What is the managed version? How is it different to the self-hosted?
The managed system is essentially the self-hosted tracker but installed on infrastructure managed by us.
That infrastructure itself is considerably different to installing the software on a single server, as we have modified it to split critical parts onto different servers, allowing us to maximise performance and minimise bottlenecks.
We monitor this infrastructure very carefully and the different structure allows us to get much higher consistent performance for you compared with the self-hosted tracker on a typical server.
The managed system lets us provide a controlled environment to minimise bugs/issues that come with software being distributed on thousands of variations of system environments. Think of it like a well-tuned game running on Playstation/Xbox vs a game running on Windows and dealing with 10 million different hardware and software combinations.
Why should I use the managed system over the self-hosted?
The managed system is for you if you don't want to mess with the technical overhead of servers, want a high-performance system that has reliable technical administration, and you just want to focus on your campaigns.
The managed system will receive our priority attention for the near future as well, so you can expect key updates to be rolled out there first.
What technical things do I need to do?
To start out, you just need to create an account, purchase a managed subscription, and we'll kick things off.
We'll ask you for the core domain you want to use as well as primary server location, which we can guide you through.
We will also need you to change your core domain's namesevers to ours, so that we can manage the domain's DNS. You won't need to do so for domains you are later pointing to the tracker though (CNAME'd domains).
Afterward you'll get your login details and all we be good to go.
If you purchase addons there may be other technical questions, but nothing that's difficult to deal with even if allergic to technology.
How do I get billed?
The managed system plans have a base price for X quota of tracked funnel entrances, along with overage charges that become cheaper at higher plans.
The overages are charged in buckets of $15-30 per million entrances and will be calculated from overall entrances.
The base price is a recurring billing and overages will be invoiced at the end of the billing period, which you then pay manually.
We do it this way to avoid automatic billing for overages that may be unexpected or caused by fake traffic such as scrapers/bots hitting your server.
The overages are billed net 10 i.e. due 10 days upon receipt.
Why do we have overages?
We do this because it accounts for us scaling your infrastructure on the fly as load increases, as well as data storage costs (which are long-term costs since data doesn't disappear).
Why is the managed pricier than the self-hosted?
Well, obviously we pay for the servers and infrastructure, so that costs more as the scale of traffic increases, and we're now the ones covering it.
However we have also invested a lot of time in modifying the software to work in a higher-performance managed environment, and we have ongoing monitoring + system administration of every managed installation.
So it's a combination of required infrastructure, development overhead and time spent by our tech team watching over things like a hawk.
We also plan to have some features roll out on the managed system only that provide advantages over the self-hosted, where we can only practically provide those in an environment we control.
Does the system scale automatically?
Yes and no.
It's a managed system, meaning our tech team deals with it directly.
However, it's not a SaaS system with autoscaling of a single unified infrastructure.
So, we will provision hardware so that we can safely deal with your plan's volume of traffic and reasonable spikes, and we will respond to sudden load increases as much as we can, within reason.
Being able to scale hardware up and down to deal with this is one of the things we have designed the system for.
However, that's not automatic (it's managed), so if you send a huge burst of traffic for an extended time, you can still cause issues, and our tech team can only respond as quickly as humans can.
Aside from bursts however, we can scale your plan up and down as desired. To be reasonable, we will only do this once every 7 days at most -- unless perhaps you get into an insane situation where you need to scale from 1 M clicks per month to 200 M over the course of two weeks. Hey, it can happen right? If so, of course we'll make it happen on our end :-)
How much traffic can the managed system handle?
FunnelFlux is designed in a way that makes it highly tolerant to large traffic loads and we can scale to the moon, kinda.
As long as you don't send huge bursts you'll be fine.
What's a burst? Well, consider an example where you are expecting 30 M entrances per month, so 1 M per day.
That's about 42,000 clicks per hour, around 700 clicks per minute and ~12 clicks per second.
So, our hardware will be optimised to deal with that and more, so you would be OK sending about 100,000 clicks per hour -- but this might only be able to cope for several hours, maybe half a day before things start getting a bit overloaded.
We'll of course be able to deal with a "small" burst like that relatively easily.
However if you start a pops campaign with a high budget and its starts sending the equivalent of 500,000 clicks per hour -- over 10x your monthly expected pace, then the system will struggle to cope.
So while we do our best to manage the load there, especially given the overages available, we can only react within a given timeframe (a few hours) to such changes in traffic -- on our end we can't tell if a spike is going to last a few seconds, minutes, or hours based on some traffic you are getting, so we have to respond accordingly.
