Feb 10, 2022

Unlimited free requests for developers

Blog post's hero image

💡 TL;DR: We're updating our pricing to be completely free for developers no matter how many requests you send! In return, all we ask is that you put our "Powered by Stellate" badge into the footer of your website. Companies signing up to Stellate after today still pay the exact same $10 / 1M requests, albeit without the 5M free request allowance. Learn more about how we came to this decision or just give Stellate a try!

Let’s start with the why

Our vision is to enable developers to change the world by democratizing the operation of GraphQL APIs at any scale. Offering this unlimited free tier is one way of achieving our vision.

Why focus on developers?

As developers ourselves, we know what it’s like to build side projects, experiment with new projects, and indie hack on new products. That’s how we’ve spent the last decade and learned a lot of the skills we’re now applying at Stellate!

Innovation is what makes the world go ‘round. So developers, if you’re creating side projects and small businesses, we support you. Giving unlimited free requests is our way of paying it forward.

Offering unlimited requests to developers also makes all kinds of business sense. In our experience, developers at bigger companies (usually) don’t have access to credit cards or budget, but they do tend to have a lot of influence on big technical decisions.

What happened to the initial pricing structure?

For those of you who make pancakes or anything like them, you could call our initial pricing structure a quintessential “first pancake” — the one that doesn’t cook quite right despite all efforts to the contrary.

Here’s how it all went down:

We structured our pricing by numbers of requests, because that aligns what you have to pay with the value you’re getting from the product — the more requests you have, the more we can help. The free plan offered a (pretty generous!) 5M GraphQL requests, only after which users had to pay $10 / 1M requests. Smart, no?

Not exactly. It turns out not many people know off the top of their heads how many requests their GraphQL API gets — meaning the free plan was actually quite scary (”Am I going to have to pay for this after all?!”).

On top of that, businesses reached out and told us “Look, we really get a lot of value from Stellate but somehow we’re still on the free plan?! This is critical infrastructure for us and we want to make sure our use case will keep being supported, so how can we pay you more money?”

The ideal business plan rarely involves keeping clients from paying you. That must be in a rule book somewhere.

Essentially, our free plan was both scary for developers to use and caused businesses who would like to pay to be charged $0 continuously.

You know the saying, “the best of both worlds,” where you get to enjoy all the advantages on offer? Our initial pricing structure was basically the opposite of that.

Unveiling our new pricing structure

As much as the first pancake is no good, the second pancake is usually delicious, which how we feel about our new pricing.

Instead of relying on the number of requests, our new free plan is completely free for developers no matter how many requests are sent! Translations: Forever and ever. To eternity and beyond. As long as we all exist. That kind of thing.

In return, all we ask is that you put our "Powered by Stellate" badge into the footer of your website. That way, more people will find out about us and you can use the Stellate Edge Cache for free forever. Win-win!

Whenever you start using the Stellate Edge Cache at your company, you now have to be on the paid plan, which is still priced the exact same at $10 / 1M requests — albeit without the 5M free request allowance.

If you're already on our old Pro plan, our new pricing won't affect you unless you choose to switch to our new plan, which also allows you to create 25 services rather than the previous limit of 10.

Fair Use

As we all know, anything “free” is ripe for abuse (many pizza parties have fallen victim to this truth), so we have instituted “Fair use policy.” If you plan on sending more than 100M requests a month and think you should be on the free plan, reach out and we’ll find a solution together! (See? We can all be friends.)