RapidVPS Technical Support Overview
Offering quality support in the web hosting industry is a nonstop challenge. Software releases move at seemingly ever-increasing paces, new open source projects are gaining popularity, applications require more diverse and non-standard hosting environments, and Clients want answers NOW. How can a hosting service/support company possibly cope with this? Simple- by defining exactly what software/technology is supported & managed, and then training the support staff in all aspects of the issues and configurations surrounding them. RapidVPS does support a lot, but we can't support everything. We break Support down into two categories- Commercial Control Panel environments and no control panel.
Hosting With a Commercial Control Panel
This section is limited to WHM/Cpanel loaded environments. Overall, we support every piece of software deployed in a default install. That means, if you stick with the software the control panel provides for you, we can help you 100% with any issues, problems, or questions that arise. We work hard to stay on top of software changes so that nothing is a suprise, and document possible issues surrounding the software integration in our internal support manual. For 99% of our clients using Cpanel, we support everything in the server. Choose the Cpanel control panel for your VPS is you would like complete management of all services & applications in your server. WHM/Cpanel manages and operates software to accomodate the common internet server requirements, including:
- DNS Server
- WWW Webserver
- Email Service
- Database server
- Customizable PHP environment
- Centralized account backup and restore
- Customizable PHP deployment- dso, suphp, fastcgi!
- Faster upgrades on common web/network software (apache, mysql, exim, php) compared to distribution package management
- Robust email handling- forwarders, aliases, catchalls. Control panel for each email user
- Easy domain management- easily add, rename, suspend websites
- Web Statistics Management- all websites have awstats web reports
- Read more here
Optimally, all clients who need application support, should choose WHM/Cpanel with any order you place with us. This is because WHM provides a great framework for accomodating 98% of classic hosting support cases. Adding SSLs, setting up email accounts, troubleshooting email delivery, adding new domains/accounts to a server, and a whole lot more! A lot of people ask- "Well, if you guys are so smart, why can't you provide this support without WHM???
". Good question! If we provided the same top notch support for every server, we would simply go insane. This is because we can look at 500 customized Linux servers and there are thousands of variations among them. Logging for application X is in file Y and not Z, not to mention the fact that not everyone uses he same applications! Customer A is running Apache 2.2 and B is piping requests over a reverse http proxy, through a source dependent iptables port rewrite, to mongrel, to his python stack, to a database driven domain based virtual hosting system. Clearly, standardization is key. If you enjoy or know how to managed and troubleshoot a Linux system, please scroll down a bit to our next support class, the self-managed.
Hosting Without a Commercial Control Panel
Part of what makes VPS such a great hosting environment is root access. This allows you to provision any software you want in your server, just like a conventional Linux server. Don't like sendmail?- No problem, rip it out and install qmail, Postfix or Exim. Apache getting you down? Remove it and install lighttpd. As discussed many times on our website, the options are endless because you have complete control over your environment. So, what happens when things break or you have no idea what you are doing? Well, we will do our best to help you. Think of our support, under these circumstances, like your good Linux geek buddy. He will analyze the problem/situation and give you his opinion, recommend and make a few config changes, troubleshoot and research error messages in the log files, and point you in the right direction to gain more knowledge with the problematic software. Will he call in sick to spend 9 hours analyzing the source code to understand some undocumented bug or incompatability with the development software you are wanting to run? time permitting-probably not. To be clear, we will not configure a LAMP server for you. If you know how to do this, or are interested in learning how, you have made the right choice with RapidVPS. If you run into errors deploying LAMP, we can check it out and either offer advice or tell you what to change. However, managed servers for 10 dollars per month are just not possible for any company to offer.
For 98% of our clients, this isn't a problem and the question never arises. This is because asking for help- well, is a bit of an ego blow to most Linux enthusiasts. Rather, they would rather deduce and solve the problem themself, and post about it in their web blog. Still we get that occasional client wanting to run lighttpd with fastcgi XYZ running python ABC over framework DEF connecting to a development IMAP server over ssl and demanding an answer as to why his script is malfunctioning. huh? Or, we get a client ordering the lowest cost VPS and then asking "I ordered my vps, why isn't my website on the internet?"- VPS is not shared hosting. It is not FTP and go. To simply state again, we will always do our best to assist you and we go the extra mile every day to research and recommend application configurations to our customers, but we cannot guarantee our support staff will be able to hold your hand through configuring and maintaining every piece of software on sourceforge. RapidVPS without a control panel is about learning, gaining experience with Linux, and cost effectively hosting internet applications.
If these guys can build the billion dollar empire we have all grown to love, imagine what RapidVPS can become!