Resell Domains Like a Pro: Automate your Domain Reselling Business with WHMCS

Bogdan

Bogdan

Domain Reselling

Ready to jump-start your web hosting business and start reselling domains? Then you have come to the right place. WHMCS is here to provide easy-to-use automation tools that will take your enterprise to the next level. This guide will walk you through everything from becoming a domain reseller to automating domain renewals, transfers, and other tasks. 

Let’s dive in and explore how you can leverage WHMCS for maximum success when reselling domains.

What is Domain Reselling?

Domain reselling involves buying domain names from a domain registrar and then reselling them to customers for a profit. As a domain reseller, you don’t need to create or manage the domain names yourself; instead, you act as a middleman between the registrar and the end customer.

Let me provide a real-world illustration of this idea: When your domain registrar lets you resell .com registrations at $9.95, you can raise the price to $15.95 and generate an extra $6.

For those in the domain reselling business, customer service and efficient billing are among the most important aspects. Several domain registrars provide tools to simplify managing these business areas; such tools include customer management systems and white-label billing solutions. This can help manage relationships with your customers, invoicing, and providing any needed support regarding domain names you’re selling.

How to Get Started with Domain Reselling

Domain reselling is a great way to make money online and is easier than you might think. With the right knowledge and resources, anyone can start domain reselling. 

1. Register a Domain Name – First, you’ll need to register your domain name. This will be the main website for your business, and customers will use it when they want to purchase domains from you. Make sure that your chosen name is easy to remember and relevant to what you do as a domain reseller.

2. Purchase a web hosting plan  – Once you have secured your domain, the next move is to arrange web hosting. Simply put, web hosting is like the land where you build your house. The land is the space on the Internet where you store your website’s files. Typically, web hosting service runs on a physical server owned by a web hosting company, such as ChemiCloud. When you sign up for a web hosting service, you rent a small piece of space on that server.

ChemiCloud offers all the goodies you’ll need if you’re looking for options, from domain registration to reseller hosting plans. What’s more, we’re proud to be the only company to offer a free domain for one year when you purchase any of our web hosting plans.

3. Becoming a Domain Reseller – To become a domain reseller, you must typically sign up with a domain registrar offering domain reseller programs. The registrar will provide you with a reseller account, giving you access to their domain registration system. You can then purchase domain names at a discounted price and sell them to your customers at a markup.

4. Getting started with Domain Reselling – Beginning domain reselling may seem overwhelming, but it’ll be much more straightforward once you become acquainted with the fundamentals and gain familiarity with WHMCS.

Now let’s explore the benefits of using WHMCS for domain reselling. 

Benefits of Using WHMCS for Domain Reselling

WHMCS is a powerful automation software solution for domain resellers. WHMCS provides the tools to manage and expand your domain reselling business successfully. WHMCS offers automation features, customer support tools, and much more that make it an ideal choice for those looking to get into domain reselling.

One of the most significant advantages of using WHMCS is its automation capabilities. Automated billing allows customers to be billed regularly without any manual effort from you or your staff, thus freeing up time and resources. This eliminates time-consuming tasks like manually invoicing customers monthly or sending out reminder emails when payment is due. Automated provisioning can save time and money by quickly setting up new accounts without manual input.

Other essential features are worth being mentioned: 

  • Real-Time Availability Checking – Check domain availability using real-time polling of WHOIS services and registrar APIs
  • Automated Renewals – Automatically invoice for renewals and trigger renewals with domain registries when customers pay you
    Domain Syncing – Daily synchronization of domain due dates and status, as well as auto-detection of transfers away
  • Free Domains – You can bundle domain registration for free with specific hosting packages
  • ID Protection – Offer your customer’s ID Protection as an additional paid add-on. 
  • Domain Search – Integrate domain availability checking and searching directly into your website.
  • Self-Management Portal – Allow customers to manage every aspect of their domain registration with you via the self-service client portal

Overall, there are many reasons why using WHMSCS makes sense when starting in domain reselling. Automation capabilities save time and money while providing excellent customer service via built-in ticketing systems and live chat functions, helping ensure smooth sailing throughout the entire process. This makes WHMSCS an ideal selection, no matter the magnitude or breadth of the venture.

Keynote: WHMCS is the perfect choice for domain resellers, offering automated billing and provisioning, plus built-in customer service tools to ensure smooth sailing. It’s a no-brainer regarding scalability and time-saving capabilities – an all-around winner.

