cPanel Blog

What’s going on in WHM?

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:

  1. Ensure a great experience for our advanced users
  2. Assist first-time users who come to WHM with no previous system administration experience
  3. 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.

Photo source: Pexels.com – Blue and Clear Glass High Rise Building

  • It would be very handy if plugin devs could simply output/inject WHM’s header into any plugin written in anything that cPanel can parse. In the case of Engintron for example (which is purely bash, php and js), it seems an awful lot of work and code to add just to include the WHM header…

    • cpanelAdamF

      Already something we’re planning. It will be an expansion of the LiveAPI approach into a WHM context. I’ll post a workaround for how you can accomplish this now before we finish the WHM deframing, though it’ll only be a workaround

    • cpanelAdamF
      • Thank you – I’ve already posted a question to clarify a couple of things.

        • matsedales

          Foti kalispera iperxei periptosi na me boithises se ena sql optimization opou de bgazw AKRI k exo trelathei??? exo to config sou pou kikloforei pantou – SIGXARITIRIA!!- kai ithela na me boithiseis na to kano adapt gia to server mou pou einai Intel® Core™ i7-6700
          Quad-Core Skylake
          incl. Hyper-Threading Technology 64GB ram, 4TB raid disks MySql5.6
          ta esbisa ola den allaze tipota tora exo:

          root@matsrv [/etc]# cat my.cnf
          [mysqld]
          performance-schema=0
          default-storage-engine=MyISAM
          innodb_file_per_table=1
          max_allowed_packet=268435456
          open_files_limit=10000
          root@matsrv [/etc]#

          Se euxaristw afantasta!!!!

          • 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.

            Is this included?

  • I’m glad to see all these improvements, just looking at it day by day it’s hard to see how far it has come, but if you compare what it was a few years ago to what it is now, it’s like night and day! Btw, is there an official Android app for WHM/cPanel coming out soon?

  • Scott Neader

    Looking forward to the changes, Adam. cPanel is very much usable from a mobile device these days, but WHM is a constant battle of pinch-and-zoom and scrolling. I can’t wait for the day that WHM works as easily as cPanel in the mobile world! Thanks for your work on this front.

    • cpanelAdamF

      Thanks for your encouraging words, Scott!

      WHM has a ways to go…plus I know lots of our customers have strong opinions about what should and shouldn’t be done…so I very much appreciate the patience and constant feedback!

  • cpanelAdamF

    I’ll be watching the discussion thread for this blog post over the next few days to respond to questions that might arise.