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Attracta to become new feature in cPanel & WHM (Q & A)

Discussion in 'cPanel Announcements' started by cPanelAP, Mar 15, 2012.

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  1. cPanelAP

    cPanelAP cPanel Chief Business Officer
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    cPanel is excited about the upcoming product inclusion of Attracta in cPanel & WHM. If you are a host or a server owner, then this forum post should be helpful in answering questions you may have:

    Q. What is happening with Attracta & cPanel?
    Attracta will become a standard feature within cPanel & WHM. Users will have the ability to instantly turn it offor on (by default, Attracta will be active).

    Q. When will this inclusion occur?
    Attracta SEO tools are scheduled for release to the cPanel & WHM EDGE tier at the beginning of April with availability in the CURRENT tier later in the month.

    Q. Where will the change appear?
    Customers will see a new row titled “FREE Search Engine (SEO) Optimization Tools” upon logging into cPanel.

    Q. Which companies currently use Attracta?
    Attracta is used by hundreds of top hosting providers including HostGator, BlueHost, HostDime, BrainHost, UK2.Net, and HostPapa.

    Q. How will Attracta help your website owners?
    Attracta, bundled with cPanel & WHM, will add features to your web hosting services that will ultimately help you sell more hosting. Attracta provides automated SEO Tools to increase site traffic, marketing tools to monetize site content, and an App Store to automatically install popular web based applications.

    Attracta’s core technology is its Marketing Dashboard and Portal that allows website owners to monitor the financial health of their website. Additionally, there is a sophisticated and scalable crawler that crawls customer websites, and creates and submits XML sitemaps directly to Google, Yahoo!, Bing, and Ask.

    Q. How does Attracta work with cPanel?
    The Attracta integration with cPanel allows seamless access to SEO services from within the cPanel interface. When accessing the SEO Tools in cPanel, the user’s registration and configuration is automated. This includes automatically adding the sitemap directive to the robots.txt file, factoring in redirected domains, and the ability for customers to add additional free and paid services without having to manually modify their site.

    Often times users have difficulty updating site components like their robots.txt file or including additional site software by adding the necessary code to their site. Attracta automates these processes by integrating with the user’s cPanel account and Apache to provide seamless site improvements without changing any HTML code.

    Q. Is Attracta SEO tools currently active on my server?
    Attracta SEO tools is not currently active on cPanel & WHM, but is scheduled for mass deployment in EDGE towards the end of March. Stable, Current, and Release deployments are tentatively scheduled to occur throughout April and May.

    Q. How do I turn Attracta on and off?
    We believe you should have the freedom of choice, and this feature can be turned OFF at your convenience if you do not wish to offer these services. Like other software bundled within cPanel, this add-on can be restrictedon a per-user basis.

    Attracta visibility for the end-user is controlled via the “Feature Lists” controls. Similar to how you can toggle off phpMyAdmin, SiteSoftware, or any other icon within the cPanel UI, you can easily turn Attracta on or off.

    Q. What are some of the free tools that web hosting providers will be able to offer to their clients?
    Attracta SEO offers several free SEO tools to aid in driving traffic to your customers’ sites. Some of these tools are: Google Blacklist Check, XML Sitemap creation and submission, SEO Tips, link building services, and social networking tools to verify proper Facebook or Twitter accounts.

    Q. How do I register for the revenue sharing program?
    There will be a new tab created in the WHM UI, under ‘Plugins/Attracta’ that will detail the benefits of offering Attracta.**** This same tab will also contain a link to a form that allows you to register by agreeing to the terms of service.

    Registered users get a listing in Attracta’s directory via a new tab in the upper right hand corner of their Attracta account labeled****"Partner".**** In this section, you will see user signups and user upgrades.

    Those that want early access to the integration and revenue share can go to go.cPanel.net/attracta/.

    Q. How do the “paid services” and revenue sharing opportunities work for web hosting providers?
    Hosts can earn a 10% revenue share on upgrades to paid SEO services such as Turbo Traffic 20, Turbo Traffic 100 and Managed SEO. You will also be able to custom configure service offerings ****to remove any conflicts with services that you offer.

