Coda's New Pricing & Comments on Transparency

Before I start, I do want to acknowledge that at face value the per-user fee seems quite acceptable when compared to some direct competitors. Also, Coda did reach out to people who participated with the community to give them a budget of sorts.

Also, I believe in what Coda can be and am a fan.

With that out the way…

I think that the communication of Coda on the direction and state of the product with the community is severely lacking given that we are now expected to pay for the product.

I honestly was surprised by the announcement of the new pricing model:

  • In it’s timing:

    • The Cross Doc pack Beta which “at some point could/would be a paid feature” isn’t even 20 days old. I’ve not seen any hints or communication from Coda that a paid tiering would be introduced so soon.

    • In my search to setup a Wiki & Project Management Document I’ve run into all sorts of bugs, UX mishaps and/or features that don’t yet exist and are needed. I’ve tried every platform available to me to verify that what I want is how Coda is meant to be used and that I’m not going against the grain. I’ve been told that most, if not all, issues are planned to be handled in some shape or form, or will be addressed “at some point”.

    For my intended usecase, Coda in a lot of ways feels very rough around the edges and I’m hesitant to ask a team of 20 to pay $137 per month to use it in its current stage

    • I expected at least some community discourse on the pricing models prior to announcing them.
  • In it’s tiers:

    I’m being forced to adopt the paid tier, for a document I think isn’t ready yet, essentially forcing me to pay to beta-test a product.

    • There is no good distinction between smaller, lower budget teams and larger ones.
      If I can buy Atlassian’s Jira AND Confluence for a team of 10, and still save a whopping $43 per month, then I’ll have a hard time convincing the team to switch to a relatively new product.

    • When Infinity introduced paid tiers (see they offered a lifetime deal for the early adopters.

I feel like I have no idea what direction the product is headed in or whether how I want to use it is how it will develop. This is a very worrying feeling if I have to decide whether to adopt Coda for multiple teams, in favor of more mature (and cheaper?) alternatives.

Coda’s interaction with the community feels very immature:

  • There’s no public issue tracker or way to consolidate bug reports or feature requests. This forum does not suffice - I’ve personally tried to cope by cross referencing my requests and properly searching before I make them so that the gravitas / number of people making the request isn’t lost.

  • No public roadmap or way to know what the team is prioritizing. Certain issues I reported I’ve seen threads on going as far back as mid-2018, with Coda’ers back THEN saying that it would get looked into.

  • No way to know when bugs are fixed as there is no changelog for them. Features are proudly announced on the forum, but (small?) bug fixes are simply ignored and I’m left to periodically check my Bug Report document to see if they are fixed.

Just to give insight to my perspective, I have no idea what the state is of any of the following issues I (and/or others) have reported:




Agree that the free tier is much useless. I invested so much in Coda for my non-profit team and even spread its adoption into multiple other communities (with in-depth trainings and instruction videos).

I felt like I am being screwed over for being a devoted Coda fan.



One of the main problems here is management of expectatives. As other new products, Coda try to grow taking care and listening their users. And man, they did. Overall I think that the attitude is way better compared with older products comparable with it.

However, I think that monetization / billing schemes are weird and totally outside of this previous careness. For instance, I send to the helping team a request about what was going to happen with documents open for the community: since a number of early adopters signed in them as editors, suddenly I had several dozens of “guest editors” that I had to pay for. They explained to me where I can manage them, and I downsized them to guest viewers, one by one.

This was far from the finesse I was used to. It had to be simple: offer the possibility of integrating the community documents into a community workspace, free for all and limitless. After all, it was a helping resource that Coda hadn’t have to take care of. Free in terms of employee’s time.

This is just an example. It’s like if they care about a really outstanding product under the technical point of view, but billing schema has been created without all that care. You cannot use coda with customers that just needed to make a couple of editions and clicking on buttons, for instance, if you have many customers who pay a bit.

The problem, as far as I understand it, is that the billing schema is out of Pandora’s box. If Codans reform it, they will have to be crystal clear and listening very carefully. I’m not pessimistic about it. This month we will see, I hope


INCENTIVIZING :point_down:


Could we please get an offical forum post from a Codan on:

  1. the EXACT STEPS we must take to avoid being charged for all the people who accessed docs that we posted in the forum in order to help others, and
  2. an estimate for how much time this will require.

@mallika @BenLee



Adding to this (with a much less nuanced response than those made above!), I also feel sort of screwed over. I get the paid model (a company’s gotta be profitable at some point, right?), but now I’ve got multiple docs which are “over 100%” of the doc allowance. I feel a bit like my docs are being taken hostage and the only way to keep them past December 1st is to pay money for them.

I have spent hours upon hours on them, and now I’m forced to choose between abandoning that time spent and migrating back to a spreadsheet on gsuite or paying $120/year to keep them. I wish I had known the eventual plan was to charge beta testers for the finished product. Love coda, but this feels a little like a kick in the back.


This is a terrible mess. There is no other way to express it properly.

Since plans started, and since I remarked this danger of being charged for docs posted for the community, I had to downgrade guests one by one. Now I have two more guest editors in one of my community docs, and I don’t know which doc or docs are exactly. Look at this


codans, this is serious. You do need to solve this situation as soon as possible @mallika @BenLee


Hello! There are things to be figured out.

