By combining the latest Virtual Private Server technology with our managed hosting services, we can implement a hosting strategy for your site that is vastly superior to an entry level shared hosting plan in terms of reliability, performance, security, functionality, upgradability, scalability, backups, site monitoring, email deliverability, and PCI compliance.Read more about Virtual Private Server advantages.
AllMerchants Managed Hosting Services
AllMerchants can provide the following "value added" managed hosting services to compliment your VPS hosting plan.
- Server Requisition
AllMerchants will requisition your server from a VPS hosting provider on your behalf. We will create the account in your name and list ourselves as an "admin" on the account so that we have the ability to fully manage the server.
- Initial Server Configuration and Software Installation
With a virtual private server, you get full control and flexibility. But this also means, that you need someone with the expertise to do the initial server configuration and software installation.
Starting in 2002, AllMerchants has been developing our very own "Fast-Pitch" server configuration software to automate much of the server configuration and software installation process.
Our typical setup includes installing recent versions of MySQL, Apache, PHP, Qmail, and ProFTP.
Rather than rely on operating system updates, we install recent versions of critical software from source code. This makes any future upgrades a snap!
- Server Backup
With a virtual private server, it is up to you to back up the files on your server. And in the event that something were to happen to your server, it's absolutely necessary that a backup of your site and database also be available from a safe remote location.
AllMerchants will install and configure a backup script to automatically archive your web site files, database files, and other important configuration files. A "full weekly" backup will be performed once a week and a "full daily" backup will be performed the other six days of the week. Eight "full weekly" backups and six "full daily" backups are maintained at any one time. The backup archives are stored on your server in .zip format for easy opening and quick retrieval.
AllMerchants will also set you up with an online storage account and configure the backup script to automatically copy the on-server backup archives to the online storage location on a daily basis. You will then be able to access the backup archives from the server, via the web with a browser and/or with your computer as a mapped network drive.
- Email Deliverability (SMTP Services)
AllMerchants will install a dedicated SMTP service on your virtual private server with its own dedicated IP address that is not shared by any other web site. This prevents emails generated from your web site from being black listed due to the activity of other sites. In the case where you are also managing and sending larger email campaigns from your server, AllMerchants can install a second SMTP service to prevent large sends from slowing down normal web site generated emails.
- Domain Name Registration
AllMerchants can assist as needed to update and/or transfer domain name registrations.
It is assumed that you will have full access to the domain name registration account to make changes.
For sites where the domain name is not yet registered, AllMerchants recommends using GoDaddy (http://www.godaddy.com) to register a domain name.
- DNS Management
AllMerchants can assist as needed to manage your DNS settings. We know exactly how to migrate a site with little or no interruption. AllMerchants recommends that you register your domain name with GoDaddy, which includes DNS Services and Domain Privacy options. AllMerchants has also had good experiences with the DNS management services of Yahoo, Network Solutions, and Zone Edit.
- SSL Certificates
An SSL certificate is required to securely capture credit card information on your site. AllMerchants recommends working with GoDaddy (http://www.godaddy.com) or Thawte (http://www.thawte.com) to setup a SSL certificate.
We can install an existing SSL Certificate if the .key, .csr, and .cer files can be provided.
For this service, AllMerchants will create the initial CSR request. AllMerchants will assist with the SSL certificate registration process. And AllMerchants will install the final SSL certificate onto your web server. The price of the SSL certificate is extra.
A GoDaddy SSL certificate costs $29.99 per year.
Thawte is a Network Solutions company. A Thawte SSL certificate costs $249 for the first year. Because of the more stringent authentication process, a Thawte SSL certificate may be perceived as more trustworthy than a Godaddy SSL certificate.
If your domain name is registered with a "privacy" feature that does not forward emails to the administrative and/or technical contacts listed on the domain name registration, then extra time may be required in order to setup an SSL certificate.
Prices quoted for third party services are for information purposes only. Third party prices may change at any time.
- Email (@yourdomain.com)
If email hosting is required for your domain, AllMerchants will set you up with a "Google Apps For Your Domain" account. The Google email service has both a free and a paid option, both of which allows for using your own domain name and can be accessed via the web and/or a mail client such as Outlook. Our experience with the Google mail services has been very good. The free version is sufficient for most small companies with under 100 employees. And the account can be upgraded to the paid version at any time if needed.
Note: if you already have an email service that you're happy with, you can also choose to leave it hosted in the same place.
- Failover Server Replication
If the nature of your business is such that your tolerance to server down time justifies the extra insurance of having a standby server already configured, then we can provide this functionality as well. We can configure your server to automatically synchronize web site files and databases to a standby server one or more times per day. In the event of a failure, redirecting traffic to the standby server is as easy as changing a single DNS address record.
- Server Maintenance
Out typical server configuration requires very little maintenance. Linux servers can run for years without rebooting. We have completely automated many of the typical maintenance items such as cleaning up log files to reclaim disk space. Common requests include diagnosing internet connectivity issues and upgrading software for security fixes and/or PCI compliance.