cPanel® Blog

What makes a great feature request

Would you like to influence where we go next with cPanel & WHM? Consider participating in our feature request site. Here are some things to keep in mind when you submit the next great idea for the industry’s leading control panel.

Make sure that it’s actually a feature request. It might be better as a tech support request.

Does your idea restore a feature to full working order? If so, that’s a problem and needs the attention of our tech support team. They will work with you to resolve your issue, or they’ll know how best to escalate the issue to our development teams.

Make sure that your idea doesn’t already exist under another name.

There are many ways to describe an idea. One person might use the technical term for something while another may express it using more broad terms. For example, a feature request about MySQL may be under ‘databases’. Before you submit a new feature request, try searching the site using synonyms like this. Your idea may already exist, but put a different way.

Make sure that we haven’t already covered your concern in another way.

There are many ways to solve a particular problem. cPanel is a product full of solutions to problems. Before submitting a feature request, look for solutions to your problem that we may have already shipped. You can always review our documentation, ask in our forums, or talk with your account manager too.

Help us in understanding the problem you need solved…rather than the specific solution you’re looking for.

This is THE most important thing to consider when submitting a feature request. We provide the best possible solutions only when we deeply understand the problem our customers face. We are more likely to act on a feature request when we understand WHY it’s needed.

In your next feature request, first describe WHY you would like the change. Going into detail about the exact solution you want can happen later.

For example, a common feature request we see is to update a piece of software we ship within the product. A feature request reading “Update to the most recent public release of this thing” might convey what you’re looking for, but it leaves out why you need it. If the most recent public release of that thing solves a problem, let us know. Many other feature request site users may be facing the same problem.

Submit only one idea per feature request

We notice that people include two or three (or more!) ideas in the same feature request submission. When someone votes for this submission, how can we tell which idea they voted for? Did they vote for all the ideas? We don’t know.

The confusion doesn’t end there. The conversation thread for the feature request gets mangled too. By keeping your submission focused on just one idea, you help others stay focused and collaborate.

A good way to know if you are including more than one idea in a submission is to ask the question “Am I solving more than one problem?”. If the answer is yes, consider separating your ideas into more than one submission.

Use plain simple language that everyone can understand.

We have customers from almost every country in the world. For many of them, english is a second language and will rely on translation services to better understand text on the internet. Focus your feature request by writing clearly and concisely. It will improve its machine-translation.

There are many tools out there than can help you write better . My personal favorite is http://www.hemingwayapp.com/. It evaluates the readability of text by highlighting difficult to read passages and giving you a grade level. Writing at an 8th grade level is a good balance between detail and clarity. It can be much harder to write at than you think!

This blog post is at an 8th grade level.

Don’t post private or sensitive information.

The feature request site is a public forum available to the world. If you post personal information or security information to it, you’re going to have a bad time.

Understand that we may tweak your feature request to fix typos or formatting.

To keep the feature site presentable, we may fix typos or improve the formatting of your post. This is an effort to make sure visitors to the feature request site have a good experience.

Please don’t beat us up; we’re humans too.

By submitting a feature request, you are speaking directly to a team of real people. We are more likely to engage with you on ideas when you approach us constructively. Take responsibility not only for your idea but also how you advocate for it. Would you get on board with an idea if the person proposing it was negative or angry? We wouldn’t either.

By keeping these guidelines in mind, you help the greater cPanel community to identify the next thing we should be working on. And you help us to engage with that community too.