Update 1/18/2018: Algolia’s team reached out this morning to provide additional information on the pricing changes. I greatly appreciate Algolia going out of the way for this, it further shows how solid of a company they are.

Algolia announced new pricing for 2019 yesterday, and being a big fan of their platform, I wanted to see if there were any benefits in switching from the previous Essential Plan to their new Starter plan for a project I’m working on and others.

What’s changed

  Essential Starter (2019)
Operations 100,000 250,000
Records 50,000 50,000
Searches counting as operations No Yes
QPS 75 1000
Synomyms 5,000 Unlimited
Optional Filters 1 Unlimited
Personalization 1 N/A
Search data retention 7 days Not specified

Search Operations

Algolia’s team very kindly reached out and clarified that the searches count as operations with the new plans (they did not with the previous ones):

  • Essential Plan

    Search operations They are not part of any quota and will not be charged in any way.

  • Starter Plan

    We charge for all “operations” which consists of “Indexing Operations” and “Search Operations”.

Starter Plan Limits

  • 10kB Maximum Record Size (previously 20kB)
  • One domain (same as with Essential)
  • Multi-User Access (4) - not sure if this was limited before

Pricing Comparison

  • The new Starter plan includes 250,000 operations for $29/month. The same 250,000 operations would cost $55/month on the Essential plan.
  • The cost for additional records has decreased substantially on the Starter plan: 20,000 extra records is now $10 (instead of $50).
  Essential Starter (2019)
250k Operations $55/month $29/month
Additional 20k Records +$50/month +$10/month

Does it make sense to switch?

For my current project and many others, yes. The new Starter plan will save us upwards of 50% each month as it is heavy on indexing operations (even with a custom Algolia engine for Laravel that compares updated_at timestamps via queries).

However, the change on searches being counted towards operations is one that should not be overlooked - as other projects will have high search volume and low index changes (especially on public projects where volume could spike). In those situations, the cost for extra indexing operations could be much less by sticking with the Essential plan than paying for additional search operations with the Starter plan.

Notes: ¹ I did not intend for this to be the first article on nullthoughts, it was simply the one that got me to setup a blog (finally) and start writing.

² The information provided is based on what I quickly dug up, please research how plan changes would effect your monthly Algolia bill before switching. Algolia did reach out and provide additional information after this article was published, and it has been updated to reflect that.


Algolia Starter Plan - Pricing

Algolia Starter Plan - How does Algolia count records and operations?

Algolia Essential Plan - Pricing (Internet Archive)

Algolia Essential Plan - How Algolia counts records and operations (Internet Archive)