WHMCS pricing increase - we all said it would come

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  • @Lee said: @jarland mentioned somewhere he is looking at $299 a month for example.

    What was he paying before? Can he migrate away without too much pain?

  • hosterlabshosterlabs Hosting Provider

    This is just horrible. Feels like a scam...

    This does not add up at all. We might just change to hostbill now. I have wanted to move to hostbill a long time ago because it just seems to be a superior product. But now I might have a financial reason to do so.

  • YmpkerYmpker OGContent Writer

    @someshzade said:
    The end is nigh! Its time to get some blesta lifetime licenses.... do we have any good developer for blesta? I might need some changes to be done before performing the migration.

    @armandorg can help, I assume :)

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  • The difference between any cPanel price increase and WHMCS is simply that cPanel is an end user product - IE if the end user wants it that bad especially now they generally know they need to pay for it, therefore the costs of the increase in pricing were generally passed on and at the discounted rates around a $0.20 increase per month per client for cPanel isn't really the end of the world yet and there's still good demand for cPanel out there.

    WHMCS is a backend solution IE intended to primarily benefit the company utilising it, and to see a jump from say $40 a month (if you were on a leased license) to the $xxx that the majority will see is crazy and passing that cost on to customers is questionable. WHMCS is a good product but it certainly isn't worth that much especially in one big jump and the majority are going to abandon ship, given there's 4 months notice I do think we'll see a hell of a lot migrating over to other platforms without doubt.

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  • edited April 2021

    TL;DR;

    credits to at @raindog308 on OGF - it was missing here though

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  • @WSCallum said: given there's 4 months notice I do think we'll see a hell of a lot migrating over to other platforms without doubt.

    July 1st is four months away?

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  • vyasvyas OGContent Writer

    @angstrom said:

    @WSCallum said: given there's 4 months notice I do think we'll see a hell of a lot migrating over to other platforms without doubt.

    July 1st is four months away?

    That means BF is 8 months away ! Need to find a second job to pay for new offers

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  • @angstrom said:

    @WSCallum said: given there's 4 months notice I do think we'll see a hell of a lot migrating over to other platforms without doubt.

    July 1st is four months away?

    3 months..... Covid has made me lose all track of time and i'm still a month behind apparently!

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  • seriesnseriesn Hosting ProviderOG

    @Lee said:

    @SmallWeb said: Just reposting something I said on OGF: I think it will probably be years before anything major happens in terms of big players switching.

    I know a few that are seeing a significant price increase that will force a move. Not what you might call 'big players' but big enough. I am sure @jarland mentioned somewhere he is looking at $299 a month for example. That won't work for his type of service. One other I know is then looking at the $849 tier.

    Now usually I would say that if you have that many active clients you should be able to pay, but some are providing services that shall we say, don't pay that well, web hosting aside.

    So although for many this is just another price hike to absorb, it will affect enough providers this time around that they will have to find a new solution.

    Let’s not forget, if you are selling onetime/lifetime services or free products, those numbers don’t help either.

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  • hostEONShostEONS Hosting ProviderOG

    @Lee said:

    @SmallWeb said: Just reposting something I said on OGF: I think it will probably be years before anything major happens in terms of big players switching.

    I know a few that are seeing a significant price increase that will force a move. Not what you might call 'big players' but big enough. I am sure @jarland mentioned somewhere he is looking at $299 a month for example. That won't work for his type of service. One other I know is then looking at the $849 tier.

    Now usually I would say that if you have that many active clients you should be able to pay, but some are providing services that shall we say, don't pay that well, web hosting aside.

    So although for many this is just another price hike to absorb, it will affect enough providers this time around that they will have to find a new solution.

    It's not about whether you can afford to pay or not, usually all providers will be able to pay considering the number of active clients and price slabs, but the thing is this greed never ends, even most providers can afford to even pay for cPanel price hike, but still a lot of them changed to DA. They are going to keep increasing their price, that's why I said earlier I'll probably stick with WHMCS for now as migrating thousands of clients to another system is bigger pain then paying for WHMCS, but if they keep doing it, then it's better to bare that pain and get rid of them.

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  • MichaelCeeMichaelCee ModeratorOGServices Provider

    @willie said:

    I think it will probably be years before anything major happens in terms of big players switching.

    Are any "big players" using stuff like WHMCS? I thought WHMCS (and Blesta etc.) was a small-company thing. DO, Hetzner, OVH, etc. don't use WHMCS, to say nothing of high end operators like AWS.

    Big players/big group of players was my original meaning.

  • deankdeank OG
    edited April 2021

    When CPanel price increased - We are gonna develop / roll our own!

    Years later - Nothing.

    WHMCS price increase - We are gonna develop / roll our own!

    Prediction - Nada.

    Would love to be proven wrong.

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  • MichaelCeeMichaelCee ModeratorOGServices Provider

    @deank said:
    When CPanel price increased - We are gonna develop / roll our own!

