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WHMCS ChrisD

How can we make the community better in 2017?

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Hi Everyone,

 

I'm opening this thread to start a general discussion. Part of my role at WHMCS involves helping grow and foster the WHMCS community in 2017, and a large part of that is right here on the forums. With that in mind, I'd love to hear your thoughts and ideas on the following questions:

 

 

  • What do you feel is working well?
  • What do you feel could be improved?
  • What would you like to see more of?
  • What could we do to make the forums more useful for you?

 

Any other thoughts and comments are also welcome.

 

Please take a few moments to let us know below, or if you prefer, you can log a private thread in the Forum Assistance Category or send me a PM. I look forward to hearing your open, honest and constructive feedback.

 

Thanks!

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What good does it do to actually voice opinions that would make the community (or company) better as a whole? Neither you, nor the rest of the team at WHMCS listen.

Case in point:

It's been said, since inception, on the forums that you need to bring back proper developer documentation. Has this happened yet? No, in fact, it looks like you've made it worse. Not you, specifically, but the company you represent.

 

You ask for opinion, yet when you get it, you don't do a thing about it, but make the problem worse.

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What good does it do to actually voice opinions that would make the community (or company) better as a whole? Neither you, nor the rest of the team at WHMCS listen.

Case in point:

It's been said, since inception, on the forums that you need to bring back proper developer documentation. Has this happened yet? No, in fact, it looks like you've made it worse. Not you, specifically, but the company you represent.

 

You ask for opinion, yet when you get it, you don't do a thing about it, but make the problem worse.

 

Thanks for your feedback, this thread is not asking about the Development Documentation, nor anything else other we do other than the forum.

 

I would point out that we have started implmenting improvements on the forum, take the Mobile Theme as a prime example, now whilst the request has been made to add WYSIWYG to it vBulletin has a platform limitation around it that doesn't allow it in the Mobile Themes. In addition I am working to address the issues flagged with Cloudflare particularly around the code samples. Now, if you have anything constructive to add about the forums and what you'd like to see then I'd like to hear it

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It's been said, since inception, on the forums that you need to bring back proper developer documentation.

 

@twhiting9275 The new developer docs pages are in their infancy as we have just rolled out the new changes for this.

 

If you see there is something that is missing, or could use better documentation, please feel free to fork the repo from here: https://github.com/WHMCS/developer-docs

 

Then you will have a version in which you can make modification to and submit a Pull Request for review and if accepted will be merged into the upstream.

 

This will work for everything in the developer docs pages except for the hooks and api lists as these are pulled directly from the doc blocks in the source code itself.

 

You are more than welcome to submit an issue for one of these via GITHUB or open a bug case to have this investigated so we can input the proper case type and have it added.

 

Thanks!

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I'm a great fan of the improved mobile theme.

 

Also finding these forums a great resource again now that Infopro is not passively (and not so passively) being a *@#$ to users here.

 

I'd like to see extra integration with the Feature Requests. A way to link a thread to one or to be able to vote directly. Even a SSO would be a good step forward :)

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I'm a great fan of the improved mobile theme.

 

I'd like to see extra integration with the Feature Requests. A way to link a thread to one or to be able to vote directly. Even a SSO would be a good step forward :)

 

Thanks for your feedback Damo, glad to hear you like the mobile theme, I'll add SSO to the list to see what we are able to do

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Maybe the link to the forum via active WHMCS installation can bypass the waiting period?

 

Still have no access to edit my profile which is a basic thing in forums.

 

Seems actual owners, users of WHMCS could verify ourselves and bypass the filtering?

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Maybe the link to the forum via active WHMCS installation can bypass the waiting period?

 

Still have no access to edit my profile which is a basic thing in forums.

 

Seems actual owners, users of WHMCS could verify ourselves and bypass the filtering?

 

Thanks for your feedback HostCops,

 

The ability to edit your profile is restricted based on the rank you have on the community rather than via any form of authentication.

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Put brian! in charge of the forum and support.

 

He is almost the only who always provides serious help and answers...

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It seems logical to me that some WHMCS development staff (load could be shared) should be involved in forum discussions. While at times some do post, it doesn't seem to be with any consistency and often issues they weigh into are just left in the air.. ie they don't provide another update on the forum.

