cPanel price rise - impact?

Discussion in 'IT & Internet' started by Dominic Taylor, Jul 1, 2019.

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  1. Dominic Taylor

    Dominic Taylor UKBF Ace Full Member

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    Recently cPanel.net, makers of the popular control panel cPanel/WHM for hosting providers, announced price changes and a switch to charging per cPanel account, whereas before you simply bought a license for a server.

    There is a new 'solo' license type for $7/month which is a few $ cheaper than licenses were previously, but otherwise, most license types now have a higher monthly price and there's a limit of 100 accounts for a prepaid server license, with a further charge of ~$0.1 or $0.2 per account per month above that, depending on account type and discount level.

    For example, previously a VPS with 31 accounts would cost the standard price, something like $15/month. Now it will cost $32/month. With 300 accounts, it will apparently cost $52/month. A dedicated server with 1000 accounts could cost over $100/month, up from ~$30-45.

    One hosting company I know of is reporting their bill rising from ~$1800/month to ~$5000/month!

    Discounts are available for partners depending on spend, but even the top discount level (for a license spend of...$5m/month!!) only reduces an example new monthly cost from $72 to $46 if my maths is correct.

    And that's just an example - some companies never used the cPanel 'addon domains' feature so have thousands of small accounts. I've heard of companies facing a bill of $1000/month in projected license costs for *one server*.

    Yet 'addon domains' and aliases - ie 'total domains hosted on the server' - are not calculated into the cost. So you could combine all accounts into one and pay the 'cPanel solo' cost of just $10/month.

    Clearly for most people - eg resellers and shared web hosts - that's not an option. Smaller providers with smaller margins and/or those who use lots of cPanel accounts eg for free hosting will soon find themselves with bills that they will struggle to afford.

    cPanel's reasoning is that many years ago people bought more licenses for more systems, but these days hundreds of sites can run on one processor. Firstly, what a strange phrase. Secondly, years ago most sites were static and saw much less traffic. These days even Steve the builder probably runs WordPress with a bunch of plugins, wants good spam filtering, backups, SSL and good performance!

    As for why / how this happened, some may suspect it was always going to.

    Others have noted that cPanel was recently acquired by a private equity firm who also own Plesk, the other major hosting control panel, and who boast of providing the software for 750,000 global hosting servers and millions of websites:

    https://oakleycapital.com/insights/building-a-business-the-webpros-story/

    I am wondering if the hosts here are able to report the impact for them, and if anyone has considered changing packages, charging existing clients more, and further, looking at whether this sudden increase breaches EU monopoly laws eg Article 102?

    Obviously there are other hosting control panels available but none are really serious competitors, and this whole thing stinks of greed to me. Maybe I should just buy shares in the fund if that's an option, and join the gravy train.

    Although I do have a new web hosting company - all the above is my personal opinion.

    I'm pretty annoyed because I only rejoined as a cPanel partner a couple months ago and they understood we're starting a new company using their software and we agreed pricing, and aside from that I've previously managed Paragon's cPanel fleet (thousands of systems), and have in summary paid cPanel a sh*t ton of cash over the years.

    I've also seen how big hosting companies operate compared to smaller ones.

    Paragon obviously has its Gridhost system and if we still owned it I suspect we'd be making rapid use of the cPanel import feature it has.

    But Paragon is now owned by Godaddy so I guess they'll just pay the new charges, whatever pricing band they may fit into.

    Interestingly, Godaddy's VP M&A is the same guy Oakley worked with to obtain the Plesk/cPanel transactions, and also himself invested in the deal, honestly my head hurts.

    Be interesting to hear if anyone using cPanel hosting is told of price rises from their host, and indeed to see what the top 10 features are that people use in a control panel....

    Seems like my ex business partner's new venture will be having a few more beta testers - https://enhance.com !
     
    Posted: Jul 1, 2019 By: Dominic Taylor Member since: Jun 19, 2008
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  2. Mike Hayes

    Mike Hayes UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    1,133 314
    I've been following this closely over at WHT and I too am interested to see how hosting providers react to this. I suspect the end users hit the hardest will be those on really cheap plans (thinking lowendtalk type of deals) and those on reseller accounts – especially "unlimited" reseller plans.

