cPanel & WHM: A Fresh Perspective

cPanel & WHMWhen utilizing a particular piece of software over a long period, most of us tend to get used to things. In the case of Web Host Manager, more commonly known as WHM, that is exactly the case for me, and most likely millions of other users, as well; I had simply come to accept its layout and general interface as a given over almost 10 years of using it.

Until I introduced a new client to it, anyway.

WHM: Love it or Leave It

Like many pieces of software – Windows comes to mind, specifically – WHM fills a void that offers very little in the way of viable competition; while there are many alternatives, few offer anything like the power and flexibility of the WHM/cPanel combination for web server administrators.

[adsense_id=”1″] Given both its prevalence, and my own familiarity with the software, I quickly convinced my client that we should use just such a setup for hosting his initial sites on a low-cost VPS. While he had extensive experience with cPanel, he had never laid eyes on WHM – and he wasn’t in for a treat. As we chatted in real time during his initial exploration as a root user, his complaints piled up regarding the layout of navigation, the featuring of most-used functions and resources, and the general out-of-the-box usability for a new user.

With each new observation, I realized that he was right; the only reason I was able to get anything done in a reasonable amount of time in WHM was that I was very familiar with it. By the end of our chat session, and ever since, things just haven’t been the same for me. I suddenly feel irritated when looking at the attractive, but nearly useless home icons, and that feeling evolved into flat out rage the next time I was required to scroll endlessly through hundreds of links on the sidebar, peering through squinted eyes to find the verbiage I was looking for.

A Relatively Small Job

The real kicker is that cleaning things up wouldn’t be that difficult; it’s a matter of graphical user interface, not of core functionality. So, from the perspective of both a long-time user, and someone entirely new to the administrative side of the cPanel/WHM combination: it’s time to yank WHM into the modern era with an overhaul of its interface that keeps simple usability in mind.

Get to it, folks. No more meaningless gloss, as seen in the latest update (version 11.34), but something truly useful for the people that spend hours each day managing servers with your software.

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