We recently announced some upcoming changes to the license tier structure of WHMCS licenses for businesses with in excess of 250 active customers and Owned license holders.
In case you missed the announcement, you can read it here.
Since the announcement, the team and myself have been engaged in lots of conversations with customers and partners.
It's been a good opportunity to reconnect with many customers, and learn more about their priorities and businesses. In particular, I have enjoyed hearing all the different ways in which WHMCS is being used, and how much our customers appreciate WHMCS and want to engage with us in how we shape the future of our product.
Within those discussions there have been a number of recurring themes and in this blog post, I've tried to collate all of the most common questions along with my answers for those of you for whom I haven't been fortunate enough to speak with. If you still have questions, I would invite you to contact us by emailing sales[at]whmcs.com or using our contact form at www.whmcs.com/contact
Thank you for being a loyal customer, and I wish you continued safety, health, and success.
Q: The changes seem large. How can you justify it?
I want to start by saying that I fully understand the changes for some are significant. With that said, both myself and the rest of the WHMCS team involved in coming up with these changes worked really hard to minimise the increase for as many customers as possible. Many customers will see no change in price (anyone using a Plus license and with less than 250 customers). Many others will see only a moderate increase (those using the previous Starter license tier or those with less than 500 customers). These two groups make up the majority of our user base.
However, in order to be able to continue to provide the product and service that our customers rely on, and so that we may continue to evolve and excel, we must take meaningful steps to grow our revenue. Web Hosting is an industry that is continuing to see much consolidation at the top end, and a shift away from traditional web hosting to more digital and cloud based services. To this end, we are introducing additional tiers to more accurately reflect the value businesses receive from our software as they grow.
Our company mission statement has for a long time been to not only provide the leading web hosting automation platform, but to help our customers to scale and grow. This is something which we do through both the capabilities we build into our product as well as partnerships and integrations we make available. When you choose WHMCS, you get access not only to the most feature rich billing, customer management and automation platform for web hosting, but also services such as MarketConnect and others which can enable you to offer more services to your customers, which give more reasons for users to choose your service and help increase your ARPU.
Q: I don't use support much and don't think I should have to pay for it. Can you offer a license without Support included?
I believe that access to our technical support, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, is a key value benefit of the WHMCS product and is vital to a good long term experience with our product.
Last year, we introduced Live Chat Technical Support for Business customers, and with the upcoming changes in July, more of our users will receive access to this premium support offering.
Staffing a support team for 24x7 coverage and with the ability to scale for peak times such as new releases requires significant investment and it would not be possible to offer the same level or quality of support on a purely pay per ticket basis.
Q: Why are Support and Updates packages being discontinued for Owned license holders? Doesn't this make my Owned License worthless?
Our team works continually to improve the product including several major feature releases per year and many more maintenance releases in between. The changes we make are essential to ensure continued compatibility with the over 150 3rd party services WHMCS integrates with natively. Support and Updates was a flawed model, allowing some users to receive many months or years of updates when only paying intermittently for access. It is for this reason that we are no longer going to permit gaps in payment of Support and Updates, and this will be achieved by requiring Owned license holders to migrate to monthly billing. In addition, prices have been raised in line with that of Leased licenses so that all users are paying the same amount for the same product and service.
In addition, it's been over 5 years since we discontinued the Owned License product meaning at minimum, license holders have had use of the license for in excess of 5 years. In many cases, far longer. I believe that for any business which is actively using the WHMCS platform, the value they will have received from the product in the time they have been using the product far exceeds the value which was paid and still represents great value for money.
Q: The stepped increment for businesses that exceed 10k active customers under management is very large. Can you do something to address this?
We've heard your feedback and as a direct result, on 6th May we are announcing that we will introduce 2 additional Business tiers for businesses with between 10k and 30k active clients under management.
The result of this change is 9 Business license tiers, providing more gradual increments and a lower price point for businesses with between 10,000 and 30,000 customers.
We have updated our customer licensing guide which can be viewed here: https://assets.whmcs.com/customer-licensing-guide-2021.pdf
Q: Are you planning to migrate to a SaaS only offering?
No. We have no plans to move to a SaaS based product offering. We know that the self-hosted and highly customisable, extensible and flexible nature of our product is one of its biggest assets, and we do not intended to lose this.
Q: Why should I trust WHMCS?
WHMCS since its early days has been a leader in the web host billing space. My team and I have worked tirelessly to deliver not only a billing software but an all encompassing web hosting business management platform that helps web hosting businesses using our platform to scale, grow and get ahead.
As many of you will be aware, we recently joined the WebPros group of companies, which presents a fantastic opportunity for us to work even more closely with all of the leading softwares in the web hosting space.
At WHMCS, our team has always worked to bring advances to our platform, the technology behind it, and the experiences you and your customers have when using it. But we're doubling down on these efforts, expanding our team across all departments, engaging with specialist external firms in disciplines such as UI and UX, and continuing to deliver on our mission to help our customers succeed and grow through a range of projects and features. Here are just some of the things we are currently working on:
- Improving purchase flows - we are re-envisaging the process for how web hosting and other digital products and services are bought and sold. Providing a more modern and flexible approach, that's easier and more relevant for customers.
- A re-imagined post checkout experience - helping users to onboard and start receiving the value from the services they buy more quickly and more easily, giving them easier access, and more guidance through the process.
- A more seamless user experience - removing the separation between your company's billing and customer portal, and the services you sell, and providing a tighter and more streamlined experience.
- Integration with the new WordPress Toolkit offering from cPanel and Plesk - enabling web hosting companies to provide a better experience to customers looking for WordPress hosting and solutions, with an easier, simpler user experience and tools to help users manage WordPress
- New and better services and integrations - including things such as even more automation around SSL, more Site Builder choices, and automation for more products and services.
And that's just the start. All of the additions we are making to our team and product are with the sole goal of continuing to deliver the market leading platform for web hosting companies, and particularly a market leading platform that is capable for, and a leader, for the future of how web hosting will be bought and sold.
If you still have questions, I would invite you to contact us by emailing sales[at]whmcs.com or using our contact form at www.whmcs.com/contact
If you got this far, thank you! And I want to again thank our customers for supporting and using our product. WHMCS has come a long way since I published the very first version over 15 years ago, but I absolutely believe that we have really exciting times ahead both for our product, and the wider industry, and I look forward to continuing to deliver the #1 choice in web hosting automation.
Matt Pugh CEO of WHMCS
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