If you didn’t have a chance to catch today’s cPanel webinar on the new WHM 11.34 features you missed out. Surprisingly, the entire webinar lasted a mere 30 minutes and the features portion wasn’t, in my mind, the most interesting section. However, it had some good information on some of the more sought after features. I took note of the three that caught my eye the most:
Email auto-config scripts
One of the biggest changes I’ve always felt was needed was updating the email auto-configs scripts. cPanel has had this feature for quite some time, so its nothing new. The problem was that for the longest time, neither was what it supported. Up until just a few months ago, cPanel supported up to Outlook 2000. These auto-configuration scripts made life easier, when they would actually work. Now, that will change. Although the interface may not specifically say it, the latest cPanel Mail Client Auto Configuration scripts are tested to work with modern OS and email clients such as: Mac Mountain Lion and Windows Mail clients for 2010. Oh happy day!
The Webdisk got an update as well. Webdisk is another feature thats been around for some time, but had grown outdated to the point, again in my opinion, useless. Not anymore! Now, it has auto-config scripts for modern OS’s and even for mobile devices: iPad, iPhone, & Android. Mobile support is accomplished by referring you to a free app: WebDAV Navigator. I tested it out, and it works really well. Essentially, it has the power to turn your server into a private drop disk, complete with different user permission levels. You can setup as many webdisk user accounts as you like, give some of them read-only permission, even set them all to have the same directory, and bam! You have a community dropbox area on your server. I found it easy to setup, easy to use, fast, intuitive, and highly accessible for my phone. Directly from the App, it prompted me to upload photos from my photo library or take a new photo. I may start using it over FTP in many situations, such as quick blogging. This new version really brings Webdisk back into my everyday usage.
Email archiving is a recurring feature that I’ve seen over the years. I even wrote up an article for a custom way to set this up with Exim. My article is happily now outdated and unnecessary. cPanel has done a great job of doing what my method did and better! It has custom levels of saving email for your personal preference or for compliance with your countries laws. You can tell it how log to save what types of email. For example, you can have it save all outgoing messages for 30 days while all incoming gets saved for 3 months. The archive is IMAP and Webmail accessible, or you can download a backup from within cPanel.
To enable email archiving, go to ‘Tweak Settings’ inside of WHM.
Note: Email archiving DOES count towards individual user’s disk quotas.
Note 2: Email archiving settings can be transferred with an account when doing WHM to WHM transfers, but both servers must have WHM 11.34.
As much as I love the above features, I actually think the Q&A section yielded far more interesting information, but I suppose more in the terms of answering cPanel gossip:
1) 11.34 going to ‘Stable’ release
The new 11.34 is going to be moved to the next release Tier (Stable) in as soon as the next week or the week after. This means ever more clients will be affected. If you work in or around the hosting side of things, I’m sure you’ve had quite the influx of customers contacting you saying that their server is telling them that their MySQL or Operating System is out of date. Well, with 11.34 going to ‘Stable’ release, prepare to be surged with even more contacts. Thankfully, where I work, we’ve got things down to a science and upgrading either the OS or MySQL is easy and second nature.
2) New Interface moving to cPanel
cPanel confirmed that they are pushing this new feature rich visual WHM interface out to the individual customer cPanel interface in the next version (11.36). You will want to be sure you are well versed in it’s navigation and new features. You’ll probably have a bunch of your customers asking you some questions about the ‘new look’ when that release goes out.
3) Mobile support
The next version will see WHM have iPhone and Android support. This will be accomplished NOT through an App, but rather through HTML5 and CSS. cPanel’s head developer put explained that with a fabulous reason: ….if we create an iPhone/iPad app, that will leave Android behind. If we make an Android app, it will leave iOS behind. If the development is done through hooks and device detection in HTML5, they can have a mobile compatible solution for ALL devices, even Blackberry.
4) Regular Updates
cPanel has stated that they are moving to a “three versions-per-year” release system. The next one (11.36) will be coming out at the very beginning of next year. Thats a very quick turn-around, but I’m confident they can do it while continuing to release exciting and well developed feature like they have in 11.34. Their newly organized animal named developer teams and new cPanel Feature request/discussion system (http://features.cpanel.net/) will go a long way to seeing that accomplished.
I hope you find this information helpful. If you missed out on the Webinar and want to see it, no worries. cPanel will have it posted to their Video page later end of this week: http://videos.cpanel.net/category/webinars/