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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    28

    What is the best of the following??

    Hi, I'm starting a webhosting company and set out to start it up and have it up and running for people to signup in August/September. I've been working on it and researching it for the past few months since I want everything right by the time it goes up since there is nothing worse than a half finished webhosting company, or one finished-but a second rate job has been done.
    I've done a lot of things which I read I must do, but some of the things there are a variety of choices for; and a lot of the choices are all good or all equally to the same. Well anyway, some of the things I don't know which to use are for the Control Panels, the Billing Software, the SSL certificates.

    Control Panels
    I currently will be using Ensim, I don't plan on having PlesK although I may do if people request it. My main thoughts are, which is better out of Ensim, HSPhere and CPanel? I know a lot of hosts use either Ensim or CPanel, but so few use HSPhere and have used HSPhere before and loved it. Now, which Control Panel do you people think is best, and does anyone know where I can get a place to install HSPhere?

    Billing Software
    I only know about 2CheckOut and ReveCom (PaySystems), and am unsure which is best. First off, does anyone know of any other types of billing software or do you guys only know about 2Checkout and PaySystems (ReveCom), Plus which do you people think is best? I've worked it out that I'd save move the most by using 2CheckOut for the monthly payments and PaySystems for the yearly; but I think that'd be too much hassle. So does anyone here either know of another billing software similar or can anyone tell me which they think is best? (I know the more recent webhosts use 2CheckOut while the older ones use PaySystems but am unsure as to which is best)
    Also, with one of these two credit card processors I plan to use phpManager as well, can anyone here give me any thoughts or views on using phpManager with one of the credit card processors I may use?

    SSL Certificare
    Currently the only ones I am interested in is Thwate and GeoTrust. I was wondering, does anyone here know which is better? GeoTrust is more expensive than Thwate, but I see more webhosts have Thwate certificates. So can anyone tell me which is best or are they practically the same?

    Online Customer Support
    I was going to be using ClickChatSold but have seen a lot of unhappy people on these forums using it. I have come accross PHPLiveHelper. Does anyone know how good this is? I have seen the demo and it looks rather good, but has anyone here used it and can give me some of their views and thoughts?


    Thanks for your help guys.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    956
    The best SSL cert is Thawte

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    421
    I can't really comment on anything except for the control panel. CPanel is at the top of my list. Its extremely user-friendly and has a lot of options.

    Good luck to you!
    "Last year, some resourceful software enthusiasts cracked Sony Music's proprietary technology simply by scribbling around the edges of the disc with a Magic Marker pen, thus enabling playback on any device." - news.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    1,541
    for control panel i wuld say whm/cpanel, its really easy to use and has loads of features.
    Plesk is a bit to user unfriendly for my liking and my customers have all commented on how much better cpanel is.

    i uses a shared thawte cert on one of my sites and it seems pretty good, although i dont know anything about which is easier to set up etc.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Vienna, Austria
    Posts
    2,530
    clickchatsold is ok, it wont load sometimes but it is free, and if they start charging like 3-5 $ per month and get better server ( or cluster them) it would be a no1 solution

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    28
    Thanks for all your responces people.

    About the SSL Cert. I think I will use Thawte, I've recently seen a LOT of webhosts use it, a lot more than GeoTrust. (Plus Thawte is slightly less)

    About the control panel. I think I will, since I need WHM to use phpManager properly, and I guess I will have to get cPanel as well with that so I'll have to use that.

    About CCS and Customer Support, I like CCS a lot, but I'm only not too sure on it with a few things, one it being down so many times- I've seen so many webhosts lose plenty of signups just because of it- plus it doesn't work on any of my friends PCs, nor does it work on my laptop- which I'm on right now; and I don't think someone would want to download software just to get support from their webhost. So I'm still kinda undecided on that- if CCS becomes better, like goes paid and never goes down plus people can use it on all os' then I'll use it and pay for it although I think I may then use PHPLiveHelper.

