Install WHMCS

To start using WHMCS, you will need to install it on your server. You may need help from your hosting provider or system administrator to do this.

  • Review these instructions in full before you get started, to make sure that you have everything you need.
  • Before you start installation, check the system requirements to ensure system compatibility and set up your WHMCS database.

Installing WHMCS

To install WHMCS, you can use the following process:

1. Purchase a license and download WHMCS.

To use WHMCS, you will need to purchase a license, either directly from WHMCS or from a reseller. Then, you will need to download the software.

If you purchased your license key directly from WHMCS:

  1. Go to WHMCS Downloads.
  2. Click Download under Full Release to download the latest release version.

Downloading the latest Full Release version for WHMCS

If you obtained your license key from a reseller and you don’t have a login for our Members Area, your reseller can provide the latest WHMCS files.

For more information about how we distribute WHMCS, see WHMCS Distributions.

2. Verify the system requirements.

Before installing, you must ensure that your setup meets the system requirements for your chosen version of WHMCS.

Make certain to check:

  • The operating system and web server configuration.
  • The PHP version, configuration, and extensions.
  • The MySQL® version.
  • The ionCube Loader version.

3. Create the WHMCS database.

WHMCS uses a MySQL database to store settings and data. You must create one during the installation process, or create one before you begin.

You can use many different methods to create databases. The most common methods are to use your hosting control panel (for example, cPanel or Plesk) or the MySQL command line.

Database Privileges

Make sure that your database user has the correct privileges. For the installation process, WHMCS requires the following database privileges:


For daily operations, you can restrict WHMCS’s database by removing the ALTER, CREATE, DROP, and INDEX privileges. WHMCS only requires these privileges for installations, updates, and activating or deactivating modules.

Encrypted MySQL Connections

WHMCS 8.8 and later support encrypted MySQL connections.

  • If your server requires encrypted MySQL connections, you must use the command-line method instead.
  • If your server doesn’t require them, use the steps below and then update the configuration.php file for encrypted connections after installation.

4. Upload the files to your server.

You will need to unzip the downloaded release file and upload it to the server that will host WHMCS. You can do this manually or using your hosting control panel’s file management tools.

Using cPanel

To upload and unzip files using cPanel:

  1. Log in to the cPanel account that will host your WHMCS installation.
  2. Go to the File Manager interface (Files » File Manager).
  3. Double-click on the public_html directory.
  4. Click Upload.
  5. Select the downloaded ZIP file and click Select File.
  6. When the upload finishes, click Go Back. You will see the newly-uploaded .zip file in the public_html directory.
  7. Right-click the .zip file and select Extract.
  8. Choose a destination, and then click Extract File(s).

Manual Upload

To do this using another upload method:

  1. Unzip the downloaded WHMCS ZIP file on your local computer.
  2. Upload the entire unzipped whmcs folder to your website. If you experience problems, try uploading the folder in binary mode.

Optionally, you can rename the folder (for example, billing).

Because the Admin Area uses an admin folder by default, you cannot use admin as the installation folder name.

5. Rename and edit the configuration file.

In the unzipped files, find the file and change the name to configuration.php.

Use your preferred method to edit the file, remove the following lines, and save the file:

// Prevent sample file execution. Remove from live configuration.

6. Install WHMCS using the browser.

In your preferred web browser, navigate to the installation script at the following address, where is the location of your server:

Follow the instructions to install WHMCS, including accepting the End User License Agreement, setting file permissions (see below), entering your license key, and setting up your primary admin account.

7. Delete the installation folder.

When you have finished the installation process in your browser, an Installation Completion page will appear. You can now safely delete the install folder.

8. Check the file and folder permissions.

Check to ensure that you are using the correct permissions for WHMCS’s configuration file (configuration.php) and the attachments, downloads, and templates_c directories. WHMCS will not function correctly if they do not use the correct permissions.

WHMCS requires the following file and folder permissions for most installations:

  • /configuration.phpCHMOD 400 (Readable)
  • /attachmentsCHMOD 777 (Writable)
  • /downloadsCHMOD 777 (Writable)
  • /templates_cCHMOD 777 (Writable)

You may need to adjust these permissions to suit your environment. For example, if you use suPHP or suEXEC, you may need to restrict directory access further. DSO requires 644 permissions.

Limit access to only the account that owns the web server process. Make sure that no other system or user accounts can read your configuration file or modify any WHMCS-related files.

Next Steps

After you complete installation, we recommend that you configure WHMCS in the following order:

  1. Perform our recommended additional steps to enhance your installation’s security.
  2. Configure your installation’s general settings.
  3. Set up your payment gateways.
  4. Set up your products to sell.
  5. Configure your domain pricing.
  6. Set up your support ticket departments.
  7. Set up email piping to manage email replies to support tickets.
  8. Create and configure the WHMCS cron job and its automated task settings.
  9. Place some test orders on your website.

Last modified: June 24, 2024