Scope of Support
Updated May 30, 2023
Our support team is online 24/7, 365 days a year. We’re an experienced, close-knit team, and we offer support through tickets and our community forum. This article details the type of requests that fall within our scope of support and which do not.
GridPane is a self-managed hosting platform that allows for a tremendous amount of freedom and control when compared to other WordPress hosting solutions. Due to the number of options that we offer vs regular and “managed” hosting companies, expectations from our clients can vary wildly.
Table of Contents
Part 1. Getting Help
Knowledge Base (KB)
The knowledge base should always be your first stop. Every feature of our platform is thoroughly documented. Even the more complex topics are broken down into easy-to-follow steps, and you will be able to solve and avoid the more common questions/issues that we see.
We’ve invested over $100,000 into creating our knowledge base, and it is one of the most comprehensive hosting resources available. Our troubleshooting guides can be found here.
Support Tickets & Community Forum
We offer support through our community forum and ticketing, and we use a priority system to ensure that the most urgent issues related to our systems are addressed first.
Support for the Panel plan begins in our community forum. Our team members are active there 24/7, as well as other community members, so there’s assistance available from multiple places. If it’s an issue that only our team can solve (an issue within our stack or application), we’ll create a support ticket for you within our support system and continue with you there.
Developer, Developer Plus, and Agency accounts and above have the ability to create support tickets, but we also encourage the use of the community forum in instances where the answers to your questions may benefit the wider community and where it’s not specific to our software.
Part 2. Support for GridPane Software
Our support scope is to maintain the hosting stack, and this can involve some initial investigation into issues where it’s unclear whether the issue you may be facing is directly related to the server or to WordPress (or even to an external service connected to your site).
In 90+% of cases, issues we encounter are website-specific and not related to our service.
If you experience an issue with something not working correctly with our hosting stack, we’ll investigate and take care of any issues/bug reports that we can replicate as quickly as possible.
We take care of all the maintenance needed to keep the operating system up-to-date and our stack and app working correctly. This includes all security updates and any package updates that are beneficial to you. Learn more here:
Server Updates / Maintenance / Security Patches – What Updates Does GridPane Take Care Of?
Platform (Your Account Dashboard)
It is our responsibility to host and maintain our dashboard where you can manage your sites and servers, as well as to continually improve it to make your experience with us as streamlined as possible. If you spot a bug or even think you may have found one, please let us know, and we will investigate and fix the issue ASAP.
Part 3. Our Support vs Managed Hosts
Most “managed” WordPress hosts run a very specific server configuration within a strict and rigid framework that doesn’t allow for customization. They often have bans on many popular plugins, and due to these platform restrictions, their support teams have a far narrower focus than our own. If it’s inside their box, great! If not, sorry, no can do (and that is a totally fair and valid standpoint for them to take).
GridPane, on the other hand, offers two separate server stacks with two separate database options. As a GridPane customer, you have unlimited freedom to pick and choose your server provider and datacenter locations, you retain full root access to your servers, and we don’t impose any theme or plugin bans. We also include significantly more functionality and features than most hosts, and there’s nothing on our platform that prevents you from installing additional software on your servers if you want to.
This freedom, combined with our extensive features and ability to customize any of your website/server settings, means that not only do we see far more support tickets than we would otherwise, but there have been some misunderstandings in the past (especially at times when we have gone above and beyond our scope of support to solve WordPress-level issues that are the website developers responsibility).
This has led some clients to believe we should provide direct DevOps assistance and/or WordPress development assistance on-demand for free. This is beyond the scope of any host, including our direct competitor “managed” WordPress hosting providers.
Support for WordPress Professionals
The level of support we offer is far more wide-ranging than almost any other host, but it’s also more suited to professionals who work with WordPress and are comfortable with simple coding tasks.
Our team will work with you to solve issues, which means you are required to do basic debugging and help our team to help you. For example, you will need to read your website logs and include them in your tickets. In most cases, if you read them, you will probably quickly identify the issue and won’t even need our assistance.