But in the meantime I’d like to know how many docs do you have shared with the community that are above the free tier limit? ( I am sure we all have a few but please do let me know)

To mitigate paying for editors -

  • You can leave your workspace as a free workspace or create a new workspace for your paid docs - you can move docs in the free one and have unlimited editors for free.
  • Share docs in play mode only or as view only and let the other user make a copy of it.

(Adding a gif as some folks might not know how to create a new workspace or move docs to it)

In your workspace settings, you can also change “Allow external users to edit docs” to off. Those users will come in as free Guest Viewers at that point.

And then as @mallika said make use of a free workspace for any public facing docs if you can.

I’m curious as to the rationale on the pay structure for cross-doc compatibility. I feel like I could do the $10/mo (as it’s really just a way for me to keep track of my own information and I’ll pay for that if I have to) but $30 to connect docs seems a bit much. This is standard functionality in most spreadsheet applications. This functionality has been being teased for some time in the community, but now it looks like I’ll never get to use it (unless I want to triple my payment).


Hello Coda,

For me as a solo developer/user of Coda the new pricing scheme really sucks! Such a shame for in principle such a good product. I run my total business on Coda: sales lead tracking, CRM, to do lists, invoicing, tax administration, costs and revenue, banking statements. So in total much more then 1000 rows.

Also the Pro and Team editions with it’s editors is totally useless for me in Europa, where I live and run my small business.
I can not invite editors because most of my business contacts are on Exchange or IMAP email.
The email-adress is a privacy sensitive item and so the handling must be compliant to the European General Data Protection Regulations. As far as I can see CODA is not really GDPR compliant. Heavy fines (for me or Coda?) when there is a security breach and email adresses of my Coda editors are exposed.

Furthermore I am, after a lot of mistakes, now used to the USA way of editing/selecting dates and amounts. I don’t make mistakes anymore. But my incidental editors will certainly make mistakes when selecting Sunday instead of Monday in the data-widget or entering amounts with the dot and the comma on the wrong place.

And lastly those incidental editors can also accidentally or on purpose screw up my documents. How to restore that document when more editors are using that doc?

In my view Coda is not ready for most of the mainland European enterprises.

I always had the hope that my own experience with Coda could be used to help (paid) other small Dutch companies with a Coda document/app. And of course then a reasonable license for CODA makes perfect sense.

Hopefully the pricing scheme, the internationalization of dates and amounts, GPDR and a robust backup and restore are fixed soon. Then I will consider the Pro.



First of all, thanks for everyone’s thoughts on our pricing and communication strategies. We’ve been listening to everyone’s input—both here on the community and from users we hear from directly—and are collecting it to help drive the direction of the product and platform going forward. Rest assured, your feedback isn’t falling on deaf ears.

We also understand that our community has grown and we’ll need to explore better ways of tracking and following up on issues and feature requests. Our approach thus far has been “best effort” at notifying users who reported bugs of released fixes, usually through messaging directly in Intercom. That being said, we release a new update to Coda every day with tons of changes (we iterate a lot faster than most tech companies), so it wouldn’t be feasible for us to post giant changelogs with all the bugs we’ve fixed and little improvements we’ve made: no one would be able to keep up! As for sharing a roadmap, that gets to be quite tricky beyond a certain scale so it’s not something we can generally promise. (There’s a reason large product companies like Apple and Google try to keep releases to themselves until launch.)

With respect to timing, I’m sure there would always be a better time to launch pricing as we make more improvements. We get it – it’s always a shock to start paying for something you didn’t have to before, and we tried to ease that with ~1.5 month’s notice and Founder’s Credit for existing users. While we would love to have Coda completely free (and without resorting to selling user data as many companies do), as a startup with paid employees and investors who’ve entrusted us with funds, we’ve obligated to start supporting ourselves too to stay afloat. In fact, we’ve been very fortunate to be able to run Coda at no cost to our users for the past few years. And, if you’ve used Coda for 1, 2, 3, or more years, you’d see that we’ve made immense progress in the quality of the product, including addressing performance issues and bugs. Now that we’ve launched a slew of new features, we’re also taking a step back to address the backlog of these minor issues as well.

@Benn_Bennett: With regard to cross-doc, it’s currently a Team feature (again, we’re in discussion on this), but you can still build a sync using the API or Zapier integration. One thing to consider is when you’re paying $30 for Team, you get 5 free editors for free, instead of just 2 for Pro, so you’re really only paying $5/user, which we think is a competitive price.


@folkert_hobma: Bummer to hear that. We’re working on SSO integration (for Enterprise customers) now, and following that are going to explore non-Google login. Due to our tight integration with Google Drive, looking into non-Google sign-in wasn’t possible until we built out workspaces and our own sharing and permission system.

Note that we are GDPR-compliant as a platform, and our collaboration model is very similar to Google Docs or Office 365 – you invite editors to a Coda doc using their email address. We only use such emails for the function of the service and per the analytics preferences of the users associated with those emails set on the trust page, in full compliance with GDPR.

We take security very seriously and have many safeguards in place against a breach, and in fact are working on SOC II compliance, one of the industry’s most stringent certifications. You can read more on our security page.

To your point about making mistakes with dates and amounts, as we’re getting more users outside the US (I know our country’s date formats are pretty wonky compared to the rest of the world :sweat_smile:), we’re also looking into internationalization, besides timezones and international currencies. It is going to require a significant amount of work on our end, however.

Lastly, if one of your editors makes a mistake, you can use version history to restore an older version, or if it’s on a row, you can see previous edits in row activity (where row comments show up).