As a cPanel Partner for over 11 years, we knew when cPanel was acquired by Oakley Capital Investments last year, that licensing changes were coming . A price hike was expected as when Oakley Capital purchased Plesk, which it acquired in May 2017, they implemented a similar huge price increase a few months after the acquisition. The announcement from cPanel has recently astounded the web hosting industry. cPanel announced a massive price increase and a complete change to their billing model, by adding an additional layer of billing per account. While a small price increase here and there is expected, Microsoft has had a number of 10%+ price increases. The increased cost of Microsoft Server Licenses have been endured without much issue. This price increase is close to 500%, with some users experiencing licensing costs increasing over 2000%, forcing them to re-evaluate their entire business model. Additionally, customers must address this complete change in just 60 days, as the new licensing will be effective September 1st.
What is the logic behind this change?
In their official statement about the new cPanel licensing model change they justify the price hike with the server technology innovations they’ve been heavily investing in:
When cPanel defined its original pricing structure, some twenty plus years ago, servers were not as powerful as they are today. Thanks to constant innovation in the hardware sector and optimization in our software, we can now run hundreds of websites on a single processor system. With this change, we align ourselves with this growing technology. ….Adjusting our prices will ensure that we can continue to invest in product development, thrive in an increasingly hostile security landscape, grow our customer ecosystem, and remain a leader in hosting automation.
So their reasoning is that the focus on new server technologies and on the ability to accommodate more websites on a single server is incurring more investment costs and will hence require a new per-account pricing model.
When asked for more information in forums and via their customer support channels, cPanel representatives add another, more user-centric note to the company’s reasoning.
The company, founded in 1997 and snapped up by Oakley Capital last year (a group that also owns Plesk and SolusVM), currently enjoys the slogan “Champions for our customers, the industry, and our employees”. It has yet to add “and our investors”. It probably can’t get its website to work – it has, unsurprisingly, come under relentless DDoS attacks since the price changes were announced.
Thank you all for the feedback you’ve provided thus far. If you’re willing to provide more feedback, please fill out this survey to help us understand how our new pricing and licensing structure impacts your business. https://t.co/S2uYamZJrM
— cPanel (@cPanel) July 1, 2019
Options for the cPanel price increase?
- Migrate to a cPanel alternative
- Migrate to a cPanel Partner with slightly lower pricing
- Adjust your pricing and business model to accommodate the change
Migrate to a cPanel Alternative
It may seem like an overwhelming amount of work, however it is actually easier than you might think. In the marketplace, there are four leading web hosting control panels, Plesk, cPanel, Interworx and DirectAdmin. They have all been around for a while and do very similar things, there are however minor differences to each one that may make one more favorable than another.
Migrate from cPanel to Plesk
Migrating to Plesk from cPanel is really not an option as this issue began when cPanel was acquired by Oakley Capital Investments. The same owners of Plesk where they implemented a similar huge price increase a few months after the acquisition. If you are planning to migrate from cPanel due to the business practices of Oakley Capital Investments, do not expect anything to be any better with Plesk. We cannot recommend migrating to Plesk.
Migrate from cPanel to DirectAdmin
DirectAdmin has quite a few features over cPanel in that they offer simple fixed pricing including support for unlimited accounts and domains . Additionally, DirectAdmin makes the direct promise of “protection against price increases.” Better yet, it is lighter weight, leaner and simpler in general.
A drawback to DirectAdmin is that there are not as many supported integrations, although it does have a WHMCS integration available. It may not be as easy to migrate to DirectAdmin from cPanel but there are some guides below that will assist in this.
- How-to: cPanel to DA migration
- How-to: restore cPanel backup in DirectAdmin
- How-to: big cPanel email-only server migration
- FAQ for DirectAdmin new customers
Due to the 800%+ price increase from @cPanel we are considering the migration to DirectAdmin at a significantly less cost.
Tomorrow updates will follow.
I hope @cPanel reconsider the disproportionate price increase.
— SonicFast (@SonicFast9) June 27, 2019
Migrate from cPanel to Interworx
The Interworx interface is similar to cPanel, having Nodeworx (version of WHM) and Siteworx (version of cPanel), it is much more intuitive however. Some of this enriched UI is due to there being less features than cPanel, although you can still accomplish pretty much everything you need to. There are command line tools for doing essentially everything and this will not break the control panel. The back end structure of Interworx is much cleaner, allowing it to be easier to update and install, while reducing the number of issues or problems.
Interworx has integrations available for all major web hosting billing software platforms (WHMCS, HostBill, Blesta). Another desirable feature for this control panel is that migrating from cPanel to Interworx is a built-in supported feature.
Purchase from a cPanel Partner NOC
There are other ways to buy cPanel licenses. As a cPanel partner for over ten years, Thexyz has plenty of expertise on cPanel and we also get discounted partner pricing. Even better yet, if you are purchasing dedicated servers or VPS servers from us, we will provide you with the licensing at near to our cost. We can help clients save at least 10% over the standard cPanel licensing.
How will the new cPanel licensing changes affect our platform?
We have been using cPanel with our Managed WordPress, Nextcloud and dedicated server plans.
Until now, there have been no account restrictions for our server licences. That has meant that we like many other providers on the market, had the privilege of creating unlimited cPanel accounts on our VPS and dedicated servers and set no restrictions on our partners either.
With the huge per-account-based price increase from cPanel, however, we are now evaluating our business models to cope with the revised cPanel licensing.