Next, we will explore the process of starting WHMCS and reselling domains. 

Getting a WHMCS License

Before you can get started, you need to purchase a WHMCS license. WHMCS licenses are available on the official WHMCS website and come with different pricing and features. Also, it’s essential to know that there are two types of licenses:  branded or unbranded WHMCS. 

The license you choose will depend on your web hosting business size. There are multiple WHMCS licenses available for purchase:

  • WHMCS Starter License: This is the starter license of WHMCS, designed for small web hosting companies just starting. It is a branded license on which you can have up to 250 active clients.
  • WHMCS Plus License: This is the starter license of WHMCS, designed for small web hosting companies just starting. It is an unbranded license on which you can have up to 250 active clients.
  • WHMCS Professional License: This license is designed for medium-sized web hosting companies that have outgrown the Starter License. It is an unbranded license on which you can have up to 500 active clients
  • WHMCS Business 1000 License: This license is designed for large web hosting companies requiring more scalability. It is an unbranded license on which you can have up to 1000 active clients.
  • WHMCS Business 2500 License: This license is designed for large web hosting companies requiring more scalability. It is an unbranded license on which you can have up to 2500 active clients.

The following license tiers are Business 5000, Business 10000, to Business Unlimited. 

WHMCS License: Branded or Unbranded?

There are two types of WHMCS licenses available: branded and unbranded.  Let’s go through each type of license and find out the difference between each type of license.

What is a WHMCS Branded License?

A branded WHMCS license will show the link “Powered by WHMCompleteSolution” on your WHMCS installation at the bottom of every client area page. So, clicking on this link will direct visitors or users to WHMCS’ website.

WHMCS Starter is a branded type of license. It will allow you to use it for up to 250 Clients and include WHMCS Branding.

What is a WHMCS Unbranded License?

An unbranded WHMCS license, on the other hand, will not include the “Powered by WHMCompleteSolution”  on pages of your WHMCS installation.

Plus, Professional and Business are the unbranded type of licenses.

What’s the difference between Branded and Unbranded WHMCS Licenses?

As you can see, there’s not much difference between branded and unbranded WHMCS licenses.  All licenses are fully templated, so you can customize the appearance and set your logo for the public pages and for the emails.

How about getting a free WHMCS license?

While most providers of domain reseller programs offer a control panel where you can log in, manage domains, or register new ones, they may not offer the tools you’ll need to automate these functions so you can offer the same level of service to your customer. This includes offering free licensing for automation platforms like WHMCS, which works with most domain reseller platforms, and giving your customers access to a front end to purchase new domains and manage their existing ones. 

You usually must pay top dollar to obtain a WHMCS license. However, we’ve got you covered if you’re a ChemiCloud customer! We offer a free WHMCS license with our Grow, Expand, or Established reseller hosting plans.

Now, the only thing remaining is – How do I install WHMCS, go through the setup wizard, and how to configure domain registrars and pricing in WHMCS?

Not to worry! This tutorial was built with you in mind and will answer all those questions and then some! By the end of this guide, you can automate your domain reselling business like a WHMCS Pro!

Now, make a pot of coffee or tea, whichever you prefer, grab a snack, and let’s do this!

Installing WHMCS

Before going further with the WHMCS installation, we assume you already have an active reseller hosting plan with cPanel as the control panel. If you’re looking for options, check out our reseller hosting plans.

WHM/cPanel is bundled with every plan and provides an intuitive interface to help you manage websites. Also, our Softaculous 1-click app install makes it easy to get started with the app you love.

To install WHMCS in cPanel, using Softaculous, you can follow the steps below: 

1) Log into your cPanel account.

2) Scroll to the Softaculous section and click the Softaculous Apps Installer icon. 

Softaculous Apps Installer

3) In the Softaculous dashboard, you’ll have a list of top apps. Look up WHMCS and click on the Install button. 

WHMCS Install

4) Now, it’s time to choose a protocol for your WHMCS install.

If your site has an SSL installed, then you would use HTTPS. The HTTP protocol will be accepted if your site doesn’t use an SSL.

5) Next, you’ll need to set the Directory in which WHMCS will be installed. E.g.:

  • Please type billing to install WHMCS in a subfolder such as “billing” (https://domain.tld/billing).
  • If you want WHMCS to be installed on https://domain.tld, leave the “In Directory” field empty.

