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Question Massive price increase for reseller licenses?

Discussion in 'Plesk Suggestions and Feedback' started by B_P, Oct 2, 2017.

  1. emil_c

    emil_c New Pleskian

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    Most likely your business analysts and financiers estimated the risks only for you and other big players in the hosting industry. It is very clear you didn't care about smaller players. And the problem isn't the price increase it's how you did it. It could have been done aver a longer period of time with smaller increases. No, you had to do it 67% in one go. In 30 days.
     
  2. emil_c

    emil_c New Pleskian

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    Also, you guys (at Plesk) don't seem to be very professional on this forum. First rule of any customer support service is "Customer is always right", even when he/she isn't.
     
  3. trialotto

    trialotto Golden Pleskian Plesk Guru

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    @emil_c

    In response to your post

    Question - Massive price increase for reseller licenses?

    I think that I have to clarify some stuff, in an objective way.

    First, I have to make crystal clear that

    - I personally do not always agree with Plesk Staff members or Plesk strategy, for reasons that are not relevant here,
    - it is healthy to have a discussion, except for those discussions that are not based upon facts,
    - I do not have any interest in being subjective, I only want to be objective (fair is fair!)

    Now, I can proceed with a response to what you have said in many posts and especially the before mentioned post.

    You stated

    Plesk itself is not slow, some components are: Apache is slow, but that is the nature of the beast!

    Plesk has some bugs from time to time, but they are resolved relatively quickly and they do not manifest themselves in a problematic fashion.

    Most bugs are not related to Plesk at all, but related to the packages underlying the Plesk components.

    Plesk support is a bit odd, I must admit.

    However, it is not odd for the reasons you have indicated.

    Plesk support is simply odd because they often cannot find a problem in a system that has been configured ridicuously and is essentially messed up beyond all belief.

    It is not Plesk support that is to blame for the messed up system, it is simply the sysadmin.

    And believe me, I have seen the most odd setups, to which the term FUBAR really applies.

    I personally can find the time (every now and then) to spend days on repairing them, without any pay for my work.

    Plesk is a company and cannot be blamed for not doing the same: it is not profitable and not even their responsibility, if issues are not really related to Plesk.

    In addition, you stated

    and the fact is that big companies do NOT offer better prices: they offer **** OR better products at prices that go into the 10-thousands per server per month.

    It really depens on how well you know the entire spectrum of companies offering hosting solutions.......if you do not know all solutions, any comparison is biased.

    But you can believe me, Plesk still is value for money.

    Sure! I do agree that any price increase does hurt!

    But that should not be the point, the only objective point is: Plesk offers a big bang for a buck, Plesk is a whole lot value for the money.

    Regards..........(looking forward to your response)
     
  4. emil_c

    emil_c New Pleskian

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    Well, if you like to put it differently let's do that, components on which Plesk relies are slow, which in turn makes Plesk slow. Conclusion, Plesk is slow.

    Seriously!? Apache is slow? Maybe you are doing something wrong? Yes, with a ton of modules enabled it is but no one said it has to be shipped with all the modules enabled.

    No, the bugs aren't resolved relatively quickly, I had a bug where the statistics option wasn't showing up in Plesk and support told me that it will be fixed in around 6 weeks. Also features requests take a very, very long time to be implemented, if they are ever. Proof of that is Feature Suggestions (1767 ideas) – Your Ideas for Plesk

    My issues have nothing to do with deeply modified systems. Plesk support never had issues identifying my sources of problems.

    Yes, tell more about 10-thousands per server to a customer with a 10 USD server. Customers spending huge amount of money on servers most likely don't use Plesk. They simply don't need it.

    Yes, Plesk brings value but there is not a big difference. Your view is biased. It looks like you work for Plesk. I told some of my customers about the price increase and they are more inclined towards switching to another panel rather than spending extra on a panel. Plesk is a good product but it is not as good as you guys tend to see it. How exactly does Plesk bring more value than cPanel for example? Or how does it bring more value compared to ISPconfig + Softaculous? ISPconfig is open source and does a lot more than you guys do compared to the amount of money you make. "whole lot of value" is a biased opinion. Define value and extrapolate your statement to my situation. Plesk isn't a gold mine.

