Friday, 23 December 2011

Web host Billing - Automation

Automated billing software for Web Hosting companies.

Web Hosting also known as Web site hosting is the business of housing, serving, and maintaining files for one or more Web sites. More important than the computer space that is provided for Web site files is the fast connection to the Internet and backup systems to maintain up time. It is the business of providing the storage, connectivity, and services necessary to serve files for a website.

Billing is a critical part of the Web hosting business. Web Hosting Billing needs to be automated, recurring, easy to setup, and require as little time as possible to maintain for a web host to be successful. Web hosting is a commodity business now and low cost is the key to survival.

There are many types of billing and automation software. They automate common tasks for web hosting companies and other companies that provide services online. These common tasks they automate are monthly billings, following up on failed charges, suspending non paying accounts, and managing the customer database.

Billing software is software that assists companies in billing their customers, for example, through online orders and invoices, Automated emails. It also helps integrate payment gateways and terminals for processing online payments and credit cards.

Billing software comes in different forms, for example: Downloadable software, which you install onto your server, Hosted application solutions, and Desktop software that interfaces with a third party processor or payment gateway to automate payments

A lot of the common tasks involved in accepting payments online are entirely or partially automated for companies. For instance, some automation software can accept orders, create and monitor invoices, screen fraud, and communicate with gateways and credit card processors. Moreover, some automation software can enable web hosting companies to automatically bill accounts and resources to new and existing customers.

The Automated Billing solution includes comprehensive support features including a support ticket system, knowledgebase, downloads area and server status overview. It automatically creates, suspends and terminates accounts while providing complete automated billing processes with accounting features and reports.

With an automated billing system, clients are billed and payments are registered with little effort on your part. Most billing software licenses are priced per month or per year, with some billing software companies offering prices for lifetime licenses.

Some of the popular billing and payment processing systems are Modern bill, Client Exec, WHM.Autopilot and Who is.Cart. When declining on a Billing software system, you have to check if it's compatible with your server platform and if support is included.
Commercial billing and automation software includes two types of licensing or payment methods which are Perpetual license also known as an "owned" license. This means you usually pay a one-time fee for a license to use the software, with usually one or two years of updates and support. You then pay for additional years of support and/or updates after that. Secondly, Leased licenses are an option where you can pay a recurring fee once a month, quarterly, annually, etc to use the license for as long as you renew your lease.

Billing and automation software often comes with a multitude of different and sometimes unique features. For instance, some pieces of billing software are labeled as "cart systems." These systems let you allow your end users to add the products they want into a "cart" and then pay the total price at once, instead of having to order the products one by one. Some billing and automation software only allows users to purchase one item, product, or service at a time.

The main additional feature that an automated Billing Software can have is Automated Signups, Automated Invoicing, Automated Payment Processing, Auto-Suspend/Auto-Enable/Auto-Delete, Automated Domain Management, Automated Bandwidth Billing (Direct Admin, Ensim, and Plesk Only), Web Based Access and System Configuration, Multiple Language Support, Full Email Administration, Download managers, Client licensing, Product licensing, API access to internal workings for programmers.

Again, the most common linux based hosting automation software includes Blesta, Client Exec, i Host, i Panel, phpCoin, SolidBill, WHMAP(Autopilot) and Whois.cart. AccountLab Plus, DHCart, Freelancer Panel, ModernBill and WHMCS are the Windows based automated billing systems. The comon control panels that they supports are cPanel, Direct/admin, Helm, and Pleask and the common credit card gateways they support are 2checkout, Worldpay, Alertpay, Bluepay, Paypal, Moneybookers, Linkpoint and E-gold.

In conclusion, Both Linux hosting and Windows hosting has its owned Automated based Billing software that supports a common control panel. The Billing Software should be automated, recurring, easy to setup, and should require as little time as possible to maintain.

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