= Managed Dedicated/Cloud Host for Local Government =

I work for a local county government department and we need a new managed hosting solution. Our current needs are fairly simple. We host 3 WordPress sites plus a small commercial PHP appointment scheduling app. The main site sees about 18k active users/mo, 39k unique pageviews/ mo. The other 2 sites only see a small amount of traffic

We currently host the WP sites with WP Engine, and the PHP app with Siteground. WP Engine has proven problematic with our billing requirements and also we have started to need non-WP apps and integration with proprietary internal systems. We cannot use hosts like Digital Ocean, Vultr, Cloudways, etc as we need to have an invoice for the year which we use to have a Purchase Order issued and release the funds to the vendor. We also have limited staffing resources and require a fully managed solution where we only need to worry about our apps and websites

We opened a account with Rackspace, but after delivery, the solution provided failed to meet our needs (they promised a fully managed server with us only needing to worry about the application layer. We received a dedicated server with only SSH access, no full featured control panel, no DB backup for WP). We are currently waiting for Rackspace to schedule a call to try to remediate our concerns. In case that effort fails, I need to have a backup available to present to management

We might end up using Microsoft as the department is in talks for Microsoft's full slate of services that could include web hosting (Azure), but this won't be in place for another 12-18 months. We need something for the next year, as our current WP Engine plan expires in mid-May 2019

Any suggestions for other providers to look at?

A managed solution doesn't mean it comes with a control panel like plesk or cpanel. Yes some managed solutions do provide some sort of control panel but it can also be an add-on. At the hosting company I use to work for we didn't by default include a control panel on our managed solutions as control panels can take away some levels of control that a managed solution may want or need. We did offer them, you could ask for webmin, plesk, or cpanel/whm and we would install it for you but honestly it hampers a true managed solution

Looking at Rackspace's managed service pages I don't see any reference to a control panel so unless they specifically told you during your talks with them that one would be included I would chalk this up to you having the wrong expectation. As such I recommend having a real conversation with Rackspace about what you expect to have for your solution and they can probable deliver it

This is true. And it might have been a mid communication issue. I am waiting on Rackspace to schedule a call with the account mgr and sales lead

I’m hoping to iron out the issues. Part of the problems I’m seeing is lack of documentation. Basically all that is provided is docs for firewall config and outdated portal videos. Support said they could add webmin or plesk. Plesk was extra. MySQL backup was extra. Just seems to be a step back from what we have now

I had provided sales with what we currently have and what we were looking for. Really just looking for something where we can upload/git push our sites and that will enable us to access our internal systems when needed

We run MS SQL db servers and our internal apps are written in classic ASP (older) and ASP.NET/C#. We may need to run Node or other Modern stack apps down the road and might also need to support mobile apps in the next 24 months

If it wasn’t for the billing requirement, I’d have gone with something like Digital Ocean or Cloudways

Not all managed services provide you with a control panel, many of them provide control panel as an addon. You will need to ask the provider pre sales questions prior to making an order. Also, some providers do offer purchase by PO, but mostly they ask the client to make full payment on the initial invoice before they provision your account

We cannot use hosts like Digital Ocean, Vultr, Cloudways, etc as we need to have an invoice for the year which we use to have a Purchase Order issued and release the funds to the vendor

so you have many apps and sites, and different changes going on
but you want single annual invoice and pay? seem the problem is your unreal expectation

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