Hi Everyone, Adam here. I wanted to spend some time spelling out what’s going on in the user experience of cPanel & WHM. Plugin developers should pay close attention to the changes we’re making.
Now that we’ve fully deprecated the X3 theme, it’s time to turn our attention to WHM. We’ve got some very simple goals when it comes to WHM:
- Ensure a great experience for our advanced users
- Assist first-time users who come to WHM with no previous system administration experience
- Prepare for the mobile age, where laptops and desktops aren’t the only way system administration is done
When we ensure a great system administration experience for our advanced users, we embrace WHM’s reason for being. It’s the most powerful interface and we do not intend to take away your access to that power.
When we assist first-time users to acclimate to WHM, we push users over the hurdle to becoming advanced users. When a first-time user walks away from their hosting account, that directly affects your business. We take that very seriously.
When we prepare the WHM interface for use on mobile devices, we enable users across the spectrum of experience levels to maintain their hosting accounts on the go. Whether it’s to quickly pop in to resolve issues or post new content or examine statistics, there are tons of use cases for cPanel & WHM in the mobile world. The more engaged users are with their hosting accounts, the more sales for you, and the more satisfaction they have with cPanel & WHM. Recently, we updated our Web Disk mobile apps for iOS and Android as well as debuted a new official cPanel app to help you quickly log in to servers while mobile.
Starting in v64, we’re debuting the first set of changes in pursuit of these goals: we’ve reduced the amount of HTML frames needed in the WHM interface.
Getting technical for a moment
When you’re looking at the WHM interface, it’s divided into three sections: the top header area, the left navigation area and the main content area. In previous versions of the WHM interface, each of these sections lived in their own HTML frames.
HTML frames are like embedded instances of whole browser windows. They hide their URL bars so you can’t necessarily see what’s going on. They’ve been a fixture in the WHM interface almost since its inception. As a result, many features expect their presence. There are many problems with frames, though, not the least of which is poor support among mobile devices. Modern web development has steered away from the use of frames as a result.
By removing the use of HTML frames, we’re hoping to do two things: make WHM more consistent with other areas of the cPanel & WHM experience, and prepare WHM for the mobile world.
How does this affect my experience in WHM?
In v64, we’ve reduced the number of frames from three to two. For the most part, you shouldn’t notice any difference between WHM before v64 and after. HOWEVER, if you use a plugin which has interfaces in WHM, the plugin developers will need to make adjustments.
Before v64, a plugin developer could assume that their plugins would already have the top header area and left navigation automatically because their interfaces would always appear in that main content area.
That has changed.
In v64, plugin developers need to include the top header area explicitly in their interfaces. Without the top header area, the plugin may look broken and result in end-user tickets. Once the plugin developer makes the needed changes, they should specify explicitly that their interfaces can be opened in the main content area. We’ve provided updated documentation for WHM Plugin Developers for how to do this. Plugin developers should pay special attention to the target attribute of the AppConfig Configuration File found here.
If your WHM plugin now opens in a new window, or it doesn’t include the top header area, please reach out to the plugin developers and let them know that updates are needed. Once the last frame has been removed, plugin interfaces must include the top header area and left navigation area if they’d like to appear natively inside WHM.
Plugin developers should pay close attention to the changes we’re making in WHM as a result. Things that affect their plugins may continue to change as we do our work to ensure a great WHM experience for everyone.
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