Reseller Step-by-Step Guide
5 - Creating an Account with Billing
Step 1: Creating a Windows Plan with billing
You'll now learn how to create a Windows Plan with billing. We understand that you may have not yet decided on what plans to create and what prices to set but it is strongly recommendeded you continue with this tutorial and not skip this step as it also provides valuable knowledge on the system. Since you have learned to create a Service/System plan, only the new steps in the plan creation wizard will be explained.
Please kindly be advised that there are 2 ways of creating an account:
- from the admin control panel.
- "from the street".
The registration "from the street" can be performed by the customer from your website, without admin's interaction. You may simply add the hosting plan signup links onto your website. Once a hosting plan is setup, you need to turn it on within your admin panel, and each of hosting plans will have its own sign up links to be used as the sign up process link for your customers. You can give these links to your customers or you can put them on your corporate website.
You can also go to the admin panel of your reseller account and scroll down and find "Signup Links" button, click on it and you will see all the signup links of your reseller hosting plans. You can put these signUp links on your main website, so that your new customers can sign up from these links. (see this Reseller Documentation).
The registration from the admin control panel goes through exactly the same steps, but can be performed only by the administrator. Also, signup from the admin control panel is also the one and only way to create accounts that are unavailable "from the street", regardless of whether they are tagged available or unavailable for signup, for instance admin and technical support accounts. (see this Reseller Documentation).
From the Info menu, please select "Plan Creation Wizards" so that you see this:
Select "Windows plan wizard":
Summary Disk Usage
HSphere offers two resource allocation systems - Fixed Quota and Summary Disk Usage. There are 3 fundamental quotas in any hosting account - Web Space (for web files), Database space (for MySQL, MS SQL databases) and email space (for email accounts). In the Summary Disk Usage system, you can specify one big allocation of MB called Summary Disk Space and the customer can divide this allocation into web space (know as Disk Space or FTP space), database space and email space as he desires.
In the fixed quota system (you must uncheck Summary Disk Usage), you will have to specify separate allocations for Web Space, Database space and Email Space. Customers cannot convert one allocation into another.
In the Summary Disk Usage system, you'd have to not only specify the Summary Disk space quota but also the default quotas for Web Space (known as Disk Space or FTP space), Database and Email space quotas. The default web space, database space and email space quotas can be readjusted by the customer as he wants later (without being charged). You must not specify overage rates (i.e. rates for extra space) for any of these 3 individual quotas (i.e. web space, database and email space). If you were to specify overage rates for summary disk space and also database space then the customer may be charged double if he used extra database space and the used summary disk space (sum of web space, database space and email space) also exceeds the available summary disk space quota.
In the fixed quota system, no Summary Disk Space quota has to be specified but only the Web Space (known as Disk Space), Database space and Email space quotas have to be specified. The customer would be charged for using more resources than allocated in any of these individual quotas. Overage rates for each of these individual quotas must be specified
It must also be understood that database quota and email quota are imaginary quotas. You actually specify the number of databases and the quota for each database. Similarly, you have to specify the number of email accounts and the quota of each email account. per database quota * number of databases would make up database quota. Same applies for email quota. In the Summary Disk usage system, the per database quota for any database and per mail box quota for any mail box can changed by customers without being charged (as long as the sum of the space used in the mail quota, web quota and database quota falls below the amount allocated as Summary Disk Space). The per database and per mail box quotas you specify while creating this plan are only the default quotas to start with. It should also be noted that in the Summary Disk usage system, the database quota (per database quota * databases) and email quota (per mail box quota * email accounts) can exceed the summary disk space quota. What will actually be counted against the summary disk space quota is the MB used in the database quota and email quota. Similarly, you can specify a Disk/Web/FTP Space quota higher than the Summary Disk Space quota but what will actually count is the actual number of MB stored in this quota. None of this holds true in the fixed quota system. If more email accounts are created then allowed, or the per mail box quota of an individual mail box is increased, the customer will be charged.
Thus, the summary disk space system offers the customer the flexibility to decide how to use his single space allocation called Summary Disk Space while in the fixed quota system, the customer would have to deal with 3 individual quotas. For this demostration, we will create a plan based on Summary Disk Usage.
Service Domain: Ensure this option is not selected! As this option is for service plan only.
Let's move down to billing Settings:
- Money Back Guarantee: Allows your customers to request a refund within the Money Back guarantee period.
- E-mail order confirmation: Set the system to send e-mail invoices to users with accounts registered under the plan.
- Billing Type: Both "Paid" and "Trial" Billing Type options enable billing on this plan. The "Trial" option allows your customer to try this hosting plan without paying anything while signing up. After the duration is over, the customer must pay in order to continue to pay their services with you. Please note that if the customer decides to pay, he or she will also have to pay for the Trial duration and any resources used during that period. Credit limit for the trial period specifies how much the customer can buy during his trial.
- Credit Limit: This specifies how much worth of resources the customer can buy without having to pay immediately. Once the customer's debt exceeds the credit limit, he cannot buy any more resources or use his control panel until he pays. You can optionally configure auto-suspension and warning email (see Reseller Documentation).
- Default IP type: Specifies whether the domains on this account will be created with a dedicated or shared IP address by default. It's strongly recommended you leave this as Shared. We provide free dedicated IPs to resellers, but please note that we may have a limited number of dedicated IPs available. So please DO NOT use dedicated IP as a default setting on your hosting plans. Because once there is no available dedicated IP, this will prevent you creating a new account. You must select the default setting to shared IP first, and once the account is created you can change it to dedicated IP when only if you really need it.
