pay that?

I think you are either misunderstanding me again or taking what I said out of context.

The issue is not paying $500 per month - it is paying $500 per month and being limited as to how many workflows we are allowed to run on our own compute (which we also pay for).

Even Zapier allows you unlimited workflows for far less than that - although to be fair, they are gouging people based on the number of tasks.

To me, both of these practices are egregrious - it puts you in the same camp as your competitors where now the product becomes severely limited based on an arbitrary number and quickly scales into the thousands of dollars per month if you are even a somewhat-technical user.

Thanks a lot for clarifying!

We have charge and limit by something. We had the choice and thought a lot about what that should be. The obvious candidates were executions, tasks/steps, workflows, or users. Why we went with active workflows, in the end, gets also explained here, and I still think it is the best and fairest choice. If we had optimized for revenue, the choice would surely have been executions/tasks instead. Allowing an unlimited amount of workflows and then limiting by executions was for sure also discussed but I am sure, that would have not just been much more expensive for most, also has other disadvanages as explained in the original post. Also very certain people (including you as it is even more limiting) would have liked that even less.

Regarding paying $500 and still being limited. There is, for sure, a price for which we can allow an unlimited amount of workflows. But what should it be? $10k, $1k, $500, $100, or $10? Generally still think it is fair to pay more the more people use it, and the more value gets generated. It would also sound wrong if you pay X for unlimited active workflows and have 100, and a big Enterprise company has 5000 and pays the same.

And again, I am aware that it is not perfect, but it is not that bad either. And considering the number of users we have and the number of views the above post got where we communicated it (as of today 1.1k) there were few complaints about it, as you can see. For me, that is actually a great sign and shows we did not get it totally wrong.

Regarding putting in the same cap as our competitors. That is very wrong; they do not even live on the same planet. Most of them charge not by active workflows, or even executions; they charge by tasks! Many of our users have workflows where a single execution would literally eat up 10k and more tasks. If such a workflow executes once an hour, we talk about 7.2m tasks a month. Even going now with the cheaper alternative Make, that would be $8.2k/month, and is literally only active workflow in n8n, so $5 a month (to be 100% correct would be $25 as that is our smallest plan starts with 5). It is an extreme example, but even if you go with 100 tasks every hour, it is 72k tasks/month and would bring you up to $55/month, so 11x.

And you are right, it runs on your own hardware. But that is honestly not where the magic happens. So does not make a big difference in my eyes.
On top, is that also not something that makes it cheaper in most cases, it is even something people are willing to pay a lot of money for (it is a feature, not a bug). No idea what our competitors charge for their self-hosted option (and how many have one), but I am pretty sure they do not even take a call for $500/month.

Regarding the arbitrary number and the fee quickly scaling into the thousands of dollars per month. Literally, all pricing for digital products is in big parts arbitrary. For most SaaS solutions, if you access it with 1 or with 100 users does not make a huge difference in cost but it gets limited by it. That is how it works, and to get into the thousands (the first number that would qualify there is $2k) you would need 400 active workflows. If, for that huge amount of workflows $2k is not a fair price, then I would say there are other things wrong. We at n8n are 35 people right now, and not even we have probably reached that number yet (and we obviously automate a lot lot with n8n).

1 Like

Please consider the case of using a closed network environment where it is difficult to pay for license authentication.

@sackoh as far as I know did we consider that and a license would also work in that case. We probably would just have to change a few settings to make sure the license is valid a longer time as the automatic refresh would not work.


@jan i hope you consider changing the number of active user on paid version, im n8n affiliate, im not gonna lie, i run selfhosted my own n8n too for my own development or making future example that i can offer to my client.
I hope you can change your mind about adding at least 1 user to the cheapest plan, why?
Mostly my client dont know how to code, dont know how to selfhosted, but i always suggest it’s better go with the managed since this will be support n8n to grow too, but the problem rise when my client want to create some new workflow because they need to share their account for me to get access to their current workflow, and that’s really annoy me because even the client trust me 100% as the man who really care privacy i really annoyed by this, at least kindly please at least add 1 more user.
So my client dont need always ask me for what they need to do if there is critical update or something they need to from n8n like example:
There is some bug that need user to upgrade their instant to another version, please something like this is easy for me but for my client their so panic amd dont know what to do.
Please consider adding 1 more user at least as managing dashboard only, so this user can manage the dashboard and the instance it self, no need to have permission to create workflows or accessing the workflow, but at least for managing the instance and can reach support because this additional user included in the plan.
Please tell me how i can keep supporting and offer my client if my client doesn’t know anything about automation, but want their business grow amd they want to start with the smallest one aka the cheapest one but they force to share their credential with me for something like updating their instance or check how many workflow left.
My request here just please considering adding 1 more user for accessing dashboard, doesn’t need to ne accessing workflow at least for managing their instance in n8n cloud.

Yoy may limit this user for not accessing workflow, again my purposes is to help client if something need to be done at portal level, you may closed workflows etc to this new additional user, but please give this new user access for managing instance like updating, restarting, and have the same level for reach the support.

I like offering n8n cloud but this kind of issue is really limit me to offer it to small business or someone who want getting started.

Thank you. And i hope you consider this idea

Hi @Andrian

I like the idea of a service user of some kind to allow consultants to help their clients better.
But I think it would be better to open a feature request for this. As it has nothing to do with the topic discussed in this thread. :slight_smile:

1 Like

Thank you very much @Andrian for your input!

Can for sure totally understand where you are coming from, and it is more than appreciated that you want to help us to generate revenues. Thanks a lot for that. But honestly, even if we want to enable that functionality, it is sadly nothing simple as it does not exist yet. It would require a lot of work to add multi-user support to our cloud dashboard.
As we have just limited resources and it is nothing that we did hear much about in the past, is it currently very unlikely that we would prioritize it any time soon.

So what @BramKn requested is actually the best way to move forward. So please open a feature request for that, and depending on the interest (so upvotes) we can then prioritize it accordingly.

I hope that makes sense. We are a small team after all, and so have to prioritize features that have the biggest impact.

1 Like

Yeap, i will open in request feature, sorry for my bad English.
Yeap it’s okay for me if this user work as service user aka cannot access the workflow, so only for managing instance and reach support, because the primary client just dont want to play with it but want everything work behind the layer, so this new service user is really needed.
Thank you for responding :beers:

1 Like