I would second using WHMCS; I have my own servers and use Cpanel/WHM for management on my Linux box. Until now my clients have been billed via Quick Books, since I am also billing for programming and support time each month. I'm going to start offering hosting since I have extra room on the servers, and after a bunch of research WHMCS seems to be the most popular tool for managing these types of automatic payments (especially if you use Cpanel/WHM). It also integrates with WHM and as Phil pointed out, it can do a great deal of the work for you. HTH, Rob -----Original Message----- From: thelist-bounces at lists.evolt.org [mailto:thelist-bounces at lists.evolt.org] On Behalf Of Bob Meetin Sent: Thursday, October 01, 2009 11:07 AM To: thelist at lists.evolt.org Subject: Re: [thelist] Automated payment systems and discounts > >> ...email hosting... >> > I offer email as part of the web hosting, and I spend more time resolving > email problems than web problems. The hosting comes with cPanel, so it > doesn't cost me any more for hosting email accounts. > > >> ...automated billing system... >> > Yeah, I worked a manual system for about 4/5 years, and it just became > unmanageable. I did a lot of research and testing of different automated > systems, and I found WHMCS the easiest to work with. Although it doesn't > have everything I need (like a Quick Books plugin, but it is planned), and > some of the features are set up more for a customer to do themselves, I find > the automation has freed me up. I receive cheques from customers for bills I > didn't know had gone out. And you can send a reminder with a simple click of > a button. Chasing payment becomes less personal - you can 'blame' the > automated system for sending so many reminders! I don't think any system > will be a 100% perfect fit for every business, so it's a case of choosing > something that does the most important 90%. > What I love about WHMCS is that you can create, up/down grade and delete > hosting accounts on any number of servers, running pretty much any OS and it > is flexible enough to allow modification of set hosting prices. > It allows domain registration through 3rd party registrars, and allows > numerous payment methods (but not cash!). It has automated suspension of > accounts that are late payment, which is an alternative to the idea of > offering discounts for early payment. I personally have turned this feature > off, but it would certainly be an incentive for very late payers. Again, you > can blame the system for turning the customer's website off. > > Phil Parker > www.lycosa.co.uk > Phil, thx this is very helpful. True webhosting problems are rare, but I totally agree with you on email problems. I have written numerous FAQs which I reference for starting points. The problems are common and repetitive. Hostgator offers an administrator version of cPanel which I use to administer accounts. I looked at the feature list of WHMCS. It's pretty impressive and ostensibly does most of what cPanel does and more. In my case this is for shared hosting. Will WHMCS live side-by-side with reseller cPanel? If you are willing to share (public or private) which gateway(s) did you set it up to work with and did you go for the buy it vs lease it license? Thx, -- Bob Meetin www.dottedi.biz 303-926-0167 www.Twitter.com/bobmeetin Standards - you gotta love em with so many to choose from! Rocket Science - the Art of Managing Distractions -- * * Please support the community that supports you. * * http://evolt.org/help_support_evolt/ For unsubscribe and other options, including the Tip Harvester and archives of thelist go to: http://lists.evolt.org Workers of the Web, evolt !