XenoPanel launched in September 2016, and the initial plan was just a simple project for small servers to use. But within the first few months, XenoPanel started to expand faster than we could have ever predicted and to this day XenoPanel has seen a massive amount of clients using XenoPanel both for small-scale servers and commercial hosting.
Below is a little peek into some of the basic stats from the beginning of XenoPanel:
- XenoGet has collected over 5000 Modpacks & Versions.
- XenoGet CDN has delivered over 300TB (Over 2,500,000 downloads) worth of Modpacks, Versions & Plugins.
- XenoStats has detected over 5,000,000 servers started, stopped or restarted.
- XenoChecker has blacklisted just shy of 100 users.
- XenoTickets has seen over 4,000 tickets submitted & answered.
- XenoRoadmap received over 6000 votes for future features.
You have to bear in mind that these statistics are rough estimates. The reason for showing these is not to attempt to show off or give competitors an inside scoop but to be more transparent and show everyone who uses or intends to use XenoPanel how much we've grown over the past year. XenoPanel is growing faster than it has ever been before, and this is mostly now through word of mouth, people talking and sharing the panel as marketing stopped when we started working on the next XenoPanel—XenoPanel².
You don't have to read everything, we've made main topics bold so you can scroll to where you like, or read everything as 99% of this post is important!
So what is XenoPanel²? What's going on!
Developing XenoPanel solo (for 99% of the code) was one of the hardest but most enjoyable projects I've ever done and was also a huge learning curve, going from previous projects into XenoPanel, but was launched. It was never planned from the beginning to be a "commercial" project but something that a small community could use. While features were continually added and as we launched, the number of people joining, purchasing and using the panel was something that came without notice, and I quickly had to adapt with these by releasing faster updates, more features, and bug fixes. But with each update or bug fixes, more issues arose as the core code just wasn't what I wanted it to be, leading to even more issues in the long run.
Shortly after the 188.8.131.52 update of XenoPanel1, it was decided to rewrite XenoPanel from the ground up taking what was learned from the initial version and creating a more stable, secure & flexible control panel codenamed XenoPanel v1.1 but now known as XenoPanel².
If you've been keeping track of the XenoPanel community Discord, you'll know that for the past few months we've been working with users to use an ALPHA and BETA version of XenoPanel², and in this time we nailed down on the features, security and any bugs that have been identified.
A typical question will be "how can anyone be sure that XenoPanel² is more secure and reliable than XenoPanel1?" Looking back at the time of XenoPanel1, two (2) exploits were unfortunately confirmed. And no matter how quickly corrections and patches were issued and pushed live ASAP, an exploit is an exploit. XenoPanel took a lot of backlash for these exploits, and we understand why, but sadly these days exploits are an ever growing thing in everything from Windows, Linux, SolusVM, WHMCS and a lot of mainstream software and programs and that includes other control panels. And the best anyone can do is work to improve and secure all code. During the development of alpha and beta we've been doing just that and are confident that XenoPanel² is far more secure than its predecessor, and this will only improve. For any previous clients who felt that XenoPanel1 didn't meet the standard they expected, or thought that it had too many issues... We agree. And we hear you and the community. XenoPanel² is, in many ways, what XenoPanel1 should have been, but this time, it is bigger and better. Give XenoPanel² a chance, and we will show you. We're also going to be taking steps to offer greater rewards for bug and exploit reporting and will work with 3rd-party developers and security specialists to ensure that XenoPanel² will always be in the best shape it can be.
New pricing structure:
Pricing is always a hard topic to talk about, and the changes to our pricing structure might be viewed in both good and bad ways. XenoPanel² offers a new, higher-tier package for the larger hosts or servers that want more out of XenoPanel such as discounts in our new Marketplace system, better license cache, more version downloads per month, faster access to features & private machine managing.
Changes to pricing and plans are shown below, and we feel the benefits of the changes below in the long-term will grow along with developers, add-ons, themes & more.
- Basic (Previously Static) has had limitations put in place (Now 10 servers MAX) & has been changed from $10.00/one-time to $5.00/per-month. The main reason for this is to future-proof XenoPanel² paying for hardware, future developers and, in general, upkeep of XenoPanel as a company. We understand that going from a one-time fee to per-month is a significant change. However, we believe the pricing is still lower than a lot of the other panels available in the market. We also offer $10 off if purchased for a year in advance.
