Capitol Hill & the i2C

On February 27th, I will be joining fellow Internet Infrastructure Coalition (i2C) board members for a day to meet with various Congress and media outlets on Capitol Hill about our efforts to preserve our Internet freedoms. This gives cPanel the chance to join in the effort to protect the legislation that will one day affect you, hosting companies, and even cPanel. Continue reading

, | Category: Partners & Customers | 1 Comment

Foundations and Beginnings

“To put it bluntly, I seem to have a whole superstructure with no foundation. But I’m working on the foundation.” – Marilyn Monroe

It’s probably safe to say, this is the first article about UI/UX that you have ever read that quoted Marilyn Monroe. cPanel has been at the forefront of the managed hosting business since its inception, and the changes that you are starting to see in WHM and cPanel ‘x4’ are just the beginning of the next step in not only maintaining that lead position, but more importantly, helping our customers and partners to move there as well. Continue reading

, | Category: Product Development | 3 Comments

Introducing the Most Stable, Best Looking and Most Dependable Web Hosting Platform Ever, cPanel!

The results are in, 2012 ended on a high note for us at cPanel!

I’d like to take a moment here and look back at some of the changes we’ve made over the course of the past year and how those changes has turned an exciting, prosperous, and very busy 2012 for this company as a whole, into something that is already generating a great deal of momentum for us, going into 2013. Full speed ahead!

But first, a message from our sponsors! In what can only be described as our largest and most successful conference ever, for cPanel, Inc., the cPanel Conference 2012 in Houston, Texas last year was a major milestone in many ways. In 2013, we’re taking this Conference thing to a whole other level: cPanel Conference – New Orleans 2013!

In cPanel & WHM version 11.34, we introduced a fresh look and feel for WHM and several new features including Web Disk Support, Email Archiving, and a new Hooks Management interface. cPanel’s Development, Quality Assurance and Support teams really pulled together to roll out a stable code base for us in 2012, and this has resulted in a very strong, and feature packed release, going into 2013. Continue reading

Category: Product Development | 3 Comments

cPanel RPMs Q&A

What are RPMs?

RPM stands for Red Hat Package Manager. This allows for the easier and quicker deployment of files. RPMs create a standard for installation of how different pieces of software are installed on a system. This software can be anything from wget to Perl or Python. Instead of building files from source, RPMs come prebuilt. RPMs also allow for easier updating of systems.

Why is cPanel & WHM Switching to RPMs?

For much of its early history cPanel & WHM was used on a number of different operating systems (FreeBSD being one of the biggest Outliers). Many of these operating systems put libraries, and other assets, in dissimilar locations. For application distribution, the lowly source tarball was the common denominator. Over the years, as cPanel & WHM bundled more and more third party applications invariably they were distributed as source tarballs, built on demand during product installation and upgrade.

As the web hosting market matured, we saw a significant shift toward operating system consolidation, specifically toward Red Hat Enterprise Linux and its chief variant and major market share holder, CentOS. With this change, it became more viable to ship applications using the RPM package format. Providing pre-built applications via RPM allows us to improve the overall quality of cPanel & WHM.

How does this change benefit Server Admins?

Server Admins benefit in the following ways:

1. Benefits come from the moment you install cPanel & WHM. On average, installation time is reduced by 30%. This is due directly to shipping Perl, and all necessary CPAN modules, via pre-built binary RPMs.



2. Future upgrades will also see a reduction in time as all new applications will be provided as pre-built binary RPMs. It was a rather common occurrence for applications to be rebuilt during upgrade. This is no longer a possibility.

3. Installation and upgrades will be of higher quality. Automating source builds across thousands of machines, which often are customized by their owners, is a difficult and error-prone task. A notable percentage of our support tickets generated by installation and upgrade errors stem from applications failing to build. Using pre-built RPMs we can remove an entire class of errors, plus improve our pre-installation checks to detect problems before they occur.

How Are Updates Changing?

The update process is changing two significant ways:

1. All files needed by cPanel & WHM are downloaded to a staging area.
2. A variety of tests are performed, such as RPM dependency checking, prior to installation

Once all tests pass the product is updated. This two-step operation results in improved experience with both product installation and updates.

When are you going to move everything else to RPMs?

The move to RPM distribution began with cPanel & WHM 11.30. With that release, we changed our RPM distribution system, introducing the RPM version system, and overhauled our update system. With cPanel & WHM 11.36, we take a further step forward by providing a number of third party applications via RPM. Chief of these is Perl 5.14.

Future releases will see further applications provided via RPM. For example in 11.36 the webmail applications are still provided via source tarball. Changes will also be made to EasyApache, as new features will be delivered via RPM.

Now that you are using a packaging format, does this mean you will soon support Debian or Ubuntu?

Not yet. While switching to RPM for application distribution does simplify some aspects of supporting Debian and its variants, cPanel & WHM is still very much a Red Hat-centric product. Many of the core behaviors and assumptions built into cPanel & WHM are formed around how things work and behave on a Red Hat Linux system. There is nothing definitive in place for a progression towards a platform that supports a larger variety of Operating Systems. We can state that it does have potential and it’s an avenue we continue to explore.

, | Category: Product Development | 4 Comments

Update Prep: How to Test Your Software with the Upcoming Versions of cPanel & WHM

With the release of cPanel & WHM 11.36 on the horizon, how should Integrators test their software before it gets to the masses?