360 Preemptive Support
Our 360 service is designed to monitor both your websites and your servers to offer a holistic, preemptive service that identifies issues before they might become critical.
It includes proactive monitoring that will automatically create a support ticket should we detect that one or more of your websites are down or are experiencing an issue. We’ll take care of the heavy lifting 24/7 and offer advice and guidance wherever needed.
DevOps as a Service
We do offer DevOps assistance as an additional service for complex issues. This starts at $250/hour for a minimum of 5 hours.
Part 4. Support Limitations
We will always strive to provide best-effort support, however, we can’t be the support team for your themes, plugins, or other service/software providers.
In these cases, you will need to go through their recommended support channels and work directly with the creator/provider.
Site Specific Support
90+% of the tickets we see in support are site-specific and not related to our platform malfunctioning. It is not feasible to provide site-specific support on our pricing model, and it is your responsibility to maintain and fix problems that are specific to your websites and not our software.
Plugin and Theme Issues
Sometimes it’s not clear what the root cause of an issue is. For example, 504 errors manifest themselves as server errors when in reality, they are almost always due to an issue within the website itself and almost always due to a plugin or theme.
We can provide guidance when it comes to identifying underlying issues, such as checking processes within the server, checking the status of your databases, and analyzing the error logs you send to us.
We do not provide nameservers or email servers, but it’s usually quick and easy to identify when DNS is misconfigured with a DNS checker like this one.
We can provide guidance when your domain is not behind a proxy service, and you can learn about DNS management here: Setting DNS Records
We have a native integration with SendGrid (more integrations coming in the future), which you can use to quickly and easily configure SMTP for your websites. For troubleshooting SendGrid, please follow the instructions in this article: Troubleshooting the SendGrid SMTP Integration
We’re regularly asked for advice/consulting on a significant range of different types of issues, use cases, recommendations, and more. Please post these types of requests in the community forum, as we will not answer these types of questions/requests inside a private support ticket that no one else on the platform will be able to benefit from. They also are outside of our scope of support.
If you would like to consult with us for an upcoming project, a service offering that you’re putting together, or about what services you should use with our platform in a one-on-one setting, we can arrange a paid Zoom call for you with a member of our team.
Part 5. Outside Our Scope of Support
Our platform is optimized for WordPress and offers a suite of tools that make it easy to manage your websites and servers. However, our team isn’t a replacement for your WordPress developer/s.
Like any managed host, there are a few things that are outside the scope of our support. These include: –
- Site customization or content updates.
- Web development services/fixes.
- Theme and plugin customization/fixes.
- Writing custom code (.htaccess, GeoIP, custom firewall rules, custom caching rules, etc).
- Code audits.
- Any code editing. We can help you identify fatal PHP errors, corrupt or locked database tables, and potentially spot problematic plugins or themes to help you get your site back online. However, fixing broken or conflicting code within your website is a task for you, the website developer, or the theme/plugin developer.
- Migrating your websites.
- Direct contact with your server provider on your behalf – though we can help you communicate effectively with them.
- Malware cleanup (take advantage of our suite of security tools, ensure you have backups, follow best security practices, and you will be considerably safer than most websites).
Our focus is 100% WordPress, and we cannot provide support for your other applications. If you must host non-WordPress applications on GridPane, please make sure that you host them on their own individual servers and NOT on the servers where you host your WordPress websites.
Running a non-WordPress application on servers where you also run production WordPress websites may void our ability to provide support for that server, including any WordPress websites on it. Be safe and run it separately on its own server, and then we can provide you with WordPress support when you need it for your other servers.
You can learn more in this article:
How to Install Non-WordPress Sites/Applications on GridPane
Part 6. Getting the Most Out of Our Support
To ensure that we can provide you with the quickest possible resolutions, the more information you can offer us, the more efficiently our team can operate as a whole. Many tickets that reach us have clear answers in the logs, and you can save time by becoming familiar with them.
GridPane Logs – How to Find Them and When to Use Them
Always be sure to provide our team with the website name, server IP, relevant logs, and any troubleshooting steps you’ve already taken. The more information you can provide, the better our team and the community will be able to assist you.