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cPanel and Plesk’s new stopgap reprieve for older Linux distros will cost you

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If you’re running cPanel or Plesk on a soon-to-be-unsupported OS like CentOS, AlmaLinux 7 or Debian 10, then WebPros are pleased to announce extended support - for a fee.

WebPros, the owners of cPanel and Plesk, have recently announced a new “Extended Lifecycle Support (ELS) program”. This program will make it easier for you to operate cPanel or Plesk on some Linux distros, including CentOS, even after they have officially reached end-of-life. Unsurprisingly, it will come at a cost. 

CentOS will reach its official EOL at the start of next month, July 2024. It’s been in the works (and had its own complications) for years. So this is almost a last-minute, short term reprieve.

This might be the time for you to make a bigger long-term decision and get completely away from WebPros and their price ratchet.

The EOL dates of the distros themselves aren’t changing, but the ELS program does give you more time to work out a migration plan for your cPanel or Plesk servers. While you consider your next move, it’s a good idea to ask whether this is the time to say a permanent goodbye to cPanel and Plesk. That’s one of the options that we explain below.

WebPros will automatically add ELS, and the relevant fee, for everyone running affected distros. There is no opt-out.

Who this news is for

This news matters to you if you’re running:

  • cPanel (v110 or higher) on CentOS 7 or CloudLinux 7

  • Plesk Obsidian on CentOS 7, CloudLinux 7, Ubuntu 18.04, or Debian 10.

Any servers that match any of those descriptions will be automatically enrolled in the ELS program as the distro reaches EOL. Licence costs will go up from 1 August 2024 for CentOS and CloudLinux, and from 1 October 2024 for Ubuntu 18.04 and Debian 10.

Foretelling future price rises

Official announcements from cPanel and from Plesk include the news that the ELS fee “is subject to increase” from the start of 2025. This is no surprise after January 2024, January 2023, and January 2022 all brought their own price rises.

The way we see it, WebPros know that they have a lot of pricing power. Licences for their software - and for extras like the ELS program - are likely to keep getting more expensive over the coming years.

Pricing power comes from “stickiness”. It’s hard to move away from systems like cPanel or Plesk. But it’s a good idea to know the alternatives, and have a plan that can kick in when costs get too high for you. You might even find that the upheaval of a migration between distros is the right time to consider a bigger switch away from WebPros entirely. 

Three options

There are three possible paths for you to take.

If you migrate away from your older distro now, you’ll avoid ELS fees and the hassles of running Linux beyond its end-of-life. There are tools to help with this, so it’s much easier than it would have been a year or two ago. You’ll still be a WebPros customer, though, so you’d be smart to expect another across-the-board price rise soon enough. 

Or you could accept ELS and its costs, and use the time to plan your next move. The ELS program already has its end-dates locked in for 1 July 2025 (Ubuntu and Debian) and 1 January 2026 (CentOS and CloudLinux). It’s less of a silver bullet, more of an emergency deadline extension.

Or this might be the time for you to make a bigger long-term decision and get completely away from WebPros and their price ratchet. While CentOS and Plesk have made price rises an annual event, our Cloud Container platform has grown and evolved without soaking its users. It’s a fast, flexible alternative that’s built on open source technology - no licences required. It only takes a couple of minutes to spin up a server and see for yourself how a break away from cPanel/Plesk could look.

Whichever choice you make, or if you’d like help deciding, we’re here to help. If there are questions you want to ask about any of this, then just get in touch.


Image modified from a photo by Alexandr Podvalny on Unsplash.