Welcome to Roundcube June 23rd, 2008

Roundcube, a webmail program, is now featured in cPanel’s recent release. Roundcube, just like its name, is a little…well…different. After spending much time pondering the origin of the name, I came to the conclusion that it is not another square peg meant to fit in a rather round hole. Roundcube is the round peg, that still is a square (think webmail) at heart, but not in look and function.

Roundcube Main Screenshot

Roundcube differs from the alternatives of Horde and Squirrelmail in that it functions much like a desktop email client such as Microsoft Outlook or Mozilla Thunderbird. This bit of news will fall on welcome ears for those who thought the previous cPanel webmail offerings fell short of the mark.

First things first, cPanel implemented an autoload utility that allows you to load up your webmail tool of choice when visiting the /webmail URL on your domain. The new feature includes a  redirect tool that offers the ability to specify the number of seconds that the redirect will take, which leaves you ample room to feel quite dangerous and choose an alternate webmail client each day while waiting for the redirect to complete.

If Roundcube were to be assessed in a single word, I would choose the word “smooth.” It offers a rather bland, yet useful, interface that does have a slight learning curve. Included in the design are icons at the center top of the page which are not labeled with text. You can hover your mouse over them to find out their functions After using Roundcube for a while, you’ll know them automatically. These will fade out when they are unavailable – such as when no message is highlighted.

The message pane in Roundcube is one of those features that feels just like a traditional email application. To select a message, simply click on it There are no annoying checkboxes to click. (Finally, someone has listened!) Selecting a message in Roundcube highlights just as it would in Outlook. Notice that you can drag and drop an email to a folder as well. To highlight multiple individual messages, simply use your control key and click on the appropriate messages. To highlight a group of messages, such as every message on the page, hold your shift key and click. These features improve  the webmail experience in general, and make Roundcube much more user friendly than the alternatives.

On the top bar, you’ll notice a send/receive button and an address book. The “Personal Settings” button leads to the best and simplest feature set of any of the cPanel webmail choices. Here you can select basic features such as timezone, language, automatic draft saving, and whether or not you want to use HTML in your emails. The “Folders” tab allows you to create, edit, and remove folders as needed. Finally, the “Identities” tab allows for the management of your webmail identities. It means that you can set reply-to addresses, display names, organization names, bcc recipients, and your signature.

Composing a message is simple with Roundcube. Simply click on the icon to do so from the main screen. You’ll notice that everything is pretty much self explanatory via icons here. The great feature here is that attachments can be attached from the left side of your current screen. Simply click the “+” box and browse and upload your file.

Send an Email in Roundcube

Roundcube is simply simple. This welcomed addition to cPanel provides the next generation of webmail usability with desktop-like interface. The introduction of Roundcube might even bring a few people to the dark side (of webmail). This is a tremendous improvement upon the existing webmail offerings included with cPanel.

And, as always, Idologic will be available should you need any help. Don’t ever hesitate to ask us a question.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *