After previewing its new release, cPanel & WHM 11.34, back at the cPanel Conference in October, hosting control panel developer cPanel announced this week that the latest version had hit its “release” tier, delivering a set of new functions and a redesigned WHM interface to hosting providers running cPanel.
Wednesday, cPanel held a webinar to share some of the new release’s new features with users, and to demonstrate the new interface it has developed for the WebHost Manager side of the control panel – the administrator interface.
cPanel’s Scrum Product Development Method
Before we look at the features, it is worth noting that the 11.34 release is the first update to cPanel & WHM to come out of the company’s recently-implemented scrum agile product development process.
While cPanel previously had a large pool of developers who worked kind of independently on different projects that would ultimately be worked into the software, the scrum method divides that pool of developers into smaller teams, and assigns specific features to each of those teams.
cPanel says the overall effect of the changes is that new features can find their way into the product faster, since the teams are better able to focus their energies, and the company’s overall development resources, on priority projects.
New Hosting Control Panel Features in cPanel & WHM 11.34
During Wednesday’s webinar, cPanel focused on highlighting a few specific changes in the new version of its hosting control panel software.
cPanel says it has made several updates to its Web Disk function, which enables users to manipulate files on the server via a shared drive on a computer or mobile device. The changes include support for a variety of operating systems, including Windows Vista, 7 and 8, Android, iOS and OSX Lion and Mountain Lion.
It also announced new functions for its email archiving tool, which enables administrators to set up policies to have incoming and outgoing emails from a server compressed and archived daily (and stored as part of the regular cPanel backup). The update adds client configuration support for MacOS Mail.app, PostBox, Thunderbird, KDE KMail, several Outlook versions, as well as Outlook Express and Windows Live Mail.
The final key feature for hosting providers addressed in the webinar was an update to cPanel’s Exim mail transfer agent. Through the Exim configuration feature, admins can now scan outgoing emails for spam and malware, and reject those emails before they leave the server.
Inside the new WebHost Manager Interface in cPanel & WHM 11.34
One of the big thrusts of the presentation was a tour of some of the keys to the new user interface in the WebHost Manager portion of the control panel software.
Along with an update to the login screen, one of the major changes is a redesign to the main navigation, offering bigger, clickable buttons to enable an easier time using the interface via a touch screen on something like a tablet or mobile phone.
One of the other navigational changes cPanel highlighted was the inclusion of a “breadcrumbs” style trail, making it easier for users to see exactly what sub-menu of a sub-menu they’re currently viewing, and to quickly back-track through those folders.
The new UI also includes some key changes to the left-hand navigation menu, including better integration with the search function, as well as the ability to use the keyboard to navigate the menu.
cPanel shared some more specifics about the new WebHost Manager user interface in a podcast posted on the company’s website.
A New cPanel & WHM Release Schedule
One of the last points touched on in the presentation was a bit of a change to the company’s software release schedule. CEO Nick Koston said on the call that the company had moved to a three-times-a-year schedule for new releases, which means the next release of cPanel & WHM (11.36) would be out in the early part of 2013.
The full release notes for cPanel & WHM 11.34 are available at the company’s website.