We have been a Buycpanel Partner for almost 7 years now, but when cPanel was acquired by Oakley Capital last year, I think every web host knew something was coming. Most assumed small price changes would occur but could never have suspected a bombshell this massive to occur. cPanel has now given customers two months, to be exact until the 1st of September 2019 to adjust their business models, switch to a new panel or absorb the new pricing.
As there isn’t much time, we put together this guide to provide some assistance.
To show the impact, we found this example provided on webhostingtalk.com which will give a specific (real life) example. Before this price increase, they were paying $200/yr directly to cPanel for unlimited accounts on a virtualized cloud instance. With the new pricing model, cPanel’s list pricing for the base license is $45/mo, but is limited to 100 accounts, with additional accounts being $0.20 a month each. Now, this company has 1400 accounts on that one cloud instance, as they’re a lot of small, static sites or simple DNS hosting. That means their monthly bill is now $45 + ($0.20 x 1300 additional account) = $305/mo. Their price is increasing from $200/yr to $3660/yr, a 1730% price increase.
Many companies simply cannot survive price increases like that, so they need to look for alternatives.
What are our options for dealing with the cPanel price increase?
- Migrate to a control panel other than cPanel
- Live with the price increase and adjust our business model or pricing as needed
Now with any of these we would probably not have satisfied clients in either case hence we have to be quite careful into which option we choose as we host thousands of websites.
Migrate to a cPanel Alternative
There are quire a number of alternatives. Which to choose and trust is the real issue as you need to be careful when doing tests and troubleshooting that many factors are covered. Firstly we support it to the best of our ability with skills we have in our support team and our system admin team. We found that most of the more common panels like Plesk, DirectAdmin, ISPManager or CentOSWebPanel. we have knowledge to learn, integrate and support these panels quite well as they are quite similar to cPanel. Unfortunately they are not as friendly or come with the same types of tools cPanel has currently. cPanel by far seems to have far moer features and easy of usability customers prefer and enjoy – not to mention their support is always available if issues arise to assist hosting providers fast when required.
We looked at offer Plesk for Linux first but found that it to be owned by the same company that just got cPanel to increase their pricing. Hence it would be a major risk and there is no stopping Oakley Capital the new owners of cPanel to increase pricing on Plesk for Linux aswell if every web host decided to move to this Plesk for Linux.
DirectAdmin comes in a price of $29 for unlimited accounts hence it is the better choice but as stated there are bugs and issues they are still fixing but does seem a better choice out of all we looked at. Their new theme they launched also seems to look similar to that of cPanel just a little dated in our opinion.
Our favorite control panel, by far, is ISPManager a russion owned panel. Why? First, it just works. It seems to integrate well into all of Cloudlinux features and offerings and installs things easier in some areas. The Panel seems a little outdated aswell but stability and support is our major concern. There pricing is also not that bad at $12 a month with the current pricing though they may be reviewing this as their latest modern looking version 6 will be released soon.
Awesome features, free and great support when needed is by far what this panel brings to the table. Nevertheless its not something we can offer on our shared hosting platform as it is not User Friendly and does not integrate into all the tools we currently offer. We are considering however making it an option for our Managed cPanel VPS clients to use.
Live with the price increase and adjust our business model or pricing as needed
We have partnered up directly with cPanel and will be getting slightly lower rates than on their website. However as we have many servers, cost does go up substantially for us with respect to licensing.
Due to this we could consider a price increase if we stay with cPanel from R10 for each shared hosting plan and R20 for our reseller plans with limits. Managed VPS customers we may have to consider other alternatives and await WHMCS integration for cPanel’s new pricing with limits too..
Many hosts in South Africa are still quite in decision making stage and some are still in shock and not sure what to do due to the limited time. We assume we will see some price increases in months to come or some migrating off to different panels.
What do I do next?
Hostking is here to help. We’re happy to advise you on what are the best next steps in dealing with this cPanel price increase. To get in touch with us, simply use email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, call us at 0878020155, or use the live chat on the bottom right side of this page.