How Craft Licenses and Renewals Work
Summary (tl;dr) #
Paid Craft Licenses are perpetual and include one year of License Updates plus one year of Developer Support. You can pay a small Renewal Price at any time (1 year later or 3 years later, same price) to enable License Updates and Developer Support for an additional year.
The Craft License #
Craft CMS 3 and Craft Commerce 2 use the brand new Craft License. It is as close to free open source as we can make it without going out of business.
License Vocabulary Pedantry, aka “Editions” #
Technically, Craft is free! Hooray! Use it all you want, as much as you want! We don’t actually charge any money for the Craft License. When you pay us money, it is because you are updating your free Craft CMS Solo Edition License to use the Pro Edition of Craft or the Craft Commerce plugin, which aren’t free. When you purchase the Pro Edition, legally speaking, you are purchasing a license to Craft CMS, Pro Edition, version 3.1.1002 (or whatever). We don’t want to type that every time and you don’t want to read that every time, so we’re going to just say “paid licenses” from here on out to refer to Craft CMS Pro Edition and the Craft Commerce Plugin.
All Paid Licenses are Perpetual #
This means that once you purchase the license, you can use that version indefinitely without paying any additional license fees. This means if you purchase Craft CMS 3.1.1002 Pro, you can use Craft 3.1.1002 Pro and all its features forever at no additional cost.
One Year of License Updates are Included with Purchase #
When you update Craft to a new version, you are also licensing the use of that version. In other words, you are legally updating your perpetual license from your current licensed version to the newer version available. Usually, people do this to take advantage of whatever new features and updates that version has over the current version. Updates are free for one year with your paid license purchase. This includes any major version updates that happen while License Updates are enabled.
You can enable License Updates for an Additional Year at any time by Paying a Reasonable Renewal Price #
“Reasonable price” means 20% of the retail price. This means it is $60 to enable License Updates for Craft CMS Pro or $200 Craft Commerce. That’s $5 - $15 a month to stay on the latest version plus get Developer Support. We're tempted to make a "cup of coffee" analogy here but we won't. We realize that these fees are significant for some of our customers and we don't want to make light of that. We want you to know that we put these License Update fees to good use on your behalf. These fees help us keep our software updated and supported at a significantly lower cost for the entire Community.
No Penalties, Pay Only When You Want License Updates Enabled or Developer Support #
Don’t need the updates? Don’t need Developer Support? No problem.
There is no Renewal Price difference if you renew one year to the day, 13 months after purchase, or 3 years after purchase. The License Update Renewal fee doesn't have any cumulative penalty or late fee. You only need to pay when you want to enable License Updates or if you want Developer Support (or both).
Grandfathered Licenses #
The License Renewal Policy only applies to Craft CMS and Craft Commerce licenses purchased on or after April 4th, 2018. All licenses purchased prior that are not subject to the License Renewal policy. Specifically, this means that for the core product, these grandfathered licenses will never need to pay a fee to upgrade to the latest version. Though please note that this does not apply to 3rd party plugins or first party plugins purchased on April 4th, 2018 and after.
For example, if a grandfathered Craft 2 license updates to Craft 3 and purchases Commerce 2, the Commerce 2 license will have the renewal fees as will any plugins purchased.
Please note that grandfathered licenses do not include lifetime Developer Support. If your installation requires Developer Support for more than a year we may ask you to pay the License Renewal Fee to receive continued Developer Support, but not updates.