HostDeploy, but the control panel should be easily and effectively brandable to any business reselling hosting. (brand neutral)
HostDeploy is working on an awesome new style of reseller website hosting. We are adding automated billing to our reseller offering through our parent company SnapBill, as well as providing branded technical support in for a completely white-label and fully brandable experience.
This challenge is only for the hosting control panel as the automated billing system (http://www.snapbill.com) is already launched.
Since you're all web and graphic designers we think you'll have the best idea of what this brandable hosting control panel needs to look like, so we're leaving our specification very open. Imagine the hosting control panel of your dreams. Make it practical and brandable with a focus on usability and quality interface design. Then let us have it.
Think simple not complicated, we want anybody and everybody to find this control panel intuitive and easy to use, but keep it professional.
The end users of this system are primarily going to be the clients of website design companies, your clients, or any business choosing to resell website hosting. The website design companies/hosting resellers will often use the system themselves so it should also be efficient to use and preferably look amazing.
* Some form of inline or well integrated help is needed since many users will not understand what an "email forwarder" or "parked domain" is. Hiding and showing additional help should be easy and intuitive in the design.
* The design must be fully brandable. We will need a spot for a custom logo. The design should also be based on a primary colour which will be picked by the reseller. We are open to having a secondary colour choice as well if it allows for a significantly prettier design. Gradients may be used to refine the design.
* Since website designers will be using the control panel with a number of different sites, an easy way to switch between them is needed. A neat drop-down is sufficient. This should be available on all pages to allow for easy switching to the same control panel page (subpage) under a different website.
* We would prefer icons that appear modern be used to visually indicate functional groups/sections of the control panel. (E.g. Email, Website, Database, Domain, Configuration, Account). Larger icons may work on the main page while smaller icons may work better on the subpage.
* We wish to have a section to show recent announcements, outstanding balance (pay now) and disk space / bandwidth usage with the ability and indicators to scale up. A cool interactive way to show this would be great.
A main page or landing page with the most common tasks. A subpage for when a specific section is selected such as "email accounts". It must again be easy to navigate from the subpage and access functionalities.
* Dashboard (main page)
This should be the front dashboard a user will see straight after login. There should be links to all the major pages on the site (perhaps categorised)
- Email: check webmail, manage accounts
- Website: file manager, view stats, one click install (for common scripts etc)
- Database: phpMyAdmin, manage access
- Domain name: parked domain names, edit dns zones
- Configuration: php settings, cron jobs, spf setup, anti-spam
- Account: change password, upgrade package
* Sample control page (subpage)
These are the pages to control one of the services, only one is needed
Example (Page under Email->Manage Accounts)
- View current set up email accounts
- Add a new account (preferably without another page load)
- Modify an email account
Some examples of existing control panels that we dislike:
We need something awesome, simple yet functional and fully brandable. Usability is key. If you have used Plesk or cPanel you know what a massive nightmare they can be. We do not want copies of these we want something revolutionary.