I’m a newish reseller for a certain hosting company that offers WHM AutoPilot as a free automated services center for hosts. This program is pretty cool – basically it’s a tool that exists on your site and lets people sign up for hosting and other services automatically. They sign up for what they want, pay, their account is set up and they get billed for it periodically all without the reseller’s input.

The control panel for WHMAP is pretty well done, it makes sense and is easy to get synchronized with the data you’ve entered in WHM (the hosting manager that integrates with cPanel). However, I found that integrating it into my site proved harder than first thought. My host is not using the latest version of WHMAP, but I’m not sure if that’s a factor here or not…

You create a header and footer template that matches the rest of your site and WHMAP feeds its data into the central area of the page, however you’ve defined that in a div or a (shudder) table cell. That went fine – it popped in nicely.

However, the problems started when I wasn’t happy with the way lines of text ran together. There are many spacing and formatting issues right out of the box, and applying CSS styles to some of these was just agonizing for me.

I probably spent a good 5-6 hours playing with just the first step of the order process and still wasn’t even close to making it pretty on the page. I knew that WHMAP has a big brother named WHM Complete Solution. I knew it wasn’t free, but I’d heard from other resellers that it was much easier to deal with.

I told my husband of my coding woes and asked him what he thought about me buying WHMCS rather than continuing to struggle with WHMAP. He shook his head and told me ‘go get it.’ Why waste so much time, he said, when I could probably be cruising along with the better product?

I downloaded the 15-day trial of WHMCS and had the thing loaded and running in about an hour. I’m not quite done with the integration, but it certainly was a heck of a lot easier than WHMAP and looks 100% better. I’m really happy with it, and the price tag ($166 I think if you buy a copy outright) is in my opinion extremely reasonable. It makes my hosting site look pretty professional, IMHO, and I hope to have it up and running by this weekend.

« »