Situation: Reselling enom domains and shared hosting using the DirectAdmin control panel is probably where this is going. I will probably use the QuickBooks Merchant account with Authorize.net because it's the cheapest all around for $1.00 - $42.00 purchases, and the % won't beat me up too bad on larger purchases.
Thoughts:I know ModernBill is expensive and is the one people love to hate. I know AWBS some say is better for selling domains and is new and improving in the web hosting world but integration into your site is more work. I haven't used either. I hear people that have been in it awhile say after they grow that they wish they had started with ModernBill.
Goal:What's important is good and reliable integration with DirectAdmin and automation of the process. If you need to hire another person because AWBS isn't as automated, then we can't call ModernBill expensive.
PS: Judging by their pricing, ModernBill charges about $.025/month per client or $.30 a year from your NET profit. If you sold one domain per account, it might not be attractive, and you would want to make sure that old accounts are released, which is easier said than done. You would also want to make sure there were no accounts created that didn't at least buy something first.
AWBS is only $169.00 for unlimited domains, but I would gladly pay 2 or 3 times that because of it value to me.
The rumours about it being impossible to integrate are bunk. Sure it takes an extra day or two to understand how it works but those that do quickly appreciate the power of the template design and being able to do just about anything with it.
Like any powerful script you can't throw it on a server and expect to have it running it 20 minutes. Modernbill takes a while to understand as well. I started running MB two years ago but switched to AWBS (then DRAMS Plus) because MB could not handle my state tax properly and AWBS could. I'm so glad that happened because I now have a billing system thats dependable and a host manager that can work with just about any popular control panel on the market.
:I started running MB two years ago but switched to AWBS (then DRAMS Plus) because MB could not handle my state tax properly and AWBS could. I'm so glad that happened because I now have a billing system thats dependable and a host manager that can work with just about any popular control panel on the market.
These are experiences that I need to hear. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm reading from this that:
- AWBS is a competent and complete package for handling domains and hosting even for handling a substantial volume.
- ModernBill in your opinion doesn't integrate well with as many control panels
- AWBS has been more solid or had fewer bugs in your experience.
Did users and purchasers find it as easy to use as ModernBill?
If I've been using for AWBS for 2 years I obviously haven't been using MB so have no idea how much its progressed in 2 years. Someone using MB for 2years is going to tell you its the cats meow, but then again they probably don't know anything about AWBS
All I'm saying is AWBS is a great value in my Helm/Enom/Authorize.net environment and I don't have anything bad to say about. It does 99% of what I want and I don't think you can ask for more of a canned billing package.
You seem to be fixated on software cost but thats a big mistake. It does not matter what anybody says in response to your question, you have to do your own testing of both and they both have a downloadable trial.
I do agree that of the software out there, AWBS and MB would be the best choice for you to test since both can scale to thousands of users but if you pick the wrong one you will be kicking yourself in the butt later .....
You seem to be fixated on software cost...but if you pick the wrong one you will be kicking yourself in the butt later .....
I'm definitely not fixated on software cost. In fact, I buy the most cost effective no matter what I buy. That's why I'm asking the questions that I am. There is nothing more expensive than doing something multiple times. It's not even the time spent making the change or the money on software wasted. It's what it does to your organization internally and the effect it has on customer satisfaction, which ultimately affects revenue and net profit. There is a hosting company right now that is respected for its uptime and performance who didn't tell me an account was set up for 11 days. It said pending. When I cancelled, they credited my card and said they sent out a reply and talked about a spam filter problem I might have, which I doubt, because I got his e-mail fine. I thought about it, and sent him a message back in their system saying that as long as they set it up, that I would stick with them. I haven't heard back in more over a day.
The problem is the time spent working with something that doesn't do the job. What I'm little concerned with, with ModernBill is that it may be a little like Intuit QuickBooks. I switched to QuickBooks from MYOB a few years ago for the API because I thought I would use it. I didn't like the QuickBooks interface because it is graphical disaster and is not logical. However, I reasoned that it is a defacto standard and I can hire people that have gone to school on it or can go to school on it locally, and the bottom line was, it doesn't matter if I don't like it. I paid $500 for it and $200 for payroll updates to get the payroll system to work. It wouldn't work otherwise. However, I cannot use the payroll tables as is, so I'm not really using them at all, but I still needed to buy them the first year. To me, QuickBooks is an accountant's dream come true because they mess with the interface on every update, and it never is a logical program, so people are always asking them billable questions. Moreover, no matter how long the girls use it, it always confuses them and they are asking me and sometimes I need to ask the accountant.(BTW, I wrote two ERP systems used in 100+ million dollar tier 1 automotive suppliers complete with quality systems and EDI.) With MYOB, neither I nor anyone else would have had this problem. Moreover, I never found the time to write programs for the API. I don't want to buy another QuickBooks.
