Today we released our new website. If you take a look around, you’ll notice a few big changes that signal a shift in strategy for Pluralsight moving forward.
As part of this release, we lowered our pricing and restructured our subscription plans. We realize these changes may cause confusion for some of our existing customers, and we apologize for that in advance. We’ve tried to anticipate as many of your questions as possible and we’ve documented the answers below.
Please leave us a comment if you have additional questions and we’ll continue to update this post over the next week or two.
What happened? Everything looks different.
In an effort to simplify, we decided to rename and retire a few of our subscription plans. We believe these changes will provide a better user experience.
One of the biggest changes is that we’re no longer selling our Premium and Ultimate subscriptions that came bundled with Virtual Classroom training “vouchers”. After making that decision, we also realized that the old subscription names weren’t as descriptive as simply “Monthly” and “Annual”.
So we decided to simplify those with a little renaming. The following table shows how the old subscription names map to the new ones we just released today:
|Old subscription names
||New subscription names
|Standard Monthly ($99/mo)
|Standard Yearly ($499/yr)
||Annual Plus ($799/yr)
We also introduced a new Monthly Plus subscription that provides several download features not available with the Monthly subscription.
* Of course, we’ll continue to honor the Premium and Ultimate subscriptions for the next 12 months and provide all of the features and benefits associated with them.
Will these price changes take effect automatically? What if I have a subscription that auto-renews?
Yes, these changes will automatically take effect for all of our existing subscribers. If you were a Standard or Professional subscriber, you will now see the new subscription name associated with your account next time you login.
If you were a monthly subscriber before the change, you will now be billed the new Monthly rate ($29) on your next billing cycle.
You don’t have to do anything but enjoy the new price.
If you’d prefer to move to our new Monthly Plus subscription, simply email us your request and we’ll upgrade your account for the rest of your current term at no extra charge to you. Then you’ll be billed $49 on your next billing cycle.
We’ve also taken the liberty to disable auto renewal for all of our current Annual subscribers, just to avoid any unwanted surprises. If you’d like to enable auto-renewal for your Annual subscription, just drop us a line.
When signing up for a new Annual subscription in the future, you’ll be able to configure this up front. We’re also working on a few features that will make it possible to control credit card information and auto-renewal right within your account page.
What features come with the new subscriptions?
If you browse to our new subscription pricing page, you’ll notice it’s much simpler than it used to be. The main features of the new plans are highlighted here:
|Type of Subscription
||Watch all courses online (yes, all of them!)
||Watch all courses online and save 20% for the year(~$49)
||Includes exercise files, slides, and recorded webcasts
||Includes Monthly Plus features plus offline viewing
Both Monthly and Annual let you watch all courses found in the course library with unlimited viewing. There’s only one difference between Monthly and Annual: with Annual you save ~20% by getting two months for free when you pay for the whole year.
Monthly Plus let’s you watch all courses plus it includes downloadable exercise files, course slides, and previously recorded webcasts. Annual Plus gives you the same features as Monthly Plus and it also allows you to download course videos for offline viewing on your mobile devices including the iPad, iPhone, Windows Phone 7, Android, etc.
But I just bought a subscription last week!
As with anything, it kind of hurts when you buy something right before a price-drop. In order to make up for that, we’ve automatically applied upgrades to those affected the most. The following table describes the subscription upgrades we’ve applied:
||Upgrade Automatically Applied
||30-day extension to your new Monthly subscription, which means we’ll skip your next monthly billing cycle
||Upgraded to Annual Plus for your remaining term
Note: These upgrades have only been applied to paying subscribers. If you received a complementary subscription, you will not see an upgrade applied to your account.
Why are you retiring Premium and Ultimate?
By retiring Premium and Ultimate, we are effectively decoupling our Virtual Classroom experience from our On-Demand! subscriptions. This allows us to further reduce the cost of those plans, and makes them much easier for customers to understand.
When we say we’re “retiring” them, that means we aren’t selling them anymore. We will, of course, continue to honor the Premium and Ultimate subscriptions for the next 12 months and provide all of the features and benefits associated with them.
If you’re a Premium or Ultimate subscriber, you’ll still see “Premium” or “Ultimate” associated with your account the next time you login. And, more importantly, you’ll still have the ability to use your Virtual Classroom “vouchers”. We’ll continue to schedule Virtual Classroom training courses every month for this purpose.
Also, moving forward, anyone can sign-up for our Virtual Classroom training events on a course by course basis for $799 per seat.
In the end, Premium and Ultimate subscribers shouldn’t see anything different. You’ll enjoy the same benefits and features until your current subscription term ends, at which point you’ll choose one of the new subscription plans.
I used to be able to download “slides” and “demos” but now I can’t … why?
