Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I trust Watchdog Studio with my website care and hosting?
Our primary goal, the reason we offer the services we do, is to take the frustration out of EVERYTHING related to running your website. If we’re not doing exactly that, you can let Justin Korn, our founder and lead Watchdog, know directly and he’ll work with you to come up with a solution. If, at the end of the day, you are not getting value from our services, you are free to move on, no harm no foul. But, we hope it doesn’t come to that.
- We watchover and care for each client site as if it were our own
- We’ll keep you in the loop and up-to-date, but never burden you with more information than you need.
- We’ll make sure you understand our answers when you reach out to us for questions, concerns, and support.
- We’ll provide you with practical and actionable advice and never recommend more than you need.
- We never try to upsell you on services you don’t need. We might suggest a possible add-on service based on a conversation we’ve had with you or an issue/opportunity we’ve seen on your website, but we’ll never push it.
- We’ll always follow through on what we promise.
Can you really guarantee security for our website?
We put some very powerful security features in place that proactively protect your website with all of our WordPress Care Plans and Hosting Add-Ons.
With every care plan, your website is placed behind our smart Website Application Firewall (WAF). In non-geek speak, this keeps the hackers and bad bots from accessing your website to begin with. If somehow they manage to get past the WAF, we also do automated daily malware scans to detect any viruses or malicious code on your website. If malware is detected on your website, the hounds are released immediately which notify our engineers to contain and start the clean up process.
When you opt to have your website hosted on our platform, your website will get the most comprehensive protection. In addition to what is included with your care plan, we run additional monitoring and vulnerability scans at the server level (not by a plugin) which does additional file integrity checks, malware identification and automatic cleanup if needed.
To go one step further, if an issue is found while we’re hosting your website, a root cause analysis report will be generated on how your website was infected to begin with. This report allows us to pinpoint and close the vulnerable hole so the same vulnerability cannot be exploited again in the future.
Additionally, with our hosting only, if your website somehow gets blacklisted by Google or any other index, we’ll work to get it removed.
What happens if my site does get hacked?
We clean it up!
The process differs a bit based on if you’re on our hosting platform or not.
With Our Hosting: The hack will be cleaned-up automatically by our server based malware scanner. A root cause analysis report will be generated for us to review first. We’ll patch up any vulnerable access points and then send you the report along with any additional notes or actions required.
Care Plan Only: When a hack is detected by our scanners, our pack will be notified and we’ll immediately start sniffing out the hack and removing the malware from your site. Details of the found vulnerability will be located in your Maintenance Dashboard within your security scans.
Can I sign up if my site is already hacked?
There aren’t very many, if any, companies out there that will take on your site unless you pay $500+ to first get your website cleaned up.
Not us, we’re eager to help!
If you find out your site has been hacked and need to start a care plan immediately, sign up for any of our Website Care Plans. Once your website is connected to our maintenance system, our scanner will alert our team of the issue and we’ll get to work cleaning it up.
Once your website has been verified clean, we can then optionally migrate your website to our hosting platform for added security to ensure we keep future risk at bay.
Do care packages include website hosting?
Hosting is an optional add-on to our care plans. We believe in free choice and want you to be able to host your website wherever is most comfortable and best for your business. That said, we highly recommend our hosting platform, primarily for the security benefits gained, but also because we’ve worked hard at optimizing it specifically to run WordPress websites super fast.
Do I need to signup for your hosting with my care plan?
We’ll work with any web hosting provider as we understand each website has different needs and budgets. We will, occationally, strongly recommend you to move web host if we have had bad experiences with other clients or know your current web host has known security issues.
Along with our hosting platform, which we believe will rival any of the best manged hosting providers available, we can provide you a list of hosting proviers we recommend.
But, know, when your website is looked after by us and hosted on our platform, we’re able to provide you a truly and fully managed experience.
Can I sign up for hosting without a care plan?
Not at this time.
Why not? Our focus is on providing fully managed, secure services to our clients. If an issue comes up with your site, we want to be sure we can help. We don’t want to be a provider that points fingers at another 3rd party not knowing for sure what might be causing an issue. If we’re only providing the hosting, we won’t have details into when/if plugins and themes were being maintained and additional deeper knowledge into your site to come up with a valid solution. By providing you with website care along with our hosting, you’ll have our full support to look into and provide a solution (or two) to any issue that comes up.
If you feel strongly about us providing hosting without a care plan, let us know. If we get enough people asking, we’ll consider offering it.
What is “shared” vs “dedicated” hosting and what is included?
Our WordPress hosting is built for performance and optimized specifically for serving WordPress websites. We offer two options for hosting, shared and dedicated.
In short, with shared hosting, your website will live on one of our dedicated Virtual Private Servers (VPS) along with several other client websites. With dedicated hosting, we’ll get a dedicated VPS setup just for your website(s), which means your wesbite will have it’s own dedicated resources.
Want to dive into more details? Check out our KB article.
Do you only provide care plans and hosting for WordPress?
WordPress is our jam. All of our processes, our entire setup and our servers are optimized for WordPress. There is potential for this to change in the future, but for now, we are exclusively WordPress.
If my site breaks due to an update, will you fix it?
You bet! You signed up with us so you don’t have to worry about these things, right?
On our Care Plans, if an update caused the issue, we’ll investigate further and possibly restore to a previous version of that plugin, theme or WordPres core before the issue was introduced.