    We (Troy and Aaron) look forward to answering any further questions you have about this upcoming integration.
     
  2. dhabets

    dhabets Well-Known Member

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    That all sounds fine, except:

    Don't turn it on by default; or is that going to cut down your revenue stream? Also, can you disclose what happens to the signups that are through hosts who don't have a revenue sharing agreement with Attracta? I'm assuming that will go to cPanel? yes/no?
     
  3. RackServers

    RackServers Registered
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  4. cPanelAP

    cPanelAP cPanel Chief Business Officer
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    cPanel doesn't earn any revenue share on this deal. We bundled this tool because every site needs traffic, and XML Sitemaps work. We felt automatic, FREE XML Sitemap creation and submission should be a core feature ofevery hosting package, just like FTP, E-mail and Bandwidth. By default most of our new features are turned on by default or at least exposed, unless of course they could have a negative impact on the overall server performance or functionality.
     
  5. cPanelAP

    cPanelAP cPanel Chief Business Officer
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    By default this feature will be on, but a number of the issues addressed in the thread you have posted such as a more intuitive and straight forward signup (meaning signups require manual entry of email addresses),new icons that flow with the current interface, and a number of other changes to create a user experience as close to cPanel as possible.
     
  6. dhabets

    dhabets Well-Known Member

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    I somehow find it hard to believe this is being added without any financial incentive to cPanel, Inc.

    Have you considered how sharing any customer info might affect privacy agreements that are in place? I quote: "When accessing the SEO Tools in cPanel, the user’s registration and configuration is automated." So it's not opt-in for us cPanel hosts and apparently it's a 1-click, no confirmation, signup for customers?

    Also, their bots, what IP ranges are they coming from? What are they identified as?

    Why the hard sell (i.e. turn on by default)? If it's as great as you think it is, then clients will opt-in. Why do you think the clients will contact when there's a billing or service issue with Attracta?

    Who's going to be responsible for security issues in this software? I have agreements with cPanel, not Attracta, so cPanel will assume responsibility for this code and service? Note that this is different from the usual 3rd party *options* cPanel provides. Since you are making it a default, I'm assuming you are going to support it and be responsible. Yes/no?
     
  7. myusername

    myusername Well-Known Member
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    I agree this is a bad decision and it is why so many people dislike Plesk. They started bundling in a bunch of 3rd party crap that nobody wanted and added to the host's support issues.

    Please don't start spamming our interface with 3rd party products. Nice that it can be disabled, but it should be disabled by default.

    I know our comments are probably going to fall on deaf ears since Attracta has been bragging about how its going to be in cPanel automatically for quite a while, so it sounds like the decision has been made but this is a bad direction to take when you start throwing brand name products into our control panel that we pay for.

    If this was a free panel then I could understand it, but not with the fees that you guys charge.
     
  8. texo

    texo Well-Known Member

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    I think that this is absolute nonsense. It should be left off by default. I have no idea why you're spending time bundling third-party products. Have any of your users ever asked for this?
     
  9. tvcnet

    tvcnet Well-Known Member
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    Just my personal experience with Attracta.
    Over two years ago we installed the first version of the Attracta's plugin for cPanel. Attracta had barely been out of beta at the time, and the response from our customers was quite positive (even in the first production version).

    Since then I've received only "pleasantly surprised" reviews from client's who've noticed the new option within their cPanel, clicked it and let the magic happen.

    Personally, I would prefer most of you other hosts disable Attracta and not turn it on, because I can then brag that my free SEO optimization and control panel options are better than most/yours. :)
     
  10. TroyMcCasland

    TroyMcCasland Active Member

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    We understand your concerns about including a large number of unsupported 3rd party apps. cPanel's approach is different then Plesk's model. The service can easily be disabled, it's fully supported by Attracta so the host has no support burden, and cPanel is very, very selective about the services it includes. So far Attracta is the first and only 3rd party service ever to be included. Perhaps you didn't realize this but, your company GlowHost recently signed up as an Attracta partner. I spoke with your company president just now, and he's very excited about offering Attracta. In addition, the rev share Hosts earn from customer upgrades can help offset or maybe even pay your license fees and then some, not counting the additional sites you will sell by including FREE SEO tools.
     
