A little more than a week after cPanel unleashed their biggest price increase ever, the company has already announced a revised version of its new licensing model. In their latest corporate blog post, cPanel even says sorry to the global web hosting community after receiving feedback from many partners around the world in the days following the initial announcement.

The new cPanel pricing and licensing structure announced on Thursday 27 Jun 2019 has caused a great deal of emotions among web hosting companies. More or less out of the blue, cPanel decided to no longer offer unlimited accounts for their web hosting control panel. Instead and effective immediately they introduced a multi-tier licensing structure. The price hike follows the news last year of cPanel being acquired by Oakley Capital. This group also owns Plesk and SolusVM.

cPanel arguments that when cPanel defined its original pricing structure, some twenty plus years ago, servers were not as powerful as they are today. Now, web hosting providers can run hundreds of websites on a single processor system. With this price increase, cPanel would align itself with evolving technology.

First, take a look at this roundup of reactions from web hosting companies across the world to the cPanel price hike:

Karl Zimmerman, CEO of Steadfast, a managed hosting and cloud provider from Chicago, Illinois, US,

Karl Zimmerman
“I don’t believe anyone expected average cPanel price increases to be close to 100% (the average across our user base), doubling license pricing,” said Karl Zimmerman, CEO of managed hosting company Steadfast.

“While small price increases are expected, Microsoft has had a number of 10-15% price increases over the years that we have endured without much issue, I don’t believe anyone expected average price increases to be close to 100% (the average across our user base), doubling license pricing. Not only that, with the changes in the pricing model, we’ve seen users looking at close to 20x price increases, forcing them to re-evaluate their entire business model. On top of this, customers must address this complete change in just two months, as new pricing will be effective September 1.” (Source: company blog)

WalkerHosting, a small web hosting provider from Halifax, UK,

“With the change to ‘per user’ billing, the age of unlimited accounts on cPanel reseller packages has come to an end. To give you an idea, for just one of the Walker Hosting servers, the cost of the cPanel licence has just risen from $45 to $335 per month.

That is over 740%! At WalkerHosting we realise that many of our clients who appreciate using cPanel will be happy to absorb the cost, but over the next week we will be exploring all the options including alternative control panels, and discussing the situation with our big clients.” (Source: company blog)

Hivelocity Hosting, a large hosting provider from the US that recently expanded into Europe,

“Getting lots of requests for new control panels (we offer a handful already) since #cPanel dramatically raised prices. Reply with the control panels you want us to offer and we will see what we can do.” (Source: Twitter)

Woktron Web Hosting, a small web hosting provider from Saint-Cyprien, France,

“Instead of paying per server, licensees will now have to pay per user account. This change is effective immediately and no options for grandfathering existing licenses have been provided. We will be considering the discontinuation of sales of cPanel licenses that come bundled with our Virtual Private Servers and dedicated servers.” (Source: company blog)

WebHostUK, a large hosting company from London, UK,

“WebHostUK has always believed in ‘prize freeze’ and we are doing all possible attempts to avoid such price hike. The options that we have so far are:

  • Find a sutiable solution other than cPanel as control panel (which does not offer account based pricing) and migrate to that new control panel.
  • Pass on the price hike to our customers by adding the corresponding hike over to them.
  • Wait for any miracle to happen from cPanel end so that they revert back their revised pricing based on account limitations.

We are still evaluating Option 1 and do not wish to pass on any such increased pricing as Option 2 above. We find Option 3 to be difficult to happen. (Source: company blog)

InterServer, longtime web hosting company from Secaucus, New Jersey, US,

“It’s a shame that cPanel a company we heavily relied upon, has failed in so many ways and now in order to offset declining revenue they are proposing a price structure that will result in upwards of an 800% increase for some of our customers. It’s hard to process how that decision can be deemed a strategic business move. If you (clients, ed.) are displeased with the proposed price increase, we can help seek alternative control panels that are comparable to cPanel.” (Source: company blog)

MyServerPlanet, a young web hosting company (since 2014) from the UK,

“Over the last 48 hours, the industry has taken a turn for the worst and many companies will either drop cPanel as a supplier for hosting or push costs onto their hosting customers as a result of this extreme pricing move announced by cPanel directly. There will no longer be unlimited hosting account packages offered by us and many other hosting firms. We are going to move our large database of shared customers first to Direct Admin. If cPanel doesn’t act responsibly to us, we will be forced to move resellers to DirectAdmin hosting as well.” (Source: company blog)

D9 Hosting, a web hosting company from the UK running tens of thousands of websites for businesses and individuals since 2007,

“The license cost for some servers will increase by as much as 800% and for some VPS and Dedicated Server clients the new cost of the cPanel license will be more than you currently pay for your VPS/Server. VPS and Dedicated Server clients will feel the impact of this price increase the most. The options will now be:

  • Continue to use cPanel and pay the cost increase.
  • We can move you over to the DirectAdmin control panel.

(Source: company blog)

Latest Update to Licensing Model from cPanel

Benny Vasquez
“The feedback has been clear, our analysis of use cases was incomplete, and we underestimated the amount of support that some of our Community require to implement these licensing model changes,” said benny Vasquez, cPanel’s Manager of Community Engagement.

“The feedback has been clear,” said benny Vasquez, cPanel’s Manager of Community Engagement in the company’s reaction on the price hike and its customers’ feedback. 

“Our analysis of use cases was incomplete, and we underestimated the amount of support that some of our Community require to implement these licensing model changes.

This was a miss on our part, and we are sorry for any concern we have caused as a result. Your (cPanel customers, ed.) feedback has been taken to heart, and we are making adjustments.”

Some of cPanel’s adjustments to the new licensing model would include:

  • cPanel understands that account based pricing requires additional effort from its partners. That’s why they want to help ease this transition by providing implementation support to partners. cPanel would apply a one-time credit to cover part or all of your September 15th invoice up to $10,000.
  • cPanel will add a new 50 account ‘Plus’ package. This would be available at partner pricing for $25/month to their cloud offering for customers who aren’t quite ready for a 100 account+ Premier license.
  • cPanel would provide fixed cPanel Premier Packages starting with 100 account licenses, and they are making additional packages available in 50 account increments (i.e., 150, 200, 250, etc.) for customers where auto-scaling is not a good fit. To avoid a disadvantage in comparison to auto-scale pricing, cPanel would be offering these fixed price packages at a discount.

For additional information on the new modifications to cPanel’s licensing model, visit their website here.