price of Virtualmin


I support Virtualmin from the beginning.

At the beginning the price of the annual subscription was $ 45.

Today the subscription is $ 60.

Personally for me home user this subscription becomes expensive.

Because I only have one domain.

Despite everything I like working with this set Webmin + Virtualmin especially for setting up scripts in automatic mode.

Why not offer a license like: limited to $ 1 or $ 2 / month for example for 1 or 2 domain name?


We’ll be modifying our license pricing again in 2019 when Virtualmin 7 is released and we get a new shopping cart system setup. We don’t currently have plans to offer any lower priced licenses, because our cost for supporting the product is already higher than the $6/month price point can cover so we lose money on those overall (I suspect it’s just that when someone runs into complicated problems in Virtualmin GPL, they’ll buy a $6/month license to get help and then a month or two down the road cancel, so we really take a beating on those, and it’s pretty much unsustainable), but we’re planning to begin scaling the level of support provided along with the cost of the license, so we’ll maybe consider some lower cost license that doesn’t include support via the issue tracker, at all.

It’s not something we’ve ever offered because we always felt like supporting the product is really important, but now that Virtualmin is so mature and there are tens of thousands of active users that we never hear from even here in the forums (so, presumably, it works well enough and easily enough that lots of people never need support), it’s maybe time to consider it more seriously as a way to get folks who don’t need support but want to help us keep the lights on and development continuing while getting some bonus features. Even then, I don’t know if we can realistically match that kind of price point…we’ve just got a much more expensive operation happening here with hundreds of thousands more lines of code to maintain than some of the simpler panels; it’s not an apples-to-apples comparison, though they’re roughly the same sort of tool. But, I’ll talk it over with Jamie and Eric and we’ll see what we can come up with.


So in your case there, what features are you using from Virtualmin Pro?


I understand your problem.

I just wonder in this case if we should not reduce the simple cost of Virtualmin Pro to $ 3 or $ 4 with only one domain without allowing support for the product.
Then bill the support independently to the ticket ($ 5 or $ 6).

This may be a solution to consider.

Today in the Pro version only the automatic installation of scripts.

I admit that I know perfectly how to install a script without Virtualmin.
But it’s so much easier with Virtualmin :slight_smile:

Question that I ask why not to invoice optional:
The automatic implementation of scripts within the GPL version and reduce the number of domain on this GPL version.

This might help to optimize Virtualmin’s business model.

I have been using Virtualmin for over 11 years.
I wanted in the past to participate financially.
For colleagues I advertised Virtualmin.
Often they financed the project by their subscriptions.

Today these colleagues compare the cost of Virtualmin to other solutions such as Plesk or CPanel or others.

Just my 2 cents, I think your right with those who pay monthly, but why a price increase for the yearly payers, they put their trust in you and try to help by paying for a yearly license. It’s about the ones who pay you should focus on. Since a few weeks I use it now and see you give a lot of support on the forum and those questions are sometimes making me wonder that you should indeed spent your time on paying customers and forum is for non-payers, or payers like me who try to not disturb you guys and want to help others.

Thanks so much for following up here and below! It really helps to know where customers are at and how they’re using the product.

After talking it over with Eric off and on all afternoon, and reviewing some other feedback we’ve had over the years, I do think we’re going to try a lower cost license, with a very small number of domains, probably not just one domain, but probably not more than 3. I think $4 is as low as we could possibly go…so we’ll probably give that a try. We really do try to keep things as affordable as possible, we’re just not currently making enough to keep the company running with the four people we have, so we need to change some things in the new year or we’ll have to scale back on one or more fronts, and I’ll need to take on more non-Virtualmin work, so we can keep Ilia and Eric on.

It seems like, based on your feedback and that of others over the years, that this small license could also remove the other Pro-only features (I mean, what are you going to do with reseller accounts with only a couple of domains? some of the other Pro features might be missed, though, so we’ll have to try it and see), and just provide the 100+ Install Scripts. I think that is something we can do without a lot of extra code and without too much extra backend infrastructure management cost. In terms of including support, we still hate to not include some kind of support, so we might try some sort of 1 incident per quarter, or something. I’ll have to see if it’s realistic to implement something like that when I get our new shopping cart and ticketing system up and running.

“Then bill the support independently to the ticket ($ 5 or $ 6).”

