Sharing My Thoughts & Suggestions: Nurturing an Inclusive and Sustainable N8N Community

A while back, I was eager to share my experiences by using N8N with others in the community. However, the task of creating documentation and tutorials, as well as removing personal notes and credentials, always caused me to delay. This was especially true when my workflows involved more than 30 nodes.

But now, I’m excited to learn about the new dedicated dashboard for the N8N community at Thanks to the N8N team, users worldwide can now share their use cases as workflow templates. I’ve registered and checked out the notion docs about the program. The dashboard is really user-friendly and has motivated me to start sharing my templates as soon as possible.

However, I have some negative feedback about N8N recent direction as an open-source project. It seems that the core features are being locked behind a paywall, which requires OP users to invest Money, Time and effort into building N8N on server with paying for selfhosted. even supporters (Creators) building cases that can attract users away from competitors who have significant marketing budgets into N8N and share their templates when they don’t have access to the essential “Core” Features for debugging their templates.

I’ve also read some feedback and conversations from the N8N team and members, and while I understand that nothing is truly free and that everyone deserves compensation for their time and work, I believe it’s unfair to expect “OP model users/early adopters” to shoulder the responsibility of marketing and sales team. Finding solutions to sustain the project should be the job of the marketing/sales team not by just locking features to self hosted model. Personally, I think it’s wrong to force open-source users to become paying enterprise monthly subscribers just to use the software and cover server costs. Many people, like myself, use N8N as individual users or small businesses and struggle to find budget-friendly solutions to support their operations. It’s unfair to blame them for not generating enough sales when they are not enterprise companies.

Here are my suggestions if anyone interseted to read:

  • The N8N team should provide more clarity about their pricing plans and the future of the open-source project. The term “Enterprise” and keeping prices on a contact basis implies that this model is targeted at large-scale companies, with prices likely being beyond what budget-friendly users can afford. There should be a license available for single users or small businesses with limitations on the number of users but with unlocked core features like the “debug feature.”

  • If N8N intends to continue locking future updates of the open-source model, early adopters should have the opportunity to obtain significant discounts, such as a lifetime deal for self-hosted versions, even if limited to a single user or labeled as a developer license.

  • N8N benefits from its free users by collecting data that can be used to improve the product and offer a highly stable version for paid cloud users. This support should be acknowledged.

  • The marketing team should explore strategies for growth that go beyond locking features in the open-source model. Platforms like Appsumo have millions of company leads, and many SaaS companies, including N8N’s competitors, run campaigns on these marketplaces to promote their products and generate funds quickly, which can sustain projects for years. If N8N offers a lifetime deal for the self-hosted version, even with limitations on the number of users, I would be the first to support this project and promote the deal across all my channels. (I have already motivated more than 200 Arabic users to use N8N, and we now have a Telegram group to support each other in building great use cases with N8N.)

  • Building a multilingual community would be beneficial. Creating categories in more languages would encourage people to join discussions in their native languages. This would contribute to a larger pool of solutions and data related to N8N on the internet, improve SEO for content in different languages, and attract new traffic to the paid models of N8N.

  • To incentivize creators to contribute through the creators’ dashboard and by sharing their workflows/templates, consider granting them free access to paid features as long as they remain active supporters. For example, each five approved templates could earn them a free month of N8N Cloud or unlock all self-hosted features.

  • Finally, don’t force “free” users into just two options: either pay for enterprise plans or leave. This strategy is not effective and undermines years of work building an open-source community. Offer more ways for users to contribute to the product’s growth, and make payment optional for those who don’t wish to spend time supporting N8N’s development; they can show their support through paid plans instead.

Hey @anas,

There is a lot to go through and I will let someone else in the team go through the finer details, the bit that stands out to me though is n8n is not an open source project we are under a fair code license and our source code just happens to be available. I am not sure if this changes anything for you as I noticed you mentioned open source a few times in your post.

We have (as far as I am aware) never released a feature that is in the community edition then decided to move it to a paid feature, we have gone the other way with some features though and while they have started off as being on higher cloud plans or enterprise only they have moved down to other plans.

The debug feature in your example is a nice example of a feature where we have simplified the workflow debugging process by automatically pinning execution data to nodes instead of users needing to manually do it so while you can pay for this convenience the community edition is not really missing out on anything.

Anyway just thought I would quickly drop this here and see what the rest of the team thinks as we are always learning and improving so any feedback is always welcome.