As we’ve listened to customer feedback for the past few years, we’ve learned that most customers would prefer lower prices for viewing the videos even if that means fewer features. So we’ve designed our new Monthly/Annual subscriptions with this in mind.
They’ve been optimized to provide full access to our On-Demand! course videos at very affordable prices, and we’ve reserved the “download” features for our Plus plans.
The ability to download exercise files (demos), course slides, and previously recorded webcasts is available through our Plus subscriptions.
Can I upgrade to a Plus subscription?
If you were a Standard Monthly subscriber before the change took place, you can upgrade your new Monthly subscription to Monthly Plus by simply sending us an email with your request. We’ll upgrade your account for the rest of your current term at no charge to you, and then you’ll be billed $49 on your next billing cycle.
If you’d rather upgrade to Annual Plus, we’ll let you upgrade for only $399, the same rate you would have paid to upgrade to our old Standard Yearly subscription before the change. You must contact us within the next few weeks to take advantage of this offer.
What’s the difference between “exercise files”, “demos”, and “hand-on labs”?
Most of the titles in our course library come with downloadable “demo” files. These files contain the source code, projects, and solutions shown within the course videos themselves. We used to make these “demos” available to all subscribers, regardless of the subscription plan, to provide a simple hands-on element. These demos no longer come with our Monthly/Annual subscriptions – only with the Plus subscriptions.
We’ve decided to beef-up what we provide in these demo files to make them more effective as an exercise vehicle. For example, we’ll now include a “before” solution as well as an “after” solution (when applicable), so it’s easier to follow along with the video and get from point A to Z. We’re also asking authors to include other helpful resources (such as setup instructions or links to related resources) when applicable.
We believe these additions will make them even more effective for “exercising” the concepts taught in the videos. Hence, we’re now calling them exercise files.
Using the exercise files, students can follow along with the video and build the same solution on their own machine, pressing pause or replay whenever they need to. We’ve ultimately found this to be a more effective learning experience overall.
Note: The downloads found in the library today have not be updated in this regard but all future titles will begin to move in this direction.
In addition to exercise files, some of our courses also come with full hands-on labs (HOLs) today that are similar to what you see in traditional classroom training with written step-by-step instructions. Unfortunately, we’ve only been able to make HOLs available for the On-Demand! courses that we also teach in the classroom setting, which is becoming a smaller subset of the course library every month.
These HOLs are only available to Premium and Ultimate subscribers today, and we will no longer provide them with future On-Demand! courses.
What happened to your “how-to” videos?
We originally provided the “how-to” video collection to make it easy for customers to find answers to specific questions. However, last year we introduced our video search capability, which makes it easy for customers to identify short 2-5 minute video clips throughout the course library based on the question at hand.
For example, if you want to find an explanation on “FaultException” in Windows Communication Foundation, you can use this search.
Then, if you click on the identified course, you’ll see the exact video clips highlighted for you to watch.
Search has completely removed the need to continue surfacing the how-to videos as a separate video collection. Now they’re just part of the course library.
We’ve also taken several major how-to video collections and bundled them into “By Example” courses, which you’ll now find listed in the course library.
Why aren’t “webcasts” listed as a feature anymore?
Due to popular demand, we’ve decided to make our weekly webcast available to the community for free! This gives both current and potential customers a way to get to know our authors and instructors in live interactive sessions. It also provides a way to pose questions about a course directly to the author who wrote it.
Although anyone can attend the live webcasts, only Plus subscribers have the ability to download and view the previously recorded sessions.
What happened to your “Guest Pass” and free samples?
Our old Guest Pass feature made it possible for customers to unlock the first few minutes of every course module by filling out a simple form.
Now, with our new free trial, you can sign-up for a 10-day full library subscription to watch whatever you want (limited to 200 min of viewing time).
How do these changes affect me as a corporate customer?
Your corporate subscription will continue unaffected with all of the same benefits and features. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your Pluralsight sales representative and we’ll be happy to assist you.
What happened to your classroom training courses?
Although we no longer provide a separate list of classroom training courses on the website, we can deliver most of our On-Demand! courses in an onsite classroom setting. We can also create custom courses from a combination of On-Demand! topics.
We deliver these at your facility in order to better accommodate your teams, projects, and schedule. Our instructors will travel to your location, bringing their practical experience to your specific scenarios and challenges. Simply contact us for a custom quote on your next classroom training need.
We also host Virtual Classroom training events each month on our most popular On-Demand! topics. Our Virtual Classroom experiences provides the convenience of flexible online training with the personal touch of a live instructor. Have specific questions answered by an expert at the comfort of your own keyboard. No travel costs. No downtime. Pluralsight quality at an extremely affordable price.
We hope this answers your questions. Please contact us or leave a comment here if you have additional questions and we’ll do our best to respond.