Our goal is simple: To cultivate a meaningful relationship with you, our business partner. We want to know your business, your goals, and consistently enhance our intimate knowledge of the technology and tools you use–or could use–to achieve your goals so that we can be part of your evolution and success. We strive to provide small and medium businesses with top-of-the-line, enterprise-grade Information Technology resources.
Let’s Talk Money
We have two overriding passions here: Technology and seeing dreams realized. We’re not a “nickel and dime” culture. When you love what you do, there’s inherent value in the experience itself. We want to see our clients (you) succeed, and understand the struggles businesses, especially small- and medium-size, face. With that understanding, we are committed to having an ever-dynamic and balanced relationship. If our pricing isn’t sustainable for you at this time, talk to us. Most importantly, when you become our partner, if times should become tough for you, we won’t abandon you. We’ll weather the storm with you, seeing you safely to calmer seas.
We realize this isn’t a typical business model and that some, even you perhaps, might call us crazy. In the pursuit of our passion, we know what’s needed will ultimately be provided if we’re doing what’s right. If you feel the same way, we’d especially like to be part of your journey. That said, prices aren’t broadly set but rather depend on scope and quantity of services requested. Please contact us so together we can find suitable and fair pricing for your specific needs.
Having seen an unfortunately large number of businesses who’ve felt “stuck” in unsatisfactory situations with technology partners, there are a few important commitments we make up front.
- Open Communication: When something affects your technology, we will openly and clearly communicate what we’ve observed and what we plan to do. When in doubt, we’ll ask first.
- Dependability: Your success is our success, your systems are our systems, and your needs are our needs. You can depend on us to provide services as we would have them provided to us (The Golden Rule of Business). We are relentless when it comes to addressing your concerns. You have the right to know we are here, rain or shine, to ensure the continuity and prosperity of your business as it relates to IT process.
- No Hostages: We will never hold you hostage. If you’re ever dissatisfied, the first thing we’d like to do is change that. However, if you’ve made the decision to move, your property is yours and we will not abuse our position to extort you.
Have a Charitable Cause?
We appreciate any opportunity to help a good cause. If you have or know of what you feel is a charitable cause that could use our services at significantly discounted rates, please share the opportunity with us.
Demarcation/Scope of Responsibility
EXCEPT in cases where we have a specific agreement extending technical services (such as in Software-as-a-Service and maintenance agreements), clients are responsible for any code, data, platforms, applications, etc., specifically relevant to them. For example, in cases of web hosting, we are generally responsible for ensuring the systems required to process incoming requests, read clients files, execute working server-side code (PHP), and service well-formed SQL queries into the database. We are still here and happy to help with any IT requests that may arise, but it is necessary to understand who is responsible for what in the context of relevant services.
Excessive Resource Usage
Any client who consumes an abnormally high amount of resources (i.e. an outlier) may be asked to reduce consumption, in which case we will also offer our assistance to accomplish this if requested, move to a dedicated environment, or pay a higher rate to offset reduction in capacity for the platform. Resources measured include items such as disk space for files, database space, code resident memory usage, database query and code execution time, and inbound traffic levels. If an increase in hosting fees is merited in order to facilitate systems expansion to accommodate such usage, we will notify the client of the excess usage and provide options.
Requirements Regarding Vulnerable & Buggy Software
In order have consistent practices, we periodically implement soft-requirements as needed. What we mean by “soft requirement” is a requirement that is not absolute—if it is unfeasible to meet a requirement in the short term, we want to work with you to ensure a smooth transition which does not cause significant burden but does aim to resolve the problem over time. We strive to make keeping software safe and updated as easy as possible, and we look forward to working closer with you to add this extra layer of risk mitigation.
As a Concierge Web Hosting client, we can perform most updates well within the free Concierge Credit received during each billing period. In fact, because of our custom shared-library WordPress platform setup, all of the participating sites can be updated simultaneously and for free. The caveat here is that if an update takes longer than usual, such as in the case that an update breaks something that must then be updated or troubleshot, that extra time may be billable.
Although we put extensive security measures in place to broadly mitigate risks, it remains prudent to keep software up to date. This is particularly true when there are known serious vulnerabilities in previous versions. It is just as prudent to avoid software/plugins/themes with a history of unaddressed security issues and bugs. Therefore:
- All platform-based sites, as well as their plugins, themes, extensions, etc., should be kept reasonably up to date. To be clear, the spirit of this requirement is to maintain versions of software that is no more than 18 months behind the most recent (ie current) released version. It also means promptly updating any software that has known serious/critical vulnerabilities and existing patches. We are not requiring any sort of regimen of frequent (e.g. daily, weekly, monthly) updates, nor do we advocate balancing on the bleeding-edge of updates—doing so can sometimes be as risky as keeping dated versions.
- Any historically vulnerable, buggy, or otherwise troublesome apps/themes/plugins should be avoided. The following is a running list of those items we have determined to be be best avoided:
- General / timthumb – This library is used in many sites and applications and has had many vulnerabilities over its lifetime. The library/plugin need not be avoided, but it should be noted that we automatically update any found versions of timthumb on a nightly basis to avoid older versions which usually have well known vulnerabilities.
- WordPress / Plugin / uBillboard – Historically vulnerable
- WordPress / Plugin / NextGen Gallery – Buggy/error-prone and incompatible
- WordPress / Plugin / All PHP shortcode/execution plugins – Permit PHP execution from DB content which is a security vulnerability
- WordPress / Plugin / All Caching/Performance/Speed Booster plugins – Redundant to our own performance enhancements and usually counter-productive
- WordPress / Plugin / All image-optimizing/shrinking plugins – We operate a custom backend system that optimizes images without slowing down your site
Right to Deny Services
We reserve the right to deny services under any circumstances. If it is determined that continuing to provide services conflicts with the rights of or jeopardizes service to other clients, service may immediately be temporarily or permanently shutdown.