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Feature Requests Improvements

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by electric, Sep 27, 2013.

  1. electric

    electric Well-Known Member

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    I don't think cpanel has a good grasp on what features are needed and what are not needed. In upcoming v11.80 we see a new website editor, and a "security advisory" page. Great. It's too bad they wasted resources on unnecessary upgrades like that when basic things such as DNS SRV records still isn't easily possible. We have many customers regularly asking for SRV records to be added, because they are using Exchange or VoIP, etc.. but zero customers asking for a better website editor.

    I know cpanel is just going to say that they look at number of votes in the features.cpanel.net page, but really... some basic common sense is needed, too. Whomever is making the decisions on what features to add/improve should consider talking to hosts in the real world.
     
  2. lbeachmike

    lbeachmike Well-Known Member

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    Re: How to add SRV record using cpanel Advanced DNS Editor?

    I've provided feedback on numerous occasions to cpanel on the futility of the feature request process. It simply doesn't work.

    Examples are the feature requests I've posted. Being they are non-glamorous, they don't get votes. But this is not a legitimate way to assess need or priority and it does require cpanel to be proactive.

    cPanel needs to be an innovator and needs to assess what is going on in the hosting world around them, and be proactive in their product development. They can't rely on just the users who have enough time and are motivated enough to visit forums and post feature requests to be their source of "innovation"

    It's a flawed process, and cPanel is sadly outdated. This reflects poorly on web hosts when the product doesn't do things that users legitimately expect their web hosting interface should do. It doesn't keep cpanel, or us, competitive in the marketplace.

    mrk
     
  3. electric

    electric Well-Known Member

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    Re: How to add SRV record using cpanel Advanced DNS Editor?

    Exactly. In the feature request system here, every member has the same number of votes. So a member with one cpanel license has the same voting power as a company with 100 servers and with many more customers complaining about different things.

    The first company votes for what they want and what they think would be a neato new feature. The second company will vote for what their customers actually want, and what will save them (the hosting company) time and money. Yet each company gets the same amount of voting power.

    It's not a good system.
     
  4. lbeachmike

    lbeachmike Well-Known Member

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    Re: How to add SRV record using cpanel Advanced DNS Editor?

    Maybe we need to post a feature request to overhall the feature request system and methodology :D
     
  5. kdean

    kdean Well-Known Member

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    Re: How to add SRV record using cpanel Advanced DNS Editor?

    Sad thing is, it would likely take 10 minutes for them to implement the feature being the structure for editing other records is already in place. They just need to get off their ass and implement the features that are quick changes.
     
  6. lbeachmike

    lbeachmike Well-Known Member

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    Re: How to add SRV record using cpanel Advanced DNS Editor?

    I think it's more of a process issue than anything else. When I work with Tech Support, they are amazing, but usually direct me to open a feature request when a product deficiency is pointed out. I'd really like to see input flowing more freely from Tech Support to Development. After all, Tech Support is at the front lines and has good visibility to product deficiency, since they are seeing those inquiries directly from customers.

    But more important, I think they need to establish some internal innovation program so they can be proactive in creating new features and functionality ... ahead of requests ... sort of like it used to be.

    mrk
     
  7. electric

    electric Well-Known Member

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    Re: How to add SRV record using cpanel Advanced DNS Editor?

    Well, honestly it would make a lot of sense to simply assign a weighting system to the feature request member profile. Here's how I would do it:

    1. Modify feature request system so that ONLY a verified license holder has voting power. Anyone can signup and create a feature request, but *only* people with a valid and active license can vote.

    2. The more licenses you have... the more your vote counts.

    That's it.

    So the idea is that if you have 1000 cpanel licenses, and you vote for "Feature Request A", then your vote is a lot more weight than someone with 1 cpanel license who wants "Feature Request B".
     
  8. lbeachmike

    lbeachmike Well-Known Member

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    Re: How to add SRV record using cpanel Advanced DNS Editor?

    So the reason you would weight the votes the way you describe is because you want it to be proportionate to the number of end users represented?

    I simply don't agree with the product being driven by feature requests. The product should be developed by the company developing it, not by the users of the product. The users of the product could be a source of input, but it shouldn't be the sole source of innovation.

    For example, take a look at some of the older functionality that is sadly dated and not really useful. It's just left there, and nobody's putting in feature requests to remove those things. Or, who's putting in the feature request to cleanup the poor navigation inside WHM? Themes are in one section and Branding is another. The two things are entirely reliant on each other yet in different sections of navigation? Somebody needs to be motivated to clean things up, and that burden should not be on the product's users to submit feature requests for a clean GUI.
     
  9. electric

    electric Well-Known Member

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    Re: How to add SRV record using cpanel Advanced DNS Editor?