We would lose so much money! There’s almost never a support ticket that costs us less than $5 to resolve. That’s only a few minutes of a qualified support person’s time. We’re at a point now where a lot of the support issues we do see come up are not simple “how do I do X?” questions…because Virtualmin has been around for so long and has so many active users (~160,000 last time I checked the logs), the simple questions have been answered dozens of times in the forums or elsewhere on the web, so people can google and get them solved without our help. We often get the hard stuff, and it sometimes takes us an hour or two or three of support time to resolve an issue (and we’ve occasionally had users who seemed particularly adept at bringing us many such issues). This is why we can’t afford to keep doing $6/month for unlimited support tickets. It’s literally bleeding us dry, while the more expensive licensees, paradoxically, often need less help, and so are more profitable even though there are a lot fewer of them than the $6 license.

The hope/goal has been that when we see tough issues like that, even if we lose money, we can learn from it and prevent the problem from happening in the future or at least make the solution more readily apparent. That’s where tons of the Validate Virtual Servers tests come from, as well as a lot of things we do automatically during installation that we didn’t in the past. Even those tough issues can be made worthwhile if it means we can improve the product, but we often lose money on them, sometimes a lot…so, we have to be careful about how many of them we deal with and at what price. Especially when they are very specific to one user’s deployment and can’t really be used to streamline the product.

I wish we’d been more slow to add features, in particular in terms of supporting a variety of deployment types and software (like, we support three mail servers!), over the years, because the folks doing oddball deployments are the most difficult to satisfy while also taking the most support time, and we can’t really make use of the things we learn from those deployments because nobody else is doing it exactly the same way. But, we also can’t pull those features out without pissing some people off. We even get pushback on stuff like removing support for unmaintained software! I’ve had to take a hard line approach on this one, and pull stuff despite complaints.

Anyway, I hope folks will be happy with what we come up with. Current high domain users won’t see any pricing changes (and only minor support changes that probably won’t be noticeable, since, on average, they make use of support less than the smaller licenses), while the Virtualmin 10 and 50 licenses will be a tiny bit more expensive and will have new support incident limits, which will only be noticeable to the small number of users that are currently more demanding than we can afford for them to be. Hopefully, with a new tiny license (maybe called “SE” for Startup Edition, or whatever) we can allow the really small home/hobby users currently on 10 to drop down to it to save a little money but keep getting the features they currently use. It pains me to raise prices on anyone, but we’re not on a survival course with current prices and current staff, something has to change, and we’d rather keep being a four person team.

Thanks for chiming in. We do discount the annual license price…it’s $12 cheaper per year to pay up front for Virtualmin 10, and $18 cheaper for Virtualmin 50, and so on. You get two months free. We do appreciate annual licenses, for sure. It’s more reliable than monthly subscribers who come and go quickly.

“Since a few weeks I use it now and see you give a lot of support on the forum and those questions are sometimes making me wonder that you should indeed spent your time on paying customers and forum is for non-payers”

We have always tried to have an active and helpful Open Source community alongside the commercial offerings. It is a difficult balance to achieve. Something as complex and time-intensive as Virtualmin can’t possibly be maintained entirely by volunteers (and, the number of OSS control panels that have come and gone over the years that Virtualmin has existed is proof enough of that), but we love Open Source and consider it one of our core values as a company. But, if we don’t keep the bills paid, it all falls apart and we don’t get to keep doing Virtualmin, at all, and nobody wins. So, we’re walking a fine line…occasionally on the wrong side of it.

But, I’ve been studying the Red Hat business model recently, and I think we’re going to be doing more segmentation of our commercial offerings and our OSS offerings the way they did, so effectively. There needs to be a more clear delineation between the product you pay for and the Open Source project you download for free. Hopefully it’ll end up better for both, as our development will be better funded (fingers crossed!) and we’ll have more time to devote to paying customers, maybe we can even hire more folks once our current salaries are covered reasonably. We’ve always prioritized helping paying customers. Eric and I both check our support issue queue first before digging into the forums, and Jamie only reads issues and doesn’t read the forums at all unless we refer him here (and we almost never refer him here; we do everything we can to save Jamie time, because his dev time is so valuable), but we need to make that more clear, I think, so that people understand the value of having a supported product.