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Just got the email - going from $45 a month to $850 a month - What are you all migrating to?

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On 4/13/2021 at 9:12 PM, bear said:

You're not alone, it seems. Some of mine are slow to appear also. 
Awesome. Really helping your image, WHMCS.

If I remember correctly, over the years it has been YOU slapping me on the wrists for some of my posts...
(I usually deserved it)

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Nexxterra said:

If I remember correctly, over the years it has been YOU slapping me on the wrists for some of my posts...

I haven't moderated here in many years, and it wasn't custom then to hold posts in moderation. 

Edited by bear

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On 4/9/2021 at 1:14 PM, MvdL1979 said:

Luckily we only use WHMCS as an ordering system. Though we have invested a lot of time, effort and money in it. We recently cleaned old/inactieve users and we are now back at 600 accounts (could delete a further ~150 probably).
I think the price incrase is totally and completely absurd to be honest. However this happened also with Plesk, cPanel, SolusVM, XOVI and now with WHMCS as well. All suffered from (massive) price increases. For us the biggest change was with Plesk; depending on what items, the pricing increased for us anywhere between 400% and 800%. Absurd. Now the same is happening with WHMCS.

As you might know; cPanel, Plesk, SolusVM, XOVI and WHMCS all belong to the WebPros Group portfolio which is owned by Oakley Capital. Which is an investment company. And as you all know investment companies are not for charities and are only to earn quick and massive amounts of money. It saddens me to see more and more (previously) reliable companies being bought by Oakley Capital and being placed in their WebPros Group portfolio.

The hosting business is not so much fun nowadays; we receive (massive) price increases everywhere e.g. Plesk/cPanel and now with WHMCS. And on the other side; customers want everything as cheap as possible. If you charge them 1 USD/EUR to much, they will move. If you do not offer 24/7/365 support, they will move. No wonder a lot hosting companies are being bought by the really big ones and after a few months they increase their pricing. Ofcourse these companies make a decent amount of money as they;

  1. use their own (in-house) developed software for hosting accounts, hosting servers, domain registrations, etc.
  2. use their own (in-house) developed software for automated invoicing and account setup

So they are not paying for cPanel, Plesk, WHMCS, etc. because they do not use it. In the  meantime we are getting massive price increases over and over again (it seems to be the new trend). Plesk did it already in January this year, cPanel last year and WHMCS now. It's really becoming the new normal apparently.

But an investment company like Oakley Capital does not care about their customers. They are forcing price increases. However this will result in a lot of cancelations (as you can see in this thread already, on Webhostingtalk community and other related forums) or hosting companies who are going to quit 100% and sell their companies to the bigger players. As a result software like WHMCS, cPanel, Plesk will loose more and more customers and therefor money and when Oakley Capital sees this as well, they will probably sell all these companies to some kind of foreign company or dump it completely. It happened before in other situations and it will happen again.

We will see what the future brings, but it's getting more and more dark by these price increases in very difficult times....

This is what I posted in a different thread, also about the massive price hike. However since my posts are moderated it took days before it was posted online. So I doubt anybody did read it, therefor I am re-posting it here as well. This thread is active.
I didn't notice it in this thread, but someone mentioned also "Clientexec" and especially v7.x. I have no experience with it.

I am getting sad that WHMCS takes this route (just like Plesk, cPanel, SolusVM/IO, etc. did). I don't understand how companies, who do such things, can still exist. If everyone who says they will move, actually do move, than I guess something would really change. My guess is that about 1/3 is actually moving and the rest just talks about it?

As for me personally? Well. I would move from WHMCS if I had a good alternative, but migrating everything. It's time consuming. Also... We only use WHMCS as an ordering system (sorta). So I cleaned out a ton of accounts which a) created an account before 2017 and haven't logged in after january 2019. That cut down the total amount of users by almost 500! But I do understand this is not possible for the most of you.

Oh well, we will see what comes from it. I will bookmark this thread and looking forward to see if things will evolve for the good, or bad...

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3 hours ago, MvdL1979 said:

If everyone who says they will move, actually do move, than I guess something would really change. My guess is that about 1/3 is actually moving and the rest just talks about it?