    #10 TroyMcCasland, Mar 15, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2012
  11. TroyMcCasland

    TroyMcCasland Active Member

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    Thanks Jim. It's been a pleasure working with you!
     
  12. TroyMcCasland

    TroyMcCasland Active Member

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    Many hosts have asked for and are using Attracta. Attracta is used by over a thousand cPanel hosts, including some of the largest in the wold: BlueHost, Hostgator, BrainHost, and HostPapa. In only two years, Attracta has become the most popular cPanel plugin and the top money maker for hosts. Over 1,700,000 sites use the Attracta service to increase organic site traffic. Every website needs traffic. It's the whole reason they come to you for a website. It can take weeks or months for a new site to get found and indexed by Google's crawler eventually stumbling across a link to the site from a page already in the Google index. Attracta solves this problem automatically and for FREE by creating and submitting an XML Sitemaps directly to Google, Yahoo, Bing and Ask.
     
    #12 TroyMcCasland, Mar 15, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2012
  13. Jay M

    Jay M Active Member
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    Just a few questions regarding how Attracta has changed over the past few months, does it now:

    A) Ask if you wish to join (and agree to their terms) after you click the icon in cPanel, or does it still just auto-signup?
    B) Do they offer an easy way to unsubscribe? or is it still a case of the end user emailing them to request removal?

    If both answers aren't yes, can it please be disabled by default?
     
  14. TroyMcCasland

    TroyMcCasland Active Member

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    Privacy is a big concern. We feel the same way. The Attracta's service is opt-in for end users, and SafeHarbor compliant. Website owners must first agree before receiving any e-mails from Attracta. Once subscribed they can easily turn off e-mail notifications and or cancel their accounts with Attracta.

    Attracta's crawler user-agent is: Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; AutomaticSiteMap) A current list of their IP Addresses are available on their website at: Attracta - Increase Your Website Traffic

    Attracta provides free telephone and e-mail support for all end users and hosts. All calls are closely monitored and supervised at their offices in Napa, CA.

    cPanel has reviewed the Attracta code will support the software integration as it does for other tools and software/services (awstats, roundcube, squirrelmail, webalizer, etc) Attracta's cPanel plugin was developed by David Koston of Koston Consulting who used to be the general manager for cPanel and is very familiar with cPanel architecture and security issues.

    Attracta's founders, product managers and developers are security experts and the ones who founded and created ScanAlert HackerSafe which was acquired by McAfee.
     
  15. myusername

    myusername Well-Known Member
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    I don't know who GlowTouch is but that is not GlowHost.

    Our concern is there are many good 3rd party products and services available out there who probably would like to be included in cPanel who won't be included. That or then cPanel will make a decision and include everyone who wants their icon to be included. It should be a choice not part of a nightly update if we want to include or exclude a particular vendor. Who knows what will pop up in the future in our panels if this is the direction cPanel is going.

    Your argument that is everyone needs it so why not offer it. Then in that case, everyone needs a web site and domain name too and and we can offer them that. Hey Nick can we put our links in your panel? Thanks!

    I am not attacking Attracta, I think its a fine company run by great people. I also clearly love cPanel.

    The point is that pushing 3rd party vendors who make money from those links should not be a default because it is not fair to other vendors who want to be included, its not fair to the hosts that want to have a competitive advantage or differentiated services by offering it (or not offering it) and the only person it is fair to is Attracta and possibly cPanel who claim they don't make any money on it.

    We pay license fees for cPanel and if a bunch of 3rd party vendors start popping up by default that's not going to be a good direction for cPanel to take. You can see the blowback already irritates people. As simple as it may sound to you to simply disable it, that means I have to write a script to go through hundreds of servers to disable it, that or take away a tech and have him do it manually. For a one server operation I agree that it's not too big a deal to simply turn it off, but that's not the point really.

