Virtualmin and Cloudmin pricing: What would you prefer?

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#1 Mon, 09/21/2009 - 17:40
Joe's picture

Virtualmin and Cloudmin pricing: What would you prefer?

Howdy all,

I've been considering doing a bit of experimentation with pricing lately, and I thought I'd get some feedback from folks before making any changes.

One of the things I've been considering is changing pricing to be a bit more balanced from first year to second and subsequent years. Right now, when you purchase Virtualmin, you pay $138-$498 for the first year, and $45 to $164 for all subsequent years. This makes the purchase a much bigger deal for that first year, but almost an afterthought in later years (assuming Virtualmin is used in a money-making capacity and is serving its purpose well).

What would you guys think of those prices normalizing a bit? Say, initial Virtualmin Professional purchase price dropping to, say, $99-$349 and renewals being a little more than half that price (say, $59 for Virtualmin 10), rather than a third? This would lead to slightly higher expenses after the third year, but lower cost for the first three. With time value of money factored in, it's probably a pretty significantly lower price. Since our interest is in establishing long-term relationships with growing hosting providers, I'm thinking it might be best to make starting those relationships cheaper for those hosting providers.

Note that I'm not thinking about these changes because we have a desire to be the low-cost offering in this field. We don't...if cost is a major factor in your decisions, then our own free product, Virtualmin GPL, will win every time. Virtualmin Professional is intended to be a premium offering that folks are willing to pay extra for...if it isn't, we have failed on the product side, not the pricing side (but I don't think we've failed). In other words, don't bother telling me we should lower our prices dramatically. We're already much cheaper than Plesk and cPanel. ;-)

If such a change were to go into effect, folks who have purchased at the current pricing would, of course, receive credits towards renewals, to make up the difference on the higher renewal price. The only thing that matters here is whether you'd be inclined to buy more Virtualmin Professional licenses if the initial price was slightly lower and the ongoing cost was slightly higher.

Thanks for reading, hope to hear what folks think of this idea.

Mon, 09/21/2009 - 18:01
ronald's picture

I'd rather pay a higher initial cost and lower recurring cost.
The initial investment is what one calculates and saves money for.
Also for a second server or 3rd and so on, there would (should) always be the money to buy the additional licenses. One could always start with a 50 license and build up from there as I did.

Recurring cost is preferably as low as possible as one doesn't know if business keeps growing or may even dim down. During hard times (unexpected hardware replacements etc) it will be much harder to pay the bills on recurrent fees.

On most servers virtualmin isn't the only software with annual costs. And as a rule I always keep the ongoing costs as low as possible whereas additional investments would be done when necessary.

I'd say keep it as is personally.

Mon, 10/19/2009 - 09:21


I've sent two emails to sales trying to figure out how to send money for VM 50 site and have no response, can you do anything about this? g e e k a t u n i s e r v e d o t c o m

and I favor the current fee structure


Mon, 10/19/2009 - 14:20


I prefer the current fee structure. Even a somewhat higher initial cost (say 10$ for the basic package) and lower renewals would be nice.


Mon, 10/19/2009 - 14:35
tpnsolutions's picture


I think a tiered license would be appropriate in the following manner:

monthly, quarterly, year

Where monthly is the highest rate, and quarterly/yearly get some sort of discount.

I believe this model as used by many other companies seems to work, as the monthly rate being higher is still cheaper for those who have a tight monthly spending budget, while the yearly being the best price is good for those who can afford to front the cash in advance, while rewarding them for doing so. (quarterly following the same principle as yearly in this case)

Example Pricing (using Cloudmin 10 Instance License):

Monthly: $15.00 (no discount)
Quarterly: $40.50 (10% savings)
Yearly: $144.00 (20% savings)

*** the above is merely an example of how a tiered structure COULD work. ***

Just my two cents!


*** BTW: this model could also be applied to Virtualmin Pro ***

Best Regards,
Peter Knowles | TPN Solutions
Email: | Skype: tpnassist
Thu, 10/22/2009 - 20:05 (Reply to #5)
Joe's picture

I think this is definitely a good path forward on pricing. Unfortunately, our shopping cart doesn't quite support recurring subscriptions. I've spent quite a bit of time lately experimenting with the existing options in this area, and as soon as I figure out who the right developer is, I'll throw some money at the problem to make it go away.

So, yeah, monthly licensing is coming as soon as I can make it happen.

It is already possible for resellers to buy month-to-month, but that requires manual processing of payments (and every month it seems like half of our resellers have invalid billing data or other issues that require personal followup), so I hesitate to sign up new resellers, particularly those who aren't doing very large volume (because the amount of their payments isn't enough to pay for my time to actually process it!). So, I'm trying to get all of the reseller functionality in place on the website itself, so it can be fully automatic...including enrollment in the program, so folks who've purchased enough to meet the minimum requirements will automatically get bulk discounts and such.


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