Hosting Resellers

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Background

We are constantly seeing questions from server operators and resellers asking how phpCOIN can be used to track multi-tier clients, sales commissions, etc. First, some definitions:

  • A reseller is a customer of yours, who runs his own business and finds/bills/supports his own customers.
  • A referer is someone who sends a customer to you.

phpCOIN was not designed for "hybrid" scenarios in which you are invoicing 'on behalf of' your resellers or third parties, nor was it designed to track your reseller's customers and domains. If you are trying to invoice 'on behalf of' your resellers or third parties you may place yourself in a precarious legal position ~ be aware of local laws concerning invoicing.

Here is what we believe to be the most logical road map of how to deploy phpCOIN under these circumstances:


Resellers

  • You are a server owner, or you rent space on a server, and you deploy phpCOIN as your client management and billing solution.
  • You decide to split up the server space you have into say 10 parts and sell them to "resellers". Logically, you now have 10 clients (who are resellers) that you bill and that can ask for your support via your helpdesk.
  • Each of your 10 clients can now sell their own web hosting packages to the general public, and they are responsible for their own marketing/billing/support. Exactly what they sell is really no concern of yours provided they do not infringe on your EULA with them, or they run out of allocated resources.
A. They can deploy their own installation of phpCOIN to invoice their end
   users and have their own clients ask for support via their own help ticket
   system, or

B. They can deploy some other client management/invoicing/support software.
  • If your reseller receives a support request from one of their clients that they cannot handle directly, they can pass it "upstream" to you, using your phpCOIN helpdesk system. You can then answer them and they, in turn, answer their client.


The above is by far the easiest way of deploying a reseller environment.


Referrers

If you are invoicing the end user directly, but are receiving that end user by way of a referral, this is quite different to a "reseller" environment. There are several ways that phpCOIN can track those referrals for the purposes of paying commission to the referring third party. The most obvious is the "referer" field captured on every order.


In Closing

You should analyze your intended business model before deploying phpCOIN. Clarify your projected use of the software, and if it can meet your expectations and/or intentions.

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