In March 2015, at the annual WHD.global conference in Rust, Germany, cPanel first unveiled all new branding to the web hosting community.
New Forums – New Style
The cPanel Community Forums is one of cPanel’s most popular resources on the web, second only to the cPanel Documentation site. The forums were slated for updates during the second phase of the company’s rebranding efforts, and the time had come to move to a new forum software platform as well. We chose Xenforo for that. Next, we set out to find a theme designer to create a new Xenforo style to align with our new brand guidelines.
The Selection Process
We looked at a few Xenforo theme designers, but in the end, we chose Audentio Design team and went with the UI.X style. Why? If you’re a member of the Xenforo community, you already know this. These guys are excellent at what they do, and, the UI.X framework provides us with the ability to extend our forum in new ways we couldn’t before. The Xenforo community forums have many active support and customization threads going, some of which are hundreds of pages long. These guys take being responsive to clients needs to a whole other level.
Best Laid Plans
Wanting to ensure the cPanel Forums community was not affected by any abrupt changes to the software platform we had been using for many years, we planned to make the move to new forum software, and a new style, a two-step process. We needed to move to Xenforo, but wanted to retain the look of the existing style in use at the time.
We first contacted Audentio Design late in 2014 and discussed having them create a new cross-over Xenforo style to match the existing style we were using. The move to Xenforo and that style finally went live March 10, 2015. In June 2015, Audentio was contracted again to update the style using cPanel’s all new branding after the official branding announcement occurred.
Looking Back – One Year Later
The experience of moving this long established community to Xenforo and creating a new look for the forums the way we did it was exciting, even with the few bumps in the road. Mike and Jake from Audentio Design worked with us late into the night during the original conversion process, and their knowledge proved to be invaluable.
The move itself, to new software and the new style, went about as smooth as it could have gone on the public side of things too. So smooth in fact that we got only a small handful of complaints (or approvals) about the changes to the forums at all. Xenforo software, and Audentio Design made that possible.
We’re coming up on one year since this project was completed, and we couldn’t be happier with our decision to move to Xenforo software and our choice to use Audentio Design. We are under no obligation to promote Audentio Design, but we wanted to recognize them for the great experience they provided.
We’re not the only ones who have felt this strongly about their work either. They have done work for other popular forums, and you don’t just have to take our word for it. Read what MacRumors and AVForums had to say about Audentio Design.