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cPanel, L.L.C. is receiving quite a bit of backlash regarding its decision to update its pricing model in June 2019. Many web hosting companies have posted publicly that the new pricing model could result in up to an 800%+ increase in licensing costs. (That’s a very surface level claim, by the way.)

At first glance, the new pricing model is a little bit confusing. Let’s start with some history. When cPanel started over 20 years ago, physical web server hardware could only handle a certain number of web sites. So, cPanel built its licensing on a per-server basis that allowed for an unlimited number of accounts (because there was a theoretical limit due to the hardware limitations).

Today, a single cloud server can be expanded to handle exponentially higher load. This means that a host could set up a single virtual machine with the computing power to handle thousands and thousands of web sites with a single license. Companies that once needed to license dozens or even hundreds of servers may be able to serve the same number of clients with a fraction of the total number of servers. This decrease in total servers means less licenses for cPanel.

This is purely speculation on my part, but it seems that cPanel was seeing that drastic reduction in licenses from some of its largest clients — knowing very well that they weren’t likely taking on any less clients… in fact, their business was probably growing while cPanel’s was shrinking.

If you ask me, it was only a matter of time before cPanel decided to make the adjustment that they just made in June 2019, which is to switch to a licensing model based on total number of accounts. Large hosting companies are going to see a big increase in cost, because over the last 20 years they have scaled down costs so much by using less hardware to serve more customers. In a way, cPanel is right-sizing their licensing model.

Here’s how it works.

If you are using “cloud” server architecture (which I believe they simply mean as non-dedicated) then you can select an Account Tier Licensing plan that matches the number of accounts you host.

There are three tiers — “Admin”, “Pro”, and “Premier”. They are all billed monthly. The Admin tier will support up to 5 accounts, Pro up to 30, and Premier up to 100 (with each additional costing $0.20). There is also a metal option of the Premier plan that supports dedicated hardware.

You can see how many accounts you have by logging in to WHM and going to “List Accounts”. The total will be listed at the top. You would need to do this for every server you operate.

With this change, they have also eliminated the annual payment option. It’s also quite unclear how partners will be approaching the change. Many hosts purchase licensing from web sites such as BuycPanel.com who offer discounted rates, server support, and free add-on plugins. When you login to their web site, they have posted this message:

“We are aware of, and still processing the recent cPanel pricing news.  We expect our pricing to continue to be at, or below, cPanel retail rates.  You will not see any lapse in BuycPanel’s exceptional service and addon offerings. We are monitoring the situation closely and will post any new information as it becomes available, via email and our announcements section.”

From BuycPanel.Com Client Area

It seems that as one of cPanel’s largest partners, even they were shocked. However, the hosting world will move forward. cPanel may lose some clients, but at the end of the day they still offer one of the most powerful, secure, and reliable platforms for web hosts.

What is Florida Web Architects doing? We have no plans to discontinue use of cPanel at this time. If you’re looking for a reliable cPanel web host, visit our web hosting page to check out our unlimited plans — with cPanel!

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