With more and more businesses working towards an online presence, the demand for websites and website hosting services is on the rise. While big hosting companies offer a reliable and tested hosting platform, Hosting Resellers are also capturing the market with customizable plans and one-on-one client support.
What is Reseller Hosting?
Reseller Hosting is a method of starting a web hosting business by renting web hosting resources from a parent hosting company (through a Reseller Hosting account), repacking these resources into smaller plans and selling them to a small client base.
As the server maintenance and other major technical tasks are taken care of by the parent hosting provider, a Hosting Reseller does not have to be technologically well-versed to start a Reseller Hosting business. Additionally, hosting companies offer a range of tools, software and applications that help resellers manage their web hosting account as well as business.
One such popular client management and automated billing software is WHMCS or Web Host Manager Complete Solutions.
What is WHMCS?
WHMCS stands for Web Host Manager Complete Solution. It’s a software that’s been designed for Hosting Resellers to manage their business more efficiently. It allows you to manage billing, support, orders, domain registrations, and client interactions from within a single application.
WHMCS is essentially an all-in-one application through which you can manage your entire Reseller Hosting business.
How to Install WHMCS?
In most cases, WHMCS will come pre-installed with your Reseller Hosting package. However, this isn’t an industry-wide standard. So, depending on your Reseller Hosting partner company, you may have to install WHMCS yourself. Here’s a quick guide on how to install it:
Purchase a license
You can simply go to the WHMCS website and buy a license online. Just make sure that you’re buying the license for the right plan. This will usually depend on the number of customers you expect to have. You can always easily upgrade, as your business grows. .
Install WHMCS on the server
WHMCS has an incredibly easy-to-follow guide, and you’ll get it as a part of the package when you download WHMCS. Just follow the steps one after the other.
The ideal configuration of WHMCS is unique for each user. You can create products, set up the design of the panel, and things like that. The basic layout can be changed whenever you want, and the process is quite simple. So, you don’t have to decide on a permanent layout right at the start.
There are two basic ways in which you can have WHMCS set up. One, you can integrate it into your company’s website, where it’ll function as a simple module. The other option is to use it as a completely independent interface.
What are the Major Functions of WHMCS?
As mentioned earlier, WHMCS allows you to completely manage your Reseller Hosting business from a single application. Perhaps the most important tab in the application is something called the ‘Admin Area.’
This is where you actually manage all your clients and the services that you’re currently offering them. Here, you can add clients, remove them, modify the services that you’re offering to each one of them, change web hosting plans for any customer, and also configure a few general settings.
The admin area essentially gives you a bird’s eye view of your business.
The ‘Client Area’ is just the opposite side of the coin. It’s accessed by your users and gives them a bird’s eye view of their relationship with your company.
The client area displays information like the specific plan that a customer is using, the price for the plan, next payment date, pending payments, reimbursements, and so on.
The client area also has a customer support tab that’s discussed in greater detail below.
WHMCS allows you to manage your entire customer support process from within the software using an automated ticketing system found in the ‘Client Area’ of the dashboard. Customers can simply raise a ticket there, and it’ll be reflected on the panel for you to address.
You can also publish articles and other forms of content in the client area for your customers. These can include Knowledge Base articles to help your customers publish SEO friendly content and so on.
This is perhaps the most used feature in WHM, and it’s for a good reason. WHMCS can automatically create bills, mail them to your customers, follow up with them, send reminders, overdue notices, final notices, and so on.
To enable this, just go to the ‘Configuration’ tab and select ‘System Settings’. Here, navigate to ‘Automation Settings’ and finally click on ‘Billing Settings’.
This will bring up the menu where you can configure the entire automation process for your billing. The menu is quite intuitive, and you can set all the important parameters like the length of one billing cycle, the time at which a reminder is sent, and when the final notice has to be sent to a customer.
Configure Security Settings
One of the major advantages that WHMCS offers is that it offers great security of data for both you and your customers. So, ensure that you take advantage of these features.
Go to the ‘Admin Area’ and navigate to the ‘Configuration’ tab. Here, you’ll see a whole host of security settings. Usually, they’re set up perfectly by default, and you don’t have to change much.
However, two-factor authentication isn’t enabled by default. Two-factor authentication, while frustrating at times, offers another layer of security. Enabling it will be a good choice in the long run.
You can enable two-factor authentication either just for yourself or for all your customers.
Where to Get Help if You are Stuck?
Irrespective of how good a software is and how tech-savvy you are, at some point, you’re bound to get stuck on something. And if you do, you can be almost certain that you’ll find a solution quite quickly.
While the customer support isn’t bad and Google always seems to throw up some sort of solution, the best place to ask for help is WHMCS Support. You can check out Guides and Tutorials, the Developer Portal, Self Help Resources, Knowledge Base Articles, and so much more on the support platform.
WHMCS is the default Reseller Hosting management software for a lot of people, and that’s for a good reason. It’s easy to learn, intuitive to use, and the more you learn, the better it gets. It’s a powerful one-stop-solution for all your Reseller Hosting needs. Additionally, the customer support is great, and the pricing is right too. So, if you’re considering buying management software for your Reseller Hosting business, you should consider WHMCS quite seriously. In fact, a lot of web hosting companies provide WHMCS as standard.
When looking for a web hosting company for your Reseller Hosting business, check out the Reseller Hosting plans from HostGator. We offer great prices and a wide range of add-on features, including a free and pre-integrated WHMCS panel and cPanel/WHM to make web hosting easy for you. This way, you can concentrate on growing your web hosting business full time.