- Premium (previously Dynamic) will no longer have the Private Machine Manager but will now include a 48-hour License cache instead of 24 hours. Pricing for Premium will remain $10.00/mo and can still be used for commercial purposes which makes it ideal for the smaller host or network.
- Extended is the new package being offered as mentioned above. It is $150.00/mo but comes with a lot of added goodies that larger hosts will benefit from such as unlimited machines, meaning you no longer need 1 license per machine! This package is not for everyone, it's there for anyone with over 15 machines and who is heavy with using XenoPanel.
The new pricing & details of each plan can be found here: https://xenopanel.com/pricing
Existing client grandfather clause:
With the new pricing structure in place, I'm sure a lot of you are now asking: "what happens if you have a XenoPanel1 Static License or XenoPanel1 Dynamic license?"
If you have purchased a XenoPanel1 Static AFTER the 31st of July 2017, you will need to open a ticket requesting a transfer from XenoPanel1 to XenoPanel². You will be grandfathered into the XenoPanel² Basic plan free of charge for 6 months. If you are someone who purchased XenoPanel1 Static BEFORE the 31st of July 2017, then you'll need to open a ticket requesting a change. HOWEVER, your usage logs will be checked, and we have the final decision on whether you will be grandfathered into XenoPanel² Basic license or not.
If you are a XenoPanel1 Dynamic License user, you'll need to open a ticket requesting a transfer to XenoPanel² Premium. This is free of charge as XenoPanel1 Dynamic and XenoPanel² Premium are the same cost. Please note that you'll only need to open a ticket requesting a switch if you want to use XenoPanel². If you would like to carry on using XenoPanel1, you are free to do so. Do note however that XenoPanel1 will no longer be getting updates.
You have the option to open a ticket using the billing system, or in our Discord using the command '>ticket create'.
You can join our discord here: https://discord.gg/E47GTK9
You can submit a ticket here: https://xenopanel.com/billing/submitticket.php
XenoPanel² BETA Access & XenoPanel² Founders Package:
If you are someone who supported XenoPanel by purchasing a BETA Access license or Pre-Ordered XenoPanel² by purchasing a XenoPanel² Founders Package, then your rewards are on the way!
If you purchased a XenoPanel² BETA Access, then you'll carry on being a BETA tester and get hands-on with features, add-ons & themes before they are made public. You are also entitled to convert your BETA Access into a Full XenoPanel² Basic license, but once you do this, you'll lose your BETA Access as the license cannot be used for both. If you decide to transfer your license into a full Basic license, you'll be issued a license for 12 months free.
If you are someone who purchased a XenoPanel² Founders Package, please open a ticket (discord or billing tickets) so that we can issue you everything offered with the package.
WHMCS Module & API:
With XenoPanel², the API was completely rewritten which gave us the perfect opportunity to change how the current WHMCS module works along with finally getting around to adding Source support as it was a highly requested feature within the Source game hosting community. The new XenoPanel² WHMCS Module has been stripped down and works in a unique way that will allow for future other modules such as Blesta or unique billing systems to be able to use the same API without needing to change the configuration within WHMCS.
We are introducing a new feature called "Module Plans Manager, " and within XenoPanel² you create plans for any service you want to offer. Each plan has an ID, and once you have the plans you want, you'll give this ID to the product module settings within WHMCS or the billing system you are using, and this is used to control the server generated.
Templating & Developing:
One of the top priorities when starting XenoPanel² was giving a lot more customizability on how the panel looks, page layouts and offering the ability for custom pages, add-ons & themes. XenoPanel² has been split into 3 main sections:
- (Views) When in views you'll be able to copy the default themes from /views/templetes/default and create custom themes based on the default and edit anything from headers, navigation, and each feature. When a new update comes out, you'll be given a list of pages in the Views that's been changed in the default theme, and from that, you can change your custom theme to match the changes.
- (Protected) This is where everything above the views files are stored and will supply views with classes, variables, arrays and more, ready for use within Views. Protected files are encoded with ionCube and cannot be changed.
- (Core) These are anything outside of the templating system such as crons, admin & includes. Anything core related tends to be pre-loaded before protected & views.
