We know that your website is critical and must be available 24/7/365. We also understand that you don’t have the time to maintain servers and networks. That’s why you’ve chosen Cloud Sites, so you could focus on your website and not the back-end infrastructure. But, sometimes, things go wrong and you need help. That’s why we have support technicians who know the Cloud Sites platform and can help pinpoint problems when they occur. But we have more than that – we have the Most Helpful Humans in Hosting to advise and consult when developing and maintaining your Cloud Sites website.
Our Cloud Sites platform is supported by the Most Helpful Humans in Hosting and is backed by the industry’s best guarantees. Our team is available 24/7/365 to provide assistance on a wide array of requests relating to your Cloud Sites platform and the features we offer.
Typically, we work through queue-based support systems that enable us to handle your requests in the order in which we receive them. However, if you have an urgent request, please reach out to our phone support or live chat for immediate assistance. You can reach us any time via phone, chat, tickets or at email@example.com.
The Cloud Sites platform is a shared, locally-redundant infrastructure providing multiple, diverse technologies for website development and use. This clustered environment ensures there are failover devices for your critical infrastructure needs without having to pay for multiple devices. It includes both PHP and Windows operating systems environments. When you create your website on our platform you can choose from several of the latest technologies. We keep two or more of the most current versions available at all times. And you are not limited to only one technology – for example, you can have both windows and PHP-based websites in the same account.
However, because these technologies are shared across all accounts, we can not tailor operating system versions to meet individualized customer requests. Our team will be glad to assist and provide guidance on code or modules which can be modified per site, but sometimes unique changes or code modules may not function in our standardized environments.
Also, we strive to always stay current with industry-standard technologies. As technologies advance, newer versions are released and replace older versions which become unsupported by their developers. We match industry standards and retire technologies as they reach the end of their sustainment periods. When these retirements take place, we will reach out to customers as early as possible to allow time to plan and update websites’ so that they work with newer technologies. We understand your need for the most feature-rich and secure versions so we constantly make the necessary moves to implement these updates. Also, as the caretakers of your infrastructure, we have to ensure the overall security of your environment and we will take action to ensure the safety of your websites.
One benefit of our platform that enables you to stay current with the latest updates, is the quick ability to change technologies. With just one click in the control panel, your website code can be processed by a different technology. This flexibility allows you to test and make changes on your schedule.
Content Management Systems
Cloud Sites allows you to use any number of different Content Management Systems. You can create your website from scratch, load your own code, or choose from several CMSs during the initial setup. For your convenience, our CMS installer includes the latest versions of Wordpress, Joomla, Drupal, Media Wiki, Windows IIS and more.
Typically, the installers start you out on the right foot and create the CMS administrator portal. However, if you run into any issues with provisioning the site or the CMS, our team will be glad to advise. Because of the shared nature of our infrastructure, some select CMSs may not work in our environment. If your CMS requires root access to the server, it is not a good fit for our shared environment. If you have a question about loading your CMS at any time, we are your support team and we can help point you in the right direction.
Plugins, Themes, and Custom Code
The Cloud Sites platform includes state-of-the-art servers and software designed, tested, and integrated to work seamlessly with Windows / .NET as well as Linux / PHP websites from the same Control Panel. Our experts can provide advice on how to configure and utilize core add-ons. However, our experts only provide limited support for custom themes and non-core third-party plugins. When time permits, our team can analyze logs and other errors to advise on the best course of action and alternate solutions.
Because we have fine-tuned our Cloud Sites platform, some custom code may conflict with our systems. While we are happy to consult with you on these issues, modifying or developing code is outside of our expertise and is best handled by your development team.
If a problem stems from a paid plugin or theme, the best channel to request support is through that specific plugin’s developers. Free plugins and themes are generally supported directly via the provider’s organization such as the WordPress.org forums. In all cases, our experts will be glad to recommend alternative plugins and themes that are supported and can be integrated into our platforms.
The Cloud Sites product provides you a platform to host your websites. Your website may have started somewhere else – maybe on your local server or at a different hosting company. To bring your website into the Cloud Sites platform, the most common migration method is to ‘zip’ or ‘tar’ your website files at the original location and then unpack those files in your Cloud Sites file structure. You can use FTP or the built-in file manager tool to accomplish this transfer. In addition, your control panel has quick links to database tools so you can upload your database. Depending on your Content Management System, database copies can be imported into your Cloud Sites database instance. If you run into any issues with file or database uploads, our team will be glad to assist you with these items.
Often, simply unpacking files, updating the setup/configuration, and pointing them to the appropriate database will cause your website to start right up. We have testlinks you can use to evaluate your website before you have to repoint your DNS service.