    I do think that cPanel has been due a price increase. That said, I don't think anybody expected this level of increase and I'm amazed they've shown no loyalty to customers who've been loyal to cPanel for many years - you'd think they would offer some kind of discounted pricing to existing customers (or at minimum existing licenses) and provide a bit more notice.

    I also think there are alternative solutions to certain issues raised such as having too much pressure on their support techs. The answer to that one seems simple: license support separately and anybody who doesn't want to pay for that support contract can use community support. It's not unusual and would save them a lot of time dealing with non-cPanel issues raised by customers who really shouldn't be managing a server to begin with (or at least those customers would be paying the appropriate cost to receive such support).

    As an end user hosting a very small number of websites using a cPanel reseller account I doubt this will effect me - I expect my reseller plan pricing to increase (especially already being low cost) but that's about it. If my provider decides to migrate to some substandard panel then I'll be out of there to find a new cPanel hosting provider, even if I do have to pay a premium.

    P.S. Gridhost was excellent in the early days. If something like that was available again, then I'd probably go for it ‒ especially on premium cloud providers. The ease of shared hosting, the scale of the grid system and cloud providers combined, seems like the perfect set up for agencies etc.
     
    Posted: Jul 1, 2019 By: Mike Hayes Member since: Jan 7, 2016
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  3. Dominic Taylor

    Dominic Taylor UKBF Ace Full Member

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    I never really got involved in Gridhost much, except er in exceptional circumstances.

    But, I have a new platform launching soon which uses Google Compute and is completely point and click and scalable. It's should be quite neat. Already runs my pub website much faster than recent Gridhost performance. It will be between normal shared hosting and Kinsta in cost.

    And because it's completely cloud native it should be impossible for anyone to stuff it up in 10 years' time...

    I agree on the cPanel support side of things however if they made it simpler for novices to use then they would have less support!

    There are probably hundreds of settings to get the average shared hosting server running, and if misconfigured it can be extremely insecure.
     
    Posted: Jul 1, 2019 By: Dominic Taylor Member since: Jun 19, 2008
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  4. Mike Hayes

    Mike Hayes UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    1,133 314
    Sounds good. We need a Kinsta-like managed service which isn't WordPress specific. There are other PaaS options such as Fortrabbit and Google App Engine but combining the simplicity of shared hosting with "the cloud" seems like a better solution for most websites currently on shared hosting. I will be looking forward to it.
     
    Posted: Jul 1, 2019 By: Mike Hayes Member since: Jan 7, 2016
    #4
  5. ValenDigital

    ValenDigital UKBF Contributor Full Member

    53 2
    Its been on the cards this for quite a while. You could see it when WMCS was purchased and the long sold one time plans came to an end in favor of monthly billing.

    i guess that model worked for them and they thought 'hey lets roll it out to the masses and make a gazillion!'

    Personally I think they are shooting themselves in the foot. Yes they will make a killing initially but long term they are going to lose out on all the small loyal customers that they have had for years and years. Similar thing happened with Heartinternet when they moved to charging per site basis here in UK (albeit smaller company than cPanel) same result droves of customers left.

    Whats not clear is how the big players using cPanel are going to get affected i.e. godaddy etc. not to mention the EIG owned companies (bluehost etc) perhaps as they are VC controlled they will get better deals. Even mention of them not paying anything according to comments on WHT!!!

    Bad day for the small web host provider who uses only cPanel, the cost increase wont justify using cPaenl and I cant see the cost being passed onto customers, not when in some cases its over 400% increase.

    P.S for those that want to follow this here are the links to WHT: http://www.webhostingtalk.com/showthread.php?t=1770316 and another one over at reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/cpanel/comments/c69u84/how_does_cpanels_new_licensing_model_affect_you/
     
    Posted: Jul 1, 2019 By: ValenDigital Member since: Jan 14, 2019
    #5
  6. GURUCLOUD

    GURUCLOUD UKBF Contributor Full Member

    66 3
    One of the main reasons people like cPanel/Plesk/DA and other 'off the shelf' panels is that when companies run into problems, they can then get out of dodge rather quickly, generate your backups and restore them easily to another provider and there is then no learning curve, it's the same just you're on a better 'service'.

