WebHostingPad State of the Union Address

whppodiumSo, it’s been over a month since our last post. Oops, sorry about that. We’ve been working on quite a few projects simultaneously so finding some time to set aside and write here has proven to be a bit difficult over the past several weeks. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it. The good news is that a lot of these projects are nearing their completion, so I wanted to take some time out to show you some of the things we’ve been doing to try and make your hosting experience even better.

1. Updated, redesigned billing system

Our billing system is outdated, and that’s putting it nicely. We’ve been working on shifting to a new, better looking, better functioning billing style which will help you more easily manage all areas of your hosting account. It’s still a work in progress, but here are a few screenshots showing how much nicer it will look.

1. Revamped client area home page. This is what you will be greeted by when you log in. A central hub giving you an overview of your whole account.
clientareahome

2. Better domain management area allowing you to control just about every aspect of your domain names.
clientareadomain

3. Perhaps the most exciting section of the updated billing area is the seamless integration with cPanel. I’ll start off by saying that this will not limit your cPanel access in any way. You will still have complete and total access to cPanel. however, for those of you who would rather have a single login area, you will be able to access all of the cPanel features directly from your billing area. This centralizes all of your information, allowing you to access everything from a single login point. You will no longer have to worry about having to remember different login information.
clientareacpanel

There is plenty more to see, but that will come once we complete the updates.

2. Weebly Website Builder

As you may have noticed, in the first screenshot above there is a panel for “My Weebly Websites.” That’s because we’ve been working out a partnership with Weebly so that you can use their website builder with our web hosting. We understand the need for an easy to user website builder, and Weebly is one of the best we’ve ever come across. We will be offering a free trial version, as well as three different levels of paid Weebly builders. We’re still working out a few kinks, but we’re slowly rolling this out for all of you to use.

3. Server Updates

As we all know, computer technology is always evolving. Things seemingly change so fast that by the time new products are shipped they are already obsolete. Some of our older servers are getting some pretty significant upgrades which will help your websites run significantly better.

Along with this, we’re upgrading all of our servers to the latest stable version of CentOS, the operating system on which the servers run. This is a huge task, to say the least. To give you an idea, here’s the basic procedure. CentOS cannot simply be updated on a server like your Windows or Mac OS X updates on your computer, as much as we wish it could. We have to remove all of the data from the server prior to upgrading the operating system. What this means is that we have to manually transfer all accounts off of a server that needs to be upgraded onto a different server. Only then can we upgrade the operating system. After it’s upgraded, that server will also get any hardware upgrades it needs, then it becomes the new server for any accounts that need to be transferred off of a different server needing upgrades.

Pain in the you-know-what? You bet!

4. Changes to cPanel

This is an important topic so it will be getting its own post down the road, but it’s worthwhile to touch on it here. The cPanel interface as we all know (and are all comfortable with) is going to be changing. The x3 theme that has been the standard for years is going EOL (end of life), and as such, we are going to have to switch out all of your cPanel themes to the new Paper Lantern theme. The bad news? Paper Lantern is significantly different than x3. The good news? There have been enough complaints to cPanel that they have made a “retro” skin for the new theme. This retro skin mimics the look of x3, but uses all of the Paper Lantern back end. For more information about this, you can click here to visit the cPanel blog.

I’m sure there’s plenty more I’m forgetting about, but that’s the gist of the bigger projects we’ve got going on right now. As always, we’d love to hear any feedback from you on what you think needs improving. Our job is to make your job of running your website as easy as possible and we’re always looking for ways to do that.