FAQ

Interface helps you Build Better Websites.

First Impressions

Features

Plans & Payments

Hosting

Account Center/ Users

Miscellaneous


First Impressions

What is Interface? I don’t get it.

Interface is a content management system and a web development framework. In other words, Interface is a tool to build and manage really awesome websites, from simple to flashy, straight-forward to complicated.

Why should I use Interface for my web project?

Because using Interface cuts your web project time in half.

Because Interface is a solid framework upon which even the most complicated site can be built quickly.

Because Interface has a full API, giving you untold possibilities for applications and web site versions.

Because Interface gives your site, including all Flash sites, full Search Engine optimization.

Because you won’t have to switch to another web framework when you want to have a completely “new” site next year, saving you hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars.

What is a Model?

Models are the key to your Interface site. Models represent the kinds of data that your site will be based on. If you are building a photography site, there may be Models called “Photograph” and “Gallery”. If you are building a blog, maybe you will create models called “Blog,” “Post,” and “Comment”. You are in full control to build and configure Models exactly as you need for your individual site; we don’t make any assumptions about how your website should be set up.

A Model, ultimately, is a collection of fields, each of which represents a specific type of data. You can build a Model using fields such as text, date, location, image, list, document, and more. Read more about Models in our User Manual.

There are a lot of considerations that go into building a useful and appropriate set of Models and relationships between them, but because Interface is so flexible none of these choices are necessarily permanent. You are free to morph the structure of the site as you are developing it, allowing for a more agile and flexible approach to development and design.

What programming/coding language do I need to know to develop a site in Interface?

You do not necessarily need to know any particular programming language to build the back-end of a site in Interface…however, in order to create a solid website infrastructure and a foundation that can be built upon for years, it is important for the developer or development team to have good data modeling skills (read more about Models here).

To create templates for the front-end of an Interface site, you need to be versed in ERB, the Ruby templating language. Note that Interface also has a full API that can be used for development in Flash and for apps.

Can I build multiple websites with one instance of Interface?

You can drive one website with one instance of Interface, but you can use that same single API to power any number of applications and versions. The possibilities are endless.

Will using Interface lock my website into a system that is “old news” in a year’s time?

Not at all! Interface has been in use and continually updated and improved since 2007. There is a stellar dedicated development and management team behind Interface. We are constantly working on Interface, pushing it to the cutting edge of web development and content management. Interface is constantly moving forward, toeing the line between new technologies and tried-and-true programming/development practices. Version updates, with new features and improvements, are released regularly, of which all users are notified to update.

It looks great, but how do I get started developing?

Get started by checking out our plans & pricing; choose the best plan for your needs (don’t worry, you can always change plans in the future if you need more or less resources) and sign-up. You will get an email with log-in instructions. Using those you can jump right in to your Interface project and start building. See our “Getting Started” video [link] and/or our User Manual for more information and details on building a site in Interface.


Features

Can I send email blasts with Interface?

No, Interface does not send email blasts. We firmly believe in sticking to a core set of features and goals (and doing them really well). Giving users an email blast system that is robust, solid and cutting-edge would take us outside of our core features and goals. There are fantastic companies out there who focus on email marketing and do a great job at it. One of our favorites is Campaign Monitor. You can easily set up sign-up forms on your website to feed directly into your Campaign Monitor account. We’ll stick with the web development and management and leave the emails to them.

Do you have design templates I can use?

We do not currently offer downloadable or customizable design templates for you to use with your Interface project. We think one of the strong suits of Interface is that it frees you from endless development time and gives you more time to create and incorporate any kind of design. We don’t want to assume how your project should look or be structured, so you are free to find a kick-ass designer and let her/him loose.

What are the design limitations with Interface?

None. Absolutely none at all. Interface is a strong foundation upon which you can built any kind of site or application, using any number of front-end technologies, making your site exactly as you want it.

Can I import content?

Yup! After you have set up and firmed up your Page structure, Models and Associations, you can import your content using CSVs. See our User Manual for detailed instructions on the import format and specifications.

Will you ever add new features?

Absolutely. We work hard to assess which new features will make Interface better for the greatest number of users. We never push up half-baked elements that are only of use in one or two rare cases. The Interface team balances its time between developing new features, solidifying and improving current features, and offering support to users. You can follow our blog to learn more about what we’re up to and to get news on upcoming features and version releases.

How do I know what version of Interface my site is running?

Check the Dashboard of your Interface project to see the version you’re running. You can also see there the latest version we’ve released and download it when you’re ready to.

Can I change Models (or my site infrastructure/set-up) on the fly?

Yes, yes, yes. This gets at the heart and soul of Interface. You are never locked in to a Model set-up (and only need to go by the Model number limits based on your plan–See your Interface Dashboard for your current Model number and limit). You could create 5 Models to start your site off, and then 6 months later add 3 more. If you find that your infrastructure needs changing 1 month or 1 year in, you can readjust the Models (add, delete, or modify).

The only implications in deleting a Model is with:

  • Associations, or the relationships you create between Models. If you delete one Model, any Association, or relationship, between that Model and any others is no longer going to exist.
  • Your front end, be it templates or the API. If you have references to a Model in your template/API, you have to update to reflect your Model additions/deletions/changes in order for the front end not to display errors.

