Have you ever heard of WHMCS – the all-in one hosting automation solution? Last time I wrote about the technical value chain and marketing aspects when having a hosting business (go there). Something in-between is the whole order management and provisioning process after a new client has found your webpage and wants to order a hosting service from you. This can be done end-to-end by hosting automation software. Even without any human intervention. There are different solutions out there besides WHMCS, alternatives like Blesta, ClientExec and more.
What does WHMCS offer?
For me WHMCS was the only choice due to its high compatibility with other key hosting solutions for shared web hosting (e.g. cPanel) or VPS hosting (e.g. SolusVM). Besides that, it has a lot to offer:
– It can automatically register or unregister a clients domain if you have a reseller account with a domain registrar
– It integrates with a plethora of payment gateways
– You can automatically create your customized bills
– It has a ticket system integrated for your client inquiries
– It gives you a good overview of your sales with statistic tools
– It can be managed from your iPhone or Android phone
The Plugin system to enhance functionalities
If this is not enough, then you can extend the capabilities of WHMCS with over 300 extensions which can be downloaded in the community add-on section.
The most interesting plugins:
– Additional payment gateways for BitCoin or mobile payments. Even some country-specific extensions are available like in Switzerland there is a gateway to PostFinance.
– Special hosting for OwnCloud or Proxmox
– An extension to auto-provision WordPress
– Many admin and client area extensions
– And a lot of other stuff like WHMCS templates
In one of my next blog posts I will give an overview of some of my preferred extensions
How you get it and what does it cost?
Are you ready and excited to try out WHMCS on your own? If yes, there are several options how you can get it.
First you could buy it on the WHMCS website itself. There you get a leased version or you can buy it with a one year upgrade package included. Both versions come branded or unbranded. The branded one has “powered by WHMCompleteSolution” as a disclaimer.
Second, there are many hosting companies that offer it for free when you buy one of their hosting packages. That is also how we do it on swissnode.ch. These are sometimes cheaper offerings. In addition, it has the benefit giving you the opportunity to interact with your clients when your own hosting infrastructure is under a DDOS attack or offline.
Last, there are also a lot of illegal options which I would avoid if you want to become a serious web hosting company. Those can be found in Google by typing in “WHMCS nulled” or “WHMCS hacked”.
If you want to look at how it works you can go to the WHMCS download site and get the actual version and directly install it.