    The biggest problem is sudden huge price increase. Some state 270%, some 170%, for me it is 67% but even that is huge to be done in 30 days. You could have increased it like 10% each half a year, or each 3 months. You can't afford to offer RELIABLE and AFFORDABLE services with a product you just made premium. And please, don't tell me it isn't easier for big companies to go on with these price increases. That is simple logic. The more you buy the cheaper it is for you. And who can buy the most?
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2017
  5. trialotto

    trialotto Golden Pleskian Plesk Guru

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    Ok, now we are talking. Nice!

    Yes, Apache is slow, buggy, not very safe and very old skool.

    There are a lot of alternatives out there and a pure Nginx webserver is the best solution imaginable: this "stand-alone Nginx" alternative is shipped with Plesk by default.

    Moreover, Apache has a strange evolution: there are multiple MPMs and the most common are Worker, Prefork and Event, with the old skool Prefork MPM often performing the best, even though one has to do a ton of modifications to get the most out of Apache.

    Apache is slow, stays slow and is notorious for it's resource usage.

    Most lightweight webservers, such as pure Nginx, will simply outperform Apache without any need to tweak configuration, even if Apache is optimally configured.

    Nevertheless, the choice between Apache and alternatives is not only a choice of convenience and opinion........it is also a matter of design structure.

    In every sense, an Apache + Nginx (proxy) stack has everything a sysadmin should want: flexibility, security, common and well-maintained stack components.

    In short, this part should not be about Apache or it's alternatives..........as always, it is about design (infra-)structure: what are the goals and what suits those goals best?

    Actually, they are.

    However, even though one bug or multiple bugs can be resolved quickly or even in a couple of minutes, there is always something like release management.

    The problem with Plesk is that it is intended to support a whole lot of OSes, implying that a release of a bug fix has to be thoroughly tested on each OS and platform.

    And that simply takes a whole lot of time......

    Naturally, the same applies for feature requests: development of the feature is easy, release management and platform uniformity is not.

    Actually, they do. They do like it and do need it.

    Plesk is essentially a solid "wrapper" of most common components and packages.

    Large scale hosting solutions are often expanding in the multi-server support (HA, clusters, separate database clusters and so on) ........ and then it is often really easy and desirable if you can leave the complexity of large scale hosting solutions behind and just it for infrastructure management, while using Plesk for actual hosting management.

    Also note that most companies do like Plesk, because their customers do and/or because their customers are used/familiar to it.

    After all, provide the customer with he/she wants!

    This is an interesting part of your post.

    I must first emphasize that you forget one thing: you are talking about specific prices that do not always apply.

    If you buy from a reseller, chance is that you pay the commercial prices or even more.

    If you obtain a license with a server, chance is that you (indirectly) pay the reseller prices which are considerably lower than the commercial prices.

    In the latter case, the server price contains a small fee for the Plesk license.

    If you are a reseller, then you would know what the reseller prices are actually relatively low.

    Now we can turn to an important remark: in the hosting business, cannot earn money anymore by simplying selling licenses.

    The customer knows that all of the hosting panels are easy to use AND that servers are cheap: they tend to compare what they would pay if they bought the license.

    And that comparison often means that customers of hosting business simply choose for their own cheap server, with a seemably free Plesk license (even though it is not free, but that is what most customers do not want to acknowledge).

    Plesk is simplying cashing in on that market development: less large servers, more small and cheap servers (directly used by endusers).

    Sure, the customer does not know what he is doing, but that is his freedom of choice.

    I personally will never cater for customers that want the cheapest and not the best solution, since I will lose them as a customer sooner or later, while not having any real profit in the period that they are customer: cheap goats will always be focussing on the costs, not on solutions, let alone the best solution.

    Now we can turn to "value" or the definition thereof.

    Any company yields value from it's customers and Plesk is of any value if customers are willing to pay for the Plesk based solutions.

    If customers do want another hosting panel, it has no value for any hosting provider if that hosting panel is not offered.

