This is a question we come across much too often. Customers, both existing and potential, are asking for our help in bringing their server to compliance with our server requirements. These requests are all valid, but let us take a closer look at this issue from several standpoints.
WorksForWeb software just like any other Web application has server requirements. A minimum set of server settings, components, or extensions is required for the software to operate properly.
It is true that if your server settings are different, the software may not run. When we develop the code, we try to use only well-known (and free) server extensions available on the majority of hosting configurations worldwide.
However, there is no such thing as a "common server configuration" or “a typical UK-based server”. Every single hosting space service provider (SP for short) has its own server configuration, sometimes several different ones depending on the cost of the hosting package in question.
For example, GoDaddy has restrictive server configs and indifferent server support staff for their cheap packages, and flexible configs and proactive support for their more expensive offers.
The rule of thumb is that every SP offers a unique combination of Apache/PHP/MySQL components, extensions, user rights and security policies, default compilations and versions thereof.
Server support of certain SP's are quite flexible in allowing their users to modify server settings, while the others only change configs themselves. Still some will not let anyone mess with the default server configs.
When such a variety of approaches and configs exist, what can we do to make our software run on your web space?
Well, it is easy when you do not have a hosting account yet. We do have a few recommendations for you as far as hosting SP's. Just choose whichever one you like.
In case you already have an account, we will do the following. We will check your server to ensure compliance with minimum server requirements. If the server is non-compliant, we will ask you to bring the server to compliance.
Since rewriting the entire code for your particular server is out of question, adjusting your hosting environment can just do the trick. Sometimes all you need to do is ask your hosting support to uncomment a line or two in a server config file. In other instances, an extension will have to be installed from a collection of extensions already built-in into Apache or PHP. In some cases, only server super administrators could perform certain tasks because of the level of security permissions required.
Regardless of the above, some customers request that our support adjust server settings. A common request in case of a server-related issue is something like "Well I gave you the root password, just go ahead and fix my server!" To our regret, we will not be able to do that, and here is why.
Having a root password may still be not enough to adjust some of the settings on the server. For security purposes, usually customers are not allowed to interfere with critical server components to avoid damage to the entire server that may host several other customers. This is the job for a super administrator.
Sometimes, you may have other software packages or websites running on the same server. Upgrading a version of PHP from 5.2 to 5.3, for example, can render those other apps and websites inop. Your server support staff is far better equipped to deal with upgrade issues than we are.
Related to the above is the issue of liability. We take full responsibility for developing and supporting our software. This is what you pay us for, and that is what we are committed to do.
Managing your server space is not something we are charging for, and not something we are ready to commit ourselves to, or be responsible. Server support is part of your hosting package, and all server-related issues should go directly to your SP, who is charging you for this particular work.
In a situation when the script produces errors or does not work as it should, identifying the cause is essential. At that time, it is often the case that SP's are trusted by default, and software support is not. It is rarely the case when only the software is to blame, and here is why.
Any software package that is on the market for a while is always thoroughly tested prior to release. It is very unlikely that the software is not working in principle as software support would be buried under a barrage of customer complaints. We as developers cannot afford such a blow to our reputation.
Therefore, the reason why the software is not working on your server is probably due to some incompatibility between it and the server environment. When this happens, you should contact our support staff and have them diagnose the problem.
If the problem is on our end, we will fix it. However, if this is a server-related issue, you should take the results of the diagnostics tests and have your hosting support check for issues with their server, if any.
Professional server support staff will always review options they may have to help you. If it is a mere change of config files, or an installation of ionCube, they should be able to help you or at least guide you through the process.
We recommend that you review the Terms of Service of your SP to understand the extent of their support commitment. They may go beyond the written contract (which the TOS really is), but they do not really have to do it from the legal standpoint.
To summarize the above, among millions of server configurations, certain ones may not be fully compatible with our server requirements. To resolve any issues with hosting environment, the best way would be to contact your hosting SP support after we diagnose the problem. For any bug-related issues, you are welcome to contact our Support.
Author: Sergei K. Worksforweb Sales Department
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