6) Next, you will need to fill out the details of your WHMCS installation:

Site Settings:

  • Company Name: Type in the name of your company
  • Admin Folder: Type in the name of the folder that you’d like to use for the administrator panel description. I advise using a different name and not the default “admin” for improved security.
  • Company Email: Type in the email address for your company
  • Valid License Key: Type in the WHMCS license. If the license was purchased through us, search through your emails and see the welcome email sent to you once the WHMCS license was issued.

Admin Account:

In this area, you must enter the login details you’d like to use for your WHMCS admin panel. Please make sure to use a strong password and a personal email address to which you have access.

Advanced Options:

We advise you to leave the advanced options that are configured by default for the database. You can enable auto-updates from this area for your WHMCS version, theme, and plugins.

7) When ready, scroll down and hit the Install button.

In a few moments, you will see the message that WHMCS has been successfully installed.

That’s it! You can now go ahead and log into your WHMCS Dashboard. 

Once logged in, you’ll be presented with the Getting Started Wizard modal. This tool will walk you through the initial configuration of WHMCS. If the wizard does not appear, it can be opened manually via the Help menu > Setup Wizard.

Configuring Domain Registrars in WHMCS

Step 1) First, log in to your WHMCS Admin. Once logged in, click the wrench in the top right corner, then click System Settings.

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Step 2) Once the System Settings panel loads, use the search feature at the top of the page to search for domain; then when the results load, click Domain Registrars.

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Step 3) A list of Domain Registrars who can integrate with WHMCS will load. If you are not a ChemiCloud customer, there are quite a few domain reseller companies from which you can choose.

If you’re a ChemiCloud customer, you can get a free Domain Reseller account with all our reseller hosting plans. Do not close the tab where the WHMCS Domain Registrars page is open. You’ll need to come back to it in Step 4! 

Installing and Activating the ChemiCloud Domain Reseller Module in WHMCS

When you signed up for a Reseller Web Hosting account with ChemiCloud, an email was sent to you containing your Login Credentials. Look for the subject line “Your ChemiCloud Domain Reseller Account Information” in your inbox to find this information. 

❗ Make a note of the username and password that goes with your Domain Reseller account, as you’ll need it for the steps below. 👇

To add the ChemiCloud Registrar to this list of resellers, you’ll need to install a custom module inside your WHMCS. Don’t worry; this is very straightforward! Just follow the steps below.

Step 1) First, log in to your ChemiCloud account. Click here to open the ChemiCloud Account Login page in a new tab. While in your Client Area Dashboard, click on the WHM icon on the right side, and you’ll automatically be logged in without needing a username and password.

WHM Login

Once you have logged into WHM,  click the list accounts button, where a page containing a list of all your cPanel accounts will load. 

WHM List Accounts
WHM -> List Accounts

The next step is to click the cPanel icon next to the domain corresponding to the domain used for your WHMCS installation.

Once your cPanel has opened, look for the Files section and click on File Manager.

cPanel Files File Manager 1

Using your File Manager, navigate to the directory where your WHMCS is installed. This is typically within your public_html folder. In my example, it’s public_html/business/

Once the directory where WHMCS is installed is opened, look in the menu at the top of the File Manager for the Upload option. Click the menu option to open the Upload tool.

File Manager Upload

Once the Upload tool has opened, click the blue “Select File” button to open the finder on your computer.

File Manager Select File
File Manager > Select File

Using the opened dialog window, navigate to the directory on your computer where the ZIP file you downloaded earlier was stored. Select the file, then click Open. This will begin the process of uploading the file to your WHMCS directory on the web server.

Once the Upload Progress indicator has turned green and says 100%, click the link at the bottom to Go Back to the directory where WHMCS is installed. You will be returned to the file manager.

Go Back to WHMCS directory

At first, you will not see the newly uploaded ZIP file. You’ll need to reload the file manager. To do this efficiently, look in the menu at the top of File Manager and click the Reload button.

Upon reload, you will see the ZIP file. Click it one time to select the file. The file will turn blue when it is selected. See below:

Select File and

Once the file is selected, look at the top of the File Manager, and in the row of options, click Extract.

After doing this, the extract modal window will open. Click the Extract Files button. This will unzip the ZIP file and put the files within the ZIP into the directory where your WHMCS is installed.