    Years later - Nothing.

    WHMCS price increase - We are gonna develop / roll our own!

    Prediction - Nada.

    Would love to be proven wrong.

    In that scenario, I don't think most can shit out a good enough panel in 2 years (didn't siteground do this though after already working on one)

    Maybe 5+ years.

    By the time most people leave WHMCS, the pricing might not even be a factor towards that.

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  • vyasvyas OGContent Writer
    edited April 2021

    @deank said:
    When CPanel price increased - We are gonna develop / roll our own!

    Years later - Nothing.

    WHMCS price increase - We are gonna develop / roll our own!

    Prediction - Nada.

    Would love to be proven wrong.

    price increase topics Remind me of the super long and ranty Hostmantis price hike discussions on OGF. In the end many “ate” the price increases

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  • @SmallWeb said:
    In that scenario, I don't think most can shit out a good enough panel in 2 years (didn't siteground do this though after already working on one)

    Maybe 5+ years.

    By the time most people leave WHMCS, the pricing might not even be a factor towards that.

    You kind of answered the grand question - the scale of development and commitment required.

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  • You can do it, the base code for NanoKVM has been written in 40 hours.
    Give it 2-3 weeks more and you have something you can work with.

  • @hostEONS said: even most providers can afford to even pay for cPanel price hike, but still a lot of them changed to DA.

    Not in this end of the market, many moved to DA as they simply could not sustain what clients wanted at the price they were willing to pay.

  • hostEONShostEONS Hosting ProviderOG
    edited April 2021

    @Lee said:

    @hostEONS said: even most providers can afford to even pay for cPanel price hike, but still a lot of them changed to DA.

    Not in this end of the market, many moved to DA as they simply could not sustain what clients wanted at the price they were willing to pay.

    I mean it depends upon the providers pricing or business model, few that changed does not really bother to these companies, even we ourselves switched to DA, but we changed it like almost after 1 year I think, that too when there was second price hike bcz if they keep doing this then business won't be profitable or we need to change our whole business model

    So it all depends upon provider and are they ready to take the pain of migration and what kind of dent is it putting on their profits but no matter how many providers change or leave, WHMCS/cPanel are still going to make way more profit from these changes, so they are not worried about few providers leaving them

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  • LeeLee OG
    edited April 2021

    I totally get some hosts wanting to move this time, for some, there is really no option given you could be paying up to $299 per month. But, I am now patiently waiting for the migrations to Blesta to start and for some to realise how lacking it is in some areas compared to WHMCS.

    And furthermore, I am sure we will see ****** up migrations leading to client data being exposed.

  • xTomxTom Hosting Provider

    Too expensive, so we have migrated to Hostbill instead.

  • I know people will get mad, but on some level you have to appreciate and marvel at their price positioning. It's cheaper than chargebee, recurly, and ubersmith at the higher revenue tiers, at the lowend they wiped the branded $2/mo away plus jacked up the price, and the monthly charges in general are low enough to preclude the development of a full featured platform in house with rigorous security testing etc.

    So those at the lower end can switch to Blesta and Client Exec - this reduces ticket volume and other issues for whmcs. and those that switch to save 4-15/mo on the lower 2 tiers aren't clients they want to keep anyway. Those in the larger client tiers would need to do a cost benefit analysis - accepting the fact that owned licenses will die for the other providers after a certain conversion volume is achieved (see DA to understand this). And at these higher rates, they still want to drop the price sensitive, vocal customers - as they usually bring a large volume of other issues/requests with them.

    So, it's a brilliant strategy. Leaves the providers with one choice- figure out how to increase revenue per client or increase the number of clients that are profitable and practice good database hygiene- a customer with no services really isnt active are they?

    The owned licenses still work at the level you paid for- you just won't have the opportunity to pay for support and updates. But they still work - so the legal arguments fail. Also its not a monopoly, its just a large market share- there are innumerable ways of billing for cpanel and they haven't restricted access to the api for cpanel/plesk so the VC's aren't acting as a monopoly.

    Finally - its a scam, illegal and blah blah blah when its coming out of your pocket, but its not a scam, illegal etc when you are taking cash from a clients pocket - or having people pay for orders for machines that always magically get caught up in customs. Seems the moral compass is off for the industry in general.

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  • LeeLee OG
    edited April 2021

    @DataGizmos said: Seems the moral compass is off for the industry in general.

    It always has been. Like I said earlier or in another thread, people used to whine about the cost of a $14 cPanel licence, claiming it was a complete rip off at that price as their VPS only cost $3 per month.

    Again, those that shout the loudest are usually the ones that cause more headaches for a software provider and generate the least revenue so they are better without them. cPanel knew that WHMCS is copying that. Money gained will more than compensate for money lost.

  • deankdeank OG
    edited April 2021

    I'd say 14 bucks per or whatever it is at now a Cpanel license is a rip off - if - you can run your server without it.

