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A bunch of newbie questions!


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Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening (Afternoon here in the UK), 

Hoping that I am posting in the right place as I am a total newbie. Most things I think I feel relatively comfortable with but there are a whole bunch of competing views on the web about whether to use a CMS alongside WHMCS as a website hosting reseller or stick to WHMCS and making WHMCS work. Essentially that WHMCS is difficult enough to upgrade without the complexity of an intertwined CMS. 

Not to flame, I also read some negative comments about WHMCS too - I do not vouch for their accuracy of course around upgrading (and things breaking), a pricing change for those who had purchased (as opposed to I believe paid monthly) in relation to support being cut, and there being a lot of bugs that take a long time to resolve. I hope WHMCS would be and allow honest responses on this and that this paragraph does not cause any offence as it is not intended to. Also - Mods - the Copyright on the community page (below) still says 2020 :) (you might like to update this) as it crossed my mind as to whether this community was still active. 

The purpose of  me detailing some of the WHMCS criticisms above (whilst I'm sure i'm about to see lots of awesome things too) is because a lot of these were found in the context of my research about using a CMS with WHMCS. One of my concerns that has come to fruition (unless someone is going to point to a really easy way to add a template) is that, out of the box, WHMCS does not look very attractive. Of course, WHMCS is not going to be custom branded out of the box as the Developers are not mind readers!

Putting it bluntly, i'm rubbish at design and development - nor do I have a pot to do anything in to pay a Designer either so that's out of the question. I am a Joomla kid - maybe a poor choice. I've never been able to get my head around Drupal and Wordpress does not sit well with me - I feel like i'm trying to make a round peg fit a square hole (or vice versa). To get around my lack of ability to be any good at website design and development, I use the Gantry Framework alongside Joomla and i've learnt a bit of SCSS. 

Main main website (which i've took down as i'm not actually selling just yet) was built in Joomla, a key issue that I faced was text breakup - too long paragraphs for mobile display - I explored using cloudfare to set up a mobile redirect but this seemed really old school. I can't be sure whether that was Gantry or Joomla that was to blame and whether by considering my options for design and branding at this point, I might be able to eliminate this issue. 

Next I went to "case studies" (existing website hosting companies) and looked at how they do things. My supplier, who shall remain nameless as they might have told me something in confidence said that they used Wordpress for their main website, had WHMCS installed on a subdomain and used WHMCS's ability to have direct links that add products to the cart to link from the images of what you get in a given package. From the tutorials online, it seems that WHMCS templates cost a fortune. I think i'd hoped for some colour swatches/layout choices within the WHCMS backend that could perhaps be a touch tweeked but that i'd be half way there by choosing from. This would be option a - making WHMCS my whole website and not having a separate WHMCS at all. Simply installing WHMCS in my root, branding it, colouring it, making sure my logo fits nice (and also the charity we support), having some links to what I call my "Acceptable Use and Ethics Policy" the usual terms and conditions of sale, privacy policy as I like the idea of being GDPR (data and data rights protection) compliant and being a transparent and honest webhost. 

It seems that, from Youtube tutorials, WHMCS will display product packages (once they are set up - although I only have one anyway and this is not being pulled through from WHM even though it is connected to the server) (I was thinking about having some packages that were the same price with the option to have a CMS preinstalled for the customer for the same price if WHMCS can do this) and that gives you some nice image tables of what the customer gets for their money - to be honest, if i could have these nice images on a CMS, maybe this might be the easiest option. I'm not a graphic designer either!

Option B) is somehow incorporating WHMCS into my existing Joomla 3.9 install - it seems that the extensions to allow for a bridge are pretty poor but similarly that the Wordpress bridge is also poor. 

**To summarise, in terms of design, i'm looking to be able to have sections that talk about who we are, what we believe, our ethos essentially, some extra custom links to pages (preferably stored as part of WHMCS), to change the colour scheme and to be fully responsive. ** I hope by taking you through my thought process, this might be beneficial to get at least one newbie's insight and  experience and to also understand where I am in my understanding of WHMCS and WHM as a new user. I've used Cpanel for about 16 years and i'm fully confident with that and i've also set up a reseller platform on a home server for test purporses and installed that from a basic Debian Linux install so i'd hope I wouldn't be thought to be totally useless/hapless!

After I installed WHMCS, I also saw domains. I know my webhost has a WHMCS module for reselling their products and I also think domains - top up your wallet, pay first at reduced rates when a client orders, keep the difference between the market price and the discount price as profit. 

The WHMCS setup took me through registering with ENOM. I may have accidentally broken the rules here already - It asked for my name but I am trying to keep a low profile and put my company brand ahead of my own name so i registered my business LTD as the name (it is registered with Companies House (government) here in the UK and registered for all applicable taxes so the business is a legal entity. I have no idea what i'm doing with that though as there is something called "slab pricing" - I have no idea if I risk being out of pocket and whether there is any room for profit whilst still giving the customer a competitive deal. I don't want to be ripping off a customer that isn't very experienced (like me really). I don't know where to start with setting these prices correctly and nor could I identify anywhere obvious to close my WHMCS from new orders short of disabling the ability to purcase/renew/transfer domains whilst my package isn't displaying anyway. I'm not sure how WHMCS newbies work on the configuration whilst preventing a customer from purchasing a skew-whif package that isn't set up properly as it is still in development. 

I'm also getting quite a look of "oops" messages where things don't display properly - my reselling host had to reissue my license key I believe and then they told me to clear the cache. I'm using Google Chrome for Linux (both are up to date). I'm running WHMCS 8.3. 

Thanks for your patience with a rather long post!


Kind Regards, 






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