One of H-Sphere's biggest assets is that it provides fully automated billing
for credit card payment accounts. It also supports other types of payments including
check payments, web payment systems, wire transfers, etc. This document provides a
quick overview of all billing features in H-Sphere.
Hosting resources and services are sold in plans, each having its own price scheme.
In plan settings, the administrator needs to set:
- which resources will be available in the plan;
- prices, free units, and max units for each resource;
- credit limit, moneyback period, billing type, etc.
The system charges users three types of fees:
- Setup: only when a user purchases a resource.
- Recurrent: at the beginning of the billing period or billing month.
- Overlimit: for resources used beyond the pre-paid limit
(e.g. summary disk space usage, traffic, etc.).
You can include a certain amount of free resources in a plan.
If need arises, users can get more, until they reach the maximum
amount of resources you have allowed them to have. For instance,
you can include 5 free mailboxes in the plan and allow users to have
no more than 10 mailboxes.
Usage of some resources, such as disk space and traffic, can be
controlled additionally by resource limits. A user can exceed a
resource limit, but every excess unit is charged at the overlimit
price. You can configure H-Sphere to send warnings and suspend
accounts when users approach or exceed traffic or disk usage limit.
You can debit (take money from) individual accounts. Accounts
are debited manually when you need to charge your customers extra
Actual use of traffic cannot be physically restricted, but can be regulated
by charging higher prices for overlimit traffic consumption. At the beginning
of the billing period customers pay for traffic they expect to run up. If
they go over this pre-paid limit, they are charged for the excess gigabytes
at the overlimit rate at the end of each billing month regardless the duration
of the billing period.
H-Sphere offers two approaches to paying for disk space. Disk Space Quota
is used to charge users for booked disk space. Web, mail, and database resources
take separate quotas within the same account. Disk quota can't be exceeded, but
users can raise it if they need more disk space. Summary Disk Space is used
to charge users for actually used disk space. With summary disk space, users can
exceed disk space limit, and pay for excess megabytes at the overlimit rate at the
end of each billing month regardless the duration of the billing period.
When creating plans, you choose whether you want H-Sphere to e-mail invoices to
users immediately after they buy resources. With e-mail invoicing on, customers
will receive invoices for every single bill entry, e.g. overlimit traffic. With
e-mail invoicing off, customers will get no invoices, even at the end of the
billing period. After signup, users can change this option for their accounts.
Starting with H-Sphere 2.4, you can apply promotions to plans. You can give a
promo code to eligible users to offer them a discount. Or you can create
an unnamed promotion that will apply to all accounts under this plan for
a specified period of time, for instance the month before Christmas.