Invoice Dude: Free Hosted Invoicing for Your Business

As freelancers, many of us need to create invoices on a regular basis. Invoicing is about as fun as doing your taxes, except for one nice exception: invoices are all about you getting paid, not you paying someone else. Still, there should be a way to make invoicing easier and cheaper. It’s never fun to have to pay just so others can pay you for your work!

Invoice Dude is an invoicing web app that has two major advantages over most competing invoicing apps: it’s free to use online and is also available for purchase as a self-hosted web app to run on your own servers. So, whether you’re looking for a free way to quickly create invoices online or want to purchase an invoicing app that you can run just as you want, Invoice Dude is a great option for both needs. Let’s dive in and see what more it has to offer.

Start Invoicing For Free

Invoicing is actually a very simple thing, and Invoice Dude aims to keep it that way. With its no nonsense, unlimited free accounts, it’s easier than ever to just signup and not have to worry about whether this is the perfect app to invest in. It includes all the standard features you’ll need for invoicing, and you can create unlimited invoices, clients, and product listings without ever pulling out your credit card.

Invoice Dude's Homepage

After a quick signup, you’ll be ready to login to your custom InvoiceDude.com subdomain. As you may notice from the signin page, Invoice Dude lets you create client accounts as well so they can login and see their outstanding invoices easily.

Once your account's live, you'll have your own Invoice Dude portal online.

On your first login, you’ll need to add some more info about your company. One nice thing is Invoice Dude supports most countries and currencies around the world, so you’ll be able to fully incorporate it into your business workflow no matter where you’re working or billing. As soon as your profile is complete, you’ll be ready to start making invoices.

Add the rest of your business info before getting started

Create Those Invoices

Welcome to your new Invoice Dude account. Your main dashboard will let you easily see your monthly payments on a graph, as well as recent activities in your account. For now, you’ll need to get started creating invoices before you can see anything here. Click Create an Invoice on the right to get started.

The default Invoice Dude Dashboard

Don’t Forget to Add Clients

Actually, you can’t create an invoice until you’ve added clients to Invoice Dude. Don’t worry, though; Invoice Dude will automatically send you to the Add New Client page before letting you create an invoice. Add your client’s info, and select on the bottom if you want them to have a unique login to your Invoice Dude account as well or not.

Invoice Dude automatically prompts you to add clients if you haven't already added any

Creating a New Invoice

Now you’re ready to create a new invoice. Select your client, and enter your invoice data as normal. If you’ve used almost any invoicing app, you should feel right at home in Invoice Dude. It’s very simple to use, and the only complaint we had is that it doesn’t automatically add another line to your invoice when you add an item. But, hey, it’s not that difficult to click Add another row, is it?

Creating invoices is quick and easy

You could enter your products and services manually each time, but it’d make more sense to save your common products so you can enter them quickly and not spend all day making invoices. You can enter and save new products to your account directly while you’re creating invoices so you won’t have to enter anything twice. The first few times you create invoices, this may take a bit longer, but once you’ve been using it for a while you’ll be able to just select the products and go.

Add new products and services while creating invoices

Add your finishing touches, and then you’ll be ready to send that new invoice off to your client in no time.

Finishing up an invoice

Recurring Invoices

If you regularly perform routine services for clients, you’ll likely be sending out regular invoices that are exactly the same. Invoice Dude can automatically take care of these for you. Just browse to the Invoice tab and select Add Recurring Invoice.

Now you can add the frequency, number of occurrences, and start of billing cycle to a standard invoice. Once its saved, your invoices will automatically be emailed out without you having to remember to send them. That makes it much simpler to make sure you’re paid for your work without having to remember to send out invoices!

Need to bill for regular services? Invoice Dude covers that, too!

Your Finished Invoice

Once you’ve created invoices, you can email them automatically to clients by pressing Send on the bottom of the form. Alternately, if you want to manually send an invoice, you can save it as draft then print it out yourself or submit it to your client as a PDF. Either way, your invoices will look professional and include all the info you need to get paid for your services.

Your finished invoice, in your client's inbox or a PDF file

Back on your dashboard, you can keep up with invoices you’ve submitted, edit invoices, or add payment amounts so you can track your client’s current outstanding bill. You can also get more info about your payment history and outstanding invoices from the Reports tab or your main account dashboard.

Manage existing invoices and add payments easily

Taking Invoice Dude Further

While Invoice Dude works great without any tweaking, it does include a number of settings that you can tweak to your heart’s content. The default invoice style looks professional enough, but if you want your invoices to look even nicer you can tweak your title colors and add your company’s own logo to the header. Invoice Dude also lets you add your PayPal account so customers can pay their invoices in one click, and more.

Tweak Invoices to fit your company's style, complete with your company's logo

Paid Upgrades

Invoice Dude is fully free, and you can add unlimited clients, items, and invoices without paying anything. It does, however, offer two reasonably priced upgrades which may be of interest if you’re using Invoice Dude as a regular part of your business.

These include Corporate Dude, which for $5/month lets you use your own domain and self-brand your emails to clients, and Estimates/Quotes, which for $3/month adds an estimates feature to Invoice Dude so you can track prices and clients throughout a project. Even with the addons, though, Invoice Dude is still much cheaper than many competing online invoicing solutions.

Fully whitelable Invoice Dude with premium upgrades

Host Invoice Dude on Your Own Servers

As mentioned above, you can also purchase and install Invoice Dude directly on your own server or hosting account. You’ll have full control over your invoicing setup, and can even theme the app with custom CSS if you wish.

Just choose from one of three versions offered, make sure your server supports the requirements (MySQL 4, PHP 5, Ioncube Loaders, cron job support), and set it up on your server. We’d recommend trying the free hosted version first to make sure you like it, but then if you want to take Invoice Dude further, self-hosted is a great way to go.

Roll your own Invoice Dude on your own servers!

Conclusion

There’s tons of invoicing apps online today, ranging from popular tools like Freshbooks to project management apps that also let you create invoices. Invoice Dude works very similar to other invoicing apps and doesn’t really include any major features that make it stand out from the pack.

What it does do, though, is offer a very streamlined system to create personalized invoices in as few steps as possible, all without costing you a dime. Better yet, you can even roll your own Invoice Dude setup with their self-hosted option so you’ll have full control over your billing process. These make Invoice Dude a very interesting app in a crowded field.

If you have to create invoices on a regular basis and are tired of paying monthly for a basic invoicing app, be sure to give Invoice Dude a shot! It just might be the invoicing app you’ve been needing!


Summary

Invoice Dude is a free invoicing webapp that takes the hassle out of billing. If you want more control, you can even host it on your own servers.

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