Experience Moving from WHMCS to Hostbill.

SystemSystem Administrator
This discussion was created from comments split from: The Cest Pit - Q3 2020.
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  • wdmgwdmg Hosting ProviderServices Provider
    edited October 13

    If anyone is thinking about migrating to Hostbill, we just did and it went quite well. The only major issue I’ll alert people of is when migrating (scripted), Hostbill doesn’t normally import the prices manually set on services per user, for example, WHMCS if you change Bob Smith’s recurring price from $5 to $10 manually then Hostbill import will use $5 instead of $10.

    Aside this, it went almost flawlessly, we didn’t lose any income history, transactions, services, invoices. We did lose about 4 tickets that we had to manually drag over, though.

    All in all, migration planning took a week, execution took an hour, sanity check took an hour, then we brought down the maintenance mode.

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  • AnthonySmithAnthonySmith AdministratorHosting Provider
    edited October 13

    Few questions:

    1. Was this the managed migration service hostbill offer or an automated script?
    2. What sort of products were migrated?
    3. Do you mean that if at any point the original price changed e.g. you did a deal or changed plan manually, the old original price is the one brought into hostbill? in which case this should be reported as a bug as it is looking at the "First Payment Amount" field in WHMCS rather than the obviously more valid "Recurring Amount" field shoudl be an easy fix for them.
    4. Will there be any significant price difference to you now that WHMCS is generally more expensive? I think I worked out that WHMCS starts to cost more than hostbill when you are on the top tier plan in WHMCS after about 18 months.

    edit: Oh and thanks for sharing this, very interesting.

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  • wdmgwdmg Hosting ProviderServices Provider
    edited October 13

    @AnthonySmith said:
    Few questions:

    1. Was this the managed migration service hostbill offer or an automated script?
    2. What sort of products were migrated?
    3. Do you mean that if at any point the original price changed e.g. you did a deal or changed plan manually, the old original price is the one brought into hostbill? in which case this should be reported as a bug as it is looking at the "First Payment Amount" field in WHMCS rather than the obviously more valid "Recurring Amount" field shoudl be an easy fix for them.
    4. Will there be any significant price difference to you now that WHMCS is generally more expensive? I think I worked out that WHMCS starts to cost more than hostbill when you are on the top tier plan in WHMCS after about 18 months.

    edit: Oh and thanks for sharing this, very interesting.

    Addressing them in a bit of a funky order, but...

    1. WHMCS’s cost wasn’t the motivating factor to leave, it was the source of numerous bugs for us. That being said, Hostbill had a nice refugee offer that cut some costs down for us on initial purchase. All in all, the ROI is about 18 months, and so far Hostbill has been top notch at fixing bugs we’ve reported prior to migration.

    3: Correct, the scripted migration utilized the First Payment Amount instead of Recurring Amount, which, in staging caused a lot of inconsistencies.

    2: We migrated over Hosting (DA & cPanel), VPS (OpenStack), Dedicated Servers, IP Transit, and Email Hosting for the most part, the other services (eg, DDoS mitigation, LIR services) are not automated tasks and are manual by default.

    1: We used a script to do the migration based on what Hostbill has readily available, and had help from Hostbill.

    I should also point out that Hostbill when importing a CSV (eg, user dump of information for import as a client)... it is very particular and expects information in an exact order. If you don’t provide it in that order, it will not check the field value and import it, and cause database errors sometimes (eg, put a email in the first name field).

  • AnthonySmithAnthonySmith AdministratorHosting Provider

    @wdmg said: 3: Correct, the scripted migration utilized the First Payment Amount instead of Recurring Amount, which, in staging caused a lot of inconsistencies.

    Did you report this or is there a known fix?

    @wdmg said: I should also point out that Hostbill when importing a CSV (eg, user dump of information for import as a client)... it is very particular and expects information in an exact order. If you don’t provide it in that order, it will not check the field value and import it, and cause database errors sometimes (eg, put a email in the first name field).

    Sounds like something that could bite you in the ass later.

    My only block on doing this now despite the great offer of a managed migration from hostbill is that I have been running WHMCS since v4 and have been upgrading a single install all those years so who knows what will haunt me later.

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  • wdmgwdmg Hosting ProviderServices Provider

    @AnthonySmith said:

    @wdmg said: 3: Correct, the scripted migration utilized the First Payment Amount instead of Recurring Amount, which, in staging caused a lot of inconsistencies.

    Did you report this or is there a known fix?

    I have reported it to them.

    @wdmg said: I should also point out that Hostbill when importing a CSV (eg, user dump of information for import as a client)... it is very particular and expects information in an exact order. If you don’t provide it in that order, it will not check the field value and import it, and cause database errors sometimes (eg, put a email in the first name field).

    Sounds like something that could bite you in the ass later.

    My only block on doing this now despite the great offer of a managed migration from hostbill is that I have been running WHMCS since v4 and have been upgrading a single install all those years so who knows what will haunt me later.

    Fair enough. I think personally our migration was worth it, we’re much happier with Hostbill and so is the staff — sure the administration interface isn’t as visually appealing as WHMCS, but it’s functional. They’ve got DIY automations was well (WYSIWYG-style automations that can be triggered), and their IPAM module is very nice... I could go on for an hour or two about what we like and use.

  • AnthonySmithAnthonySmith AdministratorHosting Provider

    Well there is the exact problem with whmcs, the last 4 major versions have been centred around the interface with a heavy lean towards visual aesthetic over function substance and actual practicality of use, hostbill has some excellent features that truly help build your business, features that have been on the whmcs requests list for 7 years without updates.

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  • wdmgwdmg Hosting ProviderServices Provider
    edited October 13

    @AnthonySmith said:
    Well there is the exact problem with whmcs, the last 4 major versions have been centred around the interface with a heavy lean towards visual aesthetic over function substance and actual practicality of use, hostbill has some excellent features that truly help build your business, features that have been on the whmcs requests list for 7 years without updates.

    Personally, I take functionality over visual appearance.

    One other caveat we noticed is we’ve had 3 customers ticket in to say their currency was flipped from CAD to USD. Upon investigation it looks like the import just put the field value incorrectly, so we corrected that as well (that’s our fault, not the importers). Hostbill is definitely picky about order the fields come in, which is actually nice.

  • @wdmg said:
    If anyone is thinking about migrating to Hostbill, we just did and it went quite well.

    Hi, could you share the conversion script you use ?

    Regards

  • @wdmg Congratulations on moving to Hostbill :)

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