Why is do we not have the ability to turn on the "Referral Link" in Self Hosted


I am running the Self Hosted version, and I have many clients who have a need for a great invoicing and billing system, so I thought since I am already telling my clients about invoice ninja, why not sign up for the referral program and try to earn maybe some credits towards the White Label or Pro Version, (I think there is a Pro, I say “Pro” next to “Reports” on the Invoice Ninja Account when I login to one hosted by you guys which I dont see on my Self Hosted version, but when I followed the instructions, to activate the link, to my dismay, that entire section is not available on my Self Hosted installation. So if I goto Settings / User Details, and scroll down under “Dark Mode”. there is nothing more, that is the last option.

I don’t think I understand why we should not be allowed to refer the program regardless of the version we are running. Can someone please explain, or help me with how to turn this on in my version?

I mean truly you guy benefit from this regardless of the type of account we have, as we are sending you perspective clients, and in most cases, my clients do not have the skill sets to install the self hosted version, so they would likely have to purchase a plan for which you guys host it on your cloud servers.

I look forward to hearing back.


This is actually made me notice a number of other features that the self hosted plan does not allow, such as the “Invoice Terms” and “Quote Terms” checkboxes… Ok, So I understand that there are some limitations, but I will be honest, I would prefer to run Invoice Ninja on my own server. That being the case, how can one get access to these features without having to pay the same price as those who have you guys host the app?

I would have thought that since we are hosting it ourselves, and taking that burden from you guys, and us paying for our own servers, that these features would have been available, or at the very least, a small fee to purchase a license or what have you that would allow us to still allow us to host the app, and provide us some of these features. In fact, until I realized that these features were actually available, I was rather frustrated because these are features I really need… I attempted to add a custom field that would act as the “Invoice Terms” checkbox, I found that it will not actually display for the customer, it only displays for me to select when I create the invoice.

I am not trying to complain at all, because honestly, I love Invoice Ninja. I have used some other solutions, and they too were free, and they did offer a number of the features you offer in your Pro Plan, but I was not all that please with the look and feel of their Customer Portal Pages, nor the Professionalism of the Invoice Templates, but they allowed me access to the tools I needed. Granted, I had to deal with them displaying an Ad or two on my Dashboard, but, I would think by me trying to be a part of your referral program that could pass as the same kind of thing. I display ads to Invoice Ninja on my Companies Sites, so that my customers can see them and click to get a new account with you.

So is there something we can do here? I could really use these features, but I think it would not be right to pay the same price to upgrade to the Pro Plan when I would not be using your servers to host my app.

Many Thanks!


DISCLAIMER: I’m just a user, so this is just my $0.02 USD…

The reason the referral option is missing on self-hosted is probably twofold:

  1. The self-hosted version has all relevant interface code setup to point back to the address of whatever server it's installed on.
  2. The referral program is tied to your InvoiceNinja.com account. Since self-hosted doesn't require an account, there's nothing to tie it to. This likely also makes it easier to keep the system from being abused.

As for the other missing options, there shouldn’t be any. The self-hosted version gives you access to anything the Pro and Enterprise versions have to offer.

In regards to the quote and invoice terms checkboxes, they’re in the same place they’ve always been.

Thank you Titanfail, your $.02 certs was certainly appreciated, however, while I disagree on the reasoning for the referral program, not your explanation, that makes sense, however, I disagree that it should be done that way. There should be a way to connect your self-hosted account, with and my account on Invoice Ninja’s Cloud Hosted Account or, create a separate account specifically for the Referral Program, just as every other company does who offers a referral / affiliate program. It’s a huge disappointment that we are not allowed to participate especially when my Company specializes in B2B Small Business Consulting and Optimizing their Online Persona and SEO Optimization. Most of my clients are looking for solutions that are low cost, efficient, and reliable. It’s these very reasons I often refer people to Invoice Ninja, unless they have no budget for a monthly service plan, then I will either offer to install and configure Invoice Ninja for them on their Hosting Provider, or if they are really hard pressed for their operational budget, I will recommend a completely free online Accounting / Invoicing / Billing / Payment Processor option, which out of respect I will not make mention of that solution.

