This week has brought a huge array of changes to our website, our pricing, our license manager, and Virtualmin itself.
New Shopping Cart and License Manager
I've rebuilt our shopping cart using Drupal Commerce (migrating most of the old order data from Ubercart), and written a new license manager from scratch. There are a few things not quite working right, which will be fixed in the next day or two.
Most importantly: If you buy or renew a license, it will take as much as a few hours for it to become available on our downloads server. This will be resolved within 24 hours (I just need to turn on and test database-based authentication for the new download servers, but I'm exhausted and need a bit of sleep before I do anything involving security).
License manager has a couple of display quirks that could be confusing:
- Unlimited domain licenses display the domain limit as 0 or -1. Either one is interpreted by the Virtualmin portion of the license manager as "unlimited". I have to write a bit of code to make that display nicer on the website.
- Lifetime licenses display as expiring sometime in the 2030s, because MySQL datetime format maxes out sometime in the 30s. If we're all still working on web servers in 2030-something (which is not unreasonable to guess; Webmin started 17+ years ago, and Virtualmin is now 11 years old), we will have updated our date storage to accommodate extending those licenses. Also, the lifetime unlimited license is not shown in the Buy Virtualmin page, but it does still exist. So, if you've got $999 lying around and you want to spend it on a Virtualmin license that never expires, I'll get you a link. In the next few days "hidden" products will be made more findable.
Reseller discounts have been added to the shopping cart. So, if you were using the old reseller system, you can now get reseller pricing through the normal shopping cart process. There were a couple of other features of the reseller system that are not yet implemented (cancelling your own recurring licenses, and re-assignment of licenses to other users, in particular), which will be added soon. In the meantime, open a private ticket or send us an email, and we'll process those kinds of changes for you.
On Tuesday, the 5th, we rolled out Virtualmin virtual-server module 5.0. This included big new features like improved support for multiple PHP versions (including PHP 7), Let's Encrypt certificate management support, many Install Script upgrades, tons of bug fixes, a new file manager, and, most visibly, a switch to Authentic Theme.
I've posted an article discussing many of the bigger changes in the new release, which I recommend you check out, if you're curious about all the new stuff in this release.
Virtualmin.com Drupal 7 Upgrade
On Thursday, the 7th, we flipped the switch on our new website, running Drupal 7. The migration path from Drupal 6 to Drupal 7 was far from smooth, and we had to replace a number of components. The good news is that most of the replacements are an improvement over the old Drupal 6 site. The bad news is there may be some confusion and unfamiliarity for a short time while we all wrap our heads around the changes. The biggest change is a whole new shopping cart based on Drupal Commerce. We've also switched payment processors to Braintree, and rebuilt our license manager completely.
Virtualmin Support module broken temporarily
The Virtualmin Support module that many folks use to submit support tickets directly from within Virtualmin is temporarily disabled. The new ticket tracker here at Virtualmin.com uses the database differently and so our old script that accepted tickets and added them to the database no longer works. I'll sort out how to make it work again in the next day or two.
In the meantime, please submit support tickets directly on Virtualmin.com.
After long discussions with customers and potential customers, we've overhauled pricing completely and in dramatic ways. The change is most relevant for existing customers, as it effects both the cost of renewals and the method of renewing.
There are still a number of outstanding issues with renewing licenses and upgrading licenses (it doesn't work automatically). I'm working on that, and should have it sorted out in the next week or two. But, because of other changes I'll discuss in a moment, most people with recently expired licenses shouldn't need to renew for a while.
The goals of our new pricing are:
- Make it simpler. We had too many options, and renewals and upgrades were confusing and a source of many support requests. To that end, renewals and upgrades are gone. Virtualmin costs the same to buy as to "renew", and is handled automatically by our billing system (you can cancel at any time, and you can choose to pay monthly or annually).
- Make it cheaper to begin using Virtualmin Professional, and cheaper to expand your business with Virtualmin Professional. To that end, the purchase price has dropped, dramatically so in the case of larger domain limit licenses.