 

Surely it's reasonable to think that with a software community like this (used by so many people) a developer should always be available to weigh into development issues. Think of the support ticket loads it would save.. people usually (but not always) check a forum to see if the issue they are facing has been addressed before opening a ticket.

 

I know at Joomla we do this with each version: https://docs.joomla.org/Category:Version_3.6.5_FAQ (see the links to issues with the release lower on the page) WHMCS should IMHO do something similar here on the forum as they don't have any other location in public with such information.

Edited by xyzulu

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+1 on xyzulu's post - the developers should be responding to the questions in the developer forums. It's impossible to get any information there that really helps, the mods just try to answer with some pre written infos or links to documentation we already read. I always had to open a ticket, which makes the developer area of the forum useless in most cases.

 

The same goes for the feature requests, but this is not the topic here.

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+1 on xyzulu's post - the developers should be responding to the questions in the developer forums. It's impossible to get any information there that really helps, the mods just try to answer with some pre written infos or links to documentation we already read. I always had to open a ticket, which makes the developer area of the forum useless in most cases.

i'd go along with that too - they only rear their heads here during a beta period and once that's over, they disappear until the next beta... and so on. :roll:

 

any time you need to do something undocumented (or documented but the info there is wrong), you end up wasting time trying random ideas in the hope one will work... with nearly all the files being encrypted, and the documentation being flaky at best, the WHMCS developers would be a useful addition to the forums... even an occasional visit.

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An option to have more than 5 messages stored in the message system, it's to few!

 

Hi Itoverbilk,

 

Users receive more PMs as they move out of Newbie status which does require more interaction on the forums.

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Hi Itoverbilk,

 

Users receive more PMs as they move out of Newbie status which does require more interaction on the forums.

 

This is not blackhat forum or is it being used to sell subscription so you have to give regular members such limit.

Chris, I think you need to either quit being part of the community or find someone who is truly capable and willing to help like Brian.

 

We need WHMCS TEAM to provide solutions and not just make a post with no real solution.

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This is not blackhat forum or is it being used to sell subscription so you have to give regular members such limit.

Chris, I think you need to either quit being part of the community or find someone who is truly capable and willing to help like Brian.

 

We need WHMCS TEAM to provide solutions and not just make a post with no real solution.

as far as I remember, it wasn't possible for new members to send or receive PMs until they write 5 posts in the forums

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I think the PM limit for new users is not an indication of a bad community or any deficiency on WHMCS part. It's quite normal to have limits like this to reduce the likelihood of a spammer joining a forum and then spamming users.

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This is not blackhat forum or is it being used to sell subscription so you have to give regular members such limit.

Chris, I think you need to either quit being part of the community or find someone who is truly capable and willing to help like Brian.

 

We need WHMCS TEAM to provide solutions and not just make a post with no real solution.

 

Ecayer, firstly, thanks for your post, secondly, prior to me starting on the community new users where not able to Private Message at all, these limits are set to help prevent misuse of the private message system which has happened in the past, the other option is to take it away from users altogether. We are trying to have an open and constructive discussion, we need to balance the running of the community with ensuring people do not misuse the community features. It's common for these sort of limits to be imposed on any community,

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Posted (edited)

I would suggest killing that horrible system you have to suggest new features. Why not integrate this into the forums? Lets stop calling it a forum. Turn it into a community.

 

With some plugins or some coding nothing stops from you creating a section for feature requests where users can share and post ideas. Yes, you can also make a fancy voting for Yes or No options or down vote and up vote or categorize them by ideas, features, etc. You will even save money by not having to pay that external service anymore which is slow and buggy. Personally I find it annoying having to log in with separated logins. Now I have my customer login, my forum login, my feedback login. Ouch ! I think it would be far better to integrate that system in the forum. Nobody knows better than those using WHMCS and sharing in the community what is a bug or a feature.

 

Same for bugs. If tons of users vote that something is a bug, maybe it is. Or maybe a bug is a feature. You never know and this is why you need several persons or eyes deciding on this not fighting with Support to confirm one. Speaking of that, you would save tons of time for customers as well support if people could actually search and read bugs. I spend 2 hours yesterday reporting a bug that was already reported because of this for the simple reason I cannot see what was reported before.