    Maybe we already have a vendor linked from our panel which offers a similar service?

    These types of things should be activated if the server admin has an affiliate account and has entered their affiliate ID in WHM to activate it.

    I hate to think that my idea would be accepted thus taking away your business because you are very lucky indeed to even have been considered for such product placement.

    But web hosting is also very competitive and we have to work very hard to attract our customers. Differentiating our services is what makes people choose for a particular host. If everyone has the same thing, then the host looses the competitive advantage. And, if these vendors start appearing as default it costs us money and time to remove them.

    Again nothing personal against Attracta but you have to consider the bigger picture here.
     
    #15 myusername, Mar 15, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2012
  16. TroyMcCasland

    TroyMcCasland Active Member

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    Good question. Attracta has recently changed the way customers register and now has an intersticial page after users clicks on the icons. The intersticial page requires the user to opt-in before receiving e-mails from Attracta. Instructions on how to unsubscribe and manage e-mail notices are included at the bottom of every e-mail. To unsubscribe all the user has to do is click on their My Account Tab / Profile / E-mail Status / and set e-mail notices to OFF. To cancel their account they click My Account / Cancel They can also send e-mail or call Attracta to change service levels or cancel.
     
  17. nibb

    nibb Well-Known Member

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    This is decision is terrible and this is why people started to move out of Plesk.

    Why are you turning it ON by default?

    First of all, you said its an addon, and cPanel has no financial incentive on this. So why is an addon from an external company turned by default to on? This is sending money to them, not to you our us, your clients.

    Does this means if I build an addon for cPanel, lets say another SEO module, and I send it to cPanel, you will you also turned it to ON as default on every new install? Please answer if yes or no, because if Attracta has this privilege, other companies offering services and cPanel modules deserve the same treatment.

    Why are you giving cPanel customers more work? Like turn it off on each new server?

    Attract only works in English, What about your international cPanel customers? Do you think they will turn it on or use it for their customers that don´t speak English? Cpanel is multi language, Attract is not. So how can you even consider this.

    How about other companies offering their own SEO services? Are you starting to compete vs them just like cPanel bought a hosting company recently? Whats the purpose of this?

    Give more works for new servers to turn it off. International customers selling cPanel hosting locally will not use it anyway. Customers offering their own SEO icons or tools will also turn it off. Not to mention security and privacy agreements.

    If cPanel is going to start to go the Plesk approach of forcing their customers to choose what they consider better for them please advice. Because this is how Plesk started and then we started to see "Virtuozzo Banners" on the login page and top header of each Plesk panel, the last draw which made us quit to cPanel.

    So if cPanel will start to decide which service is best of their customers in terms of SEO services, SiteBuilder, Application installer, etc then I expect next to see hosting banners from other companies as well turned also by Default to On.

    I find it very hard to believe that cPanel has no interests on this (money) but just to provide tools to their customers, because there are hundreds of SEO Tools and similar services, some of them better than Attract and you decided to go with them and turn it ON on each new server deployed.

    Attract tools are terrible, nothing that a 10$ PHP script or even free you get on the Internet can´t do. Sending a XML sitemap to Google? Are you kidding me? Do you expect people to 50$ a month for that? Their very big and expensive prices are because they give a % to companies, hosting and now it seems also cPanel for every new signup. This is like an affiliated program and you call it a new feature? So cPanel is now adding Affiliate programs by default on our paid cPanel software? I expect this from a free control panel but honestly I feel insulted byt this because we are paying cPanel, its not free and you should not have control on what we show or send our customers. This is why people quit Plesk. They paid 1000$ a year and Parallels put banners advertising, by default on and yes you could remove them to, at first editing the code, then on complains they added a turn off button. And they do the same with allot of other services and icons in their panels.