- Make it more predictable. Now, prices are the same every year, and initial purchase price is much lower than it was, even under our recent sale prices.
Some examples of new pricing vs. old:
- Virtualmin 10 purchase price before the change: $99, with a renewal price of $45.
Virtualmin 10 purchase price now: $6/month or $60/year.
Cloudmin 250 purchase price before the change: $349, with a renewal price of $349.
- Cloudmin 250 purchase price now: $20/month or $200/year.
Yes, you read that right. Very large licenses are much cheaper now. We hope this will help hosting providers grow their business more easily with Virtualmin and Cloudmin, and provide confidence that the cost of software licenses won't impede their ability to be competitive on price.
Benefits to Existing Customers
This price change means that renewals for our existing customers will get (slightly) more expensive. "Wait a minute!" I hear you say, "That doesn't sound like a benefit for me, at all!"
But, we've got your back. We appreciate your business, and we never want you to feel left out of the fun. So, we're giving you a variety of bonuses for being our customer, back in the day, when prices were higher.
If you have any Virtualmin Professional or Cloudmin Professional licenses that have been newly purchased in the past year, they have had their expiration date pushed forward by 6 months, at no cost. Older licenses have also received a free expiration date bump, so that we have a few weeks to sort out integrating old licenses into the new license manager. I have to write some more code, but I didn't want to wait, when there's so much to like about the new site compared to the old one.
You will also receive by email, sometime in February, a coupon for every active Virtualmin or Cloudmin license you hold (no matter when it was initially purchased, as long as it was active at the time of the migration to Drupal 7), based on the size of that license, that can be applied to any Virtualmin.com purchase. This coupon will cover the difference between the old renewal rate and the new subscription rate. In effect, we will cover the difference in renewal price from the old to the new for every valid license you have. (Note this has been delayed several times due to problems implemented Drupal Coupon on the site...I'm working on it.)
To be clear: With these license extensions and discount coupons, it will add up to (slightly) more than the total difference between the old and the new prices. You're getting an even better deal (again, slightly, we've still gotta make a living, somehow) than new customers at these ridiculously low new prices.
Please make sure your email address here at Virtualmin.com is up to date, as we'll be sending your coupons, and updated license information, via email. If you don't receive them via email in the next week or so, let me know, and I'll work with you to get your coupons sent to you via another method. To be clear, these coupons could be quite large (some of our larger customers will receive hundreds of dollars worth of coupons!), so we definitely want to make sure you get them!
Getting coupons issued and sent has taken a lot longer than expected. But, I finally got discounts mostly working over this past weekend, so I believe I'll be able to send out coupons for existing customers this week.
We also are releasing Cloudmin Connect, which is a combination of Cloudmin for Physical Servers and Cloudmin Services for Virtualmin. This package makes it easy to manage any number of Virtualmin servers from a single interface. Cloudmin Connect is included at no cost with Virtualmin Unlimited (and if you already have any Virtualmin Unlimiteds license, you'll receive that license shortly). Cloudmin Connect is also included in every Cloudmin Professional license (while Cloudmin Professional has limits on the number of virtual machines it can create, it has no limits on the number of Virtualmin systems it can manage).
Cloudmin Professional and Cloudmin Connect provide cool features like easier management of software updates, system statistics graphs, central management of VIrtualmin domains, and more.
Ask Questions, Report Bugs!
As always, if you find problems, let us know. If you hate something about the new site, let us know. We know there are still some quirks, but the old site was in really rough shape, and moving to a somewhat quirky new site seemed more attractive than continuing to limp along with an even more difficult-to-fix old site.
Also, please continue to be patient with us. We've rolled out a huge array of new stuff in a very short time. The new year is going to be a great time for Virtualmin and Cloudmin users, but in the short term we're all going to be learning lots of new stuff, finding exciting new bugs, and figuring out why things aren't working the way we want them to. We're a small team (though we've grown by one with the addition of Ilia, which is super exciting). But, this is still a whole lot of software and a whole lot of users (over 1 million!) to be supporting with only four people.