 

But by far the biggest improvement you can do is tell WHMCS staff to be more active. Some companies make every employee share something at least once a day in their blogs or community. You should. I never see anyone from WHMCS here, like a ghost company. Learn from cPanel on this. I can’t stop saying this enough. There is no point in having a community if nobody that works in WHMCS or at least power users are here.

 

About those as well, if you don’t somehow reward your most loyal or active users, trust me, someday they will move on. The time someone spends in another company forum should be rewarded somehow, because time is money. Maybe you have give them a free badge not available to others, or maybe make some yearly prize contest or maybe you can credit them something that they can use towards their support costs or software upgrades with WHMCS. I would seriously consider this if you want people to be active.

 

Ideas for this consists of a button like Buy me a Beer or similar. There are some people you want to reward for their posts, other users want to reward them, so some type of Thank you or Reward button would do the trick. In order to avoid abusing a system like this, you could actually verify users that are WHMCS customers or with active licenses, those could be classified internally so there are no fake sign ups that abuse the forum while still letting the general public register and post.

 

Also, please switch to XenForo. Vbulletin is extremely insecure and buggy today. I'm sure you where hacked more than once just because you where using Vbulletin. Its even more buggy and slow on each new release. The interface is very messy and complicated. It lags with tons of things while Xenforo is very snappy on the interface. WoltLab is also a very good option.

 

Just my 2 cents.

Edited by yggdrasil

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Also, please switch to XenForo.

Not everyone loves Xenforo. I, for one, really hate it. ;)

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Thanks for your detailed thoughts yggdrasil, I'd like to spend a moment to address some if I may.

 

Many moons ago we did handle feature requests via these forums. The challenges doing it that way were; users suggesting the same ideas, no way to judge how many users agreed with a particular idea short of "Me too" type replies - which are made more difficult by the minimum post-length requirement - and no way to indicate at-a-glance the status of a suggestion.

 

The current feature request site is not perfect, but it does overcome these challenges and works better for us. When the site was launched it did have a login-share with these forums, but it didn't seem to work particularly well. That said, better integration between the feature request site/members area/forums is certainly something we can investigate further.

 

Here on the forums we do have user ranks; user start at Newbie and get promoted the more posts are made, each rank has its own unique badge below your name. We also have a special rank of Gearhead which is awarded to users who make a special contribution: https://forum.whmcs.com/showthread.php?118502-New-Gearhead-Sentq

You can also give users reputation for a particular post; click the "up/down arrow" icon below a user's post to add or subtract from the user's reputation.

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Hi Everyone,

 

I'm opening this thread to start a general discussion. Part of my role at WHMCS involves helping grow and foster the WHMCS community in 2017, and a large part of that is right here on the forums. With that in mind, I'd love to hear your thoughts and ideas on the following questions:

 

 

  • What do you feel is working well?
  • What do you feel could be improved?
  • What would you like to see more of?
  • What could we do to make the forums more useful for you?

 

Any other thoughts and comments are also welcome.

 

Please take a few moments to let us know below, or if you prefer, you can log a private thread in the Forum Assistance Category or send me a PM. I look forward to hearing your open, honest and constructive feedback.

 

Thanks!

 

To answer some of your questions,

 

Working well: the forum works?

Be improved: Better documentation, better technical support answers other than generic "not our problem", PHP7 support (seriously, why doesn't this product even support this yet?!), better support response times, more WHMCS staff around to assist on the forums.

See more of: Product specific: More documentation especially around common/uncommon errors (user shouldn't have to search for hours to find a resolution to an error that may have already been answered before), support for the latest PHP versions (why are you still running outdated versions?) Forum specific: more whmcs staff, especially devs that can answer technical questions without attitude or generic "its your setup/not our problem"

 

We were a previous client of WHMCS, left for a competitor's product, however we returned when the competitor's product couldn't keep up with the demands we were placing on it. We left WHMCS because of the poor support, lack of documentation, and frankly the terrible customer service. Since we have returned, I'm sad to say I don't believe things have gotten much better around here. The closer integration with cPanel has been beneficial but technical support answers to tickets are marginal at best and frankly, rarely solve issues the client is having.

