BoxBilling (Opens in a new tab) It is open source billing software and completely free to use. It can process payments for your e-commerce or small business platform, automatically create and track invoices and orders, and manage customer support tickets.
The program can be tricky to install, requiring some basic knowledge of MySQL and FTP transfers, but it’s completely free and excellent at what it does. Follow the steps in this guide to setting up BoxBilling for your website, and take an in-depth look at what BoxBilling can do for your small business.
How to Produce Your Invoices with BoxBilling: Preparation
Since BoxBilling is a web-based app, it can be difficult to install it manually if you don’t have great technical skills. Fortunately, you can bypass part of the installation process by purchasing hosting with Hostinger and using Hostinger’s auto-installer.
Hostinger offers hosting for $1.99 per month, and offers free integration with various web apps, including BoxBilling. Once you buy Website hosting (Opens in a new tab) and a Domain (Opens in a new tab)Just sign in to Hostinger and go to Hosting > Manage.
In the Administration menu, scroll down to the website address and click on Automatic Installer.
In Auto Installer, click Other and select BoxBilling from the dropdown menu. You will see the following screen:
Use your company name in the website name field, and enter your Hostinger password. Then click Advanced and fill in the subdirectory. Add a password for the database as well.
The database is a MySQL database, which Hostinger will automatically create for you. If you’re not familiar with MySQL and would like to learn more, Hostinger offers an excellent guide on their website called What is MySQL? (Opens in a new tab).
Once you’ve filled in all the appropriate fields, click Next, leave the next page as it is, and hit Submit. If you did everything correctly up to this point, you should see a new line for BoxBilling under Installed Applications. Click the link directly, or copy/paste it into your address bar to continue. You should now see a page that looks like this:
On this page, click Billing Software, and then click Download. Download and extract the BoxBilling zip zip file, then upload it to your site using FTP. If you need help with FTP, Hostinger has a step-by-step guide on How to connect to an FTP account (Opens in a new tab).
When you’re done uploading, open your BoxBilling link. You may be prompted to install the IonCube Loader, an extension that comes pre-installed with Hostinger. All you need to do is go to Hosting > Manage > Advanced > PhP Configurations, and enable ioncube_loader from the menu.
After that, go to
Complete these final tasks, and your BoxBilling should be up and running.
Step 1: Get to know your dashboard
When you open BoxBilling for the first time, you will see a dashboard with several reports, such as income, how many customers you have, how many pending orders, and so on.
You’ll notice that this dashboard reflects the customer side of BoxBilling. On the customer side, customers can choose the product they want and place orders, or place a customer support ticket. When a customer places an order or a ticket, it will appear on your dashboard.
All orders, invoices, tickets and customers are shown over time on your dashboard with a series of graphs that update live, providing an overview of the activity on your BoxBilling account.
Step Two: Create a Product
You will need to create a product to get started. To create a product, go to the Products tab in the list on the left side of the screen, click Products/Services, and click the New Product tab. Fill out the form with information about your product, write a short description, and you’re good to go. Once created, customers can select the product from the order list and place orders.
Step 3: Fulfill customer requests
As customers place orders for your new product, it will be automatically populated in the order list. You can access this menu by clicking Orders on the left side of the screen. Here, you will see pending customer orders:
If you click on a specific order, you can execute the order by clicking on the large activation button at the bottom of the screen. You may also suspend, cancel or delete an existing order from the customer’s account.
Step 4: Invoice the customer
Invoices are generated automatically as part of the ordering process. After the customer places an order, an unpaid invoice will appear on the system with the generated invoice number and customer information filled in. The Invoices button in the left-side menu takes you to a billing dashboard that gives you a quick chart of your paid, unpaid, and refunded invoices.
When the customer pays, the bill will automatically go to the paid section. You can then go back to the order screen and activate that order.
Step 5: Provide customer support
In addition to billing, BoxBilling provides support ticket management. Customers can create a support ticket when they need assistance, or simply contact support with an inquiry. If a customer requests assistance through the contact page, it will appear as a message notification in the list of inquiries at the top of your screen. If they have created a support ticket, it will appear in the support list on the left side of your screen.
On your end, you can respond to tickets, create tickets for customers, and close them. You can also create categories for tickets and create a collection of canned responses for commonly used phrases. Great Time provides the ability to access canned responses with a single click.
BoxBilling is an excellent payments solution that is best for small and medium businesses looking to handle payments, billing and customer service through a single platform. It lacks customization and can be tricky to install, but it’s totally free and great at what it does.
To learn more about payment systems, see our picks for The best payment gateways (Opens in a new tab).
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