iThemes Hosting Scope of Support
Your website is critical and it must be available 24/7/365. But you don’t have the time to maintain servers and networks. You chose iThemes Hosting so you could focus on your website and not the infrastructure. But, sometimes, things go wrong and you need help.
We have support technicians who know the iThemes Hosting platform and included plugins that can help pinpoint problems when they occur. But we strive to do more than that – we want to Make People's Lives Awesome.
To that end, we will do our best to advise and consult when developing and maintaining your iThemes Hosting website.
Our iThemes Hosting platform is supported by the Most Helpful Humans in Hosting and backed by the industry’s best guarantees. Our team is available to provide assistance on a wide array of requests relating to your iThemes Hosting platform and the features we offer.
We work through queue-based support systems that enable us to handle requests in the order in which we receive them.
The iThemes Hosting 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 is designed and optimized for the use of WordPress and iThemes themes and plugins. When you create your website on our platform you get the latest technologies.
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, as technologies advance, newer versions are released and replace older versions which become unsupported by their developers. We will 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. Also, as the caretaker 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.
Plugins, Themes, and Custom Code
The iThemes Hosting platform includes state-of-the-art servers and software designed, tested and integrated to work seamlessly with WordPress websites from our feature-rich Sync Dashboard. Our experts can provide advice on how to configure and utilize your services. 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 iThemes Hosting platform some custom code may conflict with our systems. While we are happy to consult 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 their developers exclusively. 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 iThemes Hosting product provides you with a platform to host your websites. Sometimes your website started somewhere else – maybe on your local server or at a different hosting company. The best way to get your site up and running with us is through the use of BackupBuddy which comes with your iThemes Hosting purchase. You can use BackupBuddy to generate the backup and ImportBuddy to restore the site to your account here. We also have a detailed migration article for you to review. If you run into issues with the migration process, our team will be glad to assist you with.
Most times, this process will cause your website to start right up as soon as it's complete. However, we have test links you can use to evaluate your website before you have to repoint your DNS service. This will allow you to make absolutely certain that things are working as they need to before sending your live traffic to the site.
If your website doesn’t come up, our team can advise and help evaluate where you may be running into issues. But, because we do not have expertise in 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
You know your business and you know how you want to get your message 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 to your development team. However, coding, debugging, website design, website development, search engine optimization (SEO) and plugin customization exist outside our expertise and are beyond our scope of support.
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 iThemes Hosting platform and can provide guidance on performance optimization. While we do not conduct optimization services, ourselves, we have a range of experience about what works best with our products at your disposal.
Keeping your website, data and customers secure is critical to your success. The iThemes Hosting product places all of your website data into segregated file structures in our infrastructure. Access is limited and secured. In addition, you can control access to your files via an SFTP user created for you during account creation.
As your partner, we ensure that the data center infrastructure, as well as platform hardware and software, are up-to-date and secure. 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 WordPress and its associated plugins is critical to maintaining security.
Disasters happen. 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 iThemes Hosting product includes a subscription to BackupBuddy to generate the backups for you. You can use it to tailor several backup choices and deploy it on websites critical to your business. As well as allowing your backups to be sent to a remote destination to keep them from being stored on your server.
The iThemes Hosting platform does maintain snapshots that go back up to 32 hours; however, they are not a guarantee and are used for infrastructure recovery instead of individual website restoration. Based on infrastructure constraints, iThemes Hosting may clear these snapshots at any time and customers should not consider these as your backup solution. Ultimately, you are responsible for backing up your critical data and storing this data in an accessible location. Best practices would have any backups stored separately from the server the website resides on.
Data and Third Party Services
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 iThemes Hosting (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.