A decent guess, I'd say. If this sort of thing historically had 75% or more actually following through, less companies would consider it as a viable risk. I'm sure cpanel took a hit with folks moving to DA, but the increases likely more than paid the loss and then some. Once the anger subsides and the reality of implementing an entirely new system sinks in, many will see the mountain as pointless to climb and just pay. A shame, but that's reality for you. 

This is not the last unpalatable change that's in the pipe. Mark my words, another shoe will fall at some point in the not so distant future. 
More outrage will follow. A waste of energy. It's move on or fall in line, so a simple binary choice. 😉

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5 minutes ago, ozgurerdogan said:

I am sure most will also move nulled version. 

And open themselves up to a lawsuit from WHMCS? I don't think so!

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Posted (edited)
41 minutes ago, ozgurerdogan said:

I am sure most will also move nulled version. 

And with it the near certainty of having something "extra" added in. I may hate what's been done here, but the only one you'd hurt is yourself (well, that and all the client data). Breaking laws to "get back at them" or evade increased costs is a straw man argument. Most that consider it now, already had before. This is just the nudge...

38 minutes ago, ravex said:

And open themselves up to a lawsuit from WHMCS? I don't think so!

I'd say it's unlikely, since it would cost them to file and pursue one. They might do it a few times to show they're serious about piracy, but in the end it's a "cost of doing business" and ignored unless *very* public.

Edited by bear

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Is it  time to consider blesta? Much in the same way that we rolled out DirectAdmin and have not looked back.

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On 4/15/2021 at 7:20 AM, bear said:

I haven't moderated here in many years, and it wasn't custom then to hold posts in moderation. 

My memory is better than yours... It has been a while, I quit forums as I fine them less than helpful most of the time...
Google and read... works for me.

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7 minutes ago, Nexxterra said:

My memory is better than yours... It has been a while, I quit forums as I fine them less than helpful most of the time...
Google and read... works for me.

warning.png

Tut tut you naughty person! 😜

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26 minutes ago, Nexxterra said:

My memory is better than yours... It has been a while

In what way? 
"I haven't moderated here in years". < I haven't (that was 12 or so years back). 
"it wasn't custom to hold posts in moderation". < It wasn't. 
 

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7 hours ago, bear said:

A decent guess, I'd say. If this sort of thing historically had 75% or more actually following through, less companies would consider it as a viable risk. I'm sure cpanel took a hit with folks moving to DA, but the increases likely more than paid the loss and then some. Once the anger subsides and the reality of implementing an entirely new system sinks in, many will see the mountain as pointless to climb and just pay. A shame, but that's reality for you. 

This is not the last unpalatable change that's in the pipe. Mark my words, another shoe will fall at some point in the not so distant future. 
More outrage will follow. A waste of energy. It's move on or fall in line, so a simple binary choice. 😉

But people are moving out. If you are willing to run more than one software and know a bit how to integrate some API and databases hook, you can run multiple different softwares, most open source and have a full integration that runs better than WHMCS in almost everything. What exactly do people think WHMCS does better than something else? Tickets? No. Chat? No. Support articles? No. Accounting? No. Billing? Average. Customer experience? No.

cPanel? People asked for cPanel in the past. They even asked this on pre sales, if you offer cPanel. That time is gone. People don't care about what you run as a control panel as long as they can achieve what they want. Solutions like Virtualmin work just fine if not better.

I can name gazillion software, mostly free that do everything better than WHMCS. Tickets = OS Tickets, Chat = Live helper, Network status = Cachet...

WHMCS was already completely overpriced for a black box solution you can't modify, fix bugs or extend with features. Why would someone be willing to pay even more money without getting anything more of value in exchange? Is WHMCS going to give us full access to the PHP files for the new pricing? No. Are they going to finally implement some requested features? No. Instead, you will get more bloat which you can't disable which is surprising for a software based on modules. Are we going to get better support? How about a bug tracker? This is a serious question because I have no idea how they came up with the new pricing. WHMCS is not worth what they think it is. A good PHP developer would be able to replicate most functions in 2 months. The only reason people paid WHMCS is price. Nothing else, it certainly was never about features.

