Big hosting price increases after cPanel hikes fees

Domains.co.za has informed clients that it will be increasing its hosting prices, thanks to a big change Oakley Capital made to its licensing model for cPanel.

“This has caused our cPanel Licensing to be dramatically increased — by 350%,” said MD and owner of Domains.co.za, Wayne Diamond, in an e-mail to clients.

“Previously, a hosting provider like ourselves could buy a cPanel License per server, which allowed for unlimited cPanel accounts on a server,” Diamond explained.

“The new cPanel licensing pricing model has been completely changed from per server to a per-account basis.”

cPanel pricing change

cPanel announced the change to its licensing model on 27 June, and its new prices are set to take effect from 1 September.

“All licenses purchased or renewed after today [27 June] will use our new pricing and licensing structure,” cPanel said.

“All monthly licenses will remain under the old structure until September 1st, at which time they will be automatically converted to the account-based package that is most appropriate for that specific server.”

cPanel’s prices used to be structured as follows:

  • cPanel Solo – $15 a month (1 account)
  • cPanel VPS – $20 a month (unlimited accounts)
  • cPanel Dedicated – $45 a month (unlimited accounts)

The acronym VPS refers to “virtual private server” and it is this product that was hit hardest by the pricing changes.

From 27 June, cPanel has changed its product tiers to the following:

  • cPanel Solo – $15 a month (1 account for cloud/VPS)
  • cPanel Admin – $20 a month (up to 5 accounts for cloud/VPS)
  • cPanel Pro – $30 a month (up to 30 accounts for cloud/VPS)
  • cPanel Premier – $45 a month (up to 100 accounts, +$0.20 per account over 100 for cloud and “metal”)

cPanel’s new “metal” classification is comparable to its former “Dedicated” license.

cPanel entrenched

Domains.co.za is not the only hosting provider balking at the price increase. Italian web host SonicFast said on the day that the news broke that it was considering alternative control panel software.

“Due to the 800%+ price increase from @cPanel we are considering the migration to DirectAdmin at a significantly less cost. Tomorrow updates will follow. I hope @cPanel reconsider the disproportionate price increase,” the company posted on Twitter.

On 10 July, SonicFast changed its tune: “As following of our cPanel situation, we decided to keep using cPanel at the moment. The reseller plans have been limited by sub-accounts number.”

Domains.co.za price increase

While the cPanel price hike was the catalyst, Diamond said that it was due to several factors that Domains.co.za had no choice but to increase its fees.

“Additional to the current massive cPanel price increase, we have, over the past 2 months, also received a price increase from both our data centre provider and Eskom power.”

“Domains.co.za has tried to carry the costs over the past two months as much as possible, however, we have no choice but to increase our pricing. The majority of our products are directly related to cPanel, data centre, and power”.

Its domain pricing remains mostly unchanged, but other than that, all Domains.co.za packages will be affected, said Diamond.

He said that this includes any past promotions or specials, and a few of their older promotional services may even be deprecated.

Resellers, cloud, and VPS clients affected most of all

Unfortunately, the new cPanel prices will have a far greater impact on Domains.co.za web hosting resellers, as well as cloud and VPS customers.

“The pricing for unlimited cPanel accounts is gone and new account limits on the licences need to be imposed. The hosting industry as a whole has never based their business model on a limitation of cPanel accounts or a constantly escalating cost the more customers you bring onto cPanel,” Diamond said.

“This change will affect the way in which you cost and price your solutions to your customers, as well as change the way you do business from hereon.”

For the Cloud and VPS customers who are using cPanel, there will be cPanel licenses for 5 (R230), 30 (R320) and 50 (R460) cPanel accounts.

For the larger providers, there will be a base licence cost of R590 for 100 cPanel accounts, and a cost of R100 for each additional 50 cPanel accounts thereafter.

“The Domains.co.za Sales Team will be in contact with all our Resellers and cloud / VPS customers who are using cPanel licensing, on an individual basis, and they will discuss your pricing,” said Diamond.

“We can assure you that we have done everything possible to minimise the impact on our clients.”

When the price increase will take effect

Price increases on all affected Domains.co.za services will kick in from its scheduled billing run on 22 August 2019.

Any new services purchased or product upgrades performed will reflect the new pricing with immediate effect.

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Big hosting price increases after cPanel hikes fees