Product Review: WHMCS
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by Anand Narayanaswamy
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Adding Products

In order to add a product for the client, you need to select Add New Order link and a page as shown below will be displayed.

Figure 6: Product Addition for Clients

You can either generate an invoice immediately or manually set a due date after adding the product for the client. The product automatically generates invoices on the due date and emails them to the relevant client. The system reminds the concerned client periodically to pay for the service until the administrator has marked the invoice as paid. There are lots of features included with the product and I would suggest you to explore a live demo hosted at the website of the vendor.

The client page displays links to the login area, knowledge base, announcements, and server status in addition to support tickets as shown below.

Figure 7: Home Page of the Client Portal

The product enables clients to either view the status of the ticket or submit a new one for resolution. The ticket home page will display relevant links to each department provided it has been configured by the site administrator as shown in the figure below.

Figure 8: Ticket Home Page

A screen will be displayed upon clicking the relevant department link.

Figure 9: Ticket Submission Page

As you can see from the above figure, a CAPTCHA image is displayed to protect the site from automated submissions made by spammers. It also enables users to select a priority level based on the importance of the issue. Moreover, tickets can be piped into e-mail system after its generation provided it has been activated by the site administrator through a process. This means that all emails sent to the relevant ID will automatically get loaded into the support system. In order to reply to a ticket posted by the clients, administrators should login to the control panel. However, they will receive an e-mail notification as and when a new ticket is logged into the system.

The product can be easily integrated into your existing site design by modifying the relevant header and footer files. You can activate automatic domain registration by enabling the relevant modules and trigger account creation if you have direct access to the hosting server. The relevant hosting account will be instantly created and the details mailed to the client upon successful payment.

I am yet to explore all the features included with the product and I feel that it can be done only upon continuous usage of it. The vendor has provided a step-by-step comprehensive documentation in the form of a wiki and regularly updates it as and when a new build of the software is released. I am very much satisfied with the product and it significantly reduced my daily work. I am now able to interact with my customers in a user friendly manner with the help of the ticket system. The vendor has implemented several security features into the product. For instance, if somebody tries to access your administrator control panel then you will receive an e-mail with the IP which you can use to track and investigate the failed login attempt.

I would suggest the vendor provides a forum module to have better social networking among customers. It would be great if there is an option to disable support tickets and knowledge base modules from the administrative side because some vendors prefer to use other products for the same.

The vendor hosts a forum where news and announcements relating to the product are posted regularly. You can also post questions and submit suggestions for including new features which have to be implemented in the future updates of the product for the attention of the product team. They also provide excellent support through e-mail with an average response time of 30 minutes. I also noticed that the founder of the software itself replies to the questions during weekends.

The product comes in different licenses which can be managed from the administration control panel. You need to pay more in order to remove the copyright information from the footer. The vendor provides a 15 days free trial which I feel is sufficient to learn the features included with the product. I would suggest you try this offer before buying a license if you have any doubts regarding the usage of the product. I am sure you will be impressed and purchase the license well before the 15 days time.

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