Once the unzip is done, you will see a modal listing the extraction task results. Click Close to close the modal.

Congrats, that’s all you need to do with your File Manager and cPanel. You can close the tabs where they are open and return to your WHMCS Admin → Domain Registrars page.

Step 2: Now that you have the Domain Registrars page open, you will see ChemiCloud.com has appeared in the list of Domain Registrars. Click the green Activate button to continue.

WHMCS Domain Registrars

Step 3: The ChemiCloud.com Domain Reseller module will activate and expand. You will see a green message that says Registrar Module Activated and several new options have opened up beneath the Registrar Activation line.

When you signed up for a Reseller Web Hosting account with ChemiCloud, an email was sent to you containing your Login Credentials. Look for the subject line “Your ChemiCloud Domain Reseller Account Information” in your inbox to find this information. 

Enter the username and password of your ChemiCloud domain reseller account in the respective fields. If you can’t find those details, please contact our Support department. 

Registrar Module Activated

The other options in the above-drawn purple box are entirely optional and up to you if you wish to enable them. There are a few valuable options here, including:

  • Automatic Transfer Lock – This will automatically enable the lock feature on a customer’s newly registered domain. This is helpful because it’s an additional layer of safety that keeps the domain from being transferred away, potentially unexpectedly.
  • WHOIS Output and ERRP Settings – When enabled, the customer can edit the WHOIS fields for each contact type, not just the registrant contact. Some companies like this because their Tech Contact is the IT Department, while the Registrant Contact might be their legal department.

After entering your Username and Password + selecting the option you wish to use, click the blue Save Changes button at the bottom of the page.

The page will reload, and if the credentials you provided are correct, you’ll see a green message at the top of the module which says “Changes Saved Successfully,” At the bottom, you’ll see a message which says “Connection to the LIVE Environment established.”

Congrats! When it comes to linking your new Domain Reseller Account with your WHMCS installation, you’re done!

Configuring the Domains Settings in WHMCS

After linking your Domain Reseller Account to WHMCS, there are a few Domains settings that you should check out. These settings can be easily enabled in WHMCS → System Settings → General Settings → Domains tab

The Domains tab allows you to configure how WHMCS registers and renews domains. 

Please find below a few Domains settings that require your attention: 

WHMCS General Settings Domains
WHMCS > General Settings > Domains

 

  • Domain Registration Options: By deselecting these options, the corresponding choice will be taken off of the order form. For instance, should you not want customers to transfer domain names to you, simply uncheck the box, and it will no longer appear on the form. Moreover, when all selections are unchecked, the Choose a Domain domain checker will also be eliminated from the default template homepage.
  • Enable Renewal Orders: By activating this feature, customers will be able to view domain renewal options in the customer area and a separate renewal category within the shopping cart. This allows them to renew their domains at any time. On the other hand, should this feature be deactivated, clients can only renew their domains once an automated invoice has been generated.
  • Auto Renew on Payment:Enabling will renew domains automatically at the registrar(s) you use when the renewal invoice is paid.
  • Auto Renew Requires Product: When this setting is enabled, domain names that have a Recurring Amount of 0.00 will only be renewed when there is an associated service under the same client which has the same domain name and a due date coming up. Should there be no such service, then the renewal process for that particular domain will not take place, and an error email titled “Free Domain Renewal Manual Action Required” will be sent to administrators.
  • Allow IDN Domains: Tick this box to enable domains with any characters, including UTF-8. However, leaving it unselected restricts clients to use only a-z and 0-9 in domain names within WHMCS.
  • Domain Grace and Redemption Fees: By activating the Domain Grace and Redemption Grace Periods, customers can place renewal orders for domains even after the expiry date. The cost of these renewal orders is determined by the grace/redemption pricing scale as pre-set at Configuration () > System Settings > Domain Pricing or Setup > Products/Services > Domain Pricing – before WHMCS 8.0. Thus, making it possible for clients to renew their domains with ease and peace of mind.
    When this option is disabled, domain renewal invoices will be canceled upon the domain passing the expiration date.
  • Default Nameservers: When ordering a standalone domain, the default nameservers should be specified within these fields. These tend to correspond to your own or those of an external DNS administration service (for example, your domain registrar).
    When a domain is ordered along with the hosting service, you will need to set the appropriate nameservers. This can be done by navigating to Configuration → System Settings → Servers.
  • Default Contact Details: When you select Use Clients Details, their information will always be used for registration. However, should you uncheck this option and provide your contact data in those fields below, it will be used as Billing, Administrative, and Technical contacts instead.

