Blog: The Uniden Life


The sudden cPanel price rise

Tips, hints, alternatives and our own panel

David Von Kapff
By: David Von Kapff
June 29, 2019

Sad new today,

CPanel has just released a license price rise and it will definitely affect us as a hosting provider.

Therefore I think that the red background complements this effect well.

The per-account pricing model suggested by cPanel team can even make the cost of license higher than the servers we offer. That’s just bad end business, this effects all cPanel customers from hosting providers to users and just is not going to work, especially when we are providing hosting accounts for nominal money.

We at UnidenHosting, always assist customers in delivering 100% cost-effective solutions as part of our commitment to our customers.

Today, we’ll see the impact of cPanel license price hike and some workarounds we are thinking about as suggested by our Product Engineers, to reduce costs. To you, and to us.

The real impact of License price rise

We’ll first see how the increased price affects our own serves, virtual private server owners and our dedicated server owners.

In the new pricing model, cPanel brings restrictions to the number of accounts hosted on a server. Unfortunately, even the lowest price comes to a monthly cost of $20 for just 5 accounts. The other monthly plans include $30 for 30 accounts and $45 for 100 accounts. There is an additional cost of $0.20 each on the extra accounts. Moreover, the cheaper plans are supported only on Cloud servers.

Till now, cPanel license came with unlimited accounts support on a server. From our expertise in hosting servers, we can sometimes accommodate an average of 700 to 800 accounts on a single server. Obviously, this new price structure would raise the license cost drastically.

For example, if you are having around 700 accounts, the monthly cost would come to $165 per server. The rough calculation would be $45 for the first 100 accounts and an additional cost of $120 for an extra 600 accounts.

Again, when you are offering cheap hosting plans for just a few $, there will be just marginal profit considering the server monthly cost, running expenses and license charges.

How to reduce costs for your cPanel server?

Now that you know about the real-time implications, focus shifts on how to reduce the costs of running a hosting server. Fortunately for you, we have some history with this.

Being in the hosting industry for more than a decade, 2013-2014 marked the year that we decided to begin fabricating and releasing our own version of our very own control panel, made in-house. We had worked with cPanel for years, but as a hosting provider, we couldn't offer the same features and add-ons as cPanel offered. We believed it was in our customers' best interests to take our control panel offline and continue using cPanel/WHM. This decision was not made lightly.

By building our own control panel, we believed we would have had greater flexibility in the design and functionality process as well as throughout the lifecycle of our customers' experiencing all the while lowering the front end expenses of our business. As any engineer knows, projects are hardly ever executed as first proposed.

In our business, a lot of things change along the implementation timeline that affects the dynamics of a control panel and how the system functions. Now that we've had our feet wet in this field of engineering, we plan on bringing back our control panel. Making it more initiative, more secure and user-friendly with many features you see in today's offering of cPanel.

Since we don’t have an exact date or time when this will be re-released, our Server Consultants suggest our server owners and even ourselves some major approaches to overcome the price rise. We’ll check each of them in detail.

1. Migrate to another control panel
One of the solutions in controlling the costs would be to migrate to another control panel that still offers unlimited accounts per server license.

But, this again depends on various criteria like:

- Type of applications running on server
- Nature and size of accounts
- Control panel features
- Billing solution support
That raises the question “Which control panel to choose?”

The top popular control panel options include DirectAdmin, Plesk, Interworx, ISPConfig, etc. Let’s have a quick look at the pros and cons of these panels.

DirectAdmin

DirectAdmin offers competitive license prices where you can host unlimited accounts. Again, they offer monthly and subsidized yearly pricing too. DirectAdmin offers a lightweight control panel that can easily take care of basic account management.

But, if your server has built-in clustering support for DNS or any other services, DirectAdmin may not work.

Similarly, if you have Windows hosting or need one click third party applications like WordPress, Joomla, etc. DirectAdmin may not be your best bet. Third-party addons are missing in the DA panel.

Is this something we may start offering? Possibly so.

Plesk

Plesk works very well with linux hosting, although seems more popular on Windows. Plesk has an Application Vault that can easily install and maintain third-party applications.

Thus, if you have too many customers looking for one-click installation of 3rd party apps, or have customers that would like to use NodeJS on their websites, the best option would be Plesk. Moreover, Plesk also provides clustering support which will be useful in maintaining the same settings on the new server too.

However keep in mind that Plesk and Cpanel are being powered by the same parent organization, it’s worth to watch the licensing policy changes for Plesk panel too.

What a bummer!

Interworx Panel

Another option for cPanel alternative would be Interworx. It has a rich control panel that provides a smooth and simple platform for basic as well as advanced users. Just like cPanel and WHM interface, Interworx has for having Nodeworx like WHM and Siteworx like cPanel.

Luckily, Interworx also works with all of the major billing platforms like WHMCS, HostBill, Ubersmith, etc. This comes really handy in reducing the billing account hassles during migration.

ISPConfig as an option

Similarly, ISPConfig come as a reliable free control panel for Linux hosting too. There are different versions of this panel. ISPConfig 2 is a single server control panel while ISPConfig 3 works as a multi server control panel for virtual users.

2. Consolidating your hosting accounts
For a vast majority of customers, working with cPanel has become a default method. They are pretty much easy and comfortable with the options in the cPanel. Thus, they may find it difficult to adapt to a new control panel, new directory structure and so on.

In such cases, as a hosting provider, we will have to maintain cPanel as our control panel. But fortunately, there there is still a way to reduce the costs.

Additionally, it becomes an option to put all our customers who are choosy about cPanel into a single set of selected servers, similar to what we do with our hosting plans such as non-limited plans to unlimited space plan. In all these use cases, we ensure care to be taken in having a proper migration plan. And, our Dedicated Engineers always follow proper migration checklists to avoid web site downtime.

Combatting the price increase

We will continue to support cPanel hosting to all current customers. For any new customer sign ups, they will be placed on either DirectAdmin (default) or Interworx. For current and new customers using cPanel, we have opted into purchasing licenses from a cPanel partner NOC as by September 1, 2019 we will no longer be an authorized cPanel Partner NOC. Using a larger Partner NOC will help drastically reducing our costs which these savings will be passed to customers.

Most of our customers and servers have already been updated with new license keys to reflect some of these changes.

The cPanel price rise has hit badly for customers who purchase a license directly from cPanel. CPanel gives licenses for their paid partners at much better pricing. And, when you have too many servers using cPanel like us, it’s worth choosing a partner and get the license from them.

TO existing and current customers

You will be assigned to a Account Manager to help facilitate these account changes. If you have not received an email yet, please contact our Sales Department by live chat, e-mail or by phone (844) 443-3668 (option 2).

Conclusion

CPanel price rise is a real shock for all of us. Luckily, we have already been in works of bringing our very own control panel back.

Today, we saw the various cPanel alternatives and the top 3 ways to reduce license costs. At this current moment, you will not see a change in service panels, but looks like we will be bringing back our control panel (luckily we've already been working on it). Until next time...