If you are a developer looking to make themes or add-ons, a list of classes and how the template system works is provided on our website.
Developers Guide: https://xenopanel.com/website/documentation/api
Updates Moving Forward:
When we released XenoPanel1, we planned to release updates in blocks whenever it seemed like a good time, and we had enough changes to feel valued of an update. However, when it blew up and bug reports started rolling in, people wanting more features or things needed changing, we decided to go with a weekly update. But looking back, it's something we regret doing as it made for rushed content and also meant some clients would be 2-3 updates behind before updating.
XenoPanel² updates will be a lot more relaxed to allow XenoPanel developers greater time to develop and perform in-depth tests of features that are added and each bug that needs to be patched. The current plan is one update each month. That's 12 updates per year. Each update, instead of using version numbers (e.g. XenoPanel² v0.1), will now be given a unique and easily identifiable name like "XenoPanel² Update Pluto".
I also want to note that the monthly updates do NOT include add-ons or themes. Any updates for add-ons and themes can be at any time as these are smaller content changes and are easier to deploy compared to a global-scale update.
The New Marketplace:
With the ever-growing list of features XenoPanel developers & XenoPanel clients want to see, it was decided that a new marketplace system would be added to offer modular add-ons and themes without the need of a global panel update each time we wanted to add a feature into XenoPanel. With the marketplace, this also means a fresh-install of XenoPanel² is close to barebones, and it allows clients the opportunity to decide which features the panel should or shouldn't have.
The Marketplace is the new location where XenoPanel developers and developers outside of XenoPanel can create add-ons or themes and add them to the marketplace either as a free or paid download based on what the add-on is. How does a developer get a product into the marketplace? When you make an add-on or theme, you can open a ticket or private message one of the XenoPanel developers and the product will be reviewed to ensure that the addon is safe, well coded and is unique within the Marketplace. Each add-on, depending on what it is, can either be open-source or encoded but the decision is for whoever made the add-on.
On top of the community being able to develop add-ons/themes that can then be put into the new marketplace, as an extra reward for being apart of the marketplace community, you'll be rewarded with "points." These can then be redeemed for credit on our billing system to be used for licenses, add-ons, themes & PayPal withdraws. We hope to expand the marketplace with the community and turn it into a large collection, making each panel unique depending on the add-ons and themes used.
XenoPanel² is a base, filled with great features and systems. But with add-ons available in the marketplace, it gives each panel the chance to be different and unique.
With the change of pricing as exaplained above, we also wanted to give back to anyone who supports XenoPanel month in and month out and with that came the idea of credit cashbacks.
Credit cashbacks are for monthly renew products anything after the first months payment and will place 5-10% of the invoice total back into your account as credit as a thank you for the support. The percentage is randomly generated and you will be noticed in Discord of the amount earned.
The credit in your account can be used for other invoices, products & even used in our new Marketplace to purchase thems, addons and more.
As the credit cashbacks are a giving back feature, this will only be offered to people who have joined our discord and verified there account. How do you verify? Simply join our Discord (https://discord.gg/E47GTK9) and use the command '>verify', Our BOT Eden will message you the final instructions.
If you decide to verify and then leave the server we understand that however, we recommend you stick around as our Developers post constant updates and details along with also offering giveaways and much faster support.
Developing XenoPanel² took a lot of time. We took what we learned with XenoPanel1 and applied it to XenoPanel² in the best way possible. And without some people, XenoPanel² might not even be around today. Below is a list of people who took the time to help, did work for XenoPanel² or in general had crazy support with XenoPanel² and what we want for the future control panel.
- Lou (Created XenoPanel² branding, helped develop pages on the new XenoPanel² frontend & keep all the BETA testers in check.)
- Dylan (Helped in brainstorming, debugging code & thinking of ideas for future add-ons & themes. He also created one of the very first dark themes.)
- Tom (Worked with us closely to create Source Games scripts, FastDL support & general support with Source Games.)
- Derkades (Developed XenoCore & XenoStatistics—an add-on that will be used to offer more in-depth statistics on top of our default statistics.)
- TechBanana (Created our new Update Planet logos that'll be seen in the coming months for each update.)
- Thanh (Offered a boat-load of support to users in our discord & has worked his way up the ladders to now join the ticket support team.)
Liam Denston - XenoPanel Lead Developer