Frequently Asked Questions

The only silly question is the one not asked

clinic-website-faq

Questions & Answers

Explain Shared vs VPS vs Cloud Hosting?

Shared Hosting, also commonly called cPanel hosting, is where some form of control panel, such as cPanel or VestaCP, is used as the management interface. Your website is hosted on its own, separate installation of WordPress. In this configuration, you also have access to the hosting control panel where you can add/remove email addresses, and control your domain settings. Your website shares the IP address of the server with other users' websites that are hosted on the same server instance, so things like email reputation can be impacted by other users. This is the most common kind of hosting offered by web providers.

VPS Hosting completely separates your websites from anyone else's. Your account is on a separate server instance, so is in no way affected by any other website or email system. This is theoretically a more secure hosting method. Functionally it is very similar to Shared Hosting, using a product such as cPanel or VestaCP as a management interface.

Cloud Hosting is a fully managed hosting environment where your website runs as an "application" on a Cloud Hosting system; in our case, we use Google's infrastructure. For performance there are many benefits of this kind of hosting, such as direct access to Google's CDN (Content Delivery Network), which ensures components of your website such as images, are delivered from a server in close physical proximity to the site visitor, thus ensuring faster load times. These managed environments also include "live" updates of WordPress, meaning that as soon as updates are published, they're applied to the system.

What are the Premium add-ons your system provides?

Our standard "drag and drop" editor is the excellent Beaver Builder. On packages that offer Premium plugins, both Ultimate Addons for Beaver Builder and the Beaver Builder PowerPack are included. For migrated sites that already use it, we can also offer access to the Divi theme and/or Divi Builder.

Our Premium themes include the excellent Paeon medical website theme, which we've customized via a child theme to offer more editing and layout options, the very powerful Divi theme, for which there are numerous medical industry child themes available, Ultimatum theme (although we would strongly recommend migrating your site to a new theme) and a custom, internally developed theme that is unique to ClinicBeat.

The Premium plug-ins we make available include Gravity Forms, Wordfence Security and Tribulant Newsletters.

NOTE: Access to the FREE Premium add-ons applies only while your website remains hosted on our VPS or Cloud Hosting packages.

What happens if I want to move my site elsewhere?

We can provide you with a full backup of your website that you are free to install on another host. We cannot offer support for the migration beyond providing you with the backup, and instructions for installing that onto your new hosting platform.

The backup will NOT contain any of our Premium plugins or themes, as these are our property - we pay the annual licensing fees for use only on our systems.

What is the process for migrating my site to your service?

It depends, really. The process changes depending on your current hosting arrangement.

A mandatory requirement is that you have access to your domain management. This is the service you used to register your domain name. We require access to this service so that we can "delegate" your domain name to our servers when we undertake the migration. If your domain name was registered for you as part of your website package, we can assist with moving it to another registrar so it is under your control. Note that you should ALWAYS retain control of your own domain name. If your current hosting configuration doesn't give you that control, you are on tenuous ground.

For the actual website migration, the options vary:

  1. If you currently have a hosting account that is controlled by cPanel, VestaCP or one of the other "standard" hosting managers, where you can provide us access to that system, and you hold licenses for the theme and plugins used on your website, the process is very straightforward. Similarly, if you have full administrator access to the WordPress dashboard of your website and hold licenses for the theme and plugins, that is also usually a relatively straightforward process. In both cases, we would normally just create a backup of your current website and restore it onto our system, in whatever hosting package you select.
  2. If your current hosting arrangement is more complicated, the process will also be more complicated. For instance, if you don't hold the licenses for the theme and plugins used on your website, maybe because you are in some kind of managed hosting arrangement, you would have to obtain licenses for those items in order to legally use them on another hosting platform. In some cases, however, the Premium Themes and Plugins provided in our plans will already fulfill this requirement.

For more information about our Premium Add-ons, see the FAQ item "What are the Premium add-ons your system provides?". If you are unsure, please use the contact form to touch base with us. There are numerous options we can explore to determine your current hosting environment.

Basically, in order to migrate your site, we need to make a full backup of it. In cases where you don't have full administrator access to your website, it may not be possible to install our site migration tool. In that case, we would require some cooperation from your existing hosting provider to either install our migration tool or provide a full backup of your site using one of the commercially available tools. If they are an honorable business, this shouldn't be an issue.

Note: Due to privacy laws we are unable to offer email migration. We can assist with the recreation of existing email accounts and can suggest migration tools that you can use to migrate your own email accounts. Alternatively, we offer a paid service to migrate your domain emails to either Google's Gsuite, which is a paid service, or Zoho Mail, which is free for up to 15 users. For more information about this option, please contact us via the contact form.

What is the difference between my hosting and website control panels?

Your hosting control panel is where you manage things like your domain name and email addresses. Your clinic website (WordPress) control panel is where you edit and update your website.

Can I use an existing domain name?

Absolutely! In fact, you will require a domain name for your hosting plan. If you don't currently have a domain name registered, you can register domains with us as well.

Do you offer alternate payment options such as payment on invoice?

Sorry, no. Our systems are automated around using Stripe for processing credit / debit card payments. We are unable to offer other payment methods at this time.

Do you handle the content updates on my website?

We can, for an extra service fee. Our managed hosting plans include all of the WordPress system updates, updating the plugins and themes that power your website, managing backups and fixing issues caused due to any of those things. It does not include updates to the content or layout of your website, additions, redesigns, or fixing issues you've created. We're certainly happy to help with advice, or to point you to a how-to or video that explains the process, but if you want us to do the work, we'll have to charge you separately for it. Our rates are very reasonable, though.

Note that we also provide a FREE library of over 70 videos that you can access as a member, that will teach you how to do just about anything on your website.

What is the simplest thing I can do to make sure my site loads quickly?

Our advanced caching and CDN systems will improve the loading times of your website without you doing much, but there is one step we would highly recommend, which is, resize and compress all images before you upload them. We do use tools within your website to compress images, but it is better to be done before the images are uploaded. The really nice part about this solution is it needn't cost a cent! There are numerous online tools that can perform these functions for you, completely free of charge:

  • Image Resizing - For image resizing a website such as PicResize offers a simple interface and does a good job of resizing your images. Try to keep the longest side of your images to 1500px or less. You can use the Custom Size option, then just enter 1500 in either the width box if it is a "landscape" orientated image (wide), or the height box if the image is a portrait orientation (tall).
  • Image Compression - Whether you're compressing a PNG or JPG image, TinyPNG is the go-to tool. No settings to worry about, just upload the image and let TinyPNG do its stuff. A note about PNG images. Photos should NEVER be used on a non-photographic website in PNG format unless first compressed. PNG images tend to be a lot larger than JPG images, so your site will load very slowly if you use PNG. PNG is necessary for images that contain transparencies, but for most photos and illustrations, that isn't the case.

One final word about images. If at all possible, have your logo and any "illustrations" (as opposed to photos) created in SVG format. SVG's are tiny files when compared with either JPG or PNG, so they load significantly faster. Depending on the origin of your website, it may not support SVG as it stands. If that is the case, please open a ticket and we'll install a plugin for you that enabled SVG support.

Do you have a question we haven't answered?

If you have any questions about our services, or would like to discuss your project further, we're here to help. Please don't hesitate to contact us.