I'd like to try to automate my hosting business a little bit more. Right now when a customer orders I have to manually setup their hosting account, order the domain name, order the SSL Certificate, setup the mail server and default email accounts, etc.
What solutions have other WHT'ers come up with to make that process a little easier? Does anyone know of a Windows CP that offers some sort of programming API to automate the signup on website orders?
Ultimately I'd like to eventually get to a place where once I take a website order I just have to log in somewhere on my website and give the order a glance to avoid fraud, then click a button and it's setup. Is that unrealistic?
We have been using HELM from webhostautomation (dot) com for quite some time and are happy with it. It allows for the automation of most setup tasks.
They also offer an API that we are currently working with that allows for complete customization of the process. API information can be found at www (dot) webhostautomation (dot) com/development/Helm3/API/
I personally dont know what would be the best solution for a Windows servers since I have always used Linux servers, but as for the automation of certains things it isnt always the best. Things like orders forms and client/billing areas/management are a good idea, but when it comes to account autocreation I would not recommend it. Usually fraud occurs when the setup is automatic, in a lot of scripts like WHM Autopilot for Linux (which I use) you can simply turn of the Automatically Install option and you just look over the account and payment and then just click Install. Its one more step, but a lot safer and smarter. As for finding a script Id recommend talking to some other people who are running Windows servers and see what they recommend like AdrenalineX.
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Especially: What if someone tries to be funny by registering 100.000 domains with a stolen credit card... You'd have to pay it. Well, you could limit the amount of automatic account creation but it really attracts frauders.
Accounts can be created automatically but not set to an active status. Authorizations can be made but not captured. All that leaves is a manual review of the information before setting the account active and capturing the funds. This saves an incredible amount of time with hosting accounts.
We do not participate in the reselling of domain names as of yet, so I do not have any experience with that aspect of the game.
Thanks for the feedback everyone. I've always been a big promoter of avoiding fraud (I used to work for a credit card processor), so I still fully intend to look over every order, I'd just like to make my autosignup a little easier. Right now I'm using Hosting Controller and it's virtually impossible to automate anything without using their prebuilt autosignup script and I don't get a lot of control.
I'll take a look at the Helm API that sounds like what I'm looking for.