CAN I HAVE A FREE SITE?

Yes. Free sites are limited to 250Mb of storage space (but pages and posts remain unlimited).

Most of our users start on free, and it is amazing what you can do. If you are not ready to commit, start with a free site.

I ALREADY HAVE A DOMAIN CAN I KEEP MY FREE SITE?

We have removed domain mapping from free websites – purchase a plan and we will re-instate the mapping.

Nota bene: unfortunately domain forwarding is not guaranteed to without an SSL certificate, which requires a paid plan.

CAN I CANCEL A PLAN?

Yes. But we cannot credit you with any unused time.

I NEED HANDHOLDING

The majority of our users are not experts, but many have got a long way without any support, so you can do it too.

However, if you are completely new to websites or want some hands on familiarisation / training at any point, we can arrange a session.

Booking a session can help concentrate the mind and even with a vague plan of action it is amazing what can be achieved in a few hours or a single day. With media assets, branding and content ready to go – we can help you get up and running very fast.

CAN YOU HELP ME MOVE MY SITE ELSEWHERE?

Yes, if you are minded to leave, we can give you full instructions on how to export  all your content as xml and then reimport it on your own hosting or local server.

We have have nursed numerous startups, said goodbye and then welcomed them back again when self hosting got too difficult.

CAN I INSTALL MY OWN PLUGINS & THEMES?

Not on our hosting setup. Our hosting is designed around the needs of customers for whom managing a website is challenging and who don’t know their SSH from their SFTP.

If you are developing a site for one of our clients, contact us first, it may save you a lot of time and energy. We can assist with xml imports from a number of formats. We may also be able to add functionality if we feel it would benefit the wider community and will not undermine the security and integrity of the network.

BUT ISN’T THE SOFTWARE FREE?

WordPress is opensource software, which is free to download. But running a server hosting environment has running costs, and then there’s additional costs for an IP address, backup, recurring software licences, and time to keep an eye on everything and help people out – so it all adds up.

We endeavour to keep everything up to date, with security updates applied and major releases applied within hours.

With ever more dependencies to keep on top of we are often tending to things while you sleep every day of the year.

IS MY SITE SECURE?

Defending the platform from hackers and investigating problems and issues arising now takes up much more time than before.

Keeping softwares up to date helps us combat many security issues, so if you have an older template or rely on functionality that has no current support, we will intervene and give you advice.

We have several means of defending your sites from brute force password attacks, blocking bad IP addresses, preventing more sophisticated attacks and controlling SPAM.

You can do your bit by ensuring you change passwords at intervals, use a unique one, never share it and use one of our Two Factor Authentication services.

We provide a free SSL certificate if you have a domain or subdomain mapped, but this requires a paid up plan.

Our setup is designed to help you with GDPR compliance.

QUESTIONS?

Drop us a line –

 ourlocality@sustainingdunbar.org

1. Can I change my plan?

Yes, but be prepared for a reduced service, if you downgrade.

2. Can I cancel a plan?

Yes, but we cannot refund unused credit. If you have setup a standing order contact your bank or cancel through your online account and ping us an email to tell us that you wish to cancel.

We’ll decouple your domain and reduce your file allocation. If your file allocation exceeds the free tier, we’ll contact you.

3. Can you invoice me?

Yes, contact the treasurer: treasurer@sustainingdunbar.org making sure you identify the website and domain.

The annual fee for Plan More with domain.org.uk is currently £79.20!

4. Where do I send my completed standing order?

To your bank. cc: treasurer@sustainingdunbar.org so we can keep records straight.

5. Can I maintain all my websites on a “free” tier indefinitely?

Yes, for now, provided your storage limit of 250Mb has not been exceeded. We will also decouple the domain if already mapped, and if we manage the domain registry, we won’t renew it on its anniversary, but see (7) below.

6. Can I downgrade my plan to  free plan?

Yes, provided your storage limit of 250Mb has not been exceeded, we will remove the security certificate on the domain and any domain mapping. You will need to do the same if you manage your own registry – forwarding with a security certificate is not advised.

