H-Sphere Documentation Administrator Guide


Trial Hosting

Questions Considered: - introduction to trial hosting
- managing trial accounts
- enabling trial registration
- grouping trial plans


Introduction to Trial Hosting

Trial registration allows users to sign up and evaluate a full featured account for a set number of days (trial period) without being charged the fees to be paid for account setup and activity during the trial period if they decide to continue hosting with you. Trial registration can be enabled in any pay plan. Upon trial period expiry, the trial account automatically gets suspended.

To continue hosting with your company, a trial account's owner needs to become a pay user. If a trial account's owner becomes a check-pay user by the time their trial account has been suspended, resume their account, because it doesn't get automatically resumed, as opposed to credit card paid accounts.


Managing Trial Accounts (version 2.4 and higher)

You can configure your system to automatically:
      - warn trial account owners of approaching trial period expiry and account suspension;
      - warn owners of suspended trial accounts of probable account deletion;
      - delete suspended trial account.

To enable any of the above options:

1. Go to Settings -> Managing Trials.
2. Select the corresponding option checkbox:

3. Set the option timing.
4. Click Save.

To edit the corresponding warning/notification message:

1. Click the Edit icon next to the selected checkbox.
2. Follow instructions on how to edit mail messages to users.


Enabling Trial Registration

To enable trial hosting for an individual plan, do the following:

  1. Select Plans in the Info menu and click the plan name to start the plan edit wizard:

  2. On the page that appears, scroll down to the last section and select Trial as the Billing Type.
  3. In the Duration field, enter the days of the trial period. If you leave the field empty, the duration of the trial period will be set to zero, and all accounts under trial registration will be suspended immediately after signup. Usually trial period does not exceed one month.
  4. In the Credit Limit field, enter the maximum negative balance you want to allow for one trial user. Trial Credit Limit is the maximum amount of credit a trial user can run up acquiring paid resources. If you leave the field empty, the Trial Credit Limit is set to zero, and users can acquire only free resources. For trial periods of up to one month, this amount is usually set to slightly exceed the initial registration payment plus the recurrent fee for one payment period to disallow free use of extra resources. If you set Trial Credit higher, trial users will be able to acquire more resources than it is offered with the standard plan configuration. For trial period of more than a month, you need to set a higher credit limit to ensure that the trial account has enough balance to pay subsequent recurrent fees.
  5. Scroll down to the bottom of the form. Check the Don't change resources prices and click Next.


Grouping Trial Plans

To ensure correct transition from one plan to another, you should always group plans based on their compatibility, so plans with the same settings belong to the same group. Don't group plans of different nature (for example Windows and Linux hosting), as this will lead to unexpected results. A very common mistake is to create dedicated Unix and Win2000 trial plans and put them in a separate trial plans group. On the one hand, this will not allow trial users to switch to pay plans, as they are in a different group. On the other hand, when switching from Win2000 Trial to Unix trial, a user will lose the settings that are unavailable under Unix plan, such as ASP and ODBC service.

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