Hello and welcome to the blog.
When faced with new information, we tend to take an action like that. We’ll generally always react in some way – even if we don’t show it outwardly.
WHMCS made some more price changes of late. While our typical reaction was to stay the course up til now, we’ve opted this time to pivot.
One “good” change deserves another, right?
Well maybe. In my opinion as a long time member of the Support and Hosting communities, there are better options for better prices than what we have with WHMCS now. And numerous reasons that hosts might follow our lead and pivot their own businesses onto a new vector when it comes to offering support and managing their customers.
The obvious one is price. WHMCS used to be a straightforward system that users purchased and just…used. With the cost rising to prohibitive levels, it’s hard for most to think they’re doing anything other than pricing their product out of business. For the speculative type, that began with the realization that WHMCS was bought out by an Equity Group. They tend to buy and then raise prices on their acquisitions.
The second, less obvious reason to switch is compatibility. Most of the hosts that we deal with, anyway, tend to need one or more 3rd party modules made to work with WHMCS in order to get what they need from the software. After being around for nearly 2 decades, one might expect a business to have solved such problems internally…especially considering the amount of business they were doing. With what appears to be a steady and (once) ever-growing inbound revenue stream, it feels somewhat irresponsible for a platform vendor not to provide better improvements to their service.
So, where to turn?
In all honesty, I don’t think we’re able to tell you which is ‘the best’ system to move to. For each host or business entity making such a switch, you’ll want to weigh different options. For us, we considered the following factors:
– Condensed. WHMCS offered us a dual-purpose billing and help desk solution. So, that’s something we wanted to carry forward. It’s better to maintain one system than it is two. At least, where we’re concerned.
– Feature Availability. The main features we used in WHMCS needed to be present in our new application. And the features we didn’t get from WHMCS needed to be available in the new application too, so that we could grow our capabilities during the course of the change.
– Cooperation. Many desks and related software businesses will likely be seeing an increase in viewership and subscriptions, due to the flood of companies moving away from WHMCS. Our new vendor needed to be a business that had the time free to help us ensure a smooth transition. A vendor whose team was able and willing to learn intimately about us and our needs in order to ensure the best outcome.
– Depth of Support. We were fully prepared to manually move anything not covered by our new vendor. Ultimately, we chose a vendor capable of far more than moving just the basics. As a result, our own time sink for this project was happily minimzed.
What about cost?
Believe me, cost is always a factor too. After all, it was definitely a huge part of our decision to move on from WHMCS. In shopping for its replacement for IP Geeks, we went after function first – and cost came after.
The factors that each host considers when determining if a switch will do them well, will differ in an almost case-by-case basis. Some of you might need a certain platform in order to work with specific payment processors. For others it could be that WHMCS Connect is just too important. And for others, it could boil down just to cost alone. Regardless what you choose – if that choice IS to move to a new platform, here are a few we considered that you might too:
Zendesk | osTicket | Blesta | HostBill
And there are tons more to choose from! So go ahead and shop around. There’s no harm in doing a demo for the ones that appeal to you.
What’d we choose?
We chose HostBill. For us, it marries billing to tickets which is a plus. It also accommodates the payment processors we’ll be using moving forward, so that was handy too. We had a demo of the migration performed – oh yeah, they are MIGRATING us(and a heck of a lot more than we initially expected, of our data). Overall, the communication and their eye for detail was what pushed us over the top for HostBill.
We take ours live Friday. And I can’t wait!