WHAT'S INCLUDED WITH MY SERVICES?

Most services purchased from Westlinks Online come with additional value-added services included at no additional cost. We want to be sure that your services are reliable and that you get the best value for your investment. Read below for detailed explanations of these included services.

SERVER CREATION AND CONFIGURATION

We use Terraform and Ansible to build and provision our server orders. When you order your server, it is created on the hosting provider you selected (or the one we recommended) with a pre-defined build script that has been fully tested and refined. This provides consistency and predictable results. Each server instance is autonomous and can be considered "yours" which means it is not shared by other customers and has only your assets installed on it.

In some cases, custom server configurations are necessary or you may have requested something unique. In those cases, we will either modify our Terraform script or manually build your server.

SOFTWARE INSTALLATION AND CONFIGURATION

After your base server is spun up, we use Ansible to install and configure the software application(s) in your order. Similar to Terraform, this process provides consistency and predictable results. Configuration includes creation of user and group accounts, installing databases (MariaDB or MySQL) and configuring security systems. The result is a ready-to-use installation of the package(s) you ordered.

Wrapping up the process is the addition of a design template, your content such as text copy, images and media, and anything else that is uniquely yours. If this is not your cup of tea, we can help you with this process as well. See CONTENT MANAGEMENT and DESIGN TEMPLATES for more information.

DAILY BACKUPS

Nobody wants to discover that their website is down, and even worse, if it is down and not recoverable. To address the second case, any server you order from us is backed up daily to Amazon S3. We back up anything that cannot be easily replaced. This includes your data, configuration files and anything unique to your installation.

In the unlikely event of a server failure or other catastrophic event your server and website(s) can be restored to the most recent backup. More frequent backup schedules are available for a small fee.

SECURITY UPDATES

All servers managed by us are kept up to date with security updates. All Linux distributions release updates to their packages from time to time, some of which are specific to security vulnerabilities. We typically run these routine updates on a monthly basis, however if we are alerted to high priority vulnerability bulletins, we take preventative measures as they come in.

When one of these routine updates also includes a kernel update (the kernel is the core of the operating system), a server restart is required. When this occurs we typically notify you of the window of time for the reboot ahead of time, allowing you to plan ahead or ask us to reschedule if necessary.

DNS CONFIGURATION

DNS (Domain Name System) is the mechanism that points your domain name to your server. Without this, the only way to view your website would be by its IP address, which would be awkward. A DNS server is like a phone book, a directory of domain names -- including yours -- that get translated to the IP address associated to your server. Whenever a new server is created or if a new IP adress is assigned to it for some reason, the DNS host settings must be updated. We manage all of these settings for you so you don't have to worry about it.

CLIENT TRAINING

In addition to online documentation, we are happy to work with you in a one-on-one basis to be sure you know how to use the software you purchased. We stand behind our products and will do our best to answer any questions and solve any issues that come up. We may not always know the answer right away but will do our best to find it as quickly as possible. This service will continue to be available as long as your subscription remains active.

24/7 MONITORING

All servers are included in our Nagios 24/7 monitoring system. Nagios constantly checks on the health of your server and alerts us if anything goes wrong. In the rare event of a serious alert, we respond as quickly as possible, usually immediately, to resolve the issue and return your system to normal operation.

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

Strong customer support is key to customer satisfaction and your satisfaction is guaranteed. We are available to help you at no additional charge via many channels. For routine issues, we invite you to use our helpdesk, powered by Zendesk. For urgent situations, we are available by phone, SMS text messaging, Hangouts chat and IRC.

EASY AS 1-2-3

The ultimate goal when we set out to design our platform was to make it easy to use. From ordering and managing services, your profile, your billing and communicating with us, we strive to provide you with familiar processes and procedures. Adding services to your existing ones should be as simple as ordering dessert to your meal in your favorite restaurant. We continue to make improvements with the ultimate goal of making our platform "Easy as 1-2-3".