 

To be honest, it feels like WHMCS is dying a slow, painful death. Lousy customer service, high prices, terrible technical support are all hallmarks of a dying company. I hope ChrisD that you honestly believe in improving the WHMCS community and providing customers with better support and connections to the WHMCS team as this has been something that has been lacking in the nearly 10 years we have been in business.

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Thanks for your feedback Agentblack, whilst this thread is primarily targeted at gathering Community Forum Feedback rather than product or support feedback I'd like to address some of your points.

 

Better documentation, better technical support answers other than generic "not our problem", PHP7 support (seriously, why doesn't this product even support this yet?!), better support response times, more WHMCS staff around to assist on the forums.

 

The documentation team are working to improve the content on docs.whmcs.com we've recently added a new documentation tutorial site over at help.whmcs.com

 

Better technical support answers other than generic "not our problem" better support response times,.

 

I'm sorry to hear you have had negative experiances with Technical Analysts, if you have some examples I'd be happy to flag these up to our Support Manager for review, In regards to support times whilst the support manager is better placed to answer this feedback we've added new Analysts to the team and our response times are coming down.

 

PHP7 support (seriously, why doesn't this product even support this yet?!).

 

PHP7 support was introduced in WHMCS V7 released on October 3rd 2016 you can review our current system requirements & supported environments for v7 at http://docs.whmcs.com/System_Requirements

 

more WHMCS staff around to assist on the forums.

 

In regards to more staff on the forum we do have Myself, John, and a couple of other members active on the forum I do hope to increase the amount of engagement over time, we also have some great community contributions from brian! & sentq our two gearheads along with a raft of other community members we aim to be fairly community driven on here but I appriciate your feedback and will include in our future considerations

 

more whmcs staff, especially devs that can answer technical questions without attitude or generic "its your setup/not our problem

 

We do have a couple of development team members that review the forums and answer threads as their schedule allows, they are usually very busy coding up the next release but i'll certainly take this feedback back to them, also if you feel you are getting a sub-par response from a member of the team then please do flag it, these reports come directly to me and I'm happy to review and flag these or reach out to me via Private Message.

 

Once again Agentblack, thank you for your feedback, I do appriciate it, I hope some of the answers have helped, if you have any other feedback around the forum please do feel free to post it

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Also finding these forums a great resource again now that Infopro is not passively (and not so passively) being a *@#$ to users here.

 

I'm sorry to add some negativity here, but I stopped using these forums for exactly that reason, and I know more people that have done the same. I almost stopped using the cPanel forums too, but there's a lot of good cPanel personnel and knowledgeable users to make it worth posting there. So, that's good news.

 

I'm really glad to read that there seems to be a genuine effort to improve the forums!

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Posted (edited)

What do you feel is working well?

+ Community Users Showcase: This should be emphasized more

+ Updated forum board theme, the login form especially nice

+ Forum load speed is always fast, I can't think of the last time I ever got lag on forum.whmcs.com

+ sentq and brian! are good role-models, they work well at making WHMCS succeed.

 

What do you feel could be improved?

+ do not make people login to download or view attachments

- Forum Sorting: By default, forum boards with most threads and posts should be at the top, respect visitor time and mouse clicks.

- CTRL + F keywords "hello" or "introduce" and you'll see there is no forum board for new members to say hello and introduce themselves.

+ move the free .host domain offer banner to footer... or else! (sike)

 

What would you like to see more of?

+ I want to see more replies by sentq and brian! - they are amongst the best thing this forum has to offer. I recommend giving them whatever they need so they may continually deliver the exact results everyone wants. Maybe you can even offer them some cash payouts to publish and write tutorials once a month for WHMCS based upon topics they believe the community most demands.

- WHMCS respecting other peoples time and desire to speak freely.

- Stop trying to censor the internet. If someone breaks a rule, do not delete or hide the message.

Edited by WHMCS ChrisD
Moderator Decisions are not up for debate, nor to be posted publically

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