One of the questions I frequently receive is how Closte billing works and what all the different emails mean.
Closte is a resource-based, pay-as-you-go hosting provider. It works much like other cloud services or even your utility bills; you only pay for what you use. The one exception to this is that you must first fund your account. When you initially set up a Closte account, you’ll need to fund it with at least $30. For most smaller websites, this should last 3-4 months.
Throughout the month, Closte will deduct money from your balance. At the end of every calendar month, you’ll receive an invoice via email for the exact usage for the previous month. This is not the amount that is billed to your credit card! Remember, the account carries its own balance that does not equate to the exact amount used in a given month.
Whenever the balance on your account runs out, Closte will send you another email letting you know that the amount is exhausted and that they will charge the credit card on file for a given amount. Generally, this amount is what your website has used, plus a few extra dollars. Once your credit card has been successfully charged (usually within 24 to 48 hours), you will receive another email with the actual amount that was charged to your credit card (the attached invoice is what your bookkeeper will need).
Let’s say your website costs an average of $6.83 per month. If you started with $30 in the account, this will last you over four months. When that balance runs out partway through the fourth month, Closte will charge you for close to your typical monthly usage — in this case it might be $10. Because Closte is resource-based, the amount won’t be the same every month. You could have a massive campaign that drives the cost up several dollars, so they try to account for that in some way as to not charge your credit card constantly.
Once your credit card is successfully charged, you’re set until that balance runs out again. One important note with billing: if Closte fails to successfully charge your credit card, your website will be suspended and visitors will be unable to see your site. This is not without warning, though! You’ll receive an email if the charge fails to happen, and you’ll have several days to fix your billing.
This is why it’s very important to keep the information on your account up to date. If your email changes, update it in your account settings. Same for your credit card, phone number, and street address. This will help prevent any issues like your site seemingly suddenly going down.
If you have any questions about how Closte works, I’d be delighted to answer them! Please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.