The beauty of Interface is that it can easily grow and change with your organization needs…you are never locked in to a website set-up


Plans & Payments

How do I know which plan is best for my website?

There are many factors that go into choosing the best plan for your site. It depends on your projected storage and bandwidth needs, as well as the size of your site (which is most often reflected by the number of Models that you use to build out the infrastructure of the site). You are never locked in to a plan, so if you find that your needs change after a while, you can always change down the road. Also, we are available should you need guidance on initially choosing a plan.

Can I change my plan later?

Definitely. We understand that a website’s resource needs change over time and we can easily work with you to change plans accordingly.

How do I know how much storage and bandwidth my site is currently using?

Look on the Dashboard of your Interface Admin to see your current site usage for storage, bandwidth, and Models. If you find that you are reaching your limits (or never coming close to reaching the top limit on all of them), talk to us about changing to a more suitable plan.

How do I cancel my Interface instance?

We’re sad to see you go, but understand these things happen.

First, please make sure you have exported any and all files and/or data that you would like to take with you. After you cancel your Interface project, you will NOT have access to the files & data. It is your responsibility to make sure you have a copy of everything you need BEFORE you cancel. Interface is not responsible for any lost files and data upon cancellation.

After you have your files and data, the main account holder of the Interface projects can cancel it in the Account Center. Log in with your user information and click on the name of the project you wish to cancel. Use the “Cancel” link toward the bottom of the page. At this point, your reoccurring billing will cease and you will no longer have access to your Interface website, CMS, files and data.

Please be sure this is really what you want to do before you cancel. Perhaps a different plan or help sorting out any issues is in order?

If I cancel my Interface instance, do I lose all my files and data?

You are always able to export and keep all your files and data at any point. Should you need to cancel your Interface project, you must export and save anything you need before you cancel. If you cancel before getting all the files and data you want, you WILL lose them, so please tread carefully. Reach out to us with any questions regarding this policy or procedures.


Hosting

Do you host my email, too?

No, we don’t host email with Interface instances. Our servers are configured perfectly for Interface and that’s what we specialize in. We think other people handle email quite well and are happy to use their services. Rather than trying to do everything somewhat decently, we like to do a core set of features extraordinarily.

Can I download Interface and put it on a server/hosting I already have?

No, Interface is not offered as a downloadable software application. Interface requires a very precise and unique server set-up, which we crafted and actively maintain. Also, once you get on an Interface plan, you are in the network to easily get updates and new versions, which we would not be able to offer if Interface were not hosted in the same network/server.

Is your hosting setup secure and reliable?

Yes, our setup is absolutely secure and incredibly reliable. We work with the best in the industry to create and maintain a solid cloud hosting environment for your website. We are constantly monitoring and respond to any alerts or issues in the rare events they come up.

If you are experiencing issues with your site availability, we recommend that you first verify whether it is a server issue or an individual connectivity issue. Down for everyone or just me? After you confirm that “it’s not just you,” contact us and let us know what is going on with as many details as possible.

Do you back up our data and help if something goes down?

Yes, we have a solid backup system, that automatically backs up your site database and files daily. We keep the last 30 days of your MySQL backups, which are backed up to a separate area.

Should you experience any issues with your site due to a server/hosting issue, we are committed to working with you to restore your site with the most recent content as soon as humanly possible.


Account Center/ Users

How do I update a user’s name or email?

Users are managed in our central Account Center, not in an individual Interface project. To update a User’s information, including email and password, log in to the Account Center and click on the “Profile” tab at the top. Edit and save the information. It is instantly updated in our system and is reflected in all Interface projects of which that User is a part.

I can’t log in...help!

If you are having problems logging in to Interface, first make sure you do not have on the Caps Lock key (usernames and passwords are case sensitive). Next, double-check that you are entering your correct information.

If you are still having issues logging in, please contact us for help.

Is there a limit to the number of users I can have?

No, there isn’t. You are welcome to have as many Users for your Interface project as makes sense for your development process and organization. You can create custom Roles and assign them to Users accordingly, ranging from Admin all-access levels, to section-by-section edit-only (no deleting) access.


Miscellaneous

Something in Interface isn’t working. How can I report a bug?

We always hope that you will tell us should you find even the smallest issue with the functionality of Interface. Let us know what’s going on with as many details (and screenshots!) as possible by sending us a note.

I have a suggestion for a new Interface feature. Can I tell you about it?

Sure. We would love to hear what you think, including ideas for Interface features. Drop us a line and let us know. We read and carefully consider all suggestions, but can’t promise we’ll implement all feature suggestions. Keep an eye on our blog to learn about upcoming or just-released features.

My website isn’t working. Can you fix the issue?

It depends. If Interface is acting up and is not working, we can fix that and urge you to let us know as soon as possible. Check our support section for updates and further information about features and fixes. If that doesn’t yield results, check in with us and we’ll look into it.

If there is an issue on your website that is not caused by Interface, unfortunately we can’t fix it for you. You should reach out to the developer who built your site or another developer familiar with Interface and/or ERB (as well as your front-end technologies).

If you are unsure whether the issue is due to an Interface bug, first check with a developer who can assess the situation more closely and let us know if there are Interface items we need to look into.

Do you know any developers who could build me a site using Interface?

Yes, yes we do. We highly recommend the strategy and development team at Instrument for building sites using Interface (and/or even those without!).