Can I host landing pages on my tracking server?
Yes and No.
Our goal with the managed system is to have it well-controlled and free from external influences that could cause issues.
Additionally, the setup that allows any domain to point to the tracker means that landers would always have to be in subfolders, not the root of the domain.
For the managed beta, we will provide access to a subfolder if desired, but mainly because the multivariate testing PHP code is not yet able to work remotely (landers need to be on the same server).
Once we modify that code to execute remotely, there will be no reason to have landers on the tracker server, so we won't provide this.
This may sound a little stubborn, since its "your tracker", but its in the best interest of everyone to leave landing pages that have their own server load on a separate server so that they can't impact the tracking system performance.
Do I get root access?
No, we definitely don't provide root SSH access to the managed system.
Who can access my data and tracker?
Given we don't provide root access, you can't dive in and query the DB. But of course you have the tracker, so you have access to all data there.
If you want backups of your data, e.g. to truncate/prune but keep the old data, we can certainly export it for you.
We just don't allow outside hands to get involved in the servers and infrastructure, as it goes against the point of having a controlled, managed system.
As for data access, obviously our tech admins who manage the system have root access to everything. Some people are paranoid that people will "steal their campaigns" and so on.
Well, that's all well and good, but if you are paranoid about that, you probably shouldn't use any managed or SaaS tracker, or likely many other systems. You probably shouldn't use Facebook or have a Google account either...
On our end, we're here to help and for that we generally need access. We won't access your database directly unless we need to fix things, check for errors etc., and we often ask for support user access to your tracker to be able to diagnose issues for you, assist with questions and so on, much like in the self-hosted.
That user is able to be enabled and disabled at your discretion.
We will however also have an administrative user in the system for the purpose of managing updates, and checking for consistency when doing those updates. That user will not have access to your campaigns, landers etc., but mainly the settings areas. Conversely, you won't have access to the system updates area, as those will be managed by us.
Can you set up SSL certificates for me?
Yes, definitely. We can set them up for you if you purchase them, and otherwise can buy and set them up on your behalf as an addon -- i.e. you purchase the addon, we go off and coordinate getting the SSL certificate.
What are these addons you offer?
SSL Certificates - self-explanatory, we buy them for you and set them up, so you're paying us for the certificate.
Local Tracker Instance - here, we will host your front-end tracker server (the one you log into) and your database as close to you as possible, or whatever region you set. This will make your browsing of the tracker much faster. This will be accesible from a dedicated subdomain, whereas the tracking server that processes redirects will be elsewhere.
Global Load Balancing - this is a premium offering and one for people who have global traffic and want the fastest redirects possible. With this, we deploy multiple tracking edge servers around the world (US, EU and APAC to start) and load balance between them at the DNS level. This kind of load balancing is not trivial in cost, hence the higher price tag.
On the Business and Enterprise plans, the latter two addons have a 50% discount.
Can I migrate from the self-hosted to the managed?
Yes, we can migrate your data for campaigns, funnels, landers, offers etc. and all tracked data.
However, if the managed system's database structure moves away from that of the self-hosted (we have plans for this!), this option may become unavailable.
But for now, yes this is possible.
What provider do you use for hardware?
Long story short, we have tested a lot of providers and decided to go with DigitalOcean, primarily because of the high availability of their servers/storage in many regions and because they provide us the ability to safely scale and optimise your infrastructure in response to demand.
Because we work with DigitalOcean, we can also provision your server and database in a variety of regions depending on your use case, and can offer the Local Tracker Instance addon.
How do software updates work vs the self-hosted?
Updates will be split between the self-hosted and managed, as the managed system will be our priority for key feature updates.
We have made this decision because it lets us roll things out in a controlled environment, rather than releasing frequently to self-hosted customers where the variety of servers/environments and tech know-how results in us having to address a lot of bugs and peripheral issues that waste time.
On the self-hosted side we will continue to have updates, and the updates occuring on either platform will eventually crossover to the other.
On the managed system we will control update deployment, this section will be locked to you as a user.
What is our data retention period?
Unlimited in a sense, but we will consult with you about pruning/truncating your databases for data older than 6-12 months if we feel it will be useful.
Old data that is no longer needed still incurs storage costs, and can slow down reporting if you run reports covering all campaigns over long periods. So it's sensible to delete super old campaigns and funnels that you'll never look at again -- but we'll leave that decision to you.