Question #1: How does Synthesis compare to other WordPress hosting options?
There are three distinct lines of separation between Synthesis and other hosting options you could choose for your WordPress site: specialization, service & security, and included marketing tools that you can use directly from your WordPress admin panel.
First, we specialize in only WordPress and its unique hosting needs. This is what makes Synthesis a no-brainer decision over generic hosting for serious website owners. Second, our service and security are second to none. This is what separates us from all WordPress hosting options.
Next, our help desk is manned by people who are experts at the sometimes complicated intersection of content creation, WordPress, and hosting. And you can rest easy at night knowing that our injection blocking, removal, and brute force protection are as good as it gets.
Finally, we have unique marketing tools that help you get you get more traffic, search engine rankings, leads, and sales. That’s the ultimate goal, right?
Question #2: Do I have to use the Genesis Framework?
No. Synthesis has been enhanced to provide a number of performance and security benefits for sites built on Genesis and other major frameworks.
We are happy to examine non-Genesis sites before signing up to ensure maximum compatibility. Contact us about your project here so we can see if your site is right for Synthesis.
(Note: Synthesis does not currently support Thesis 2.0+. We do support Thesis versions prior to the 2.0 release.)
Question #3: Do you provide migration services?
Yes! We look at site migrations as more than just an opportunity to move your site to Synthesis. Each migration is an opportunity to clean your site, tune it up, and lock it down.
That is why we have partnered with the experts at Fantasktic to provide full-service WordPress migrations to Synthesis customers for a fixed fee of just $99.
Read more details about our migration services.
Question #4: I’ve heard you don’t use HTACCESS files?
Web servers are either static or dynamic. Put simply, a static server is higher performing and more secure, while dynamic servers (that allow HTACCESS) can have a profound impact on performance and open up security holes.
That said, we provide full support for rewrite rules including 301s, 302s, and complex deny/allow logic. Our standard configuration puts rewrite rules in place for WordPress permalinks, key security denies, and W3 Total Cache. If you have additional rewrite needs, let us know and we will help you get it done.
Question #5: Do you recommend a CDN service?
We support a number of CDN providers including NetDNA, MaxCDN, Amazon S3, Amazon Cloudfront, EdgeCast and more.
You’d be surprised, however, how few sites once on Synthesis actually need a CDN to meet their business and performance objectives, especially given the optimized configuration from Synthesis.
Check with us if you’re not sure if a CDN is required for your media needs.
Question #6: Is this the right hosting solution?
We’ll treat your sites just like they’re our own. This starts with using the exact same performance and security configurations we use for our own sites, which were developed based on our expertise as online publishers who actually run high-traffic sites.
We roll out every technology and stack upgrade on our own production sites first, so if something doesn’t go as planned, we’ll find it and take care of it before it affects you.
With Synthesis, we’re all in this together.
Now a note of caution: while WordPress sites on Synthesis hosting perform, and perform well … Synthesis hosting cannot perform miracles on WordPress sites with serious structural issues.
So you can expect your site to perform better – possibly a lot better – on Synthesis than wherever you migrate from, but a site running a poorly implemented theme, bloated with resource-consuming plugins (we recommend no more than 15-20), or overloaded with objects (stay below 125-150 to be safe) is going to have performance issues that no hosting solution will fully “solve,” even ours.
You maximize the value of any premium hosting plan by running as tight, clean, and streamlined a site as possible. Keep what you need, ditch what you don’t, and let your content shine with Synthesis. It’s that simple. And if you need some guidance, we are happy to provide it. Just ask us.
If this all sounds good to you, then yes … Synthesis is the right hosting solution for you.
Question #7: Which plan is right for me?
The safest way to size-up your needs is to look at your current normal traffic loads. If you see consistent traffic of fewer than 10,000 page views per day without substantial spikes, then Standard is right for you.
If you see frequent traffic spikes, have higher storage needs, or simply want to be on your own managed VPS to seamlessly grow with, get started with Professional and we can easily bump you to higher plans as you grow even bigger.
Question #8: Do you offer DNS and email?
DNS, email, and hosting are three separate services that should be serviced by best of breed providers. In fact, savvy webmasters purposefully separate email, domains, nameservers, and hosting under the “No single point of failure” doctrine. Synthesis provides high performance, managed WordPress hosting – that’s our thing.
We, and many of our clients, rely on solutions such as Google Apps or Gmail aliasing for email. Check with us for recommendations that work well for your situation.
Question #9: Why are there site limits on VPS offerings?
Synthesis is designed for live production sites receiving real-life traffic. Our site limits are based on the resources provided in each plan and the traffic levels they are designed to handle. You can add additional installations of WordPress for a nominal fee that covers the hard costs associated with daily backups and daily server-side malware scanning.
Question #10: What kind of back-end access do you provide?
Synthesis provides a full account center where we interact with our clients. We also provide SFTP access, SSH access if requested (on Pro Plans and above), and full access to PHPMyAdmin. You also have full usage of your WordPress back end without permissions-based restrictions.
We do not offer cPanel, because making alterations via cPanel can have a profound impact on performance and security. cPanels are most often used for modifying DNS and managing email accounts.