One Year later: why have cPanel-shared hosting prices not changed much?

vyasvyas OGContent Writer
edited June 28 in General

Hi All,

Here is the short version:

"One year after the cPanel price hike, why shared hosting prices have not changed much for cPanel specific hosting"

(line shamelessly stolen and modified from post by @AnthonySmith below)

In June 2019, there was talk of huge impact of cPanel price increase on the shared hosting industry. One year later, that does not seem to be the case. What could be the reasons for it?


The Long version
It has been a year since cPanel hiked the prices. There were discussions about its impact on pricing of shared hosting, closure of hosting businesses, rise of alternatives, etc. But now I see on LE* and related forums that the pricing for shared hosting is back to the levels around May 2019, that is, before the cPanel hike. Using that time period because that is when I was introduced to the world of web hosting forums/ communities.

I am aware this is generalizing, but

I am seeing several offers in the sub- $ 10 range recently. Let us exclude outliers like a recent post on LET (the $7 shared hosting plan, cPanel, if you know where to look),

What could be the possible reasons for this?
a. State of the economies in various countries i.e demand and supply?
b. Other cost items for hosts are cheaper- bandwidth, disks, electricity...
c. the cPanel price impact was not as bad as it was projected to be
d. Lack of viable alternatives (I believe this may not be true)
e. Backdoor deals between cPanel and some providers, causing pricing pressure on others (collusion may be illegal in many countries but exclusive or preferential pricing is valid)
f. It's marketing gimmick, silly! Use the sub - $ 10/ year offers to increase new signups --> upsell --> profit!
g. Any others?

Edit:
1. here's a screenshot from WHT- Shared hosting offers as on June 28th 2020 : https://ibb.co/ZKCwGJZ
2. Fair points in comments below about impact on reseller hosting. That segment was not my original intent, was interested in shared hosting (as an end user). Therefore updated the title.

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Comments

  • AnthonySmithAnthonySmith AdministratorHosting Provider

    Sorry I might be thick, I do have a migraine starting, but I read that twice and am not 100% sure I understand?

    Essentially you are wondering why nothing has changed much price-wise for shared hosting in general or why prices have not changed much for cpanel specific hosting?

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  • AbdullahAbdullah Hosting ProviderOG

    State of economy maybe a vaLID REASON I think., internal licensing etc. also many providers have absorbed the license cost in their margins?

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  • vyasvyas OGContent Writer
    edited June 28

    @AnthonySmith said:
    Sorry I might be thick, I do have a migraine starting, but I read that twice and am not 100% sure I understand?

    Essentially you are wondering why nothing has changed much price-wise for shared hosting in general or why prices have not changed much for cpanel specific hosting?

    Hm.. I've tried to simplify the post a bit.
    The latter:
    "why prices have not changed much for cpanel specific hosting" is the main question.

  • AnthonySmithAnthonySmith AdministratorHosting Provider

    @vyas said: "why prices have not changed much for cpanel specific hosting" is the main question.

    gotcha.

    My best guess and based on my own business, it only actually works out at $0.10c per customer per month extra, I would like to hope that 90% of us have at least $1.20 per year profit built in and because we all know that the big boys have "special deals" we are too scared to be the first to price hike and we are all playing the waiting game.

    Additionally, it is quite possible that some people have just increased density to cover the additional costs or cut additional services like lightspeed, jetbackup etc.

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  • AnthonySmithAnthonySmith AdministratorHosting Provider
    edited June 28

    Also, I have not made a big deal of this but cPanel have totally arsed up my pricing significantly in my favour since switching from Buycpanel when they bought them.

    I don't plan on being the one to tell them :)

    Also my yearly license only expired a few months ago so it really has not impacted be at all until very recently and due to the screw up on my pricing it still has not impacted me.

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  • BillaBilla Hosting Provider

    I agree with Anthony... the price rise eventually translated to $0.10c per customer per month extra. So the biggest impact I saw was reseller plans going heywire as most of them were offering unlimited cpanel accounts. For others few adjusted this in their profit margins, others like crocweb increased their price a little bit...and people like me also started offering directadmin.