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6 minutes ago, yggdrasil said:

But people are moving out. If you are willing to run more than one software and know a bit how to integrate some API and databases hook, you can run multiple different softwares, most open source and have a full integration that runs better than WHMCS in almost everything. What exactly do people think WHMCS does better than something else? Tickets? No. Chat? No. Support articles? No. Accounting? No. Billing? Average. Customer experience? No.

cPanel? People asked for cPanel in the past. They even asked this on pre sales, if you offer cPanel. That time is gone. People don't care about what you run as a control panel as long as they can achieve what they want. Solutions like Virtualmin work just fine if not better.

I can name gazillion software, mostly free that do everything better than WHMCS. Tickets = OS Tickets, Chat = Live helper, Network status = Cachet...

WHMCS was already completely overpriced for a black box solution you can't modify, fix bugs or extend with features. Why would someone be willing to pay even more money without getting anything more of value in exchange? Is WHMCS going to give us full access to the PHP files for the new pricing? No. Are they going to finally implement some requested features? No. Instead, you will get more bloat which you can't disable which is surprising for a software based on modules. Are we going to get better support? How about a bug tracker? This is a serious question because I have no idea how they came up with the new pricing. WHMCS is not worth what they think it is. A good PHP developer would be able to replicate most functions in 2 months. The only reason people paid WHMCS is price. Nothing else, it certainly was never about features.

Great post...

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8 hours ago, ozgurerdogan said:

I am sure most will also move nulled version. 

Very unlikely if you run a business. It's not as your site is not public and everyone can check it. Also, nulled still means encoded. How do you know the nulled version does not have a backdoor to your database and servers? Which it very likely has !!! Almost every pirated software has something inside that you don't want in your systems.

8 hours ago, ravex said:

And open themselves up to a lawsuit from WHMCS? I don't think so!

Very unlikely unless they want to make one example. First, WHMCS itself steals open source code and mixes it with propietary code, those licenses clearly say you cannot obfuscate and encode their code. If WHMCS sues someone in court, it's not as you can't find or decode their software and prove how they broke multiple third party licenses. That would be a huge embarrassment for them. WHMCS is basically claiming they own code which they don't.

Second of all, if you have an owned license, I'm sure they would lose in court. No judge in the world would rule in favor of WHMCS if you purchased the software and need to keep your business running. Judges did not rule in favor of Apple when they claimed it was illegal to jailbreak your iPhone because the phone belongs to the user, they own the phone and even while they don't own the software, they wanted to bypass the artificial limitations imposed by the software. Same story here. If you purchased the software, it's yours, you can actually legally break the code if it means trying to run your business. More if WHMCS now wants to implement things to interrupt it or force you to pay more to keep it running. Its impossible a judge would rule against any person or company if you paid the software and all you want to do is keep running your business. What WHMCS did to owned users is a very gray area already.

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Posted (edited)
33 minutes ago, yggdrasil said:

Why would someone be willing to pay even more money without getting anything more of value in exchange?

Because it was and is used predominantly by startups that can't even configure this much less get half a dozen different things talking to each other as a replacement. Hell, I consider myself a bit above the bottom coding wise (a little, anyway), but still have needed help with this at most things I needed done. 

Well, at least when it was less expensive it was used by lots of folks. Now that they've pulled the rug out it may backfire a bit more, but trust me when I say this, there are more that will fall in line than are leaving. I hope I'm wrong. 

Quote

What WHMCS did to owned users is a very gray area already.

Is it? You can keep your license, and use it forever. What you can't do is buy support and updates for it. Though it renders it more useless over time, they're not denying you using it if you so choose. Really awful to do to us, but legally sound, IMHO.

Edited by bear

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25 minutes ago, bear said:

Because it was and is used predominantly by startups that can't even configure this much less get half a dozen different things talking to each other as a replacement. Hell, I consider myself a bit above the bottom coding wise (a little, anyway), but still have needed help with this at most things I needed done. 

Well, at least when it was less expensive it was used by lots of folks. Now that they've pulled the rug out it may backfire a bit more, but trust me when I say this, there are more that will fall in line than are leaving. I hope I'm wrong. 

Is it? You can keep your license, and use it forever. What you can't do is buy support and updates for it. Though it renders it more useless over time, they're not denying you using it if you so choose. Really awful to do to us, but legally sound, IMHO.

