Recently, there has been a lot of outrage towards cPanel regarding the changes announced in July to the cPanel pricing increase from the web hosting community. In this article, I’m going to cover what this means for WebJex, other web-hosting providers, and what it lastly means for the industry as a whole.
cPanel Price Increase Bottom Line Impact
In preparation of writing this article, I read comments from the cPanel FaceBook reviews, Reddit and on the web hosting discord server linked off Reddit that consists of small and big web hosting provider staff and business owners. Majority of cPanel users have strongly indicated that the price will negatively affect their business by hurting their bottom line in increased server licensing costs.
Before the pricing structure changes, you purchased a VPS license for around USD 15.00. Enabling you to host an unlimited amount of cPanel accounts on one VPS. Thus this which meant for web-host providers who could charge much lower costs per account.
The result encouraged cPanel users to have scenarios such as one site per cPanel account rather than using ‘addon domains’ feature within the user account to add additional sites.
Now, cPanel price increase has an entry-level price of around USD 15.00 for one cPanel account and pricing after 100 cPanel accounts have an added cost per every account added. Meaning for the bigger hosts that have thousands of cPanel accounts on one server has reported having more than 400% increases in their cPanel licensing.
Web hosts generally won’t reveal customer numbers and servers that they own so the actual statistics is complete speculation. But this is clear that this cPanel price increase hurts more significant web host providers than smaller hosts.
cPanel price increase has already got top providers migrating away from cPanel.
SiteGround has posted saying that they are migrating to their control panel solution. Although SiteGround has announced that they have been working on this change for three years, it could be speculated that development of this change has been escalated recently.
No one would blame SiteGround for wanting to migrate as they are considered a respectable web hosting provider, and we at WebJex support SiteGround’s mission to be able to provide secure web hosting to website owners.
Other hosts have publicly posted company blog posts stating their disapproval of the price increased, and some have informed their customers that they will be facing price increases and that they regret being put in the situation where they have to consider charging not-for-profit organisations for web hosting services.
VentraIP has discontinued its free hosting plans and encouraged its users to contact the company to find a solution to minimise the impact.
Ramifications of the cPanel price hike
cPanel migration done incorrectly could lead to security issues
Although there are tools out there to help migrate cPanel accounts from a cPanel server to a non-cPanel server by using 3rd party scripts, these scripts may break websites as different control panels restrict different settings, work differently and cPanel to its credit is a very reliable and redundant system and may fix problems automatically routinely that other software doesn’t have the same abilities.
For example, consider the following scenario. An extensive website has a poorly coded script that uses a lot of resources to process, but the site owner isn’t aware that this script is a resource hogger because of the way cPanel processes and prioritises the runtime of said script. cPanel could have a level of optimisation on the host level that allows the script to run because it is identified as being a safe script. This same script running on a non-cPanel server could be stopped from running and therefore not being able to complete correctly. This may have unintended consequences.
cPanel also updates their own software and add new features which need to be considered in future migration scripts, so it is more likely than unlikely that there will be problems for site owners who are forced to migrate their services over to a new control panel. Just like there is in any software open source or closed source, there are always bugs being found in software and even the most popular migration tools.
cPanel could lose thousands of customers
As there are reports of hosts migrating away from cPanel, this would no doubt have a ripple effect on the company’s operations, and instead of increasing their profits it may have the opposite effect and force the company to make cutbacks in the long term. Although this is simply speculation at this point, the possibility needs to be considered if cPanel will be a future-proof web hosting control panel for the following decades.
However, the cPanel pricing increase price may push the bigger hosts out, but newer hosts may thrive as they are least impacted by these changes and may only have <$100 added monthly expense to their actual costs. This means that the expected revenue from this price increase may not increase company profits by the huge margins as expected, but cPanel will profit from smaller hosts that continue to use cPanel and grow their business on the new pricing structure.
cPanel will become a premium hosting solution rather than the industry standard
cPanel has been the most reliable and most sought control panel by users looking for a control panel to help manage their site. It’s also considered easy to use by most standards compared to other control panes, and small businesses may struggle to adapt to different terminology within control panels if they were dropped into a separate control panel overnight. This delay may cause customers to switch to more expensive solutions like website builder providers out of frustration of the ‘mess around’ they have endured by their host and will lose confidence in selecting a cPanel host out of fear they may cease to use cPanel in the future.
cPanel hosting, as a result, would be considered a premium choice over other less reputable control panel software. This premium choice comes at a premium price to users who wish to stay with cPanel.
WebJex will remain to provide Australian cPanel Hosting
cPanel will be an option for shared hosting, and we will invest in an alternative control panel to be able to offer more choices to our customers who don’t specifically want to use cPanel as a way to reduce our customer’s account costs.
cPanel hosting costs will be revised in the next week, but the increase will be minimal as we consider ourselves a smaller host and we are not impacted like bigger hosts.
However, we stand with our competitors, industry partners in sharing our mutual disappointment with the cPanel pricing increase, and we hope that cPanel makes some changes to reduce the cost impact on users. We have reached out to cPanel with constructive feedback, and they have acknowledged that our feedback will be collected.
We still love and trust cPanel, but we are bitter towards the company.
We still love cPanel, and this blog post was written to highlight the challenges created by this change but our trust towards cPanel as a company has taken a toll. WebJex found out about the price increase through reading an influx of negative reviews about cPanel on the official facebook page. Since then the reviews section has been removed off the page due to complaints of the cPanel pricing increase.