    Once again, thanks for all your help. If anyone has anymore tips or info on things such as billing software I'd really appreciate it.
    Thanks.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    28
    Also, I have been thinking about giving support through phone and snail mail. I know a lot of people who say they will only go with a host if they have this as then it seems as if they are more reliable- but I'm not too sure since you can get a PO box whenever you like, I'm not sure in the US but where I am you can providing you can pay for it.
    I know a lot of people like Phone support- I can understand this as it is a lot harder to a certain extent, or at least it is where I live. I'll be offering both Phone and Snail Mail but am wondering, would people be put off if they had to send the letter to another country or even phone another country for their support? Like I mean, the main offices where all the support and stuff is in another country to where the servers and tech people? I'm just curious because I'm considering having the support offices in France where taxes are cheaper enabling me to give cheaper prices plus the French government has over 256 types of grants for companies to do with computers and the internet, meaning even lower prices.
    Would you be put off by this or not? (The language would still be the same as your own; just a different location to the servers and tech people)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Kalamazoo
    Posts
    33,190
    Originally posted by Deus
    . . . . . . . . . I think I may then use PHPLiveHelper.

    Once again, thanks for all your help. If anyone has anymore tips or info on things such as billing software I'd really appreciate it.
    Thanks.
    We started using PHPLive last year. But, have since, stopped.
    Customers and prospective customers were often annoyed because they would hear noise everythime it refreshed. Finally, a couple of months ago, we went to see if there was any type of upgrade becuase there were times it would just quit working. Sure enough; there was a new version. However we were unable to get it. And the company won't return our calls, nor answer our emails as to why. So, based on my experience with the company, PHPLive is one to be avoided.
    There is no best host. There is only the host that's best for you.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    28
    Yeah. I wouldn't use PHPLive. I've heard so many bad things about it plus it is very pricey as I heard here it is leased- you don't just buy it and it is yours.
    PHPLiveHelper, (click here), I think seems to be quite good. I've seen there demo and like it, plus it isn't as pricey as the others but I am not too keen on the fact it only shows the first letter of the canned message.
    Anyone know of any really good but cheap chat support other than PHPLiveHelper?

  10. #10
    geotrust's ebusiness ID is almost the same as Thawte - actually as far as I know it's cross signed with Thawte (Thawte has signed Geotrusts certificate). Correct if I am wrong....

    Also, if you know where to find eBusiness SSL from geotrust reseller you will get it a bit cheaper.

    Last time we had some problems with Thawte cert renewal due to paperwork (we didnt have DUN number) and we went to Geotrust. Thawte refunded paid money - so they are also a good company

    ps. didn't quite like that Geotrust raised their prices... but they still offer good reseller pricing

  11. #11
    H Sphere - feature rich and constantly improving

    Geo Trust - less than 10 minutes for a cert, nothing else to say

    Your own merchant account - Be in control of your money. don't let some third party processor give you probems.

    sitechatter.com - its $10 a month and seems to work well enough. Its a version of one of the php programs you can download and install yourself but for $10 a month with unlimited operators it's worth it.
    Matt Kelly
    WCiT.net
    Managed and Unmanaged
    Budget VPS, Cloud and Colocation

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    United kingdom
    Posts
    1,003
    Control Panels
    I currently will be using Ensim, I don't plan on having PlesK although I may do if people request it. My main thoughts are, which is better out of Ensim, HSPhere and CPanel? I know a lot of hosts use either Ensim or CPanel, but so few use HSPhere and have used HSPhere before and loved it. Now, which Control Panel do you people think is best, and does anyone know where I can get a place to install HSPhere?
    I would suggest either CPanel or H-Sphere. CPanel seems to be more widely used and customers love it. H-Sphere is also liked by many, but from what I rememver of last using it, I didn't particularly like the interface (you can't make your own templates either). The one thing that is good about them (and probably more things too), is that they have billing and support integrated into the control panel, so it's sort of an 'all-in-one' solution to running a web hosting company.

    Billing Software
    I only know about 2CheckOut and ReveCom (PaySystems), and am unsure which is best. First off, does anyone know of any other types of billing software or do you guys only know about 2Checkout and PaySystems (ReveCom), Plus which do you people think is best? I've worked it out that I'd save move the most by using 2CheckOut for the monthly payments and PaySystems for the yearly; but I think that'd be too much hassle. So does anyone here either know of another billing software similar or can anyone tell me which they think is best? (I know the more recent webhosts use 2CheckOut while the older ones use PaySystems but am unsure as to which is best)
    Also, with one of these two credit card processors I plan to use phpManager as well, can anyone here give me any thoughts or views on using phpManager with one of the credit card processors I may use?
    There are many other credit card processing companies out there, one is WorldPay which is more on the expensive side. In my opinion, 2CheckOut is better, as we looked over the pricing,how easy it was to setup, also how much the payment page can be customized and 2CO was ahead by far compared with Revecom. phpManager supports both processing companies, so whichever oen you decide to use will work, it looks like 2CO by the sound of it.