    What I am trying to say is that "value" simply means that it is not about the particular hosting panel, but about customers wanting the offered hosting panels.

    And it is the freedom of choice for hosting providers to offer or not offer specific panels.

    Now we can turn to the implicit question: why offer Plesk?

    Well, irregardless of the price of Plesk, the price of Plesk is irrelevant: as long as customers want Plesk and you want to customers, just offer Plesk!

    It is as simple as that.

    Really, it should not matter to you what your customers moan about: just offer them what they want and keep them as customer.

    It is indeed all about "the customer is always right", as you have written before.......!

    To be honest, I agree to some extent that prices are increasing to a level that is a bit prohibitive.

    In my personal opinion, the Plesk license itself is still dirt-cheap, certainly when having reseller prices and/or when considering the Plesk bundles.

    Nevertheless, the prices for paid-for services and extensions are a problem: they are prohibitive.

    But it is the freedom of choice of Plesk.

    And I would not be bothered about it: if your customers do not want it, just not offer Plesk.

    I am doing the same with respect to specific extensions: buying directly at the source often is cheaper.

    Moreover, we are continuously redesigning infrastructure to keep general overhead low, also implying efficient usage of Plesk licenses.

    And we are damned good in that process of redesigning: we actually do need only ONE Plesk license, but use a couple for the sake of convenience.

    Again, it is not about Plesk prices, that is a decision in the area of "Plesk offers, we take it or not".

    However, it is ALL about being a good sysadmin and cost-efficient company: design, develop and create the solution that is best for you!

    Ciao!
     
  6. emil_c

    emil_c New Pleskian

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    Your opinion about apache is biased. You can talk about performance all day long. But performance isn't theoretical, it is practice. If you haven't done any benchmarks on your specific setup then that's just theory. If your Apache instance is slow then you do something wrong. Nginx is faster only with static content. And yes, Apache does use more resources and nginx is more predictable in resource usage but stating than one is faster than the other is oversimplification. It all depends on your scenario. Also Apache supports .htaccess. How do you replace those? Since you mentioned the Apache + nginx stack. What is the point in talking about resources usage then? You just now have two applications which both consume resources.
    You are trying to justify Plesk being slow by blaming Apache. OK then switch to nginx if it so much better. Why not?
    I would use nginx only in custom solutions, where tunning should be done and is done manually, and no automation is needed. Otherwise Apache. Let's not forget, after all both servers are just tools. You don't cut wood with a hammer.

    For shared hosting providers it does make sense to use Plesk. But thas is the whole problem, some people just sell VPSes with a control panel. Maybe you should have come up with a solution far that market also before simply rising the prices.

    Indeed, customers looking for quality are better than those looking for cheap hosting but both type of customers have to justify their budgets. The reality is that Plesk doesn't help bring more sales for any of those customers. As a result the customers won't be able to justify spending extra on Plesk when they can get cPanel or any other tool.

    For shared hosting providers Plesk may seem a good solution, and it may make sense price wise but not everything is limited to shared hosting. Hell, even if I would start selling shared hosting I would build a custom solution even though it is pricier. But that price is justified by the unique experience you create for the user. Plesk doesn't provide that uniqueness.
     
  7. trialotto

    trialotto Golden Pleskian Plesk Guru

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    @emil_c

    No, I am not.

    I do not seek any relation between Plesk or Apache, beyond the fact that Apache is a component of Plesk, just as in the case of almost all other hosting panels.

    Nope, I did not tell that my Apache is slow.

    I stated that it is a fact and well-known and also admitted by Apache developers that Apache itself is not the most efficient web server on the market.

    A sysadmin should not have to ask that question.

    In essence, Apache does not need nor require .htaccess files, it is just a convenient "tool" and also a security liability increasing the attack surface.

    Again, the wrong questions about the right topic.

    The function of Nginx proxy: a proxy that works efficiently with very low resource usage to offload the resource-hungry Apache.

    In a typical setup, any Apache + Nginx stack will use less resources than Apache alone.

    Your argument is not valid here: it is not about "two applications", it is all about "the synergy of a combination of applications".

    Another important part of this synergetic combination is the fact that the Apache + Nginx stack allows to stop attackers at the Nginx level, without reaching Apache.

    And this is a major advantage, not only from the perspective of security, but also from the perspective of resource usage: Apache is still the web server, but the Nginx proxy allows to decrease the probability on resource overusage to a large extent, hence also decreasing the attack vulnerability to Apache overload attacks.

    Sure, in some cases one does not even want a proxy or Apache at all, but in general the Apache + Nginx stack always fits the requirements to a very large degree.

    I am not affiliated with Plesk in no way, the phrase "you should have come up with...." is not really applying.

    With respect to "shared hosting providers" part I really have to say that it often does not make sense to use Plesk: a huge percentage of customers for shared hosting are actually looking for something like WordPress (or similar open source applications).

    And those customers are often best served with simply providing them with a WP instance, not with all the hosting stuff they are not interested in.

    In that scenario, a shared hosting provider is often best served by a cloud based hosting solution: use what you need and pay as you go!

    Sure, Plesk can add value for the shared hosting provider AND the endcustomers in that scenario, but it is not actually required or necessary.

    Again, I have to emphasize that this has nothing to do with Plesk: it has everything to do with the market development and the nature of the customers.

    Endcustomers nowadays have the illusion that they can do everything by themselves, at the lowest price possible.

    And hey! As hosting providers we make the internet, hence also allowing the endcustomers to compare information and prices.

    In essence, this comparison dragged hosting providers in a competition based upon a price, a competition that small hosting providers cannot win.

    This is the evolution of the market, it has nothing to do with Plesk at all.

    I would really suggest that any hosting provider will "scale up it's customers": just choose the customers carefully and only take them on if they add value for the company.

    One cannot live anymore by having a 1000 customers that only have one or two domains each.

    Well, this is a sentiment and fact that I can share.

    However, another fact is that you will soon return to Plesk (or some other hosting panel), since a typical company cannot spend time, money and resources to re-inventing the wheel and still keep losing the battle in the area of speed of development, uniqueness, ease of use and so on.

    Nevertheless, one should always be aware of the fact that Plesk is a general solution and that a typical company can always add value by spending time and money on the improvement of typical aspects that especially valuable for the company or it's customers.


    A final note: it is good to be critical, but do not feel a grudge (that is not valuable, for nobody).

    Just see "being critical" as a source of inspiration to build your business and enhance functionality offered by any hosting panel to increase value for your company!

    Regards........
     
  8. emil_c

    emil_c New Pleskian

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    I am not saying that Apache doesn't have it's issues, it clearly does. I just don't like people jumping it claiming that Ngingx is a silver bulet. They both have their strengths and weaknesses. And Plesk is slow not because Apache or any other stack but because of itself.

    It's hard for me to see a scenario where you can justify Plesk price over other control panels. It does have it's strengths but so do other panels.

    For someone not affiliated with Plesk you sure do spend a lot of time praising it.

    I didn't say we won't use a control panel, only that the price increase has made us consider a change. And this only because Plesk didn't show any consideration for their partners.

    When you start paying 100000 a year in fees for a control panel it sure does make sense to consider an in house built panel.
     
  9. trialotto

    trialotto Golden Pleskian Plesk Guru

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    Hmm, I am pretty sure that some Plesk Staff members know that the opposite is a fact.

    It is your right to make choices and if that leads you to another hosting panel, so be it.

    My main concern is that you and others will engage in a whole lot of work and problems........... to return to Plesk in the short or long run.

    Indeed a concern: most people forget the cost of their labor and efforts and if you really would add up the costs of migrations, it is better to stay and accept higher prices.

    In an economic sense, a choice for a particular hosting panel is a long-term decision that involves commitment.

    Just like marriage: you are always investing and in return you get a wife and nagging children......... but you would never want to miss it for the world! ;):)

    And it works the same, you have to give your credit card.........grinn. ;)

    No really, when being serious, I really do think and see confirmed that most people focus on the price, while ignoring the costs and even ignoring the costs of alternatives.

    Just "jumping" to another hosting panel is very costly, if you take all costs into account.

