There are plenty of reasons why cPanel / WHM is the leading control panel for Linux servers and one of these is the great email hosting features it offers. Email hosting is constantly being developed and upgraded on cPanel & WHM, so if you’re a reseller or system administrator who is considering using it, this post will discuss some of the new features that have been added over the last year or so.
SubAddressing is a well-used technique that provides a user with multiple email addresses which can be used to filter incoming email without having to configure filters for individual senders. It has been part of cPanel & WHM since Version 58.
SubAddressing works by dividing the local-part of an email address into two parts, separated by a plus sign, ‘+’. Say, for example, you had the email address [email protected] and you had signed up for an email subscription from a hosting blog. You could create an email subaddress called [email protected]. This can then be used to filter the incoming blog posts into a specially created ‘hosting blog’ email folder.
As each subaddress is unique, an added bonus of this is that it is fairly easy to discern which of the companies you subscribe to are sharing your email address with third parties.
MDBox is an email storage format that provides system administrators with a better alternative to the commonly used Maildir – both of which are used by the Dovecot mail application found on cPanel & WHM servers. Like SubAddressing, it was introduced in Version 58.
The main difference between the two formats is that Maildir uses ‘one mail to one file’ storage for emails, while MDBox uses ‘multiple mails to one file’ storage. For server administrators, the benefit of allowing multiple emails to be stored in a single file is a reduction in inode use. This speeds up any other processes that need disk access, such as backups and account transfers.
- SNI Support in Dovecot
A key objective of cPanel’s introduction of AutoSSL was to eradicate domain-mismatch SSL errors. This would help to prevent confusion among users and, consequently, reduce the burden on reseller and system administrator technical support.
This has now been achieved (Version 60) by adding SNI support across cPanel, including for proxy subdomains and common service subdomains. As a result, email users can now set up secure connections to the mail server using their own domain name and will no longer be faced with the issues of mismatching.
- Email Account Settings
A major headache for many email users who wish to use an alternative to webmail is setting up their accounts on platforms such as Outlook or Thunderbird. With so many devices, applications and email formats such as PoP3 and IMAP, this can be very confusing for the user and a burden on resellers or system admins.
To help cPanel users cope with this, they have introduced a ‘send email account instructions’ service that users can access directly from the webmail interface. This enables users to send themselves instructions to correctly configure any cPanel-hosted email account. This even works for mobile devices. All they need to do is confirm the settings and enter their password.
If even this proves difficult for the user, system admins and resellers can use their WHM account login to send the setup instructions on their behalf.
- IMAP Full-Text Search Indexing
One of the newest features of cPanel & WHM is IMAP full-text search indexing. For those of us desperately searching for that long-forgotten, elusive message buried within the mountain of email we keep stored on our servers, this can prove to be a godsend.
Quite simply, with IMAP full-text search indexing, if you can remember some of the text in the message, it will provide blisteringly fast search results, even if the email is hosted on the server. It works on smartphones, iOS devices, Outlook, Thunderbird and more.
To access this feature, you’ll need to enable SOLR which is found in Version 64 and upward.
- iOS and Android push notifications
cPanel / WHM has now added support for email push notifications on both Android and iOS devices. iOS took a lot longer to implement due to Apple’s configuration requirements – however, as of Version 64, notifications are available on devices using either system.
- Mail compression on delivery
An upcoming feature to be seen in Version 66, mail compression on delivery will help reduce the amount of storage email takes up on your cPanel server. Mail will be compressed as it is delivered, and when used in conjunction with MDBox, not only will it reduce the amount of disk space needed, it will also boost the speed of your email hosting.
As you can see, cPanel / WHM is continuing to develop support for email hosting, providing a range of useful features that enable system admins and resellers to offer their end users better email services.
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