    I cannot honestly make my mind into who at cPanel decided this is great for their customers. Forcing addons, and external services on your clients is not nice.

    I don´t have anything against Attract but they are an external company that want to sell their SEO services. Im sure other SEO companies are left out by this, and not to mention hosting companies here using cPanel which sell their own SEO services or are partnered with other SEO companies which are not Attracta.

    Sure, you can say, just turn it off, but the think is that you are turning it ON on each new server by default, so all it takes is one server where you forget to do it, and when you realize it and remove it, customers complain that you are removing features. And not to mention the work it requires now for admins, to make it look nice with their themes, icons, or even removing it.

    I also don´t appreciate that cPanel sends our customers to other servers externally, did you even considered privacy laws for this? You are basically sending our customers automatically with their data to another company. And if servers are hacked from Attracta side someday who will we blame, cPanel or Attracta?

    Does cPanel even read this forums because most people here have only complained about this. Instead of focusing on developing features which are good for us you waste time on this partnerships (affiliate programs). There are so many things to do in cPanel, I can even point my thread in the Cloud Linux section, where some people send me PM and said "thank you" for that which means that is what people are looking. DNS clustering is another, sync settings between WHM servers, another one. Clustered Win Servers with Linux servers, another one. I can go on and on, features that are important and people will appreciate. Stuff that is related to cPanel and the control panel instead of this things which bring nothing new. And honestly how can you even call this a feature?

    Its just an icon in cPanel which anyone can add and automate the sign ups. Nothing more. If we where so in love with this, some companies would already done it. The reason some big hosting companies use them is because Attracta cut a % with them and they will not do the same for all of us. Even if they do im not interesting in sending my customers to them.

    I agree with Glowhost, you cannot put every single offering and icon on a cPanel build. There are allot of options out. If this is an approach cPanel wants to do, then I would suggest adding a Marketplace icon on WHM (nothing turned on by default, nothing, all get the same fairness) and providers can choose, install and enable from there what they want as default. Allot of hosts are using for example Cloud Linux, does this mean cPanel has to kill their DNS feature and ship Cloud Linux turned on by default on each customer as well? No. Again no. Any provider or service should be optional, not turned on by default which gives the impression its a cPanel product and endorsed by cPanel.

    Hostgator turned this by default on their VPS customers severs and you can bet their customers where not happy, allot of them complained about this.

    Last on my rant 2.0. Is cPanel in financial troubles that they need to make money with this affiliate program? Because that is exactly what this is.
     
    #17 nibb, Mar 16, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2012
  18. nibb

    nibb Well-Known Member

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    You are kidding right? cPanel doesn't know how to make a XML sitemap creation? I can freely post the code here and automated if that was the real concern.
     
  19. nibb

    nibb Well-Known Member

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    Yes its the first, and nothing says it will not be the last one. I think its time to move out of cPanel as this is exactly how Plesk started.

    Let me ask you something? If I send cPanel a code that does the same Attract does and allot more for free, will they also turned it by default to ON and compete with Attracta?

    If the answer is no. Then I think cPanel is unfair since they are monopolizing the SEO offerings by only going with Attracta brand, and if they say yes, then it will the second one and thousand more will come.

    I can only say this. cPanel management is losing focus and direction. This has nothing to do with hosting. Its SEO services, actually SEO tools which anyone can offer with their script or code themselves. Just cPanel doesn´t offer domain registration either, its the providers that choose which services they are going to offer to their customers.

    I feel insulted about this decision with a software which is paid and licensed. Not even free control panels do this.
     
    #19 nibb, Mar 16, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2012
  20. dhabets

    dhabets Well-Known Member

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    By adding it into the control panel and enabling it by default, it's easy for the client to assume that we have a relationship with Attracta; how do you ensure this confusion does not occur?

    Right and those examples aren't really supported beyond the integration.

    Troy, let's put it this way if this is such a great product/service, why not make it opt-in for the hosts?. Explain to me (and keep it simple 'cos I still have to have my coffee), why does this need to be opt-out?. Looking forward to your response.
     
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