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  • Kris Janssen 210 posts 569 karma points c-trib
    Oct 12, 2017 @ 13:44
    Kris Janssen

    Umbraco Cloud hidden costs?


    I am happily running a minor project in Umbraco Cloud: no heavy development is needed so the 'Starter' arrangement with a single Live environment is more than adequate and just about affordable.

    Checking in just now I learned that an update to 7.7.2 will require addition of a Dev environment at a whopping €20/month.

    That nearly doubles the costs, for the mere privilege of staying up-to-date.

    I cannot help but feel that this is a bit misleading ... any thoughts?

  • Sebastiaan Janssen 5052 posts 15505 karma points MVP admin hq
    Oct 12, 2017 @ 15:06
    Sebastiaan Janssen

    The addition of an extra environment is only required for minor version upgrades (remember, a version is: major.minor.patch).

    We require this so that you can properly test the upgrade which includes breaking changes, we do not want to break your live site.

    Yes, you will be charged for the extra environment but as soon as the upgrade is finished you can remove the additional environment again, so it's a one-time charge.

    I'll ask the team if we can make this experience a bit better and not charge for a temporary upgrade environement.

  • Sebastiaan Janssen 5052 posts 15505 karma points MVP admin hq
    Oct 12, 2017 @ 18:27
    Sebastiaan Janssen

    So.. 😀😀

    I didn't think of this but as was pointed out to me: paying a few euros/dollars/milli-bitcoin is an absolute bargain. Imagine having to do that whole upgrade manually, without help!

    You'd need to figure out which files to update, which exact config changes to make, which config changes not to make, etc. We have thought about all of that for you and it would be a challenge to do that whole upgrade on 2 environments, tested for you in a safe environment for less than the amount of money you'd pay us.

    Sometimes we as developers can get a bit blindsided by the "why would I pay for it if I can do it myself, for free?" - I know I did that in my earlier reply. But I keep forgetting that time is money.

    So when it comes to upgrading to a significant new version of Umbraco, it seems well worth it to spend the money of a few fancy coffees, sitting back and watching the magic happen!

    I very much understand your initial post, I'm Dutch and as all Belgian people know: we're really cheap and don't like to spend money at all! 😉
    But I happily spend money for a good cause or when it makes my life better. And not having to think about big upgrades... that would make my life a LOT better! What about yours?

  • Kris Janssen 210 posts 569 karma points c-trib
    Nov 03, 2017 @ 09:49
    Kris Janssen

    Hi Sebastiaan,

    It took me a while to get back on this.

    In a way I certainly follow your reasoning: why waste time doing boring plumbing work if you can have things done for you 'magically'?

    What irked me a bit was the fact that this cost wise distinction between types of upgrade is (was? should check) not properly documented beforehand.

    Also: I understand the value of a dedicated 'dev' environment for relatively large projects with lots of development going on. As such, I am not questioning the pricing level for such an environment (€20/monthly).

    However, in my opinion, paying the same €20 for an occasional 'one time use' of the dev environment in small projects is a lot less attractive. More so because one than has to

    1) get the environment 2) do the upgrade 3) not forget to remove the environment again at the risk of incurring monthly charges.

    In that sense, it would be cool to offer e.g. a €3-5 Euro 'temporary/risky upgrade service or something'

    Sites I create are mostly for friends (private people or scientists with few resources) and at cost. The proposition of them paying the entry level monthly fee plus another €20 a month for the updates (or even €20 for just a single time update) is hard to sell sometimes.

    Being more technical, I appreciate the value of what is offered by Umbrco Saas offerings and why it is best to stay as far away as possible from services such as Wix.

    In honesty however, sometimes what is offered is overkill and although Umbraco makes my life easier, it is hard to convince people of the benefits of e.g. using Umbraco over something else that is (perceived to be) 'free' or to just keep their Umbraco site 'up-to-date'...

  • Nik 1601 posts 7202 karma points MVP 6x c-trib
    Oct 12, 2017 @ 22:18

    From my perspective, I don't see an issue with having to spin up a second environment to do the big upgrades. However, it would probably be helpful if this was just flagged at the point of signing up to Umbraco Cloud when you are choosing a single environment set up. Just a warning message or something to say

    "In order to perform minor/major version updates you will be required to spin up a second environment. This does incur a small cost but once the update is complete you can remove it and go back to normal".

    This would then mean the cost isn't "hidden" per say :-) Just a thought?

  • Kris Janssen 210 posts 569 karma points c-trib
    Nov 03, 2017 @ 09:57
    Kris Janssen

    Hi Nik,

    It is not so much that there is a problem with the technical need for the second environment.

    In hindsight, my issue is more that there is a distinction between using a second environment for frequent 'real' development work or just an occasional upgrade.

    For continued dev work (which I have no need for), €20/monthly might not be all that much.

    For pure 'upgrades only' use, that's a different story. Avoiding the costs by first getting the environment, than cancelling as suggested is just a hassle...

    Therefore, some fine tuning of the service structure and related pricing might help to solve things in that respect. It would be cool if the team would be open to consider this: e.g. automatic the process of adding, upgrading and removing the environment for a one time (perhaps slightly smaller?) fee.

  • Martin Wülser Larsen 4 posts 81 karma points hq
    Oct 16, 2017 @ 13:10
    Martin Wülser Larsen

    Fair point, it should at least be visible on the pricing page. I've updated the pricing page with a bit more text in the first paragraph, explaining that an extra environment is required.

    You can, in fact, upgrade manually by cloning down the project to your local machine and do the upgrade there.

    I've spoken to Sofie about this, and she will update the documentation regarding this tomorrow.

    Thank you for pointing it out :-)

  • Paul Seal 524 posts 2889 karma points MVP 6x c-trib
    Nov 04, 2017 @ 21:53
    Paul Seal

    Automatic upgrades is not a simple thing. It is a service and deserves to be paid for. I think a simple solution for this would be to do the following:

    Have a tick box to say 'enable automatic upgrades' if this box is ticked then it should say something like 'you will be charged extra for the months when automatic upgrades happen'

    If the user chooses to untick the box, they will be responsible for their own upgrades and won't incur extra costs for upgrades.

  • Peter Jensen 32 posts 137 karma points
    Mar 28, 2019 @ 06:09
    Peter Jensen

    would pay my first born if cloud auto upgrades was actualy working. but they are not. they will bring u more pain that good.

    used it on a smaller project and it has been hard to keep up

  • Niels Hartvig 1951 posts 2391 karma points c-trib
    Mar 28, 2019 @ 07:46
    Niels Hartvig

    Hi Peter!

    That's definitely not how the experience should be. Could you elaborate on how they bring more pain so we can improve your experience?



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