    SSL Certificare
    Currently the only ones I am interested in is Thwate and GeoTrust. I was wondering, does anyone here know which is better? GeoTrust is more expensive than Thwate, but I see more webhosts have Thwate certificates. So can anyone tell me which is best or are they practically the same?
    This depends on what type of SSL cert you want to get, or what your budget is. You can get a cheap SSL cert as low as $49+Tax from Rackshack.net. While this works fine to secure data between the customer's browser and the server, it doesn't confirm the validity of the company that owns the cert... for this, you need to get a GeoTrust True Business ID, which is more expensive and it's probably the one that you're comparing to Thawte. Thawte SSLs are better than GeoTrust as they have 100% compatibility (stand to be corrected), whereas the GeoTrust one has 98%. The 2% doesn't make too much of a difference depending on how old your client's computers will be, and with what browsers they are running. If you want to get a cheaper TrueBusinessID cert, then go to SSL4Less.com, as they sell it for $89, which is more than 50% off the GeoTrust prices.

    Online Customer Support
    I was going to be using ClickChatSold but have seen a lot of unhappy people on these forums using it. I have come accross PHPLiveHelper. Does anyone know how good this is? I have seen the demo and it looks rather good, but has anyone here used it and can give me some of their views and thoughts?
    This is an area that I'm not particular interested in as I prefer not to use such programs to provide support. But if you do want to provide realtime customer support via the website, I would not suggest using these programs that are made from PHP/MySQL, I would personally use a company such as LiveHelper.com or a more corporate company like LivePerson. I've used LivePerson before and they were very good, I was impressed with what they offered. The only reason that I stopped using it was because I said before, I don't particularly like to offer realtime support/sales.

    I hope this helps you... good luck with your new web hosting company.

    Alan
    Alan Ho
    Former Systems Administrator

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Sherbrooke, Québec
    Posts
    182
    For SSL Certificates, use Thawte.

    For panel I can suggest web.cp (webcp.can-host.com) it's our own homemade panel, it's not complete yet (it's at version 0.5-pre now, but I would suggest 0.4.1 instead for production use, not complete, but stable enough). It's free and released under the GPL. FYI we have 0.4.1 on one server, running with no problem at all, and 0.5-pre on another one (still to buggy and incomplete for me to suggest it to you)

    A forum is nice for customer support, as other customers will reply at your place, but e-mail should be your first media. Many customers want phone support even though for us the computer guys e-mail and ICQ are prefered.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    28
    Thanks for all that people, that is a lot of helpful information you gave me, I really appreciate it. I think I have decided on some things, such as cPanel as it comes with WHM and I'll need it to use all the features that come with phpManager and I'm not too sure about getting ModernBill in the beginning as from what I have heard phpManager is just as good for small starting out companies.
    As for the CCProcessor, I'm still undecided to an extent although think I'll most likely end up using 2CheckOut since it is easier from what I've heard, plus is a lot more popular.
    For the SSL, I'm still nearly 100% undecided but I'm now seeing a lot more Thawte ones, so think I'd use that but I am not really sure on that situation.
    Although I know I'm totally 100% unsure about the customer live support- I'm tempted to go with phpLiveHelper or phpLiveChat but am totally unsure as to me phpLiveHelper seems to give a good deal, but lacks some features that I'd find very useful such as saving the chat messages, and also phpLiveHelper seems to click a lot so that I'm not too happy about but phpLiveChat is also good but a bad interface and it doesn't automatically refresh and tell you when you have someone wanting to talk.
    Well I see I've a lot more to think about and decide- but thankfully I've till September.

    Once again, thanks for all your help people! I really appreciate it!

  15. #15
    Most of the discussion here on cpanel or hsphere seems to come from the tech side and I am sure hspere is better for those running a webhost business but the folks who wrote it forgot about the customer. I have used cpanel for two years without a problem and everything works. I moved from a webhost when they changed to hsphere. If you don't have customers, it doesn't matter what control panel you are using.

    cpanel
    hspere

  16. #16
    H Sphere has been changed recently to a much more user friendly system. New skins have also been created.

    The thing I like about H Sphere is that all the resellers get a billing and support ticket system. The only thing they need is a merchant account. Which brings me to...

    Hey Deus, why not get your own merchant account? The fees are less and you have control over your own money, rather than some third party processor. For about $200 you can be all set up with you own merchant account.
    Matt Kelly
    WCiT.net
    Managed and Unmanaged
    Budget VPS, Cloud and Colocation

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