Renewing our infrastrucutre management system

Hey Guys,
It made a time.
We are recently improving quite a lot of our management panels around.
And I came across one big issue, everything is a bit everywhere.

The current issue is that we have for mails Direct Admin and Plesk for WebHosting.
All this is managed by WHMCS.

I want to unify it a bit to keep everything pretty simple.
I was thinking to pass it to DA but Interworx seems also pretty interesting.

The biggest issue I have is to simplify the fact that if you order a domain + one web hosting it automatically manages the DNS.
I was thinking of scripting this but it isn’t truly a solution.
The DNS is managed directly via WHMCS, but what do you think? I should maybe manage it on DA? But if the person doesn’t order a Web hosting then he can’t manage the DNS records…
It’s really quite hard because I want to make it simple as possible.

Also, do you think it’s worth switching from WHMCS to Hostbill?
In my taste, Plesk is hard to use for the end-users.
Cpanel is dead right? DA is great but I don’t know, ApisCP looks too far away from WordPress, and Interworx looks also limited.

So what would be your recommendations?
Making the system easy would be the best, I was thinking of adding Sitepad and CrossBox but damn wouldn’t it be too much for a customer to manage?

You can’t go wrong with DA. It can manage the DNS fine, including replicating DNS to other DNS Servers if required.

Hostbill would be my choice I think if I needed another panel, but we use Blesta. I’ve never used WHMCS as a provider, but Blesta does everything we need and their support team are always helpful.

But on the other side, I’d prefer an all-in-one billing and VM management solution - so looking at the option of switching to an in-house solution.


Mhmm really interesting for DA indeed, I will give a look at Blesta too.
I was thinking about doing it in house but it would be too long at my taste, or at least have something really stable while we develop it.

Thanks for the tips!

Just wonder what you mean by this?
ApisCP is pretty cool, in my opinion. :slight_smile: (But I’m not a typical hosting provider, my use case is a bit different.)

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ApisCP is a great product.

I’ve not had chance to really use the license I have - I’d like to do some test plans and put them to some end users (a lot of the people who use my DA setup are tech savvy but not admins so it’d be interesting to get their thoughts, as well as some non-techy people.

@Poli is your main services shared hosting? (just as you mention DA/cPanel/etc).

On the hosting forums everyone seems to go on about cpanel being the “standard” (or use to be) but I’d never heard of it when I first started with shared hosting - they were all custom solutions (or at least half decent themes on cpanel).

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Well I didn’t used a lot Plesk to be honest. But I asked to a few of my customers and they said it looks too complicated.
Cpanel is the same company as Plesk and there pricing isn’t really good anymore from what I saw. Maybe k should still try it but yeah…
I also founded out something else, it’s that everyone uses mailchannels as mail relay because they are the only one providing automatic domain verification with Cpanel (obviously those providers use Cpanel too).
I would love to provide mail + shared hosting in two independent way, but using two panels for it would make it too complicated I think.

We are currently doing this two panel method, but I don’t know I think it doesn’t fit.
Our main service is not really this to be honest, in the backend it’s more cloud dedicated servers surprisingly and custom solutions.

We already offer shared hosting but at my taste compared to site ground or such the management interface is too hard for newbies.

The main problem I always had with whmcs is the link between Domains, DNS and the panel.
It’s hard to unify those because if someone buys the domain at us it’s managed on our portal, but if someone wants his DNS hosted we don’t provide anything for now and he should add the records on his DNS server, I don’t know if we should add such a service or not.

My goal here is really to make the customer experience as easy as possible. Because often it’s non techsavy people’s coming around, and they are afraid to ask for help.

So yeah all to say I don’t know :rofl:

Well, after testing it around I really liked it. But the interface feels more that it was built for website made by hand using PHP/MySQL,… Than any apps like WordPress, …
I find it’s already complicated to find all the menus for those apps. Because you need to press first select of your domain/subdomain and then you find the apps. I don’t know how to explain it.
I really like apiscp too because of all the integration, but the interface could be more clear, maybe like cpanel with big dumb buttons :smiley:

Why can’t you use DA (or another panel) for both?

Unless a client needs their own mail server, we just use DA’s mail for shared hosting customers, with Mailchannels as an outgoing relay.

Sounds like us - shared hosting isn’t the main service but it’s a nice addon. Usually from existing clients/their friends/etc who don’t need a VM/management but just somewhere cheap to put a site.

From making it simple, I think really the only option to make a custom panel so everything is via 1 login and all looks the same. You don’t have to write everything from scratch - your panel can just talk to cpanel/DA via API, proxmox/virtualizor via their API, PowerDNS (or similar) via an API for your DNS.
There’s lot of great products out that do a great job of what they’re meant to do, but they are all “separate” from an end user POV - that’s why I’m looking at options for our own panel.

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Thanks for all the informations !

About mailchannels how do you manage it. Because if I am right you need to validate each domains ?
And DA hasn’t an addon for this.

I was thinking of using ses with a custom script that validates the domain via dkim if it’s on our DNS.

Not with MailChannels but you do with SES.

All I did was adjust the default DNS template to include MailChannels in the default SPF record for all domains.

Ah interesting I didn’t knew mailchannels did such a thing.

Do you also offer domain registration? And if yes how do you manage dns in those cases, because they can also just order a domain without a web hosting. There is so much scenarios.
As always thanks for your help and clarifications and to be open about that :smiley:

Not currently.

It was something I’ve looked at, and would like to offer, but as per your issue - making it easy for the end users was my concern, and no one has ever really asked for it.

I normally just offer to help people point their domains at our name servers (or advise on A/AAAA/etc records if they don’t want to do that).

By cPanel you probably mean Softaculous. :wink:
I actually prefer ApisCP :slight_smile: