It seems the era of inexpensive web hosting options may be coming to an end in the next few weeks. If you are a customer who uses the cPanel control panel to manage your web hosting accounts, you may start getting notices from your providers of price hikes. These hikes may be anywhere from a few dollars per month to potentially hundreds of dollars a month to those with large reseller accounts. Here is why…
cPanel used to operate on a fixed cost per server license for an unlimited number of cPanel/Reseller(WHM) accounts on a server (with a discount for those hosting on a VPS). Web Hosting providers were able to easily budget this cost into their plans and price their packages accordingly. cPanel recently announced sharp price increases that will double if not quadruple the cost that most providers pay for the cPanel License. Most web hosting providers operate on razor thin margins and if the provider wants to survive past these price increases, they will have no choice but to pass the cost increase onto their customers.
I fully understand that research and development costs are on the rise and to their credit, cPanel has not increased their prices in years. cPanel’s new price model has a tiered structure that sharply increases depending on the number of accounts on the server. As an example, a cPanel VPS license used to run ~$15.00 per VPS for a unlimited number of accounts. If you had 100 cPanel accounts on the VPS, your cost would increase to a whopping $45.00 per month (+20 cents per additional account). If you had a bare metal dedicated server with 500 cPanel accounts on it, your current cost would be ~$35.00 per server, this cost would balloon to a whopping $125 per server. If you had that same server with 1000 accounts, your price would balloon from ~$35.00 per server to an eye watering $225.00 per server. All of these costs are monthly. None of these examples include the base cost of the servers, VPSs, collocation, bandwidth, support and other add on software. The days of getting a budget VPS and cPanel for $30.00 per month are over.
Sadly I do see a few providers closing shop or migrating to other control panels over this. Many providers are reporting that this will increase their operational expenses between 70% and 400%. cPanel is NOT grandfathering existing licenses to the legacy plans, all customers will be moved to this tiered structure on their next billing cycle.
How will this impact me as a customer?
If you are using a standard shared hosting account, you can expect a price increase between 22 cents and $2.00 per month based on the number of accounts that your hosting provider has on a server. “Premium” shared hosting providers who run low density servers will see the biggest increases while budget big box companies will see the smallest passed on to their customers.
If you are a reseller, you will likely see some of the sharpest increases as well as limits on the number of sub accounts that you can have. I expect to see increases between $5.00 and $20.00 per month based on the plan and number of accounts you have. Keep in mind that these costs would be passe on to each reseller on your server with “Premium” accounts suffering the biggest increase.
I hope you are sitting down for this. If you are a VPS customer, You can expect your prices to increase between $30 per month and go as high as $100 per month depending on the number of accounts you have on your VPS. If you have less than 30 accounts on your VPS, your base cost for cPanel will increase to $30 per month, if you have 100 accounts, your price will increase to $45 per month and be ready to pay for each additional account after that (20 cents per account).
Dedicated Servers (Bare Metal)
Dedicated Servers will see cost increases by at least $15.00 per month and an additional 20 cents per account after the first 100. If you have 1000 accounts on your server, the cost will balloon from $45 per month to $225.00 per month – not including the cost of the server.
Server Provider/Service Provider/Data Centers
If you are in the business of leasing dedicated servers and provide cPanel as a benefit for your customers, this one is going to hurt the most. Depending on the number of servers that you manage, you can see costs increase by thousands of dollars per month if not more.
What Can Be Done About This?
First, be civil. These cost increases are not the fault of your provider rather cPanel. It would be best to voice your anger on Social Media by contacting @cPanel on both Twitter and Facebook – remember to be civil. Hopefully this will get them to reconsider these increases and compromise a bit. Re-share my Open Letter to cPanel on social media with the hashtag #cPanel. Please do not take this out on your hosting providers, they are in the same boat as you and the thought of them passing these costs onto customers is sickening to them as well.
If you are a provider, it may be worth it to switch control panels. This is not a fun or easy process as it would involve setting up new hardware and migrating customers over. This will also create a learning curve for both support and customers. Far from the ideal situation but if cPanel sees that customers are willing to abandon ship over these increases, they may reconsider. cPanel needs to remember that customers can always show their disapproval with their wallets.