What’s new in WHMCS 5.x, a web hosting services management
As a data center professional, you have better things to do than worry about invoicing, mundane server setup tasks and also keeping support tasks in check. For many professionals in the industry, WHMCS has become the de-facto standard for web hosting services management. Unfortunately if you are running a customized version of WHMCS, it becomes difficult to keep atop of the latest versions. Recently with the release of WHMCS 5.x, a variety of features have been introduced which significantly improve the software over the 4.x releases.
Below are a handful of features introduced in WHMCS 5.x which make an upgrade worth considering.
Product Ordering Enhancements
Updated form styling in the latest version of WHMCS provides developers with the ability to integrate the software into custom layouts with ease. The most notable enhancement to the styling is that product prices now show the total value of all default configurations. This means that a product with a $50 minimum configuration will show as “Starting from $50” rather than a $0 base price.
Product bundles are another key feature introduced in WHMCS version 5.0. By allowing you to setup order form links which automatically take the user through the order process for two or more products, you can help to increase conversions by streamlining your order process. Additionally you can also list product bundles alongside products, to help improve upsells with customers.
Version 5.x of WHMCS also introduces the ability for administrators to specify if a product should allow multiple quantities (for anything which does not allow individual configuration) and then show that amount on the cart page. Products also can now be configured to recur for a fixed number of billing cycles before stopping. Whether you are looking to enable installment payments or fixed time period options this is an invaluable feature. Additionally a “No Commission” option has been added to the affiliate option to provide administrators with the ability to not offer commissions on select products.
These features can be found in: Setup > Products/Services > Edit Product > Pricing Tab > Allow Multiple Quantities.
While WHMCS has always been a feature packed platform for data center professionals, up until version 5.0, WHMCS has lacked PayPal integration. With the most recent version of WHMCS, some of the most notable PayPal features include:
- Advanced transaction search options such as date range, email & receipt ID
- New homepage widget: to show real-time balance displays and quick transaction lookup
- PayPal express checkout integration: allows for auto pre-filling of information
These features can be found in: Setup > Payment Gateways > PayPal Express
Since technical support often is one of the most expensive aspects of running a web hosting company, WHMCS 5.0 introduced numerous features to help slash overhead while improving the customer experience. Key features in this category include:
- Automatic knowledgebase suggested answers: Now can be included in support ticket emails and also as an email merge field
- User correspondence logging: Makes it more clear when tickets are opened, allowing staff and users to clearly see the status of their support requests
- Hidden downloads: Allow you to limit individual downloads and entire groups of files to specific individuals
- Department change notifications: Provide automatic notifications when a ticket is reassigned to a different user
Client Area Enhancements
With version 5.0 of WHMCS, the client area has been completely redesigned to use consistent styling and also to be cross browser compatible. By being built on the Twitter Bootstrap framework, changes can easily be made to the WHMCS layout without needing to worry about learning a proprietary language or structure.
For existing users of WHMCS who want to keep their existing interface, version 5.x is fully backwards compatible with the 4.x interface.
Key enhancements to the client area include:
- Enhanced cancellation requests: When a customer cancels their hosting, auto-renewal also can be automatically disabled on all domains associated with the account
- Default payment methods: Clients can now view and change their default payment method for all invoices and settings without having to contact your staff
- Custom dates for clients: Customers can now choose how dates are shown on their services panel and invoices – a valuable feature for international customers
Administrator Area Enhancements
Although there are many client side enhancements in WHMCS 5.x, many of the most valuable improvements are on the admin side. Below are just a handful of the features included in WHMCS 5.x:
- Enhanced mass mail: Administrators now have the ability to send emails specifically around specific addons and combinations of features purchased by users
- Mass payment capability: Administrators now have the ability to process invoices for a single client in one shot
- Enhanced search: Integrated AJAX capabilities into the search allows for client merges and moves, while a new IP sort feature allows for searches by IP address
- Status labels: Staff can now add labels to product lists to help improve product lists and also make search intelligent
While upgrading your WHMCS 4.x install to the latest version might be a challenge, the return on investment can be significant. By packing version 5.0 with numerous functional features on both the front and back-ends, WHMCS made a version of their software which can help to increase customer revenue while also slashing overhead costs.
Regardless of your WHMCS version, if you want to ensure your clients have access to quality website monitoring software, ManageEngine offers a solution built with data center professionals in mind. Through tight integration with WHMCS, ManageEngine allows web hosting companies to offer cost effective monitoring solutions to their clients with minimal changes to their WHMCS setup.
Update: Site24x7 now integrates with WHMCS to offer monitoring solutions to your customers directly via the WHMCS console. Learn more from our latest announcement on WHMCS integration.