Most of the things you required help and others do as well, is related to having to rely on obscure documented API's and hooks. The fact is that not even WHMCS developers understand all the code inside the software, I suspect because over the years different developers did different things.

I was able to accept this because as you said, a lot of people used WHMCS. There was always a module, plugin to do some things or someone to help you out because they probably figured how a trick here and there. But that element is mostly gone over the years.

You can't buy support, means the company made the software EOL. They basically state, we don't want your money anymore for the same software we give to others, because we want to charge you more. This is an extremely gray area because the software owned users run is exactly the same, bit by bit as those on a monthly plan. It's not a different software, yet WHMCS decided not to support some users anymore while supporting the same product for others. They made you a second class citizen in a simple email. What makes anyone here think they will not do the same with other people in the future? I can read it already, next year a new email claiming they will not support hosted versions anymore and introducing their own SaaS solution. And after that, emails with price increase and new billing changes.

No, you can't keep using it forever. Just wait until a security flaw is found. I suspect it will be in a very short time, WHMCS will release a security patch for a flaw they classified as CRITICAL, and what are you going to do at that point? Risk your live customer database getting compromised or server compromised?

You only have a point here if WHMCS sold you a PHP software, that you can hire someone else to keep up to date in the future. They did not. They sold you a piece of software that is completely encoded and relies on them for security patches in the future, and they told you they are not going to give you that anymore, not because they are retiring the product, they are still releasing those patches for another group of customers, just not you. It's like a ransomware model. You cannot patch the software on your own, only they can, but unless you pay more you are not getting them. It's a money grab and nothing else. Pay us more for the same we delivered previously.

And you would also have a point if they said, you are not getting new features anymore, but we are still going to give you security patches. Again, not the case.

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14 hours ago, yggdrasil said:

WHMCS was already completely overpriced for a black box solution you can't modify, fix bugs or extend with features. Why would someone be willing to pay even more money without getting anything more of value in exchange? Is WHMCS going to give us full access to the PHP files for the new pricing? No. Are they going to finally implement some requested features? No. Instead, you will get more bloat which you can't disable which is surprising for a software based on modules. Are we going to get better support? How about a bug tracker? This is a serious question because I have no idea how they came up with the new pricing. WHMCS is not worth what they think it is. A good PHP developer would be able to replicate most functions in 2 months. The only reason people paid WHMCS is price. Nothing else, it certainly was never about features.

JDJ7xXb.gif

14 hours ago, yggdrasil said:

It's not as your site is now public and everyone can check it.

how? the license verification page now shows legit sites as being unlicensed.

1mI8slm.png

I think it's highly unlikely that Jack @zomex is running a nulled install on his main site. 🙄

his other sites pass the verification test, only his main site fails - no doubt because of the above change in WHMCS policy where the license needs to be forcibly updated. 🙄

similarly for Kian's Italian site - that fails, the English one doesn't (the same SLD used to be acceptable and tbf I don't know if the .it has always failed the test).

additionally, I can find normal users with legitimate sites failing the test now - and I didn't get beyond looking at those in the A's.

you couldn't rely on the verification page before the change to be authoritative, you certainly can't rely on it now. headshake.gif

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Posted (edited)

WHMCS are exposing themselves to legal action for defamation with this, I contacted the legal department and got a potted response and then they ceased communication and havent responded

I also raised it with support and have had multiple exchanges with them but they appear to constantly and I can only assume deliberately miss the point.

I couldnt care less whether they have an internal system that thinks my installation isnt licenced - its the publication of the incorrect and defamatory statement that I am not using licenced and legitimate software  that I have an issue with

Edited by MrGettingRatherFrustrated

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1 hour ago, brian! said:

I can find normal users with legitimate sites failing the test now

My own included. One of my two fail the test, but both are licensed and have current support periods. 😞

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, brian! said:

the same SLD used to be acceptable and tbf I don't know if the .it has always failed the tes

Yes, it has always failed.

Anyway I think I know why it fails for many sites. WHMCS license check should be based on a modified version of Licensing Addon. If you are familiar with it, check_sample_code.php and verify.php is where me magic happens. For obvious reasons every developer (eg. me, Zomex, Modulesgarden and WHMCS itself) modified the sample code to increase security and other stuff but that's another story.

