The Big Control Panel Update

After more than a decade our Control Panel is getting a big refresh.

Ben calendar Mar 18, 2019 book News

I’m excited to announce that tomorrow we are launching a big update to our Control Panel (CP). This will bring simpler navigation, improved modules, a modernised interface and more.

This project has been a long time coming, both for our customers who have prompted us to do a visual refresh over the past two years and also for me personally. Overhauling CP has been on my mind since I started at SiteHost back in 2013 as something that I wanted us to do, but I could never find the right time.

Finally, late last year that time came. After some careful planning and months of hard work from the team (especially Matt and Dylan) it’s here.

What's New?

Well quite a bit, and far too much to document here. But everywhere you look should feel refreshed while still feeling familiar. That familiarity is something we wanted to retain, this is a tool for you to get work done and it’s important that we don’t get in the way of that.

We’re also a small team that has a lot to do, so as much fun as a rebuild from the ground up would be, we needed to be more focused than that. We knew we couldn't do everything we wanted (it's not mobile friendly or a single page javascript app, sorry) but after much discussion we settled on three core goals:

These goals have been our measuring stick for everything we’ve done, and have kept us on track whenever scope creep reared its head (at least most of the time anyway). And they have led us to what we are releasing tomorrow:

As you can see, things have definitely changed but our hope is that you’ll quickly find your way around and discover things have changed for the better.

A New Knowledge Base

Early on in the project as the design evolved, we came to the realisation that almost every single article in our Knowledge Base was about to be incorrect and that we had just created a lot more work for ourselves.

That means we’re also releasing a new Knowledge Base (KB) that brings a fresh new design, a revised navigation and improved tooling behind the scenes that will make it easier for us to maintain articles moving forward.

We’ve still got work to do to get all articles to a place where we are happy with them, but if I'm being honest the KB will never be finished! It’s a constantly moving target as we make changes to our products and tools, so please forgive us for any mistakes you find and if you do find something please let us know so we can fix it right up.

Simpler navigation, improved modules, and a modernised interface.

We Want to Hear From You

Internally we have been using this new version of the Control Panel for a few weeks and a few select customers have been helping us test (thanks beta testers) so we’re confident that it’s solid. But it would be naive of us to think we have got every change right and no bugs have managed to creep in, and that’s where you come in.

We want to hear your thoughts and feedback on the changes, especially if you run into trouble and need a hand. As always get in touch via support and we’ll make sure your feedback ends up in the right hands.

It has been a massive effort to get to this point, so we hope you like the new and improved CP and KB.

A quick personal note – I found this post hard to write and publish today. After the horrifying attack in Christchurch last week it feels foreign to write positively about anything just a few days later, let alone something that is so trivial in comparison. I suspect that feeling will linger and that we wouldn’t find the ‘right’ day for a while, so we decided to proceed. After all the hard work the team has put in to this project it deserves to be released and enjoyed.

However, I would like to take a moment to say please support the victims of the attack and your local Muslim communities however you can, they need our love more than ever. Kia kaha.