cPanel Blog

I just want a site

While talking with our partners one day, one of them said something that other users and partners confirmed repeatedly:

“Customers close down their accounts for a few reasons”, the partner reported, “but the biggest one is that they just simply never got started.”

They. Never. Got. Started.

For many end users, they simply want to get online. Installing and managing WordPress, Drupal, or other content management systems vastly over-serves this demographic. They have very simple needs. Why should fulfilling their needs include managing plugins, worrying about PHP dependencies, or sweating security vulnerabilities?

That’s where the new Site Publisher feature in cPanel & WHM version 56 comes in.

The Site Publisher feature provides a quick way to publish your first website. To use the Site Publisher interface, end users simply choose which domain they would like to publish to, which Site Template they’d like to publish, answer a few questions, and then hit publish. That’s it. No configurations, no installations, no set up tasks… Boom! Website.

Step 1 of the Site Publisher
Step 2 of the Site Publisher
Step 3 of the Site Publisher

With version 56, cPanel will ship three default Site Templates:

  • A personal website
  • A business website
  • An Under Construction page

You aren’t limited to these three options, though. Site Templates themselves can be anything, and hosting providers can design and offer as many templates as they’d like. Site Template designers have complete control of their Site Templates and can ask end-users questions to customize it. Far from a site builder, the Site Publisher focuses on getting something online… a restaurant page… a small business home page… a musician’s demo tape… an artist’s portfolio… Anything can be in a Site Template, from static single-page apps, to advanced JavaScript apps, to sites built with PHP, and so much more.

The Business Site Template
The Under Construction Site Template
The Personal Site Template

Behind the scenes, the Site Publisher feature acts as a simple customizer and installer. When you press Publish, the selected Site Template is rendered into the document root of a domain and all of the end user-provided information is included. Internally, the Site Publisher feature uses a templating language called TemplateToolkit to render end user-provided content into place.

Over time, you’ll see more Site Templates added to the Site Publisher, as well as additional functionality. We look forward to seeing how you use this feature to meet your customers’ needs.

photo credit: https://www.pexels.com/photo/idea-bulb-paper-sketch-8704/

  • Jahongir

    hi, can you tell me how to delete that site. i want to use WP but i dont know how to swich of the Site Publisher

    • cPanelbenny

      To remove the site you can just remove the files in the document root for the domain via File Manager.

  • A much needed feature. Thanks s lot for adding, It will be useful for the new newbies specially who’re not developers/programmers, can easily create a site within a click of a button.

  • Rui P. Bebiano

    “hosting providers can design and offer as many templates as they’d like”… How can new templates be added to Site Publisher? BTW, i can’t see any references to Site Publisher in WHM.

    • cpanelAdamF
    • cpanelAdamF

      I should add that currently this feature is only in the cPanel interface itself. Management of site templates can be done from the command-line or file system. We can definitely iterate in the direction of a WHM interface for it, though, if there’s enough interest and adoption in it.

  • Besimple

    This feature will be very useful for all clients that only need a simple way to create a landing page!
    ———
    Alba Garcia, CEO of Besimple, https://besimple.online

  • NIBB

    This is so true. I cannot imagine how many customers companies lost recently to services like Weebly or Wix. People looking for hosting, want WordPress and PHP and all that fancy stuff. But most customers starting fresh don’t even know what hosting is. All they want is setup email and publish a simple site. And its very complicated for them today unless they use Weebly or similar.

    Finally cPanel seems it will solve this problem. If you look the forums, people are asking for ages for a decent sitebuilder that is compatible with cPanel. There is none. I’m really happy that cPanel is starting to seriously consider this and this is the first step into that direction to evolve into a more mature offering. I would not mind if its sold extra either. I know this is something very simple today, but the truth is that if you want to keep customers paying you need to offer them a robust sitebuilder. Not robust in features, but design templates and things they can add easily. A quick and fast way to edit and update content. A control panel like cPanel is perfect for this because it can access and edit the files directly, nothing to publish, it works all directly in the account.

    The experience mentioned in this blog is absolutely true. Most new users don’t renew their plans and they go after something like Weebly. All those very nice builders sell their hosting and host the whole software in their services which is totally incompatible with a hosting providers offering (why would you host the sites with someone else?)

    I understand this was complicated in the past, but web technologies are ready now. You don’t need Flash anymore to build a decent HTML/WebDesign/SiteBuilder software.

    How hard can it be to make decent HTML5 builder that can actually compete or is better than something like Weebly? It seems extremely hard because nobody has come up with a solution that is self hosted so far and is decent enough that users want to use and keep paying. The current options are very poor, very ugly, complicated interfaces. Once you have a nice GUI, easy to use, but still powerful enough (for those that need to insert a simple HTML code), all you need to do is fill up with tons of graphics and web templates users can choose. Those users are usually sold on how much content they have available. The more templates and options, the more likely they will see something they like and want.

    • cpanelAdamF

      Thank you for these kind words, @NIBB:disqus. With this initial release, we intended to stay very very focused and get the minimum out the door and working well. We definitely did hear loud and clear the demand for a site builder-like feature inside of cPanel. We hesitated to go in that direction from the get-go simply because so many third-parties do it so well. We have great relationships with Wix and Weebly and the others and they’re very important to us. Instead, we wanted to focus in solely on the publication features first and foremost. After it’s in the wild, we hope to get TONS of feedback much like yours and then iterate. (Same approach we’ve taken with Paper Lantern and many other features of cPanel over the last few years).

  • bobmorse

    I have version 54 installed and I don’t see this feature anywhere. What am I missing?

    • NIBB

      They said they will ship 3 templates with version 56, so I assume its not ready yet.

      • bobmorse

        Still confusing, since you’re supposed to be able to create your own templates. So even if the default supplied templates won’t be released until 56. Why not make the system available now. And why does the post say it’s available in 54 if in fact it won’t be released until 56? Just looking for answers from Cpanel. I think it will be a great addition.

        • cpanelAdamF

          Apologies, Bob. I had ‘typo-ed’ the first mention of the version number in the blog post. Site Publisher, as well as the three templates I talk about in this blog post, are arriving in v56. It’s already in our EDGE tier if you’d like to play with it on a non-production server.

          • bobmorse

            Got it. Thanks for the clarification! I really look forward to this feature being rolled out to the Release tier.