The core of the problem is that license check verification has been designed with plenty of glitches that have never been fixed. That's why I opened threads like this one (not counting several tickets).

In essence, license check can be triggered by an unexpected number of user-agents. This is something that depends on server, Apache, PHP, Cron and mail server settings. Yes, it is annoying as it seems so continue reading only if you are ok.

Let's say there's a guy with the following WHMCS:

  • Domain: example.com
  • IP: 123.123.123.123

On every page load, license check triggers to contact WHMCS servers (or Modulesgarden, Zomex, Katamaze ones) and verify this guy is allowed to run WHMCS or any other commercial module. As you can imagine this is pretty bad as on paper every visitor of example.com would trigger a POST request to the remote licensing server and wait for response. Even if the request is very simple, licensing servers would be flooded with thousands of requests coming from thoudsands of websites. Every second. In case licensing server is overloaded, example.com will suffer the same fate. And if it goes offline, example.com will stop working.

To avoid this mess we all use a local key (including WHMCS - it's stored in tblconfiguration.value) so that license check is performed only once every X number of days when the local key expires. This is great but there's a long-standing issue that nullifies the local key before its natural expiration. Let's go back to example.com and let's suppose we have the following settings:

  • example.com runs with local PHP
  • Cron uses server PHP
  • Email piping uses local PHP
  • Example.com is also accessible from example.org and example.net
  • There's a Wordpress site on anotherexample.com that include() or require() something from WHMCS

Here is what happens. For simplicity's sake I'm going to "convert" license check requests in a sort of chat between example.com (the client) and the licensing server of WHMCS.

  • Client 1: Hi there, I'm example.com. Am I allowed to run WHMCS?
  • Server: Let me check... Yes. Store this local key gdjhEXAMPLE.COMjash2021-04-28djks (let's pretend this is the encrypted string) in tblconfiguration.value
  • Client 1: Ok. See you next time in 2021-04-28
  • ... Daily cron job triggers ...
  • Client 2: Hi there, I'm srv2517-euw-124.digitalocean.com. The local key says that I'm not allowed to run WHMCS. Let me re-check it on the server
  • Server: Umh... same IP, path, license key... okay, it's still you. Store this local key gdjhSRV-2517-EUW-124.DIGITALOCEAN.COMjash2021-04-28djks
  • ... Email piping triggers ...
  • Client 3: I'm 123.123.123.123. Local key is invalid. Can I run it?
  • Server: Same IP, path, license key. Yes. Here's the local key gdjh123.123.123.123jash2021-04-28djks
  • Client 4: I'm a visitor from example.org. Help?
  • Server: Sure. Localkey gdjhEXAMPLE.ORGjash2021-04-28djks
  • Client 5: I'm empty hostname. Can I run?
  • Server: Yes. Localkey gdjhjash2021-04-28djks
  • Client 6: I'm example.net
  • Server: Localkey gdjhEXAMPLE.NETjash2021-04-28djks
  • Client 7: anotherexample.com here
  • Server: Still same IP, path and license key. Okay. Localkey gdjhANOTHEREXAMPLE.COMjash2021-04-28djks

This is a never-ending crazy loop that you can't stop. As for me, it took me months to understand what was going on and many more months to implement a fix for my scripts. You wouldn't believe what I had to do. And I'm not even talking about things like Cloudflare, Tor and crons that trigger via wget, curl, lynx from external servers.

This problem also explains why for example katamaze.com is "Authorized to be using WHMCS" while katamaze.it is not even if it's the same system. As for zomex.com, I bet WHMCS detected another hostname like mail.zomex.com or 121-200-telecom-whatever.routing-dot.com as "main" domain name. You can't have more than one. Basically it's 100% random. It depends on what user-agent performs the license check first (every X number of Y).

p.s. This is just a glitch. A bug of WHMCS is a whole different story 😪

Edited by Kian

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Posted (edited)

I guess that this topic is not popular content 😞😉

 

Edited by Mark
I'm stupid

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4 minutes ago, Mark said:

I guess that this topic is not popular content 😞😉 

-> 

 

That is the March wrap up and this topic is from April..

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39 minutes ago, Darthkatzs said:

That is the March wrap up and this topic is from April..

Chances are this topic won't be in their April or May one either!

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