    A lot can be said for people having their own control panels and those companies make it very easy to import backups from Plesk, cPanel, and DA and also make them look very similar - but you are also 'shooting yourself in the foot' longer term.
    For example. the two above companies mentioned in the thread, HI and TSO, when they were bought out, people complain/complained about the service and/or by rising prices. Customer is then left trying to get away from a proprietary control panel which does make it very difficult for the average person to move away.

    If a company makes it very easy to get into their proprietary system, you need to question - how easy will it be for me to get out when history inevitability repeats itself?
     
    Posted: Jul 1, 2019 By: GURUCLOUD Member since: Jun 15, 2018
    #6
  7. UKSBD

    UKSBD Not a real duck Staff Member

    10,048 1,972
    A bit off-topic but what's the chances that once LetsEncrypt have a certain number dependant on them, they start charging?

    You only need someone like Martin Shkreli to buy them out then start charging everyone.
     
    Posted: Jul 1, 2019 By: UKSBD Member since: Dec 30, 2005
    #7
  8. Nico Albrecht

    Nico Albrecht UKBF Enthusiast Full Member - Verified Business

    808 159
    Not sure why you would bring in Martin S. If you go by what the media was presenting about him than yeah good fit here but the facts and realty about him are very different.

    Or you go by the actual facts, the company he purchased and the actual medication they made were not protected by any medial patent at all. Any another pharmaceutical company e.G Bayer, La Roche , Pfaizer could make the same generic medication license & royalty free ( but they all knew it is not profitable at all and only small batches are req. ) Increasing the price to fund new research is not that unusual.

    Let's encrypt , why not actually paying for something if you use it to run a business website? It would be like expecting your staff to work for free.
     
    Posted: Jul 1, 2019 By: Nico Albrecht Member since: May 2, 2017
    #8
  9. Mike Hayes

    Mike Hayes UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    1,133 314
    Let's Encrypt is a non-profit backed by various large companies. There is little chance of the brand being sold off and used to sell certs. If it was, you shouldn't be locked-in to them; you can issue certs with any other CA. Their ACME protocol is also open for other CA's to implement.

    I've never understood this argument "Let's Encrypt is free so don't use it for business".

    A business should use whichever solution is most suitable. Plenty of businesses develop and run their websites using open source software without paying a penny, why does nobody raise an issue with that? The fact Let's Encrypt is a non-profit shouldn't matter providing the appropriate funding is in place to continue running the service (your business could even become a sponsor or donate).
     
    Posted: Jul 1, 2019 By: Mike Hayes Member since: Jan 7, 2016
    #9
  10. HostXNow

    HostXNow UKBF Regular Full Member

    406 27
    What a massive price increase that was. The timing on that as a few months ago we increased the pricing for all our services as we had the same pricing since we started over 10 years ago, and we are using a very expensive setup now. So we started to get new signups at the new rates luckily enough. The new pricing was only for new customers, but with the move by cPanel, we will have to pass on the extra cost which some clients are fine with. With some customers we had they had discounts and with the new pricing from cPanel we would be hosting them for free, and so we have asked them to upgrade to one of the new plans or we can help them move to a different control panel.

    So we will be fine, but I feel for many others who will be affected by this.

    Ps I think the Per Account Billing is totally unnecessary and is not for cPanel to say. That was introduced because they are greedy and nothing more.

    Will keep an on https://enhance.com @Dominic Taylor
     
    Posted: Jul 1, 2019 By: HostXNow Member since: Mar 7, 2011
    #10
  11. OhhEnnEmm

    OhhEnnEmm UKBF Contributor Free Member

    57 5
    I didn't know about this since I get cPanel with hosting, but that's not even slightly justifiable
     
    Posted: Jul 4, 2019 By: OhhEnnEmm Member since: Nov 6, 2018
    #11
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