If your website doesn’t come up, our team can advise and help evaluate the areas where you may be running into issues. But, because we do not have expertise on the original configuration you used to create the website, our troubleshooting may be limited to logs and error reporting that we see from our infrastructure. Code updates will best be handled by developers you employ or contact to assist with the site deployment.
Website Development, Optimization
We understand that you know your business and that you know how you want to get your message across to your customers. Developing your website is critical and typically entails unique coding, customization of plugins, and data creation/management. Our team understands how important this process is to your success and we do work from a consultative standpoint with your development team. However, coding, debugging, website design, website development, search engine optimization (SEO), and plugin customization exist outside of our expertise and are beyond our scope of support and are best left to your development team.
Once the website design is complete, you’ll want it to hum for your customers. Besides hosting your website on the latest technologies, our technicians are experts on the Cloud Sites platform and can provide guidance on performance optimization of your site. While we do not conduct optimization services ourselves, we have a range of experience about what works best with our product at your disposal.
Another area we focus on is keeping your website, data, and customers secure. The Cloud Sites product places all of your website data into segregated file structures inside our infrastructure so that access to your data is limited and secured. In addition, you can control access to your files via users created in your control panel.
To help manage your customers, you can also create accounts within your master account (think of them as sub-accounts dedicated to specific clients) – providing an extra level of security and compartmentalization. Each sub-account is treated as its own compartment, even from the main account, to ensure there is no way for malware to spread across these account barriers that customers designate.
As your partner, we ensure that the data center infrastructure, as well as platform hardware and software, are up-to-date and secure. Upon request, we can also provide consultation on how you can secure individual sites. However, due to the customizations and unique development you create for each website, individual site security is ultimately your responsibility. Our technicians will provide guidance for good security practices but you need to ensure your sites remain up-to-date and correctly configured. Ensuring that your site is regularly updated with current releases for the content management system and associated plugins is critical to maintaining security.
Disasters happen. There may come a time when you make a change and your website no longer works. You use a plugin and it corrupts your database. Having a backup of your data, simplifies your recovery process and can be a lifesaver. The Cloud Sites product includes a 3rd party backup solution add-on that is usable directly from your control panel. You can tailor several backup choices and deploy it on websites that are critical to your business.
The Cloud Sites platform does maintain snapshots that go back up to 32 hours; however, they are not a guarantee and are targeted for infrastructure recovery instead of individual website restoration. Based on infrastructure constraints, Liquid Web may clear these snapshots at any time and does not recommend customers consider these as your sole backup solution. Our team will be happy to check the status of snapshots for your account, or you can view them via FTP yourself. Ultimately, you are responsible for backing up your critical data and storing this data in an accessible location. As a general best practice, we recommend that backups are stored separately from the server the website resides on.
The Cloud Sites product includes robust features to help manage your client base. You can create customer accounts to improve the visibility and organization of your clients and their websites. In addition, you can create unique usernames for your customers, giving them direct access to their websites and data. You can also control those customers’ access via your Cloud Sites Control panel.
Although it is not a requirement, placing each of your clients into separate accounts allows you to segregate the actions of one of your customers from impacting your other clients. This also helps to ensure the security and privacy of separate websites.
If you are a reseller and wish to obfuscate the use of the Cloud Sites platform, “White Label” control panels can be provided to your clients, giving them access to an administrator interface that is free of Liquid Web labeling. This “White Label” control panel frees you from several time-consuming aspects of website management but also prohibits clients from activating features that would be charged to your account.
Additionally, placing clients in individual accounts allows their reported usage information to be easier to review. This option allows you to determine which clients use what resources so you can charge them appropriately.
Data and Third-Party Services
We know that your data is critical. In many cases, it is your entire business – which is why you will never see our team manipulate your data. Since it’s too important for us to take any action on we will not delete, rename, or move your files, code, or development efforts unless given written direction to do so.
In addition, we understand that your databases and their optimization are vital. We can advise on database connectivity and performance issues, however, we do not troubleshoot queries or add/delete data. For critical database issues, we recommend that you contact a professional DBA.
Services that are handled outside of Liquid Web (DNS hosting, Security services, CDN services, or 3rd party Backups for instance) are not supported by our technicians. We will be glad to provide guidance when possible but do not perform configurations or customizations with third-party code or control panels.
We have trusted specialists, partners, and agencies to assist with needs outside of our scope of support. For additional information on these providers please contact our solutions team.
If you have any questions about our Cloud Sites scope of support, don't hesitate to contact us via phone, chat, or ticket. We are your support team, available 24/7/365 and are always happy to help our customers. For more Cloud Sites updates, be sure to follow us on Twitter and subscribe to the Liquid Web Blog.
About the AuthorMore Content by Linda Rutherford