You have heard the news that WHMCS Pricing is changing in the next few months. You may not even know what WHMCS is. So let’s check why there is a lot of chatter about this event and why so many are upset.
What is WHMCS?
WHMCS is software that manages your web hosting clients. Well, that is its primary function, you can extend it to help manage game servers, invoice for freelance work and a lot more. For many years it has been the most popular option amongst web hosting providers.
It’s not just billing and support though, it can be used to automate your hosting services so that a client can receive their hosting service welcome email within minutes of paying. WHMCS has a lot of plugins that extend its functionality in so many ways, something other panels often lack.
Overall it is a great piece of software. Not without its faults certainly but given so many uses it can’t be all that bad.
What is changing?
Simply put, WHMCS Pricing is changing and not just a little for some at least. Take a look at the existing WHMCS Pricing structure.
|Licence Type||Cost Per Month|
|Starter – Up to 250 clients, with branding||$15.95|
|Plus – Up to 250 clients||$18.95|
|Professional – Up to 1,000 clients||$24.95|
|Business – Unlimited clients||$39.95|
All of the above quite reasonable, they provide you with a cheap starting point given everything the software offers and the most you will pay is $39.95 per month. Now lets have a look at the pricing that comes into force by the time you read this post.
|Licence Type||Cost Per Month|
|Plus, up to 250 clients||$18.95|
|Professional, up to 500 clients||$29.95|
|Business, up to 1,000 clients||$44.95|
|Business, up to 2,500 clients||$99.95|
|Business, up to 5,000 clients||$174.95|
|Business, up to 10,000 clients||$299.00|
|Beyond 10,000 clients||Contact Provider|
Overall the pricing has not really changed for those with up to 250 clients. Beyond that, it begins to scale more aggressively. Up to 1,000 clients I would say still reasonable but once you start hitting 1k+ it has the potential to become painful.
Why The change?
Because they can I guess. Many will attribute the increase to the company being bought by a venture capital company called Oakley Capital. They in turn own WebPros which owns cPanel, Plesk, SolusVM, some others and of course WHMCS.
If you are keeping up the industry you are likely aware that the cPanel also carried out a series of pricing changes in the last 18 months leading to a significant increase to provide cPanel to clients.
Look, at the end of the day, an investment company bought some web companies, realised they could do much more in terms of revenue, profit and all the usual investment company strategies were put in motion which led to these increases.
Why is there industry uproar?
To be honest, there is always an uproar in the industry when a software provider increases its prices. No different to any other industry to be fair.
Nobody likes to find out there will be a significant increase to their costs.
Who is most affected?
Those that will feel the pain most are moving from $39.95 per month to the high tiers of $174.95, $299 or even higher depending on client numbers.
Now you could say that a provider with more than 10,000 clients should be able to cover $299 each month for software that manages a significant part of their business for them. That will be true for some.
Where it will hit hardest is the budget providers. There are many out there that many have in the region of say 6,000 clients but only paying on average $10 per year. So although that sounds a lot at $60,000 annually vs $3,588 for WHMCS, by the time you pay for servers, control panel licences and everything else that goes with hosting, another $3,588 for WHMCS will sting.
I know some really budget end providers that offer shared hosting who are likely only averaging $5 per year from thousands of customers.
A balanced view from me
Pricing increases are never welcome. When they come from what appears to be led by a process that started by a company being bought by an investment company then it comes across more as a money grab than a sensible or understandable standpoint.
WHMCS are pricing themselves at a level they believe provides value for what they offer. You may disagree with that and say you don’t believe WHMCS represents value at the new pricing you would have to pay or eventually pay. If that is the case then you need to do one of two things.
- Migrate to a different panel that does represent value
- Build your own panel
The change in WHMCS pricing is here to stay, deal with it and decide where to go next.
I have been watching various forums and discussions around the changes. After the initial outrage has settled and many state they are going to move, they are also realising that other panels do not have the same functionality or the functionality they need. Tough decision to follow.
There are some options out there that everyone can look at.
- Blesta for a budget option
- ClientExec as another budget option
- HostBill, not the cheapest but may look cheap compared to WHMCS now
Beyond the above, you are looking at serious money. Ubersmith as an example will be looking for 1% of your revenue with a minimum monthly amount.