Consider the next situation. Let's say that you go with a 1000 user version of ModernBill. As you know, there are certain things, such as domains, that have some pretty thin profit margins, but they can be high volume. So you are giving away $.30 NET profit which may be most of what's left after you deduct any support and transaction costs. But of course in the real world, you will never get it down to $.30. In order for that to happen, you would need to start out at 1000, and not add any customers because you are paying the $.30 X 1000 whether they are live or not, and you probably can't purge them until year end at least. So now you are somewhat enslaved to cleaning up old accounts on time so that you don't make it to the 2500 user so fast, but when you do, your costs jump up again.
There are software costs whether you buy upgrade support and support separately or not. The key is, does the ModernBill beat the AWBS combination all things considered. From what I hear you saying, AWBS is more efficient for you than ModernBill even if they were to cost the same. So I don't see ModernBill justifying its cost nor burden of the licensing model based on your comments.
Originally Posted by WebGuyz
if you pick the wrong one you will be kicking yourself in the butt later
Which is more important than money saved or lost with ModernBill software pricing either short term or long term. There is nothing more costly than something that becomes an impediment to growth and messes up a well-oiled machine. That appears to the motivation for your change. You will never recoup in software costs what it cost you to integrate the software into your company. The problem is, you had to do it twice. Thanks for giving me your experiences so I can now go make my own mistakes instead of both yours and mine.
They built their site using their product and it doesn't look cheapish to me.
It looks fine. What I also find interesting, is that I don't see people swimming the other way. After QuickBooks and trying to make NT work in a large organization, I'm not interested in making any more strategic decisions. A strategic decision is simply the easy way out of defending a decision that you know cannot be supported by facts or logic.
Last edited by IT_Architect; 08-31-2006 at 06:45 PM.
Can you elaborate on that? We're thinking of switching, and that statement has me a little worried.
I came across a conversation where a guy was talking about how he had to make all the modifications all over again and another guy telling him about saving off the original each time and then using a tool called "BeyondCompare" to highlight the differences and find the approximate same areas in the new and make the changes so it wouldn't need to completely reinvent the wheel. I didn't check out what BeyondCompare is, but I assume that it is a comparison tool of some kind.
I'm probably not the guy to ask because I have never dealt with AWBS. I'm deciding like you.
BTW, what are you switching from?
Last edited by IT_Architect; 08-31-2006 at 08:27 PM.
They built their site using their product and it doesn't look cheapish to me.
yes, I feel it looks cheapish, with the colors and no real design as I can tell, almost like a circa '99 website to me. and the fact all the people using the default theme makes it even less appealing to me.
I didn't check out what BeyondCompare is, but I assume that it is a comparison tool of some time.
I own that. It's a nice little comparison tool...very handy.
BTW, what are you switching from?
Actively using an earlier version of WHMAP, but I've been playing with MB. The new version isn't to my liking at all and is missing some things I need. My only real regret with that is I bought it used, and I can't sell it now because of that. They only allow one transfer per lifetime of the license.
I need to get onto a billing program that can handle recurring domain payments, maintenance agreements and actually do it all correctly. AWBS looks like it does all that.
The new version isn't to my liking at all and is missing some things I need. My only real regret with that is I bought it used, and I can't sell it now because of that. They only allow one transfer per lifetime of the license.
Sheesh! Another one swimming a way from ModernBill. After buying it, I'm sure you wanted to make it work in a bad way. It must have not at all been to your liking for that to happen.
Yup. They've made it even less user friendly (if that were possible), left off some modules I needed, and rushed it out the door in order to raise prices. Of course these are just my opinions...but it's left me wanting a different solution.
Here we use AWBS (www.bagfull.net) and don't find any issue with it. A small learning curve... not very difficult to template (not easy also at first go) and supports maximum registrars, hosting control panels and payment gateways. It is much cheaper than MB.
Bagfull Interweb Inc.
Windows and Linux Affordable Hosting and Cheap Domain Names.
Powerful Dual Xeon Processors, 24x7 Support, PayPal Accepted http://www.bagfull.net/
Bought a copy of AWBS recently and made the stupid mistake of trying to modify the existing templates...not knowing they offered a bare template :p Now that i've got that i can fully integrate the site.
I'll remember that.
Originally Posted by RMWebs
The only dislike i have for AWBS is the fact that almost everything is encrypted & it carrys a lot of rubbish from when it was converted from DRAMS.
I would imagine that ModernBill is encrypted like that too? What kind of rubbish?