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  • AnthonySmithAnthonySmith AdministratorHosting Provider

    ah fair point, I never offered reseller accounts either so maybe I should just shut my pie hole :)

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  • YmpkerYmpker OGContent Writer
    edited June 28

    Like @AnthonySmith mentioned, I think many providers are making enough profit to still continue offering their services with a slight price increase (if any). Personally, I feel like some of the people who mentioned cPanel Host's prices would sky-rocket and cPanel would regret this decision did speak out so out of frustration selling their services as a loss-leader kinda already and needed to vent to give word to their emotions as their business plans might have crumbled with Oakley's price hike. It's a bit similar with all the hate SolusVM gets/has gotten. Even though it has been called "dead" and shit on so many times, people still continue(d) using it for the lack of an alternative. And even now many are already considering sucking up the new SolusVM higher pricing they have hated on for quite a while because - again - Virtualizor for some does not present an alternative. Many times have I read "if SolusVM doesn't fix x this time I will quit them tomorrow" kinda statements. Guess what happened? People stuck with it. Now, I don't want to downplay DirectAdmin but cPanel is - for all the criticism Oakley deserves - far away from an unmaintained buggy product like the old Solus was at one point for quite a while before V2 was announced. Going with that it's not surprising some providers will continue to stick to cPanel imho.

    Just my two cents. No idea if that's an "answer" @vyas :)

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  • WSCallumWSCallum Hosting Provider

    The biggest impact you would've saw realistically will be to reseller accounts - Especially those offering master/alpha resellers, which you'll probably notice don't seem to be a thing anymore as a result. Web Hosting seems to have been impacted very little in terms of pricing, and resellers are just limited on number of cPanel accounts now.

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  • AnthonySmithAnthonySmith AdministratorHosting Provider
    edited June 28

    @Ympker said: "if SolusVM doesn't fix x this time I will quit them tomorrow"

    I followed through with that and switched to virtualizor about 4 years ago, I started the move with the serversnv brand, it was such an ongoing nightmare that brand is now gone, solusvm is basic in terms of features, it is worlds apart in terms of stability.

    edit: it might have been more than 4 years, I lose track of time.

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  • @AnthonySmith said:
    edit: it might have been more than 4 years, I lose track of time.

    It's an age thing - gets worse! :p

    lowendinfo.com is expiring soon.

  • flipsflips OG
    edited June 28

    Do we know if many providers started moving away from cPanel?
    Like MXroute stopped selling cPanel based accounts and started using DirectAdmin. (Migration of users turned out to be bumpy, so most of the old user base is still maintained on cPanel.) So I think @jarland lost quite a bit of his profit margin by this price hike ...

  • SmallWebSmallWeb Hosting ProviderOG
    edited June 28

    @flips said:
    Do we know if many providers started moving away from cPanel?
    Like MXroute stopped selling cPanel based accounts and started using DirectAdmin. (Migration of users turned out to be bumpy, so most of the old user base is still maintained on cPanel.) So I think @jarland lost quite a bit of his profit margin by this price hike ...

    I also think he switched his licensing over to Fran to save a few $$$ compared to what he would have been paying post-price-rise, but yeah.

    HostMayo did MayoHost for DA. Dewlance seemed mad at cPanel for a while but I think they still offer it. Then there's little old me.

    At least in our communities, I think 99% started offering DA as an additional option (BuyShared) as opposed to cutting cPanel completely.

    Would be interested to know a fuller list of providers who switched.

    Edit: I think there are levels to this. If a host was sketchy and offering cPanel pre-price-rise, they're likely going to be still offering it. If they are legit and making healthy profits, they can deal with it. Plus adding cheaper alternatives can help balance out the numbers.

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  • BillaBilla Hosting Provider

    @SmallWeb said: HostMayo did MayoHost for DA. Dewlance seemed mad at cPanel for a while but I think they still offer it.

    You have a sharp eye for the DA...

  • deankdeank OGOfficial Troll

    Directadmin is okay to use. But I fear there are people who cannot learn new things easily once gotten to used to something. Hosts will need to stick with Cpanel, and I don't see that changing anytime soon.

    As for price, only bottom barrel lowest end hosts would struggle to make their ends meet with Cpanel price increase.

    The Amitz day is October 21. ♻ I call people by their soulname.

  • FranciscoFrancisco Hosting ProviderOG

    Shared didn't change much, what got fucked was resellers.

    For shared we padded our prices a couple bucks a year since we charge basically nothing anyway.

    For resellers we had no choice but to start charging for all sub accounts, but have rolled out DirectAdmin based plans as well.

