This article is from December 2021. For more recent news about cPanel pricing, see cPanel’s prices tick up again. Time for Cloud Containers? (November 2022).
You might be struggling to keep up with exactly how cPanel and Plesk prices have changed over the past few years, but the overall story is clear: the only way is up. Web hosting companies around the world, including us, are left with little choice but to pass costs on to customers.
But the good news for SiteHost customers is that Cloud Containers offer a cPanel-free and Pleskless way to manage your servers.
Testing the heights: cPanel’s prices since 2019
WebPros, the owners of both cPanel and Plesk, have a tight grip on the market and are clearly making the most of it. Here’s a quick look at how cPanel prices have moved in recent years. (Plesk has a similar story that applies to its more complex licensing structure.)
We don’t enjoy it when costs go up, but after three price increases in three years it appears WebPros have a plan and they’re going to stick to it. As long as they do, we’ll be upfront about the effects.
Until 2019, cPanel charged per server. We’d pay a couple of hundred (US) dollars per virtual server and a little over twice that for bare metal, and that was it. No matter how many web hosting accounts sat on a server, the licensing cost would be split between them. If we were efficient enough, we could make the per-user cost of cPanel nearly negligible.
The first move that WebPros made was to introduce monthly, per-account pricing in 2019. All at once we lost our annual discounts and our customers lost the benefits of cost-sharing. There was a lot of noise from web hosting companies around the world and some publicised a 10x increase in cPanel costs per customer, overnight. (The exact impact depended on the hardware each provider was running, their total number of cPanel customers, and more.)
It hurt, but it was just the start.
Our reaction at the time was understanding: “Well, cPanel might have concerned some of their customers, they might even lose a few, yet they remain one of the most dependable and popular web hosting platforms in the industry.”
Since then, price rises have become routine. They were bumped up last January and they’re going up again at the start of 2022. The latest announcement from cPanel says, "We currently evaluate our license pricing on an annual basis." The inference is clear.
We’ve been forced to follow our supplier’s lead and pass on higher cPanel costs. Depending on the number of accounts you have, we’ve added 50-230% to our cPanel charges since 2019. We expect another 10% or so in 2023, and again in 2024, and so on. It’s not enjoyable to write that down, but it’s the transparent truth.
The good news: You have options
Move on from cPanel/Plesk with Cloud Containers
Our most popular hosting product, Cloud Containers, offer you a flexible and easy-to-manage hosting environment without cPanel or Plesk. They’re well-suited to any agency or business running multiple sites, and they’re 100% free from WebPros’ annual cost ratchet.
If you haven’t seen Cloud Containers in action, take a look at the video or get in touch for a demo.
If you’re not ready yet, work on your Exit Plan
The direction of travel is worrying, but for now the monthly cost per cPanel/Plesk license is probably still justifiable. If things are working well for you and your clients, it isn’t necessary to jump to something new right away. But it is sensible to have an exit plan for the day when WebPros push things too far.
We’re here to talk through your options and break down the costs of each one. The exact servers and environments you want to run, and the access you want to provide to each site or app, will influence your choices. It’s never too early to ask what’s possible, and what it would take to make it happen.
We don’t enjoy it when costs go up, but after three price increases in three years it appears WebPros have a plan and they’re going to stick to it. As long as they do, we’ll be upfront about the effects. We’ll always be ready to work with you on your best options as well. The whole reason we’re here is to offer word-class hosting at a fair price. That, at least, won’t change any time soon.