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Cpanel’s recent price hike took all hosting companies by storm. As a result of this, a lot of companies are increasing their cPanel website hosting prices.

If you’re not in the loop – cPanel’s previous pricing system allowed anyone to host an unlimited number of websites, or more accurately create an unlimited number of hosting accounts for the same price.

With the new pricing plans, that all changes. There are a few limits imposed.

Before this price hike, any web hosting provider could use the $45/month or even the $20/month plan to host 1000+ websites, as long as the server resources allow it. Without any additional cPanel costs.

Currently, we’re not planning to increase our website hosting prices, and we’re also not planning to migrate to DirectAdmin. For now, we’ll just absorb the price increase and continue to offer great and affordable hosting.

cPanel’s price guarantee

In August of last year, cPanel was acquired by Oakley Capital – an investment firm. This does set off some red flags as to why an investment firm would purchase a web service company – unless they’re planning to profit big from it.

After the announcement, a FAQ was published on cPanel’s blog and it was all good news – nothing’s changing, or so they said.

Q: How will this affect customers?

A: There will be no immediate customer impact.  cPanel will continue to run as an independent business. 

Q: Does this mean my prices will increase?

A: While we regularly evaluate our licensing prices, our fees did not change as part of this transaction. If you have specific questions, please contact your account manager or our customer support team.

This continued for almost a year, but I guess they couldn’t hold off anymore. After all, they are an investment firm.

cPanel’s price increase

As previously mentioned, the previous cPanel plans were not limited with accounts (except Solo):

  1. cPanel Solo ($15/month) – Aimed at web designers
  2. cPanel VPS ($20/month) – Aimed at smaller hosting providers
  3. cPanel Dedicated ($45/month) – Aimed at larger hosting providers

Now, these prices might seem low for an organization with 100+ hosting clients, but they were what website hosting providers were used to.

The new prices hit web hosting providers the most because they weren’t expecting the price increase.

The new cPanel prices are as follows

Solo has been left untouched, it lets you manage one hosting account – suitable for web designers who want to offer free hosting to their clients.

But the VPS and Dedicated plans have been swapped out with three new plans:

  • Admin
  • Pro
  • Premier

The prices were previously based on whether the license was installed on a VPS or on a dedicated server. Now, the prices are based on the number of accounts under each license.

  • The Admin plan, priced at $20 per month is limited to only 5 hosting accounts. For comparison, 5 accounts aren’t enough to pay the monthly fee of $20 with most website hosting prices.
  • The Pro package has a limit that’s a bit higher but still limited to 30 accounts. This is not bad at $30/month, but this and the Admin plan were both made to get customers to buy the more expensive plan – or so it seems to me.
  • The Premier cPanel plan is limited to 100 hosting accounts and seems like the best value – this is why I said the previous two plans were made to get customers to buy this package. It only costs $45 per month as the base price – limited up to 100 accounts.

But this is where it gets tricky. The Premier plan allows for more than 100 cPanel accounts, but at a price of $0.2 per account. This is what angered most website hosting providers.

The good thing is that partner pricing is much cheaper:

  • For 5 accounts – $12.50/month
  • For 30 accounts – $17.50/month
  • For 100 accounts – $32/month + $0.10 for each additional account

How does this impact website hosting pricing and providers?

Well, firstly, I can guarantee you that there were some smaller hosting providers that used the VPS cPanel plan – at only $20/month.

The smaller hosting providers will definitely have to move to a bigger license at $45/month.

But $20/month isn’t really a huge impact – so small hosting providers won’t really suffer.

Huge website hosting companies are sure to suffer more from this. At 1000 hosting accounts, the price would increase from $45/month to $245/month with the new cPanel pricing. That’s an additional $200 per month per dedicated server or VPS.

Website hosting providers have gone to Twitter to vent about this, and there are a lot of them.

Who can blame them?

Their cPanel license will most likely cost more than their server – which is hardware and is expensive to manufacture and maintain.

And there are plenty of web hosting providers who are migrating to DirectAdmin for this exact reason.

How will this impact website hosting prices?

We’ve already seen price increases from some website hosting providers – but they’re not unwarranted.

As I said before, the license cost will cost more than the server for some hosts, so an increase in price will make sure they stay in business.

It’s only natural that if your running costs double, your prices should double as well.

Web hosting providers that increase their prices will most likely increase them by a small amount per month. Nothing major that you should be worried about.

But there are a lot of customers that are throwing some heat at the companies for increasing prices.

While it’s not nice to see a price increase, not increasing the price might be detrimental to some hosting providers. Different hosting providers have different business models, so you can’t know what’s happening internally.

This will have the most effect on reseller hosting because a reseller cPanel account can create more cPanel accounts, thus resulting in a higher monthly license.

We’re already seeing hosting companies either reducing the number of accounts or increasing the price to fit more accounts.

Conclusion

These pricing increases might prove to be a problem to larger hosting providers, and they might have to migrate to DirectAdmin – which has already started to happen.

The problem comes when you see that Oakley Capital also owns other web services such as Plesk – which is a competing web panel.

But the strongest kick in the balls would be an increase in the WHMCS pricing – which is also owned by Oakley Capital.

A lot of businesses also use WHMCS and would have to move to an alternative hosting management service.

In the end, if you’re satisfied with your website hosting provider, then the small increase in website hosting prices shouldn’t really bother you. It might be necessary in order for that host to survive.


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