7. If I don’t renew my domain what happens?

If you own a domain, it is wise to avoid letting it expire. Once it has expired you still have 3 months to reclaim a domain from the registry. After that it is sold on the open market.

A domain with a few years of history is a valuable commodity for fraudsters and spammers. To avoid confusing your users and reputational damage to your organisation, let us do the renewal, which means we can get the best rates for your (about 30% off retail prices from some well-known domain sharks).

8. Why do WordPress.com, Wix etc. offer so much better value for money?

With hundreds of millions of dollars of investment (sometimes from private equity) other platforms can pass on the benefits of “economies of scale”. Some of these outsource their support to weaker economies and use microworkers to deliver it.

We manage everything on a shoe string but do it locally and for the love of it – the platform is technically “community owned”.

We don’t sell, mine, monetise or otherwise exploit your data.

9. I think I will move – do I need to move the domain?

If you own a domain and we manage it, we can handle the renewals. Select the £36 annual plan and we’ll renew it at cost (less than £10 as we write). Give us your forwarding details and we’ll delegate the DNS to your new provider. If you want us to manage to DNS, select the £72/a plan. Or initiate a transfer and we’ll send it on its way.

10. I am finding the template restrictive

Templates are restrictive by design, that is the point – the designer has done the hard work for you. However, if you are still using the classic editor, try converting to the block editor – it is incredibly versatile by comparison – and see if you can achieve your aim without a fundamental change of look.

You can of course switch between around 50 Templates, but expect to spend several hours or days or weeks or months re-configuring it or repairing the damage done.

Also modern templates have built in pattern creators and you can copy patterns created elsewhere and paste them into your page.

Many templates have multiple bespoke page templates, e.g. with or without a sidebar, wit or without a featured image, with or without the navigation/header/title (useful for distraction-free landing pages).

11. I need a plugin

We’ve migrated dozens of websites that were bloated with activated plugins that were not really needed. Plugin and their dependencies can result in impaired functionalitity, some are performance degrading and others may have privacy implications.

We generally encourage users to achieve their goals without a plugin, using the built in tools, the Block editor and the Template, supplemented by Jetpack and the limited suite of add-ons we provide (or just a sprinkling of css, which can be learnt in a few days).

But if you really cannot do what you want to do, and can articulate what and why, we can advise on alternative ways of achieving your goal, before using a plugin.

However if you pay an initial installation and evaluation fee starting at £50, we’ll look into your request (it needs to work in WP multisite; needs to be in the WP repository and support automatic updates; is actively maintained and does not represent a security risk etc etc). You may wish to undertake some tests yourself on a local installation of WP as the fee is non refundable. You will need to be on our top annual plan, which is still only £144.

12. I am struggling with images

Many users forget that galleries are the best way to show multiple images and spend hours trying to arrange individual images which stubbornly don’t want to be arranged. If the template supports it, always use the featured image. This will make your display of news/updates/posts look the part in a list, your front page, in a syndicated feed. If Jetpack has been enabled, that will unlock swipeable galleries and more.

13. My question isn’t covered here

Ping us an email

Summary of options

WHAT YOU GETBASICMOREPLUS
Domain mapping (you manage renewals and your own DNS)yes
Domain mapping (we manage renewals and DNS)yesyes
Unlimited pages and postsyesyesyes
Basic file space (256Mb)yes
More file space (1Gb)yes
A lot more file space (3Gb)yes
Multiple domains or subdomains (up to 3)nonoyes
Plugin configuration – from our toolset (£35)noyesyes
Additional plugins added and configurationsnonoyes
Email mapping and sub domains and DNS protectionnonoyes
Multiple user supportnonoyes

nota bene, if you are confident managing your own DNS but need more space, then choose either the More or Plus Plans; for all additional work you need to be on an annual plan (Plus only or a donation of £50-£100 to Sustaining Dunbar); added plugins are subject to a one off evaluation and testing fee – ask for a quotation (Plus only). Monthly budget plans assume you have limited requirements and do not need more advanced customisations.

DID WE PRESS THE RIGHT BUTTON?

IF THE ANSWER IS YES, THEN WHY NOT