GitHub's Price Hike and Why We're OK With It

Three simple steps that can help save money with GitHub's new pricing

This morning, GitHub announced a significant pricing change that would take our cost from $200/month to $916 month!

I’m getting questions if we’ll switch to GitLab or BitBucket. No way. We did a few quick things to bring that price way down. Here’s what we’re doing instead.

First, we really benefitted from the old GitHub pricing on the Platinum plan which gives us 125 private repos. The new Organization pricing is $9/person with unlimited repos. This pricing structure may be good for lots of people, and I’m seeing evidence of that in my Twitter feed:

We weren’t so lucky, so we made it better.

Step 1. Remove old users

We started the day with 101 users. We had many that didn’t have access to any repos, so they were obvious ones to remove.

Step 2. Convert to Outside Collaborators

Many more users are friends or open-source contributors that don’t need access to our private repos. For those users, I went in and clicked the Convert to outside collaborator button.

GitHub makes it clear what will happen:

Converting members to outside collaborators will remove them from this organization and from all teams. Their repository access will be preserved by making them collaborators on all repositories that their teams gave them access to.

Simple enough, and reduces our number of users.

Get clients their own accounts

We have a couple clients who have built their own teams yet still have their repo(s) under our organization. For example, one client has seven of their people on our account which will cost us $63/month. We’re going to get them set up with their own account and move it off ours.

What’s next?

After all that, I was able to get our team down to ~40 people. That’s a price in the $360/month range, which is much better.

So we don’t need to consider switching to BitBucket or GitLab. We’ve done a little work and can stop complaining.

It is still an annoying price hike for us (from the original $200), but way less than the $916 that gave us sticker shock. $360 is still less than what we pay for many other important services we use, and we use GitHub all day, every day. In addition to private repos, we also host a ton of public repos, and like having everything in one spot[1]. The benefits of working in the GitHub ecosystem are huge for our team. While we’ve used the others, we are committed[2] to GitHub. I was GitHub user #125 (@collectiveidea was #128) so we’re in this for the long haul.

I hope many people save money with the new pricing, and that people like us don’t blow this out of proportion.

[1] We do use GitHub Enterprise for some clients.

[2] Pun intended.

Photo of Daniel Morrison

Daniel founded Collective Idea in 2005 to put a name to his growing and already full-time freelance work. He works hard writing code, teaching, and mentoring.