Our SLA covers the terms of our support relationship, but we’ve prepared this additional Q&A to help smooth your transition into working with our email support channel. We pride ourselves on our friendly, knowledgeable, and speedy support team. Our hope is that setting clear expectations up front will help you get the most out of the LiveWhale platform and our ongoing partnership.
Where can I get help?
- Our documentation site includes answers to common questions.
- The LiveWhale Developers Forum is a place to ask other LiveWhale administrators for advice. Let us know what email addresses you’d like to receive an invite.
- Or, you can email our support team anytime at email@example.com.
How do I reach support?
To ask a question or report unexpected behavior, email our support team at firstname.lastname@example.org. To help us investigate, please be sure to include any relevant details such as a URL to view an example of the issue, screenshots, and/or steps to reproduce the behavior. Once we review the details, we will confirm whether the issue is due to LiveWhale core code, or if it is specific to your site’s theming or custom code.
For emergencies, write to email@example.com with the word “urgent” in the subject line. This texts our entire team 24/7, so please use sparingly. More terms around emergency support are in our SLA.
Who can write to support?
We welcome hearing from anyone on your communications, events, or IT teams, but we ask that you elect one or more main support contacts to be included on all conversations. This is usually the main owner of the site, and is someone who has the authority to approve estimates for billable work.
If we receive emails from any other faculty/staff at your school where a main support contact is not CC’d, we will gently direct them to your support contact(s) first for assistance, and you can loop us back in if you do need our help.
How long does it take to get help from support?
- We generally respond within a few days and resolve non-emergency bug reports within 2–4 weeks. Bug fixes are then included in an upcoming LiveWhale Calendar release. For critical issues, we’re sometimes able to resolve them faster and patch the fix directly to you, so you’re not waiting for your next upgrade.
- Emergency issues (site outages, etc.) we work on right away and typically see same-day resolution.
- Custom projects we usually schedule with our team 4–12 weeks in advance, and we’re happy to talk timelines when discussing potential customizations.
What can support help me with? What are my responsibilities as the site owner?
We encourage you to write to LiveWhale Support any time with:
- Bug reports around LiveWhale core functionality (more about “core” in the SLA)
- Emergency issues (e.g., entire site won’t load, no events appearing on calendar; editors unable to login, etc.)
- Questions about core functionality that you can’t answer from https://docs.livewhale.com
The above assistance is always free-of-charge with your annual license fee. Otherwise, the day-to-day upkeep of your site will be your responsibility, which can include things like:
- Anything you’re able to edit via the LiveWhale web dashboard: adding and removing users, events, groups, event types, etc.
- Changing your theming (fonts, colors, spacing, buttons and link styles) or templates (adding things to the sidebar, editing the event submission form)
- Adding or customizing widgets
- Supporting and training your in-house editors or new administrators
- Maintenance of any customizations—whether originally built by your team or ours—in /_ingredients/ and /livewhale/client/. Diagnosing and resolving issues in custom code that was created by the White Whale Web Services team is included for 60 days after launch at no additional charge.
For any of the above items, we’re happy to help on a billable basis—either for one-off projects, or with a retainer of pre-paid hours—but otherwise our assumption in support is that you have a least one person comfortable with that work (accessing the server, editing configuration files, and so on). Our standard project rate is $250/hour with a 4-hour minimum, and we will always provide an estimate for approval before beginning any custom work.
Where can I test changes?
Your hosted LiveWhale site also has a corresponding development (dev) site. The data on dev—events, users, etc.—you should consider disposable, since there aren’t straightforward ways to move data from dev to prod. Instead, you can use dev for testing SFTP changes to your theming or configurations and then copying them to the production (prod) server when ready. Also, it’s possible to copy all data from prod to dev if you want to test on dev using recent events from your live site. Our support team will also use the dev server for troubleshooting issues you report, and for any testing of new LiveWhale releases you do before upgrading.
How do upgrades work?
We continuously develop the LiveWhale platform with new bug fixes, features, and optimizations. Minor versions get bundled and released every few weeks (major versions, every year or so), and they get pulled to your dev site automatically for testing. You can see a log of recent releases here, and if you’d like you can sign up to receive email notifications of all new versions here.
With self-update enabled: Your calendar will automatically receive backwards-compatible minor/patch updates a week after they are available on dev for testing. These upgrades run on Sunday mornings around 3am local time. We can disable this if you prefer, but we strongly recommend keeping it enabled so you always are working from the latest stable release of the software. If you have customizations you are concerned about, you can test those on dev in the week after a new version is released to dev. More about upgrading is here, and feel free to email support with any questions.
With self-update disabled: It’s possible to automatically have your calendar receive upgrades, but currently all upgrades will need to be done manually on your site. This was probably configured to allow ample testing of significant customizations in your theming/modules, or requested by someone on your team. For manual upgrades, we suggest you test and upgrade at least once a year; quarterly would be ideal. It’s not critical that you run every upgrade. Instructions for manual upgrades are here, and feel free to email support with any questions.
As always, feel free to reach out – we’re here to help. Thank you!
LiveWhale Support Team