Why do hosting companies require a billing platform like WHMCS, Blesta, HostBill and other platforms? Features to look in it?

Every hosting company requires a billing platform for managing their hosting company. Portal or a client area is essential nowadays when serving hundreds of clients to provide them the automation. Just imagine if you had to manually provision the client’s services, how long it would take to activate their services manually through each software? That is the automation that billing platforms provides you with.

Most billing platform have two portals; one is for admin and the other is for client. Admin portal usually allows you manage the packages, orders, settings, ticket system, announcements and lot more. Whereas, client portal allows the users to place an order, contact support, manage their service and get access to the company’s blog and announcements. At the same time, billing platforms also play a vital role in sending the notifications through different medium, such as email, and text messages.

From provisioning the order automatically to providing the support, all of this role is played by the billing software. That is why you require the software with all those features, and hosting company owner must make a decision that would be beneficial for the company. All the known billing software come with the following basic features such as:

· Automated Service Provision

· Ticket/Helpdesk System

· Notifications (Email, or SMS)

· Invoices

· Client Management

· Service Management

What are the features that you must be looking in a Billing Software?

Well, that completely depends on your requirement and your hosting company. For example, if you just want to sell a cPanel Hosting and provide support to customers. Then every common billing platform is great for you and you do not need to worry about automation as they have official modules for cPanel, and by default they come up with support system. In this case, you can look for the most billing software. On the other side, if you would like to sell Dedicated Servers, then you cannot rely on all the common billing software, you would need to specifically choose it over others.

Moving from one billing software to another

Migrations are always hard to deal with, that is why before starting a hosting company, the most crucial decision is to choose a best hosting management software. Some may provide import tools, but anything can go wrong and you may have to deal with the bigger issues. CenTex Hosting will help you make the best decision in choosing the best hosting software according to your needs, make sure you read all the articles of this category.

Is Affiliate system important for hosting companies?

It is surely an important feature of billing software, and the one looking to expand their business, should use an affiliate system to generate more sales. So, when choosing a billing software, you must find the software that has an affiliate management system. Known billing platforms such as WHMCS, Blesta, HostBill and WISECP consists of the affiliate system by default.

Payment Gateways:

Another vital part of a billing software, whether your billing software supports many payment gateways or not. You might be losing lot of customers if an important payment gateway is missing. Most common software supports the widely used payment gateways such as PayPal, Stripe, 2Checkout etc. If you are targeting an International market, then it may not be an issue. However, when targeting locals, it is possible that some payment gateways might not be present, which can be an issue and would require a custom solution, or a billing software that supports it.

Software Modules / API:

Does your billing software support cPanel, DirectAdmin, Plesk and other web hosting panels? If it does not, then you cannot provide the premium web hosting to your customers with automation. Software modules provide the automation for provisioning the service automatically once the payment has been received. To sell a VPS, you may require SolusVM, Virtualizor, VMWare or Proxmox module for its automation and VPS creation. So, it just depends on what service you want to offer. Usually, SolusVM and Virtualizor modules are shipped with common control panels, and same goes for web hosting control panels.

Open Source vs Ion Cubed Software

Having a software which is open-source can make your life easier as you can always improve the code by adding more features, whereas a software that is encrypted with an Ion cube, may not be able to add more features easily. Some software may provide open-source code, while some use Ion Cube to encrypt their code to protect it from stealing, which would not allow developers to modify the code. It may not affect the normal users that are not developers, however the developers would always like more additions and modifications to the software. So, choose what is recommended for you, as a developer, you must look into the open-source solution so you can improve it.

So how can I decide what’s best for me?

Make a list of all the services that you would provide to your users, along with a comparison table between the billing software. Write all the software modules, features, payment gateways that are required by your company to provide those services. After that, look for a software that fulfills all of your requirement. Cost may limit you from the software you may require, however it is not necessary that a software can fulfill all your requirements if you use any custom panel. You may need to hire a developer for custom modules, which can be expensive and a long work.

Make the best decision before going for a billing software, as migration can always be an issue if you choose to expand and move to a better solution. Let CenTex Hosting help you in making you a better decision, did you read the other articles of Hosting Billing Software category? If not, read it and compare all the features of billing software.