    And costs of migration are not directly billable to the customers of a company, one cannot say: we want to migrate to another hosting panel, you pay!

    That is like trying to build the Mexican wall in Trump style............ it will never happen!

    Really, costs of migrations are huge sunk costs that are never to be recovered by any revenue.

    And from a business perspective, that is really a bad decision, one should avoid sunk costs if and whenever possible.

    Sure, avoiding sunk costs is on it's turn costly again: it would imply that you would have to stick to Plesk Panel, at a (slightly) higher price.

    But do not forget : stick to Plesk at a (slightly) higher price means "less profit", not a loss (which loss is certain to occur when engaging in migrations to other panels).


    Regards.......
     
  10. emil_c

    emil_c New Pleskian

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    Oh, believe me, we evaluated the cost of migration, that's why we tried to reason with Plesk. But they said there is not much they can do.

    It is up to the customers to decide. Those who want Plesk will have to pay more other will be migrated...

    67% increase isn't slightly. That is the whole problem.
     
  11. Tomek

    Tomek Basic Pleskian

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    From my perspective, rules of the game should not be changed in the middle of the game (for new players - like me - yes, if it is necessary).
    But I do not know the perspective of investors and management team. Maybe this is necessary.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
  12. HHawk

    HHawk Basic Pleskian

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    We received our new invoice now. Though it's not 300% it's very close to that percentage. :S
    As a result of this, we will be offloading a lot of our (older) Plesk licenses and give our customers a free "upgrade" to DirectAdmin instead.

    We cannot enforce this price increase to our customers/resellers obviously. Who would? Yeah, apparently Plesk. ;-)
    One of our bigger resellers wants to move to DirectAdmin as a result of this as well. He now just canceled almost 30 Plesk licenses and hired a 3rd-party to transfer everything to DirectAdmin. Apparently the 3rd party in combination to DirectAdmin is cheaper then continuing his current Plesk licenses.

    Plesk is an excellent product, however it's becoming clearly overpriced. Sorry to say.

    I hope for the rest of you guys your invoices will be less "painful". Cheers.
     
  13. emil_c

    emil_c New Pleskian

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    I did. I was told there isn't much what can be done.
     
  14. trialotto

    trialotto Golden Pleskian Plesk Guru

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    @HHawk

    It is.............but the costs of proper (!) maintenance will be higher: in my humble opinion, it is not a well considered or evaluated decision by your customer.

    Nevertheless, you are right when saying

    when it concerns some specific type of Plesk license.

    I do have one big question: were you buying licenses via Plesk directly? (read: that is more expensive)

    Regards.......
     
  15. trialotto

    trialotto Golden Pleskian Plesk Guru

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    @emil_c and @HHawk (and @everyone else),

    It might be possible to reduce the pain of the costs of Plesk licenses.

    In essence, we are buying licenses via a reseller that purchases them in bulk and (re)sells them at relatively low prices.

    Would you be so kind to send me a private message, so I can give you some tips and/or discuss options to link you to that reseller?

    Kind regards.......
     
  16. emil_c

    emil_c New Pleskian

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    In short term it may look expensive to migrate customers. However, in long term you save money. Depending on the life of the subscriptions and their number it may be a lot of money.

    Also it's not true that buying directly from Plesk is more expensive. I was recommended by one of their representatives to use their direct reseller openprovider for better prices but the prices are actually slightly bigger. At least if you don't have a subscription with them. And let's not forget that with european regulations you should add a VAT of around 19% (depending on your country) to the price. So, did Plesk get overpriced with the new pricing scheme. Sure it did. Let's not forget that any other plugin also will cost you a lot of money.

    I asked them to provide CloudFlare Full DNS support for their paid plugin so that I can start selling it. At least 6 months have passed and nothing was done except a price increase.
     
  17. trialotto

    trialotto Golden Pleskian Plesk Guru

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    @emil_c

    This statement

    contains some remarks that do not necessarily have to apply to you: that is the reason why I am offering to send me a private message and discuss options.

    Regards
     
  18. emil_c

    emil_c New Pleskian

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    Noticed the message after I submitted mine. I left a PM. Thank you.
     
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