- Shared IP Tag: A digital "mark" that is assigned to all accounts created under this plan. Please DO NOT change this value and leave as-is.
- Instant Alias appearance: Specifies the appearance of the instant access domain alias your customers will get for each of the domains they add to their account. This would allow them to access their website while their domain is not pointed to your name servers or while their domain is in propogation. Please note that the Instant alias will only start working after your DNS Zone (mycompany.net) has propogated (see Step 3).
Please click the "Next" button to proceed. You should see this screen:
Here you can specify the prices of this plan and its resources. Some concepts explained:
- Free: Specifies how many free units of a resource a customer would get. If you want to allow unlimited units of the resource, leave blank and also leave blank setup, monthly and extra.
- Setup: Specifies the one-time fee a customer would be charged for buying/activating more resources than allocated. To charge no setup fee, leave blank.
- Monthly and Extra: Many of the space resources have 2 columns called Monthly and Extra. Monthly specifies how much a customer would be charged if he bought extra amounts of that resource himself proactively and Extra specifies how much the customer would be charged if he used more of that resource during account operation. Normally "Extra" should be set higher than "Monthly" to encourage customers to buy additional resources in bulk, in advance. If only a "monthly" and no "Extra" field is available, it means that the customer will not be allowed to exceed this resource while in account operation but must buy beforehand to use more.
- Summary Disk Quota: Explanation provided above. Specify the amount you want to allocate to this plan and its "Monthly" and "extra". If you were using the fixed quota system, you would leave all 3 fields blank.
- Disk Space Quota: Specifies the default web space or FTP quota. This should be set to the same value as the Summary Disk Space quota. Only the actual usage of this quota would count towards Summary Disk Space usage and not how much you allocate. You could even allocate more disk space than the summary disk space usage and the customer could increase or decrease this quota without being charged. In the fixed quota system, the customer would be charged for increasing this quota. Monthly for Disk Space should not be specified if you are using Summary Disk Space but should be if you are using fixed-quota.
In the screen shot above, 5 free domains are given and 20 free sub domains. For each additional domain and sub domain, there would be a charge of $2.00/month with a $2.00 setup-fee. By leaving the other resources blank (stopgap domain, third level domain, domain aliases, etc) you are specifying that the customer can use unlimited amounts of these resources.
In the case above, we have decided to charge for ASP.NET. If you notice, their is no "Free" field in ASP.NET. Unless you specify Setup & Monthly fees for ASP.NET, the customer could activate ASP.NET on all his domains free of charge. In this case, we have specified a monthly charge of $1.50/month for each domain the customer activates ASP.NET on without any setup charges.
We do not wish to charge for PHP Modules (PHP module refers to PHP support on a particular domain), Front page extensions, etc. so we have left all fields blank.
Since Cold Fusion is a premium service, most resellers charge for it. In the above example, we have set a one-time fee of $10 for each Cold Fusion module activated and a recurrent fee of $2.00/month. Cold Fusion module refers to each domain cold fusion is activated on.
PHP entry and Cold Fusion entry refer to the number of extensions a customer can specify for PHP and Cold Fusion (.php, .php4, .cfm, .cfmx, etc.). In the above example, we have left all fields blank to specify unlimited usage of these two resources.
Above, we have specified 50 free mail boxes for this plan where additional mail boxes come with no setup fee but a reoccurent of $0.50/month. Since we are using the Summary Disk Space system, the "monthly" for mail box quota has been left blank.
Most of our resellers specify 0 free IP addresses and a recurrent fee of $2.00/month per IP for purchasing additional IPs. We provide free dedicated IPs to resellers, but please note that we may have only limited IP addresses available on the server, so give out IP addresses with care.
In the above screenshot, we have given unlimited Anonymous FTP accounts, Custom DNS records and SiteStudio accounts to this plan. You can change them to your preferences.
MySQL, MS SQL and PGSQL Users specify the number of users/logins the customer can create to access their database. An MS SQL Login is the same thing as a MS SQL user. If you wish to limit MS SQL users and charge for extra, limit either MS SQL logins or MS SQL users. Each MS SQL user requires a MS SQL login. MS SQL manager is a tool customers can use to access their databases online.
You have to also specify the number of MySQL, MS SQL and PostgreSQL databases that you wish to give and the per database quota of each of these database types. In the Summar Disk Usage system, you must leave the Monthly and Extra fields blank for database quota. In the fixed quota system, you must specify rates.
Press the "Create Account' button and the plan is created. Turn on "Signup Access" for this plan and register a test account by clicking the magnifying glass icon. In the middle of the registration wizard, you should see this screen:
For this demonstration, please select "Check" as your payment type. Please note that you can add more payment modes (such as credit card, PayPal and 2checkout) from the Merchant Manager in your Administrative control panel (see this Reseller documentation). You can also specify longer billing periods (such as 6 Months or 1 Year). Please refer to the Reseller documentation.
Once you have registered the account, your Administrative control panel will refresh into the account you just created. But you will see a message saying "Please check your email for account status". This means the account has not be activated immediately like it was done in the case in the case of the "Service Account". Please press the back button (or relogin) to return back to the administrative control panel.
Please press the "Next" button to continue this tutorial.