Every time cPanel releases a new version of cPanel & WHM we get tickets that all seem to read, “cPanel broke my websites! I am losing money!” Often, the cause is a problem with a third-party application. We hate downtime, and like you, we want to give the customer the best experience possible.

There are four things that cPanel recommends developers do when testing for compatibility with newer versions of cPanel & WHM. Continue reading

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An Introduction to the new cPanel Feature Requests System

http://features.cpanel.net

We appreciate your interest in providing us with your valuable suggestions and feedback! The new cPanel Feature Request site was launched in October of 2012, and it is our intention with this new system to make the Feature Request submission and voting process more efficient for both the Community, and the cPanel Development teams. This new site aims to make the management of proposing, discussing, and implementing new Feature Requests, easier and more streamlined than ever before.
As this new tool gains traction we may decide to increase, decrease or modify our voting procedures* to provide our development teams with the best analytics possible. For now, we want to introduce you to a few key points you might like to know about having to do with those votes each user gets, and explain why you should consider using them sparingly! For more details on the reason behind moving to this new way of handling cPanel Software Feature Requests, please join in on the announcement discussion thread on the forums: cPanel New Feature Requests System http://forums.cpanel.net/f133/cpanel-new-feature-requests-system-295442.html.

There are a few things you should know about the new Feature Requests system: Continue reading

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cP-Sum! Nov. 9th

First and foremost, all of you on the East Coast, you are definitely in our thoughts. We have so many great customers all over, and hope you are doing okay.

This coming Monday, cPanel & WHM 11.34 is expected to be moving to STABLE. This week, Mario, and the Account Team, hosted a webinar that showed off the different features of the new version. You can view that on cpanel.tv here: http://go.cpanel.net/1134webinar, in case you missed it.

I know, most of us like to test drive before we commit. We have a beauty of a demo website where you can log in and test it from the point of view of a Webhost Manager, cPanel Domain Owner, or a Reseller Domain. That’s available here: http://cpanel.net/demo/. Go ahead, give it a go, and test out all of the new features. Continue reading

| Category: Inside cPanel® | 1 Comment

cP Sum! Nov. 2nd, 2012

We’ve reached the end of another busy week here at cPanel, and I think you’ll agree this final week of October was consumed with the mourning souls of Star Wars fans.

Monday was a huge release for cPanel – you know this. If you don’t know this, I suspect you’ve had your earphones on all week secretly listening to Taylor Swift’s new album (I like the first song…don’t judge me). So much work, from so many different people, went into all of the fixes, and features, for the cPanel & WHM 11.34 release.

In 11.34 we see some pretty substantial changes. Email archiving? On it. New User Interface? Sorted. Browser compatibility? Majorly improved. It’s really simple for me to list out a few of the big ones, but with over 200 improvements, I’d highly suggest checking out the release notes compiled by our amazing Documentation Department. Continue reading

, , | Category: Inside cPanel® | 3 Comments

cP-Sum!

We’ve had a lot of changes this week at cPanel. Even the weather changed, though I’m sure it’ll be back to ‘hot shower’ humidity in a couple of days.

In major news? 11.34 is going into RELEASE tier on Monday. This has a ton of changes and improvements. Don’t worry, they’re not scary changes, they’re pretty much going to be really beneficial. Email archiving, a better user interface, all good things!

We started planning already for 2013 cPanel Conference. As someone who has only witnessed New Orleans in that crazy movie where Ashley Judd’s husband frames her for his fake murder, I’m looking forward to actually seeing it. I’ll be okay if Ashley Judd is there though, she’s been MIA. Where was I? New Orleans is going to be amazing!

In other news, there’s been some issues with Phishing Emails. Travis wrote a very informative article that you can check out here: http://blog.cpanel.net/gone-phishing/ . Continue reading

| Category: Inside cPanel® | Comments Off

Gone Phishing

How to Minimize and Stop Phishing Emails
by Travis Ellis, Technical Product Specialist

With the holidays fast approaching, the occurrence of phishing can skyrocket. We put together a handy little guide on how to minimize and stop phishing emails.

Enable DKIM and SPF

DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) is a powerful resource introduced in cPanel in 11.32. This tool will sign the email with a digital signature that claims responsibility for emails. This gives the ability for both users and programs to distinguish between legitimate, and potentially forged, email.

SPF (Sender Policy Framework) is an email system designed to check the identity of the domain lines up with the IP address. This again minimizes the amount of forged emails.

SpamAssassin and BoxTrapper

SpamAssassin is an email utility that attempts to filter spam by examining incoming email and testing for spam characteristics. It uses Bayesian spam filtering and network testing to screen incoming email. This results in an overall score. If an incoming message reaches a predefined score, the message is discarded.

BoxTrapper acts as a spam filter for email addresses. The filter works through “challenge-response” verification. When an email is sent to an account that has enabled BoxTrapper, BoxTrapper automatically sends a verification email in response.

Verify the URL

If you are expecting to go to example.com and enter in your username and password, look at the url in the browser to ensure that it matches where you want to go. If you expect to see example.com, but instead see 31337Hax0r.com, you are likely on the wrong site.

By following these simple steps, you can minimize phishing emails coming both to and from your server.

Category: Tips & Tricks | 1 Comment
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