    Francisco

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  • AnthonySmithAnthonySmith AdministratorHosting Provider

    I suspect it would only be possible to measure the real impact over a longer period, many of us are only just moving out of the yearly license model anyway.

    DA will get better as a result of this and will over time become the new normal in budget hosting.

    I am not sure if anything much has happened to the plesk pricing or if it is going to remain as the middle ground.

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  • deankdeank OGOfficial Troll

    Plesk is pretty decent except for its shitty loading speed. Never seen such a slow panel. My experience with it is 6 months old by now though.

    I think page loading was at least 5 ~ 10 seconds.

    The Amitz day is October 21. ♻ I call people by their soulname.

  • FranciscoFrancisco Hosting ProviderOG

    @deank said:
    Plesk is pretty decent except for its shitty loading speed. Never seen such a slow panel. My experience with it is 6 months old by now though.

    I think page loading was at least 5 ~ 10 seconds.

    Plesk is owned by the same firm. They'll get the same hike in time.

    Solus will too.

    Francisco

  • WSCallumWSCallum Hosting Provider

    @Francisco said:

    @deank said:
    Plesk is pretty decent except for its shitty loading speed. Never seen such a slow panel. My experience with it is 6 months old by now though.

    I think page loading was at least 5 ~ 10 seconds.

    Plesk is owned by the same firm. They'll get the same hike in time.

    Solus will too.

    Francisco

    Solus.io already has - I won't be surprised if they start forcing SolusVM users to start migrating over to Solus.io - Everyone who uses SVM needs to prepare for this now and start planning otheriwse shit will hit the fan when it does happen "out of the blue"

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  • deankdeank OGOfficial Troll

    @Francisco said:
    Plesk is owned by the same firm. They'll get the same hike in time.

    I do know that. OVH used to offer free Plesk license for their cloud vps at one point and I had one.

    The Amitz day is October 21. ♻ I call people by their soulname.

  • FranciscoFrancisco Hosting ProviderOG

    @WSCallum said:

    @Francisco said:

    @deank said:
    Plesk is pretty decent except for its shitty loading speed. Never seen such a slow panel. My experience with it is 6 months old by now though.

    I think page loading was at least 5 ~ 10 seconds.

    Plesk is owned by the same firm. They'll get the same hike in time.

    Solus will too.

    Francisco

    Solus.io already has - I won't be surprised if they start forcing SolusVM users to start migrating over to Solus.io - Everyone who uses SVM needs to prepare for this now and start planning otheriwse shit will hit the fan when it does happen "out of the blue"

    No ones really giving a shit. I've been screaming from the mountains since OnApp owned Solus that they're going to slam the price. The one fellow that used to post on LET (Terry?) would always dodge my question about it.

    I'm not sure if they have the balls to enforce a $5/m/core on legacy SolusVM 1 customers. If they did there is countless providers that would fold on the spot.

    Francisco

  • WSCallumWSCallum Hosting Provider

    @Francisco said:

    @WSCallum said:

    @Francisco said:

    @deank said:
    Plesk is pretty decent except for its shitty loading speed. Never seen such a slow panel. My experience with it is 6 months old by now though.

    I think page loading was at least 5 ~ 10 seconds.

    Plesk is owned by the same firm. They'll get the same hike in time.

    Solus will too.

    Francisco

    Solus.io already has - I won't be surprised if they start forcing SolusVM users to start migrating over to Solus.io - Everyone who uses SVM needs to prepare for this now and start planning otheriwse shit will hit the fan when it does happen "out of the blue"

    No ones really giving a shit. I've been screaming from the mountains since OnApp owned Solus that they're going to slam the price. The one fellow that used to post on LET (Terry?) would always dodge my question about it.

    I'm not sure if they have the balls to enforce a $5/m/core on legacy SolusVM 1 customers. If they did there is countless providers that would fold on the spot.

    Francisco

    They’ll indirectly force a migration (in their eyes hopefully to solus.io) probably by cutting support completely - IE no security updates and so on. I can see it coming from a mile off, but they’ll be waiting until solus is in a better position feature wise first.

    Solus is actually looking like a very nice product but certainly not worth the hefty price tag especially considering the basic, essential features it seems to be lacking (yet has on its roadmap)? Anyway, those still on SolusVM need to seriously start evaluating their options for when this inevitable price hike happens

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  • My opinion. Not a hosting provider so mostly (un)educated guessing:

    1) Reseller hosting prices were affected. Number of cPanel accounts you get for the price and/or removal of unlimited account number hosting offers. That's where the price increase per cPanel has most affect.

