Packages & LVE: Designing hosting plans for your clients

Are you puzzled with how to cut through the numbers and design effective hosting plans? Let's sort it!

First things first, only you can KYC (Know Your Customers) in your business. It's important to understand how your clients are likely to perceive any potential pricing increase/change/etc. We recommend opting for an effective line-up of 4 hosting plans. That's all you need to cover 98% of situations, and edge cases would likely have a higher cost to your end clients, so it's worth keeping the 2% manual.

There are 2 main sets of figures that you need to give consideration to: cPanel and LVE restrictions.

Let's dive into those separately. (Note that if you're hosting many sites, you need to use CloudLinux)

cPanel+WHM restrictions:

  1. Disk allowance (SSD)
  2. Data transfer (in GBs)
  3. Maximum of features:
    1. SQL Databases
    2. Email accounts
    3. Subdomains/etc
    4. Emails per hour
    5. Passenger apps
      1. etc, etc.

CloudLinux restrictions (LVE):

  1. CPU utilisation
  2. RAM utilisation
  3. SSD (I/O ability)
    1. Plus IOPS too
  4. Processes (and EPs)
  5. Inodes (files+folders)

You can see how these both fit in together to form Hosting plans.
(Running AlmaLinux or CentOS? Contact our Sales team to upgrade to CloudLinux today)

An example of how these can be blended together would be via our Hosting plans (check website).
Note however, that as a boutique agency you're NOT a hosting company. You need to be pricing your plans higher, to align with what you do.

Taking the numbers and turning them into profitable hosting:

If you look in WHM > LIst Accounts, you'll get a quick feel for SSD/Disk usage - your first key metric.

That includes their website files, databases, emails and more - you should find that most of your client accounts are sized fairly low, around 2-5GB with some of them edging up closer to 10-20GB. This ties back into our "4 effective plans" advice - while reviewing that list (sorted by disk usage), you should be able to land on some numbers in your head that you could see fitting in nicely.

For example, you choose to make your 4 plans have disk inclusions as below:
SSD (Disk space): 2GB (Plan 1), 5GB (Plan 2), 10GB (Plan 3) and 25GB (Plan 4)

Onto your data transfer, as that's another key consideration with regard to YOUR cost:

Taking averages into account, we recommend employing a happy mix of strict and cautious.
Why? Most websites (& email accounts) won't use that much data in an average month.

Data transfer: 200GB (Plan 1), 500GB (Plan 2) and 1,000GB (Plans 3 & 4)

Realistically, Plan 4 exists for outlier accounts - unusually large due to emails, assets, etc.
You may end up needing a 5th tier just to cover off any gigantic accounts.
(We recommend that you try to reduce the size of "L4/5" cPanels)

Now we move onto your CloudLinux (LVE) restrictions for each package:

This is where you can impact the experience of all customers if you don't balance your accounts properly.

CPU, RAM and IO are all finite resources, governed by the configuration and underlying hardware underneath hosting infrastructure. Our VPS customers enjoy our high-performance hardware and network, however every server has limits for a reason - to keep other VPS customers happy - hence we refuse to over-sell VPS host nodes unlike some competitors, as it means that so long as your hosting plans are properly balanced (on the LVE side), your customers will be happy!

You shouldn't need to analyse your client websites/accounts before choosing LVE resources. That's assuming you're running WordPress across the vast majority of your accounts, and that you're using caching software to reduce server load for page requests (ie. LiteSpeed's LS Cache). If you're not using caching within WordPress, please contact us to enable a solution for you ASAP, and don't proceed until that's been finalised. This is important, as a lack of effective caching places unnecessary load on your server/s and will drastically impact performance for all of your sites!

Plan 1:

CPU: 1 vCore
I/O: 3MB/s
IOPS: 3072
EPs: 50 (only)
Proc: 100 (total)
Inodes: 50,000

Plan 2:

CPU: 1 vCore
I/O: 6MB/s
IOPS: 6144
EPs: 50 (only)
Proc: 100 (total)
Inodes: 120,000

Plan 3:

CPU: 2 vCores
I/O: 9MB/s
IOPS: 9216
EPs: 50 (only)
Proc: 100 (total)
Inodes: 250,000

Plan 4:

CPU: 2 vCores
I/O: 12MB/s
IOPS: 12288
EPs: 50 (only)
Proc: 100 (total)
Inodes: 250,000

Why don't the Entry Processes and Max Processes increase? This would destabilise your server/s, as it allows more concurrent process/script/system executions (ie. PHP, LiteSpeed/Apache, SQL). Properly designed websites shouldn't need more than 50/100 so please contact us if you're experiencing problems with these caps.

LVE: Checking your accounts to make sure they're not hitting limits once your plans are completed & enforced:

From CloudLinux LVE Manager (in WHM), it'll show you the user count that are hitting limits across your server.

It's important to consider how refined and fine-tuned your packages are before taking any drastic actions.

Please make sure your plans are completed (ie. finish this doc) & given 48 hours before assessing LVE.

From there, you need to bring it all together! cPanel restrictions firstly:

  1. WHM > Add a Package
    1. Edit a Package: Once done!
  2. Name your packages, starting with their number
    1. agency_1start, agency_2grow, agency_3prosper, agency_4dominate
  3. Specify the SSD/Disk and Data Transfer allowances for each one
    1. Any other restrictions you'd like too - domains, etc
    2. Leave "LVE Settings" disabled, it's done via LVE
  4. SAVE when you're done so that the system updates

Now you need to enforce the LVE restrictions for each one:

  1. WHM > CloudLinux LVE Manager > Packages
    1. Edit each package to have the needed inclusions
    2. SAVE each one, noting that LVE can take a long time
  2. WHM > Upgrade/Downgrade Accounts, move all accounts to new packages
    1. You need to review Disk Usage (List Accounts) to determine the hosting plan for each one
    2. Once you've set the packages against all accounts, head to View Bandwidth Usage to make sure all are OK

Once that's done, you should monitor your server's load averages (ie. 1/3/4 might later be 1/2/2, showing a decline in longer-term / average resource usage) to verify an improvement in your server's resource availability. If your VPS has 8 CPU cores (on your plan with, then a load average of anything sub-8 means that you're not over-loading your computing/processing allocation. You want to keep your resting (overnight) and active loads as low as possible, by creating sensible hosting packages and employing systems like LiteSpeed Cache to offset simple demand.

Making sure your clients can access what matters:

When you made your Packages via WHM, you will have left the "Feature list" setting on "default". That's fine, however it's important to make sure the correct Features are available. A feature represents functionality and/or configurability within cPanel - for example, the ability to amend basic and/or advanced DNS records in cPanel depends on 2 separate Features being enabled.

Managed Server customers shouldn't worry about their Feature Lists as we manage them on their behalves, however Unmanaged customers may wish to amend theirs. It's important that you don't allow access to functionality that you can't support - for example, if you don't offer Ruby/Python development, then you should disable app creations for those languages, and so on.

Still a bit puzzled by it all? We're here to help you, and are always open to Knowledgebase feedback to improve our articles!

Raise a ticket and let's chat about how our Australian team can help to improve your hosting performance, stability & profitability.

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