That said, since one of the main things I do for my clients is to help them get all the systems they need up and running, so that they can start running their companies rather then still trying to figure out how they get everything setup and what solutions are available. So if I am going to be referring people to Invoice Ninja, I hope no one takes this the wrong way, but why would I continue to refer them here, when I could refer them to some of the other solutions which have referral programs and all you need to do it sign up for the program, not have 2 different accounts for the app. I mean part of me feels obligated to refer them here because I was allowed to install the software on my server and run it for free, and yes i am grateful for that, but I do run a business myself, and if I can make money by referring them else where, then that is what I need to do, especially since at this point, Invoice Ninja does not give me anyway to refer to them anyway.

I hope that they reconsider this for self-hosted plans, after all, they are the ones who will benefit the most from the extra leads.

As for issue number 2. I do see it now, however, when I wrote this, I was using and older version of the system, and I did have a few quirks with it. I setup the update script in cron.daily, and forced it to run and undated to 4.5.17 and it appears to have cleared up all of the other issues I was having as well as I can not see the check boxes. So I can only deduce that some how my old installation have gotten some files corrupt and updating and clearing the cache has fixed all my issues, and I am one happy camper (with the exception of the referral program!)…

Thank you so much for your reply! I greatly appreciate it and your answer seems very logical!

Cheers Mate!

Just out of curiosity, what version were you running initially? Looking at the Trello page and the checkbox options were added back in 2.8.

I was only running the previous version of V4.5.16, but again, I do not thing that this was anything missing in the actually package. I believe this had occured due to some corruption in my previous installation as I had some other very anomalous errors which I did not report, because I believed that something got corrupt when I started installing new Web App Sites on the same host, this caused a number of problems originally with my apache2 configuration, which also at one point caused some corruption in the DocumentRoot as I mistakenly set system default ServerRoot to Invoice Ninjas DocumentRoot in the /etc/apache2/apache2.conf. While I thought the ServerRoot just stated where the apache2 modules and all live, it seemed to have done something a little nutty, and to be honest, I do not what to try it again to find out what it did. However, This did not go over well… While I did notice the mistake fairly quickly, my Invoice Ninja while usable, and functional for the most part, some pages were a bit screwy, the Invoice Designer wouldn’t work, and a few other weird issues.

I had been wanting to upgrade since I first started seeing the messages about the 4.5.17 version being available, however, I am not an fan of cron which also means that in my nearly 2 decades as a Web Systems Admin, I have avoided leaning it. The other problem was the the Support documentation on how to kick off an update on Invoice Ninja, is certainly not for anyone who is a newbie. I found the instructions to be extremely minimal, and not very informational. It does suggest that you use the update script, and that you place that script to run daily in cron but it gives no examples of how you would do this or how you can kick off the script or the cron.daily entries to run on demand. Thankfully I spent a fairly decent amount of time researching how to do all of these things on Google today, so once I got all of my questions answered, I created the cron…daily entry and then used a command to force it to kick off at that moment. I then cleared the cache, and Invoice Ninja was happily upgraded, and all of the gremlins have disappeared!

If I could make one recommendation to whom ever maintains the documentation for the Upgrade instructions, it would be to please provide a more detailed explanation of how to manually run the update, and then a detailed explanation with perhaps an example cron entry to show how best to setup the script to run in the daily cron.

Another useful thing that I did, is that since it does not appear that the upgrade creates the cache when it finishes the update, do when I made my cron entry, I have the script redirecting its output to a file, and then use postfix mail server to email me the results, this way I can see if there was an update, and if their was I can run the command to clear the cache. When I have some more time, I am going to actually make it a little smarter where it will only send me an email if there was an update, and not to send one if there wasn’t. Then when I am super bored, I will take that yet one step further and have the cron entry for the update script configure, I will add some smarts do that it will know if an update occurred, and if so, it will manually run the clear cache for then send me an email when all of that is complete, and I will know when the newest version is online, but I wont have to worry about having to manually run the clear cache. This will help so that if an update occurs while a client is using the system ,we can be sure that he is not having to deal with anything old in the cache which could cause them problems.

Thank you for following up!


If you’d like to refer people to use the app you can create a free account on our hosted platform and use it to generate the referral link.

Thanks for your support!

It is unlikely that I or my clients would use the hosted platform. OTOH, I would be willing to pay more than the $30 annual fee for white labeling our self-hosted install.

I recommend the Invoice Ninja team look at the Proxmox model where those paying $100 per year are getting the latest and greatest code.

Ninja is a good product, it needs resources to clear a few missing features.