Member Support

One of the big areas where we differ from other providers is member support. With the typical approach, the provider builds a (significant) charge for technical support into the basic fee for the service, and then uses leftovers from people who don't need support to subsidize the cost of providing support to those who need a lot.

Our members, by and large, do not require typical member support, either because they are already very knowledgeable or are willing and able to learn on their own. (Over 80% of our members have never contacted our support for any reason.)

For this reason, we offer two different types of memberships: baseline and subscription. This table summarizes the differences between the two:

BaselineSubscriptionFeature
None$5.00Monthly Cost
YesCommunity Forum Support
NoYesIndividual Email Support
NoYesIndividual Secure Support
NoTelephone Support
$66.00$61.00Domain Redemption (Varies by TLD)
$20.00$15.001-Year DV SSL Certificates
NoYesOther discounted/free manual services

If you need help deciding which type of membership is right for you, here is our advice:

  • If your site is mission-critical or generates revenue, or if you want or need the best, fastest possible assistance if any problems arise, get a subscription membership.
  • If you think you would use individual private support more than twice a year, get a subscription membership.
  • Otherwise, get a baseline membership.

More detail on each type can be found below.

Baseline Membership

The baseline membership embraces the do-it-yourself nature of our service by offering a significant discount to members who are willing to forego individual private support.

This doesn't mean baseline members can't get any help. Community support is available through our member forum. It's provided both by us and by our amazing members who are wonderful sources of both information and ideas.

Baseline members also have full access to other resources including specialized assistance requests, the ability to report system problems, and the extensive documentation in our FAQ and member-maintained wiki.

Subscription Membership

Subscription memberships allow our members to request individual private support on a broad spectrum of issues. This might include requests for help with troubleshooting, requests for us to look something up in system logs, or assistance understanding how our system architecture affects something you're trying to do.

Subscription memberships also include some discounts on other services that involve a manual component, like generation of SSL certificates or changing a username.

Subscription membership does not alter the do-it-yourself nature of our service. For example, our support staff will not edit your site, create or upload content, administer your MySQL process, manage your DNS, or anything like that. We also do not provide support for third-party applications and services. With a subscription membership we will answer questions and provide you with information related to our service, but acting on that information to get the result you want remains your responsibility.

Although there is no hard limit to how much support you can seek through a subscription membership, we do handle support issues in a priority queue. If you don't contact our support very often then you'll jump right to the front of the line when you do. If you contact us frequently, we'll still do our best to help you but you may experience longer response times. We really want subscription memberships to be fair, and a good value, for both types of usage.

Subscription memberships cost $5.00 per (31-day) month, or about $0.16 per day.

Switching

Providing quality support in a timely fashion is an expensive endeavor that requires a long-term commitment. Consequently, the subscription membership is designed to be a long-term/semipermanent choice. It is not intended to be switched on and off as needed like the rest of our services. It's provided by people, and people don't work that way. However, we do understand that needs evolve over time, so we allow switching when people find over a period of time that the other option would suit them better.

There is a fee for switching between membership types. Unless a member goes long periods of time between subscriptions, switching back and forth costs as much as or more than staying subscribed, but doesn't offer the same benefits. The full detailed description is below.

  • Someone new to our service can set up either type of membership without a one-time fee.
  • A baseline member who wishes to upgrade to a subscription membership will pay a one-time fee of $0.00 to $30.00 based on how long ago they first funded their membership (or last had a subscription). The more time has passed, the higher the fee. (It maxes out at $30.00 after six months.)
  • A subscription member who wishes to downgrade to a baseline membership will pay a one-time fee of $0.00 to $30.00 based on how long they have had their subscription. The more time has passed, the lower the fee. (It reduces to $0.00 after six months.)

Existing members who wish to make this change can do so from the Support tab in our member interface.