In this post, you’ll find more context on the usage-based metric called workload that anchors our subscription offerings so that you can make informed decisions about which plan is right for you.
What is workload?
Workload is a metric that measures the work that Bubble does to power your app. In other words, this is Bubble’s way of quantifying all the underlying activities your app does as it runs.
Workload is measured in workload units (WU) on a monthly basis, and it captures a variety of activities that Bubble apps perform, including database operations, workflows, and web interactions. You can find the full list of workload inputs in the Bubble Manual.
All new plans have workload included. You also have the option to purchase more if you need it, which we'll talk about below.
What if I need more workload?
We’re committed to flexibility. If you need to scale up beyond the workload included in your plan, you can either subscribe to discounted workload tiers, rely on pay-as-you-go overages, or choose to cap your total spend.
Most apps will have a sufficient amount of workload included in their plan and won’t need to subscribe to an additional tier. However, if you do need more, you have the option to subscribe to an additional workload tier if your app is on the Starter, Growth, or Team plan.
If you’re on a Starter, Growth, or Team plan and exceed the amount of workload included in your plan, rather than throttling your app, Bubble will charge your app for workload overages at the flat rate of $0.30/1,000 WU. If you’ve subscribed to an additional workload tier, each tier has its own volume-discounted overage rate.
If you prefer to prevent your app from incurring overages, no problem! You can disable overages in the App Plan tab so that it never uses more than the amount of workload that comes with your app plan (plus any additional workload you may have purchased via a workload tier).
While we want to give you flexibility, it’s also important to us that you never feel surprised by your bill. Regardless of whether you have overages turned on or off, you can expect email notifications as you approach your workload limit. Check out our frequently asked questions about workload to learn more.
How much workload will I need?
If you’re new to Bubble, the best way to assess how much workload you’ll need is to get started on the Free plan or take advantage of a free trial of our Starter plan. From within your app, you’ll be able to see your workload usage over time and drill into the different activities driving its usage. Check out our interactive walk-through of the App Metrics dashboard to learn more.
Typically, additional workload tiers won’t come into the picture until your app is fully off the ground and scaling. For example, your app may need a workload tier when you start to grow your user base or add more sophisticated functionality (like running queries on a large database or communicating with external APIs at a high frequency).
Each app has its own workload needs, and they will vary based on factors such as how logic is constructed and how often you update your database. We’re working on tools to help you better quantify your needs based on what you want to build; those will be available in the coming months. We’re also hosting a live workload optimization webinar on April 20 — register here.
But to get you started, here are a handful of examples to give you a sense of what it looks like to scale on Bubble. (App names have been anonymized to protect privacy.)
How do I choose the most cost-effective subscription?
After you get started on the Free plan and begin to scale, you’ll develop a sense for how much workload you’re going to need. If you find yourself needing more workload than the amount included in your Starter, Growth, or Team plan, there are two steps you can follow to determine the most cost-effective subscription combination: first, make sure the plan you’ve chosen gives you the features you need, then add an additional workload tier if you need it.
Let’s walk through an example. Let’s say you notice that your app used a little less than 3 million WU last month, and you expect to use a similar amount in the upcoming month.
Step 1: Pick an app plan based on the features you need.
In this example, your app has launched and needs a custom domain, but you’re still beta testing. The Starter plan has all the features you need and comes with 175k WU.
Step 2: Consider adding a workload tier if you know you’ll need more workload.
You know you’re going to need about 2.8 million more WU than is included in your plan, so adding on a workload tier makes sense.
The table below shows the break-even points between tiers. (Note: This is the amount of additional workload you need above the amount that comes included in your app plan.)
In our example, the most cost-effective subscription combination for you is to purchase Starter ($32) + WU Tier 3 ($299) for a total of $331/month.
A quick note: If the workload amount you’ll need is in between two tiers, it’s often more cost-effective for you to pick the lower tier and incur pay-as-you-go overages rather than buying a higher workload tier. This way, you’ll only pay for what you use.
We hope this starter guide helps. Even though workload tiers won’t be relevant for your app when you first start to build, we want you to have the information you need to feel confident as you scale your app and business on Bubble.