    Yes, and no. Yes, cpanel customers who have multiple licenses are more likely to have more customers... and so they should have more voting power since (in theory!) they know more about what more end-users want.

    No, I think people who are paying more money to cpanel should have more voting power. It's a simple matter of keeping your paying customer base happy. Not all customers are equal, and if I have a customer who is paying me $1000/month in license fees, I think they are much more valuable than then another customer who pays me $10/month. So if the $1000/month customer says they want feature xyz, then it should have more weight and consideration...

    I agree 100%. I think they do "cleanup" some things, but it takes them a long time since they don't want to ruffle any feathers and cause customers still using old version 10 any problems. haha. Again, this comes down to a matter of what their *higher paying* customers are using.

    It should be easy for cpanel to correlate every license key with amount of revenue it provides as well as what version that license is using, etc. If 95% of their revenue is using an older version of cpanel, then it makes sense to keep older features that are still being used.

    Ultimately, I feel that cpanel has not much analytics into how their customers are actually using cpanel. This can be fixed by properly understanding who is paying them, and getting those customers to speak and share their voice/opinion... and then put them into a simple spreadsheet that shows each license and its associated revenue.
     
  10. lbeachmike

    lbeachmike Well-Known Member

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    Re: How to add SRV record using cpanel Advanced DNS Editor?

    There's no way to manage such an approach. I could have X number of licenses in one month and Y in another month. I could be a fast-growing company because I have a great understanding of my users needs, or I could be a fast-shrinking company because I'm really clueless.

    Or maybe I'm an admin for 1000 servers but I don't have a single license or customer, but I sure know a lot more about cpanel/whm than the owners of many of the companies I'm doing work for. There are lots of possibilities that make this approach not only impractical, but impossible to manage.

    It also robs others of a legitimate voice, because if I'm a big company, I've got the resources to assign somebody to providing feedback. If I'm really small, I probably need my manpower to be focused on other efforts and providing input to cpanel would be a very low-priority task.

    I'm sure if you are a large host, cPanel will be more than happy to communicate with you directly and hear your input.

    mrk
     
  11. electric

    electric Well-Known Member

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    Re: How to add SRV record using cpanel Advanced DNS Editor?

    I wouldn't say impossible, but certainly it is not "too" difficult to directly tie the feature member and voting system into their (cpanel company) customer information backend. Of course, there can be exceptions for admins or whatever, but I see no reason why each cpanel customer wouldn't simply assign their feature request member account to whomever in their org (or multiple members tied to the same account) to the appropriate people in their own organization.

    My point is that *no* system is going to be perfect. Even if cpanel hires 50 people who do nothing but go and visit their customers and ask what is needed in what priority... that is not going to be perfect either.

    My point is that the current system is broken, and does not reflect the day to day "improvements and fixes" that are needed for cpanel to not constantly be a thorn in our sides. This could be greatly improved, with not too many modifications to the current system. (ie: Gain major improvement for not much effort.)
     
  12. lbeachmike

    lbeachmike Well-Known Member

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    Re: How to add SRV record using cpanel Advanced DNS Editor?

    Well, sadly what I've realized is that we inadvertantly hijacked this thread which is ironically counter-productive to yielding the product improvement sought after by this particular thread :)
     
  13. cPanelMichael

    cPanelMichael Forums Analyst
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  14. cPanelKenneth

    cPanelKenneth cPanel Development
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    1. The feature system currently supports weighting user votes. We have granted this functionality to some accounts, based upon the number of licenses (or similar metric) held by the customer. These accounts were subsequently never used.

    2. The feature request system is only one of the ways we have to identify and prioritize requests. We complement this system with customer visits, input from tech support, input from customer service, input from the forum, and conversations held with people at conferences.

    3. Different customers have different priorities, wants, and needs. Some want to optimize the selling process (e.g. how long does it take to fully deploy cPanel & WHM?), some want to optimize the admin process (e.g. I'd like to manage all my servers from a single login), some want the latest and greatest of random software (e.g. please give us PHP 5.5.X the millisecond it comes out).

    4. For some customers cPanel & WHM is fine as it currently is. There is no thorn in the side from them. For others the thorn varies: perhaps it's the UI, perhaps it's the lack of full API coverage, perhaps it's poor coverage for localization.

    5. You are correct that we currently lack data on feature usage of cPanel & WHM. While we know that 80-90% of all licensees are using cPanel & WHM version 11.38, we don't at this time know what features are most or least used. In cPanel & WHM version 11.40 we added some functionality to gather this data.

    As director of product development at cPanel, one of my responsibilities is to identify and prioritize the changes that customers and users want. You are always free to send me your ideas, thoughts, complaints and more to kenp at cpanel dot net.
     
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