    2) Price per single shared hosting account (not reseller) for the providers include technical support costs and other costs - so price paid per cPanel account only play a (smaller?) part there.

    3) Competition and general pricing "race to the bottom" put strong incentive to reduce profits a bit, in order to keep the prices as low as possible.

    4) No really good quality alternative. DirectAdmin is closest contender, but still not what I'd call a good, finished product (no offence meant for the hard work of the developers, hoping it gets polished without the prices going up by much).

    5) Of course that all kinds of marketing tricks are used, it makes little sense not to use them - it goes both for with, and without cPanel (upsales etc.). Related to point 3).

    Mostly harmless ™
    I/O Gremlin

  • FranciscoFrancisco Hosting ProviderOG

    @WSCallum said: They’ll indirectly force a migration (in their eyes hopefully to solus.io) probably by cutting support completely

    "Support". All the stories I heard is that SolusVM v1 went literal years without any updates past 'fixing the footer". Stripping away support isn't going to do anything or force anyone.

    I know some people use Proxmox for things but i've never been impressed with it + the WHMCS modules out there.

    I think Solus.IO is targeted at people that using OnApp. I can't think of many/any hosts that are focused on the LE market to be wanting to offer it at $5/month/core. That's great, competition is good, it just isn't the product everyones been getting promised this whole time. It's missing some serious blocker features though. No RDNS?, no IPV6 subnets? Reinstalling only recently shipped??

    I know some people said it's so hosts can become the next DO or Vultr, but anyone with those kinds of aspirations isn't going to want to that with a platform they have no control over. You can't even come close to Vultr's pricing on things unless you're doing some crazy CPU:VCPU ratio.

    Francisco

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  • @Francisco said: I know some people use Proxmox for things but i've never been impressed with it + the WHMCS modules out there.

    There is ProxCP from the Vapornode (? I think) dude, haven't played with it yet - but would hope it works a bit better than the WHMCS plugins https://proxcp.com/tour - comes in more around Solus/Virtualizor pricing and has an owned/unlimited node option.

    🍌

  • HostSlickHostSlick Hosting Provider

    Its already 1 year?
    I wanted to migrate to DA but been too busy. sh.

  • williewillie OG
    edited June 29

    I tried DA and I like the idea on principle, but I can see why some users might prefer cpanel. DA doesn't seem nearly as slick, and it's an end user product so that sort of thing matters. SolusVM is less end-user-y and as far as I know, none of the bigger providers like DO offer it. It seems like an unfortunate lack of coordination in the low end hosting industry, that low end hosts still keep paying "taxes" to SolusVM instead of funding development of a good FOSS alternative. OpenStack exists but I gather it is overkill for most smaller hosts.

    Regarding cpanel hosting prices: as many have commented, it's reseller plans that were affected the most. If you're selling a single user plan for $1/month you can handle the 10 cent change or pass it on as a barely noticeable price increase (BuyShared went from $5/y to $8/y). But if it's a $20/m reseller plan with 500 users, then paying cpanel .10/user puts it completely under water.

  • Intelpentium0Intelpentium0 Hosting Provider

    I got 50gb reseler including whmcs free from Onehost. But they were acquired by exacth0sting. Exact stopped giving me whmcs and charges me the same amount for space. But their server is stable. So iam paying the old amount for space. Now I paying skynet for whmcs plan. No clients on that one. So eventually iam paying extra 8.95 per month to use whmcs.
    Also buyshared charges me as per cpanel slabs. It's again a severe blow. Again h0stmantis price increased. But they were generous to give me 50% coupon. In whole, the bills are more than before. But I haven't increased the price for end users. It's simply due to competition. The extra amount is being paid from my pocket. Need some more clients to fill up my unused cpanel account. Till then I too will sell for cheap..

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  • AnthonySmithAnthonySmith AdministratorHosting Provider

    Something else that just popped into my head I thought I would mention, since I did not put my prices up and I start at only €3.75 p/year I have actually seen a big increase in orders for shared hosting since Oakley dropped the hammer on us all.

    So maybe I have gained all the customers that others have lost due to putting prices up, so in a certain way it worked out well.

    tbh though shared is such a small part of the business, in general, I have to admit, I only pay attention to it when I need too.

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