Pro Sites versus WHMCS

This is going to be a bit of a generic question. In looking at the Pro Sites plugin there seems to be nothing included for user/client management. Am I correct in that? Is that the principle difference between Pro Sites and whmcs?

For selling sites in a premium blog network, what are the pros and cons of using one versus the other? Does anyone have any experience with either? A preference for one over the other?

  • Gabe

    Hey Kathy, it all depends on your setup. If I was managing my own servers I'd use WHMCS without a doubt. In fact, I even considered using it anyway because the account management and support were so handy. But since I outsource the management of the servers to reduce overhead and save time, I use Pro Sites. For those managing their own servers, WHMCS is the only way to go.

    In terms of CRM and support, some prefer to use something like WP CRM, WP Invoice and a built in ticketing system to manage everything from WordPress. That's a possibility and works when you're small, but I prefer to outsource to companies that only perform those functions. It's much better for scalability down the road. For example Zendesk's $20/yr plan works for support and Highrise's free plan works for CRM and both are low/no cost.

  • Gabe

    @kathy_darling

    Yeah, I totally agree with you. The sign up process completely depends on your business model, but like you say having the signup/payment on the same page is critical to some sales funnels.

    It's not an issue for me, primarily because I just want the signup then only ask for payment at the end of the trial. I haven't dug into the code enough, but I'd guess that with some custom work you could move them both onto the same page, but I'm not sure how easy it'd be. Either way, I agree that there should be options like these to fully customize the sales funnel in or to make it a truly complete solution.

    In fact it might be worth starting a thread for it so the community can vote on it.

  • Gabe

    I forgot to mention, back before I discovered Pro Sites I was working with a guy to build something like this. It was around $3,000 - $5,000 to outsource the design and development of the sales funnel but in the end it didn't seem worth it. Custom solutions aren't really worth it unless the project is bringing in enough (or funded) and I didn't really have the time to maintain it.

    Pro Sites is nice because the core is maintained and you can just build your custom needs around it. I might have missed something, but I think Pro Sites is the only solution out there that's built on WordPress. Sure, I could have used WHMCS, but the ability to outsource server management by using a specialty WordPress hosting service is epic. If I wanted to use WHMCS with them (just for the tools, ability to sell domains, etc.) I'd have to use a separate VPS or Amazon EC2 or something to host it separately, totally not worth the headache.

    If there's enough demand I think the community could push to take Pro Sites to the next level, or WPMU DEV will make another plugin to complement it. For example, something to fully customize the sales funnel (as we've discussed), sell domains as a reseller via eNom's API, SSL and more. As WordPress gets bigger and continues to dominate the web and grow its market share, WPMU DEV could take advantage of the opportunity as the population of WebHostingTalk moves to specialty WordPress hosting... Big dreams? Why not.

  • PC

    Hello Kathy,

    Greetings and thanks for posting on the forums

    Looks like @gabe has got you covered pretty well.

    Just to add my 2 cents

    Prosites has a different way to bill the customer and WHMCS is a different tool.

    I love both (Well I support both as our products :slight_smile: ) but Prosites is something I count more on. Biggest example is edublogs.org it's the second largest blog provider in the world and it uses prosites.

    I would second Gabe's statement

    he sign up process completely depends on your business model, but like you say having the signup/payment on the same page is critical to some sales funnels.

    I would always offer my clients free stuff so as to feed them and then charge them. The conversion rate will be high in this model.

    I hope that helps. Please feel free to ask if you have more questions on the same.

    Cheers, PC

  • kathy_darling

    @Gabe there already is a post for that exact thing, so give it +1
    https://premium.wpmudev.org/forums/topic/prosites-signup-shortcode

    @PC Thanks. I agree with the freemium model and think the signup page is the perfect place to add a choice for that! but i also totally think that customers should have the opportunity at signup to go premium right away. What if they want all the bells and whistles? SIgning up for free and then upgrading seems like an extra step in that case.

  • francis_waldecker

    I haven't gotten into ProSites yet but could you have them sign up for the free account then on the next page or thank you page offer the paid options? Even perhaps put a discount in there if they sign up right then rather than waiting for their free trial. Like get a free month if they buy 2, 5, or 11, months up front type thing?

    Since they've already signed up for the site I feel like they'd be more likely to pay on the next screen then as a one time offer funnel.

  • aristath

    Hello there @francis_waldecker, I hope you're well today!

    This thread is more than 2 years old and the original poster is no longer a member in these forums.

    If you need any assistance then could you please create a new thread in these forums? :slight_smile:
    I'll just go ahead and close this thread so that the OP does not get email notifications about a 2-year-old issue they no longer have. :slight_smile:

    Thank you!

    Cheers,
    Ari.

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