cPanel unleashes price hikes on its most dense customers

Yeah - because hardware is better these days, we're going to need to charge you more. Much, much more...

cPanel has dropped a bombshell on its customers with a price hike for its services that has left some running for the door marked exit.

The company, which specialises in interfaces aimed at simplifying website and server management, announced the increases (PDF) without warning, with licences purchased or renewed from now hit immediately, with monthly licences sticking with the old structure until 1 September.

Annual licences are also for the chop, and will be converted to monthly billing as they come up for renewal.

The gang previously had three tiers for users to enjoy – cPanel Solo, at $15/month, cPanel and WHM VPS at $20/month (or $200/year), or a dedicated version aimed at larger web hosts for $45/month or $425/year.

The tiers have now been renamed to Admin, Pro and Premier (at $20, $30 and $45/month respectively) but - and this is what has really enraged customers -an account limit has been applied. The top level, Premier, is limited to 100 accounts. Additional accounts will require an extra $0.20/month each.

The company explained the change in its updated licensing guide, saying that: "Historically, cPanel has based its services and pricing around a VPS or Dedicated license with unlimited cPanel Accounts" but improvements in hardware means it needs to change its pricing structure.

Er, right.

While the company claims benefits for "customers with a lower cPanel account density", those with a higher density are in for sticker shock.

And goodness, how those customers have been shrieking. One hosting provider, SonicFast, complained that the change meant an 800 per cent increase in the amount it would be charged.

Other customers simply published the bare figures showing the impact of the hike in cold, hard cash. It is all a bit eyewatering.

Passing the price rises onto downstream customers will take a bit of bravery in the competitive hosting market. For some, it will be easier to simply look elsewhere.

One UK-based hosting provider simply slammed the brakes on issuing any more licences until the whole sorry situation could be sorted out.

The company, founded in 1997 and snapped up by Oakley Capital last year (a group that also owns Plesk and SolusVM), currently enjoys the slogan "Champions for our customers, the industry, and our employees". It has yet to add "and our investors".

It probably can’t get its website to work – it has, unsurprisingly, come under relentless DDoS attacks since the price changes were announced.

cPanel lays claim to over 70 million domains launched on servers using cPanel and WHM over more than 73 countries. It also refers to its employees as "cpeeps".

Its customers might have a different name for them in light of recent events.

We have contacted cPanel to get its reasons for the hike but have yet to hear back. ®

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