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Every web hosting company has a heart which comes in the form of a web hosting billing system. With such a system in place many processes can be fully automated such as invoicing, billing, customer support, account provisioning, suspensions, terminations, reporting and more. As you can see, the list is quite extensive and being fully automated results in significantly more streamlined web hosting operations which in turn results in a reduced cost per package and less human errors being made.

After all, can you imagine a web hosting company with 10,000 customers using a spreadsheet to track when to invoice a customer and handle overdue payments? We surely can not.

WHMCS has announced a very significant price increase which has resulted in hundreds if not thousands of web hosting companies to consider an alternative web hosting billing system. So what are the 3 best alternatives to WHMCS in 2021?

The Best WHMCS Alternatives

1. Clientexec

Clientexec was founded in 2002 so they are one of the oldest web hosting billing systems on the market. Clientexec comes standard with a wide variety of features and integrations making it a seamless web hosting automation platform.

Did you know all of our Reseller Hosting packages includes a FREE Clientexec license?

They are also currently one of the cheapest on the list coming in at $11.95 for the lifetime of your license (under the current promotion at the time of writing this article).

Clientexec is currently the only web hosting billing system on this list not to feature a native affiliate program which can be essential to your companies growth should you partake in that form of marketing. However, this is something they’re working on in their upcoming version 7.

What we like most about Clientexec is their responsiveness to WHMCS refugees, even while they’re building our version 7 they appear to be very responsive and are actively working on releasing several highly requested integrations from server plugins and domain registrars.

2. HostBill

HostBill is a very feature rich WHMCS alternative with regular weekly updates. The platform itself is very good and comes highly recommended within the web hosting space, however, they are priced on the higher end compared to other systems such as Clientexec and Blesta.

To put that into perspective, HostBill starts at $599 one-time and that only gives you a very small subset of features, and very limited support (10 total support cases). If you want all of the features HostBill has to offer, you’ll be looking at a price just over 10x that of the starter plan, $5999! Even then, while you get all the features, you’d only be eligible for 100 customer support tickets.

While costly, what you get for this price is a very well built and modular billing system for your web hosting company. We couldn’t think of a feature we’d need that HostBill didn’t have.

If you use all of your support volume, you are eligible to purchase additional packs at the following rates:

Ticket PackPrice
1 Support Ticket$75
50 Support Tickets$999

3. Blesta

Blesta is another growing web hosting billing system. Blesta stands out by making their code base 99% open-code meaning you are flexible to make significant changes to the core platform should you wanted to do so.

To put that into perspective, there are only 3 files which are encoded in Blesta and those are to protect the licensing portion of the app with everything else remaining completely open for you to play with.

Blesta, while feature rich, does lack in one key area for a web hosting company, a proper domain management system. According to the Blesta forums, a proper domain management system has been in development for several years which in our eyes, is a significant drawback if you are looking for a fully fledged web hosting automation system.

Conclusion

As you can see from the above list, there are several solid WHMCS alternatives and there are no ‘best WHMCS alternatives’, instead, you need to evaluate which web hosting billing system is best for you.

If you are looking for the most cost effective WHMCS alternative Clientexec would probably be your best choice. Coming in at $11.95 per month (or free with our reseller packages) they are the cheapest web hosting billing system available and comes with all the features you might need to manage a web hosting company and as far as we can see, they have one of the best roadmaps out of every other system.

If budget is less of a concern then HostBill serves as a great solution. With HostBill you know your web hosting company will have all of the features it needs with many different order forms to choose from, an affiliate system, and more.

Blesta is a great solution if you want to have maximum control of your web hosting billing system, now or in the future. Thanks to it’s open-source code base the sky is the limit when it comes to customization.

It is not uncommon for a web design and/or web development company, or agency to look at additional opportunities they can offer to their clients. Overtime, more and more agencies are turning to web hosting as a key revenue stream. So how can you leverage hosting for your business?

The two primary options are Reseller Hosting and Affiliate Programs. Both are excellent choices though it can be difficult to decide which is the best for you and for your business. In this article, we are going to cover the key differences, advantages and disadvantages of both Reseller Hosting and Affiliate Programs.

Reseller vs Affiliate Programs

Choosing what is best for you and your business will primarily come down to the revenue strategy, time and effort you would like to put in.

If you are a reseller, you would have rented out space from your Reseller Hosting provider and would essentially be managing your own business. As an affiliate of a web hosting company, you would refer that customer to the web hosting provider at which point you can be fully hands off and receive a commission for that sale.

Still not sure? Don’t worry, we’ll go into each in more detail below.

What is Reseller Hosting?

Before we get into the specifics of reseller hosting, it is important to know the basics of how web hosting works. If you were to setup a web hosting provider, from scratch, you would need to purchase or lease a dedicated server, install the relevant software such as a control panel and backup utility, configure the server for performance and hardened security, build a website and grow from there. The costs in this process is very significant.

With Reseller Hosting, all of the above has been done for you enabling you to focus on your marketing and growth channels, or your existing customer base. This is thanks to the server already being setup for you by your reseller hosting provider which typically includes a control panel with resources that you can carve out and allocate to your own web hosting customers.

Even though you are saving a lot of headaches in the initial setup process, by opting for a reseller hosting account you are still effectively setting up your own business, or at the very least, another service for your existing business. For example, if you run a web design company called Yellow Web Design, you could offer a hosting product as part of that, Yellow Web Hosting Services.

Advantages of Reseller Hosting

Disadvantages of Reseller Hosting

What is Affiliate Marketing?

If you thought reseller hosting sounds like a lot of work, affiliate marketing might be a better choice for you. As an affiliate of a web hosting company, you will be able to refer your customers to an existing web hosting company and earn a commission for each sale you bring them. In short, affiliate marketing can be considered a hybrid between a sales and marketing role, whereas reseller hosting you’re the CEO.

The setup process is much more simplified when compared to a reseller package, at most you would need to signup to a web hosting affiliate program at which point you will be given a unique link. That link will be the identifier between your customers and your affiliate account ensuring you are properly credited for each sale you refer.

Advantages of Affiliate Marketing

Disadvantages of Affiliate Marketing

Does HostDash offer Reseller Hosting?

Yes! Our Reseller Hosting platform has been designed to make it as easy as possible for you to get your company up and running as quickly as possible.

At HostDash, a reseller package starts at only $11.97/mo and all plans include:

Backed by a 60 Day Money Back Guarantee & our Expert Support Team, you will be able to have peace of mind enabling you to focus on your business and marketing efforts, while we handle all of the servers and configuration.

Does HostDash have an Affiliate Program?

Yes! Our Affiliate Program is free to join, and you do not need to be a customer of HostDash to become an affiliate.

Our affiliate program offers a flat $50 for each sale you refer to HostDash and we go above and beyond to make it an easy sell for your audience, including but not limited to:

Conclusion: Reseller Hosting vs Affiliate Marketing

There is no one-size fits all conclusion. If you are looking to enter the hosting market which you choose would ultimately come down to what your end goals are.

If you are looking for a lifetime revenue stream and are willing to put in the time and effort into launching your own company then reseller hosting may be the best fit for you. As a reminder, with reseller hosting you will be responsible for your clients, managing their support, the package you sell, the billing and more.

If reseller hosting sounds like it may be a bit much to chew on it, affiliate marketing is likely the best fit for you. As an affiliate you are able to hand off each customer to a web hosting provider and let them take it from there. After each sale you make you would be paid for it, albeit only one-time.

Once you have decided which is best for you, feel free to check our offerings: