WHMCS vs. Pro Sites?

I am wondering what plugin/business model to shoose from... My company basically does what edublogs does. I want to have a free level with no obligation to upgrade, a pro level where user gets more functions in my MU-enviroment, maybe a hosted WP level geared toward professional personal bloggers, and a campus level wher ewe add all good stuff readyto run out of the box.

WHMCS is something I just nowstumbled upon, and its why I ask this - what does WHMCS offers, and is that even comparable to Pro Sites? Which one should I look at in my case?

  • Kimberly

    Hi there!

    WHMCS and ProSites are two different animals :slight_smile:

    WHMCS allows you to offer hosting packages. see http://www.whmcs.com
    It requires a separate install of WHMCS on your server and is intended to run on it's own. What you see here at WPMUdev is the integration of it into your wordpress site and the ability to provide services via the wordpress site. The most important thing about WHMCS that you should note when considering is that WHMCS is completely separate and apart from WPMUdev and Wordpress. We are just offering you a way to integrate it into your Wordpress site.

    ProSites is a plugin that lets you provide blogs/sites to users on your network and limit the features and tools they can use in those sites. It allows you to set up the various levels with various subscription charges. It's basically a tool for letting folks create websites and then controlling the use of that site.

    If you are wanting to offer free sites with upgrade options then you should go with ProSites, it's much more intuitive for yourself and your user and comes with a Free site level.

    WHMCS would require you to set up server space and hosting and leave your user to do as they wish with their sites after they purchase the package you put together.

    I hope this helps to clarify a bit. Please let me know if you have any more questions!

    Best,

    Kimberly

  • Ashley Pearson

    Definately Pro Sites.

    WHMCS is more for people who want to start a hosting company for example.

    Pro sites allows you to select different tariff memberships, like the big flashy websites, and a bunch of other stuff.

    If you scroll down on this page, you can see all the benefits:

    https://premium.wpmudev.org/project/pro-sites

    It even mentions EduBlogs:

    "Create your own blog network with upgrades, like WordPress.com or Edublogs.org, offering your users premium themes, premium plugins, extra storage, advertising, domain mapping and more."

  • skolbloggen

    I am just ignorant, or its a bit unclear. I have pretty good understanding what Pro Sites does, and that seamed like my obvious choice, however, WHMCS I just don't understand what is is...

    Is it a CMS system for hosting companies, having nothing to do with the web hosting plan the customers choose? I mean, if customer decides to run Wordpress or Joomla does not matter because I am just an ordinary web hosting company that uses WHMCS?

    I am sorry if I am slow, but its just not clear to me who/when/where do I choose WHMCS...

  • fromscratch

    I'd like to help out if I may...

    Please correct me if I'm wrong BUT

    ProSites is more of a network of Do it Yourself sites. So a user can sign up, pick a theme, add pages, etc. You as the admin can control what plugins and themes are available to your users who sign up.

    WHMCS is more of a service seller. Where you can sell websites but your users won't sign up, they'll just purchase it from WHMCS and the rest would be up to you to set up, add plugins, etc.

    So Prosites puts the user in control, and WHMCS is you selling your services through wordpress.

    Is that right?

  • Kimberly

    Try this comparision perhaps

    WHMCS is like setting up your own hosting service where you sell server space and hosting packages, it's not specific to Wordpress, we've only just made a way that WHMCS users can use Wordpress to create the sites that they sell the hosting for. It's like selling an engine to someone looking for a car then supplying them with the wordpress body and frame to use the engine in.

    ProSites is where you purchase a website ready made and have access to packages of plugins and themes. Like buying accessories for your car. You can add whatever you want but at the end of the day it's still the same make and model.

    helpful?

  • Lorange

    Basically you may want to use WHCMS as your exclusive customers, billing and support service. It offers some nice tools for this (more payment gateways, powerfull support system, good affiliates management...). Check their features to see what you could benefit from using WHCMS.

    However it won't replace Wordpress itself, nor will it replace Prosites. WHCMS will only manage the subscription and billing part. After the user registers (and eventually pays) through WHMCHS, WHMCS will automatically create an account and a site for the user in your Wordpress network.

    At this moment the WHMCS Mu provisioning plugin is not yet able to assign a prosite level to the user. That means that the user will have to upgrade through the standard Prosites path (inside Wordpress) AFTER he has registered. But i've already seen several members requests to add this feature into the plugin.

    At least this is the way I understand it.

    Sorry for my bad English. I hope that it's comprehensible and that it will help in some way.

  • Lorange

    So your saying that essentially right now it's ideal to use both (...)

    Yes, if you think that the awesome features of WHMCS might help you better manage your customers, support, billing... (+ the possibility to offer domain names to purchase)

    However be aware that adding a new 3d party service can add a new layer of complexity. You should also know that lot of WPMUDEV members manage their service without this (pro-sites can manage billing, WPMUDEV offers a cool support system and there is even an affiliate plugin avalaible. It really depends on your needs though.

    I think a wise advice would be to first test everything you can do WITHOUT this 3d-party service (in particular, check the 3 plugins above). And if you see that there is an important feature missing or something that you would like to improve then go on with WHMCS.

  • diegpl

    "Yes, if you think that the awesome features of WHMCS might help you better manage your customers, support, billing... (+ the possibility to offer domain names to purchase)"

    I think is difficult make better then this. The possibility to ofer domain names to purchase is realy an awesome feature. But the prosites have this feature too?

    "Bill As You Like – Bill as you like through WHMCS, when they don’t pay their website will be closed down and archived until payment is made."

    Thanks by the help!

  • Lorange

    The possibility to ofer domain names to purchase is realy an awesome feature. But the prosites have this feature too?

    No, prosites doesn't have this feature. Here is exactly what you will be able to do without using the WHCMS 3d-party service:

    1) Install the WPMUDEV domain mapping plugin:
    https://premium.wpmudev.org/project/domain-mapping/

    With this plugin subsites of your network will be able to map (use) a custom domain with their subsite, i.e.: http://johnblog.yournetwork.com --> http://johnblog.com

    2) If you want to limit this feature to paying (pro) members, you can install Prosites (https://premium.wpmudev.org/project/pro-sites/) and decide through the site admin > options setting whether you want to Make this functionality only available to Paying members.

    HOWEVER you have no way to offer domain names to purchase directly within your site. If your members don't have their own domain name yet, you would need to send them to another site (a "registrar" like http://godaddy.com) to let them buy their domain. As many of these registrars offer other services (like hosting or website builders) you may loose some customers...

    This is where WHMCS can help you! Instead of sending your customer to another registrar website, WHMCS lets you 1) sell a domain name to him and 2) have this new domain automatically mapped in with the Domain Mapping plugin.

    I hope this helps.

  • kenlyle

    There is at least one other thread posing the same questions. Thousands of words have been used here to describe what could have been done, what would more commonly be done with a comparison chart.

    Here is a start, based on my understanding

    ProSites WHMCS
    Provision Y Y
    Deactivate Unpaid Y Y
    Grace Period N Y
    Resellers Part-Coupons Y
    Sell Domain Names N Y

    Man Years Invested <1? >2
    Installed Base ? Thousands

    Something like this...covering both technical, market positioning, and market analysis would be very helpful.

    Thanks!

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