Configuring the Domain Renewal Notices in WHMCS

You can change the interval at which WHMCS sends domain renewal reminder notices at Configuration → System Settings → Automation Settings

Domain Renewal Notices in WHMCS
Configuration → System Settings → Automation Settings → Domain Reminder Settings

In general, WHMCS dispatches at least theree domain renewal warnings before expiration and another one afterward. It is possible to manage the timing of a domain’s expiration date by sending both preceding and follow-up reminders. Alternatively, it can be disabled altogether.

These settings interact with the Domain Synchronisation settings in the section below. Specifically, make sure to note the Sync Next Due Date value, as this moves the Next Due Date forward, which determines when to send renewal notices.

Customizing the Domain Renewal Notice Email Templates in WHMCS

Two email templates are used for domain renewal notices:

Domain Renewal Notice Email Templates in WHMCS

  • Upcoming Domain Renewal Notice – Used for notices sent before the domain’s Next Due Date
  • Expired Domain Notice – Used for notices sent after the domain’s Next Due Date (if the domain remains unrenewed)

You can easily customize renewal notice emails at Configuration → System Settings → Email Templates 

In the next part, you’ll learn how to configure domain pricing in WHMCS. 

How to Configure Domain Pricing in WHMCS

Step 1: After linking your Domain Reseller Account to WHMCS, you’ll need to enable Automatic Domain Registration to automate the submission of registration and transfer requests with the built-in registrar(s).

When you enable this, WHMCS will automatically submit the request to the registrar as soon as your customer pays for the domain or transfer. WHMCS never submits domain registrations before you receive payment.

To do this, return to your System settings area by clicking the wrench in the top right corner, then click System Settings.

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Next, use the search feature at the top of the page to search for domain. Once the result load, click Domain Pricing.

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Step 2: When the Domain Pricing screen opens, you will be presented with a list of all the TLD’s you can sell, assuming you have linked your WHMCS installation with your Domain Reseller account of your choosing.

In our example, we have only added one TLD – .com. You should have many others.

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To set the pricing for the TLD, click the Pricing button just to the right of the TLD in the TLD column.

A new window will open where you can set the domain registration price for 1, 2, and even up to 10 years.

5 18First, tick the check box beneath the Enable column in order to allow customers to register a domain for that period of time.

Next, enter the Register, Transfer, and Renewal Prices for each period of registration.

When you’ve finished, click Save Changes. You will see a message stating your changes have been saved successfully.

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Step 3: If you want your customers to be able to control things like their DNS, Email Forwarding, ID Protection/WHOIS Protection, and request their EPP Code, you’ll need to tick the checkboxes for those options in the table for each TLD listed.

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Step 4: Finally, to enable automatic registration with your domain reseller account when a customer purchases a new domain with this TLD, choose your Domain Reseller account from the drop-down menu under the Auto-Registration column.

8 14When you’ve finished making changes, click the blue Save Changes to save said changes.

Bulk Domain Management

If you have a lot of TLDs available for registration, you probably don’t want to set their pricing one at a time, as that can be rather tedious. To make things easy for you, WHMCS does offer Bulk Management for this feature

Located on the same page as your Domains/TLDs, but on the lower right side:

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With the Bulk Management tool, you can set the price for Domain Registration, Renewal, and Transfer for all of your domains with the click of a button.

You can also set the Domain Grace Period and Redemption Period Length and Price.

Finally, if you offer domain addons, like DNS Management, Email Forwarding, and ID Protection, you can set the price of those options here.

Be sure to click the Save Changes button at the bottom to save your bulk changes.

And that’s how you configure Domain Pricing in WHMCS!

Conclusion

By reselling domains, you can open up a new revenue stream for your business. With the right tools and automation processes in place, such as WHMCS, it is easier than ever to manage and automate your domain reselling business. By leveraging the features of WHMCS, you can save time while providing excellent service to customers looking for their own web hosting solutions. 

At ChemiCloud, we have whatever resources you require to become a successful reseller. We offer a white-labeled domain reseller account, a free WHMCS license for automation, and web hosting for your clients. All of these are essential components to ensuring success in the realm of reselling.

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