Firefox's Mozilla creates paid subscriptions for its developer service

Mozilla launches a new paid service that targets developers who rely on it for information about web technologies.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Firefox-maker Mozilla has launched a paid subscription service of its Mozilla Developer Network (MDN).

There are three new paid subscriptions that start at $5 a month – MDN Core, MDN Plus 5, and MDN Supporter 10.     

New features include 'Notifications' to be alerted to documentation changes, CSS features launch, and APIs ships, 'Collections' to aggregate information of interest, and 'MDN Offline', which uses a progressive web application to give access to MDN Web Docs, even when you lack internet access.

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MDN Core is a limited version for developers who "want to do a test drive before purchasing a plan". 

MDN Plus 5 gives users "unlimited access to notifications, collections, and MDN offline with new features added all the time". It costs $5 a month and is $50 for an annual subscription.

The MDN Supporter 10 subscription costs $10 a month or $100 for an annual subscription. It gives users all of MDN Plus 5 information and "early access to new features and a direct feedback channel to the MDN team".

MDN Web Docs content is still available for free. The Web Docs pages are a valuable resource for web developers, offering them a single source of information for new web technologies like WebAssembly that are bringing native-like platform speeds to the browser.  

Mozilla's goal is to provide a "structured learning" experience on top of the free Web Docs service that it has pledged to continue investing in.  

"Our first foray was the Learning Area, with the goal of providing a useful addition to the regular MDN reference and guide material. In 2020, we added the first Front-end developer learning pathway. We saw a lot of interest and engagement from users, and the learning area contributed to about 10% of MDN's monthly web traffic," Mozilla says

MDN Plus is open to people in the US and Canada today, and it will arrive in coming months to France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Austria, Netherlands, Ireland, UK, Switzerland, Malaysia, New Zealand, and Singapore. 

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Mozilla has relied heavily in the past on revenues from Google, Yahoo and Yandex through the Firefox browser. However, Firefox user numbers have steadily declined as Google Chrome and Chromium-based browsers like Microsoft Edge, Brave and Vivaldi have emerged. 

Mozilla has laid off several hundred employees in the past two years and has launched paid services like its virtual private network subscription to monetize its services.     

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