That said, sometimes issues are introduced by another person working on your site. In such a case, unless they are able to provide details on exactly what they did to cause the issue, it’s sometimes really hard to pinpoint what happened.
Additionally, some plugins and themes become abandoned and the developers no longer maintain the code or keep them up-to-date. Since updates are no longer being provided, these plugins and themes could potentially cause conflicts with other plugins and/or themes on your website. If this happens, we can’t fix code within those plugins or themes and will suggest removing them from your website and finding a replacement.
What is “visual testing” as referenced with updates?
Have you ever performed updates to WordPress core, a plugin or a theme that caused something to visually change on our website and not been aware of it until it was brought to your attention by a client or potential customer?
This won’t happen when you’re website is under our watch. All of our Website Care Plans include Visual Validation Testing.
Anytime our platform performs an update on a website, the following happens:
- A screenshot is capture on up to 20 pages of your site
- Updates are applied
- New screenshots are captured and compares them to see if anything looks different
- If changes are detected, our engineers are alerted and will resolve the issue
Since every website is unique, you will have the ability to customize which 20 pages are compared during this process.
What is 24/7 Monitoring and Alerts?
When your site is on our hosting platform, we are monitoring everything 24/7 and there is no reason for you to get alerts, unless you really want them.
However, when you are not on our hosting platform, within our system, we can monitor your website for downtime allowing us to alert you when/if your website becomes unavailable. With these alerts (and the statistics you get with your monthly report), you can get a good idea of how well your hosting provider is performing and make an informed decision on deciding if moving to a new provider is warranted.
Is the Unlimited Care Plan truly “unlimited” and really available 24/7?
Yes and yes!
With our Unlimited Support Plan, you get unlimited 30-minute tasks (aka minor tweak or tasks) on the site covered by your plan. While tasks are limited to 30-minutes, there is no limit on how many requests you can submit. Our team of WordPress experts are ready to help.
What does (or doesn’t) a “minor tweak” include?
Why is the Exclusive Plan only available to 12 clients?
When you sign up for the Exclusive Plan, our top dog, Justin Korn, personally blocks off and dedicates 3 hours per month to you, your business and your website to be used however best fits your needs that month. With 12 clients on board, that’s a full week, every month, where his attention cannot be focused on anything else.
In short, there are only so many hours in a given month and we want to be sure each client on the Exclusive Plan gets enough dedicated hours without neglecting other responsibilities.
Okay, I signed up, what now?
How do I receive support?
When we onboard you, depending on the package and add-ons you sign up for, we’ll detail how to get support for your website, specifically what email address to use and when to get the best and quickest response.
If your package includes WordPress Support (Peformance & Reporting and Unlimited Support), you’ll have access to our request system directly from your website where you can leave interactive comments exactly where you have a question or request.
Do you offer phone support?
In short, no.
If we feel a request, question or otherwise requires a phone call, we will request you schedule a call with us.
The reason for this is due to our time being strategically scheduled for the tasks at hand everyday. Taking care of dozens of websites, responding to dozens of requests each day, and keeping our servers finely tuned takes some serious focus. Being interrupted by phone calls would cause our response times to increase dramatically, maintenance tasks would get forgotten in the dust, and our servers would crawl to a halt. Okay, the results probably wouldn’t be that dramatic, but the point is, we need to stay focused.
Can I preview an example of the monthly report?
<< Monthly Care Report >>
Can I preview an example of an Audit Report?
<< here is one >> we ran for our parent company website, korndev.com.
Can I preview the SEO Strategy Platform?
We’ve put together an extensive overview of the platform in our knowledge base which covers how the system helps and what you can do within the platform.
What is a "pathway"? (in reference to our SEO Pathway Framework)
Do you offer discounts for nonprofits?
Ask and you shall receive. Send us a note with details about your nonprofit (current website, mission, etc.) and include your federal tax ID. After a review, we’ll provide you with a coupon you can use to apply to your account (or order if you have not already signed up).
I have more than one website, how does that work?
Each care plan covers one website. If you have more than one website, you will need to add a care plan for each website you need support with.
If you have 3 or more websites on a Care Plan (exlcuding the Exclusive Plan), we can provide you with a 10% discount.
Do you offer discounts if we have multiple websites needing a plan?
If you have 3 or more websites on a Care Plan (exlcuding the Exclusive Plan), we can provide you with a 10% discount.
Can I cancel at any time?
If your tail is not wagging 100 mph because you are not happy with the service we are providing you, we don’t want you to be forced to stick around. We hope you will reach out and express your frustration, concerns or issues first so we can try to fix it and make it right, but you are welcome to cancel your subscription at any time.
If you decide to cancel and your website is running on our hosting platform, please be sure to reach out to us BEFORE canceling so we can work with you to migrate your website to a new provider. We are happy to help you find your website a new home while you are a customer. Once you officially cancel your account, it will become much more difficult to assist you and get your website settled in to it’s new home.
I trust all my client’s websites in the capable hands of Watchdog Studio. The hosting is reliable, with excellent features and exemplary service. The relief I feel knowing that they are keeping an eye on the servers, and will jump into and handle any issue is worth every dollar.
From the start, Watchdog Studio has been extremely communicative, thorough, and prompt. They install updates and patches as soon as they are available, and hiccups with my site are quickly solved. The expense has been well worth the peace of mind and reliable hosting.