    Majority of those on LET have to have it. So, it ain't a rip-off. It's essential cost.

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  • tomazutomazu Hosting Provider

    @DataGizmos said:
    The owned licenses still work at the level you paid for- you just won't have the opportunity to pay for support and updates. But they still work - so the legal arguments fail. Also its not a monopoly, its just a large market share- there are innumerable ways of billing for cpanel and they haven't restricted access to the api for cpanel/plesk so the VC's aren't acting as a monopoly.

    I am not so sure about this - for one the agreement was that I would pay a high one-time cost to get (1) an "owned" "lifetime" license of the WHMCS software and that (2) I would be able to get ongoing updates for it by paying a yearly subscription. The possibility to get updates for the software is cardinal here as otherwise - after a security issue or some other material bug - the software becomes obsolete quickly and my high one-time investment void.

    Taking away that update option also completely devaluates the license, you would have to write down the high one time cost due to a unilateral decision implemented by a company that has not defaulted nor is under administration or similar.

    Finally, while it might not be a complete monopoly, WebPros and WHMCS surely have significant market share and pricing power, way above 30% of the relevant market, so I am not sure that limiting license transfers or not providing updates for owned licenses wouldn't be considered problematic.

    WebPros for sure had their lawyers pour over this for a long time, maybe some fine print was changed that I am not aware of and for sure challenging this is going to be very costly.

    But denying the possibility to get updates for owned WHMCS Licenses is effectively killing those licenses, those license will not work the level you paid for simply because the (paid) update option was taken away. This is Oakley Capital 101, ready to get milked again?

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  • @tomazu said: the agreement was that I would pay a high one-time cost to get (1) an "owned" "lifetime" license of the WHMCS software and that (2) I would be able to get ongoing updates for it by paying a yearly subscription.

    Have you read the terms you signed up for when you bought that lifetime licence? What did it say around how long 'lifetime' is and what were the consequences for you in relation to their requirement to provide future support and/or upgrades and security patches for that licence?

  • PureVoltagePureVoltage Hosting ProviderOG

    Having 5+ owned licenses we made the plan to pay one time upfront for this. They then changed this to a yearly support option for updates / security. Plus makes sense as a business to have this as there are costs involved in it for them to update everyone.

    Then they switched it from yearly to only 6 months as an option. This you could tell their plans would be to gut it completely. When that happen we bought 12-18 months worth for some sites.

    I agree with @tomazu that it's milking the cow here with it dropping any updates the owned licenses. When we signed up there was no wording about this, however they have since changed things up to prevent people from trying to go after them. Personally had we of known this we would have just stuck with HostBill.
    Thankfully we already have those and Blesta accounts that we will work on switching over to in the near future.

    It's one thing to jack up the rates and screw people over that way, however making a lifetime license for a product such as this no longer get updates is quite shady in my books. We will continue to also move all clients and companies we run away from any of their services.

    We only have a few Cpanel systems at this point time to move them over to direct admin as well.
    Pricing for us would be going up from a few hundred a year to 15k yearly.
    While it's not a huge price per customer, once you add in all of the fees for credit card processing, and other panels they all start to add up and reducing those is in the best interest for us. As I bed 1 year from now those fees will increase again as they did with Cpanel.

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  • As a Developer I believe that paying by amount of customers registered in the system is a nasty price tactic, specially if you are introducing it as a new license tier and force the customer into such subscription.

    Blesta would be my choice because of the open source and security track record. Other than that I highly encourage any provider to develop their own customer area and billing system, that always (if done properly) is a good investment. If you ever plan on getting big, it is the only way. You are protected from price increases or sudden new rules. Yeah sure you will have to incur in a greater investment but long term it should pay off.

    I really hope @Francisco consider expanding his rising Star (Stallion) into billing.

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  • hostEONShostEONS Hosting ProviderOG

    The only good thing that happened due to WHMCS Price hike for us is we are getting a rush of orders for shared web hosting as well as VPS where clients are ordering along with Free Blesta License, usually we don't get many requests for Blesta License, but now we are getting lots of requests for the same

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  • lentrolentro Hosting Provider

    If you look at the value generation though, even at the highest tier, the new WHMCS is only like $1k/month. Hiring a dev costs many multiples of that, so I guess this highlights the value generation created by WHMCS. Even for something like Blesta, they are charging like $15/month for something that generates like $10k/month of value for large companies which if you think about it, is a really amazing deal. A piece of software that took countless man hours to develop available for just $15/month... And even cheaper bulk.

    Tbh, I think if I was WHMCS, I'd do the same but also lower prices to lower the barrier of entry (e.g. $0.02/customer, starting at $1/month) to base it on value, as more customers mean more value generated.

  • skorupionskorupion Hosting Provider

    @lentro said: And even cheaper bulk.

    Did you mean Free

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