Today’s website owners have many different options for web hosting. In cases where a company isn’t providing the level of service that you need, it is fairly simple to find a new hosting company. However, there are times when you’ve been with a company for years, like their prices, or just don’t want the hassle of moving to a new server. In those instances, it might be better to try to resolve your issues with your current hosting company before moving to a new one.
Recently, I had an issue with one of my web hosting providers.
The web hosting company moved my sites to a new server and the IP was not resolving correctly on several of my client’s websites, even after I’d changed everything I could on my end. I had some angry clients and the problem seemed to fall through the cracks after a day or two. I was upset enough that I looked at some new providers. However, I had been with the current web host for about five years and never had a problem like this before. In fact, they had given me one of the best customer service experiences I’d had. Instead of leaving, I e-mailed the owner and explained my frustration. Through that conversation, my IP issues were resolved and the owner explained some things to me about how to help your web hosting company help you.
Provide Clear Instructions and Details
Whether you open a ticket, send an e-mail, or make a telephone call, provide clear details about the problem you are experiencing. The information you’ll want to gather before contacting technical support includes:
If you are receiving an error message, copy the wording of the message word for word.
Is the problem on the backend of the site or in the browser?
What have you tried to do already to fix the problem?
Do you have a backup copy of the site the last time things were working properly?
Is the problem urgent? For example, your site being down in browsers is a serious issue, but a problem on the backend may not be as immediately urgent.
Allow Support Time to Work on the Issue
A website that is offline can mean lost dollars. It’s easy to grow frustrated when the issue is not taken care of immediately, but understand that the web host is dealing with hundreds of other people with similar issues. Allow 12 to 24 hours for a response. If you do not receive one in that time frame or at the very minimum an update on the progress, then contact the web host again and remind them of the issue you are having. Occasionally a ticket or e-mail gets lost in the mix, so don’t worry that you’re nagging the hosting company. Also, if there is a way to submit a ticket online, use this method as it will send the problem to tech support and also be listed in the cue. Your request is less likely to fall through the cracks when it is being worked on by several people.
Consider Your History with the Company
If you’ve had excellent customer service, but have one issue that is difficult to resolve, don’t completely throw in the towel. This could happen with any web hosting company. Ask these questions before deciding to take your business elsewhere:
Have other issues been resolved quickly?
Is tech support sending regular updates about what they are doing to resolve the problem?
Is there an estimated amount of time it will take to fix the issues I’m experiencing?
How happy am I with this web hosting company outside of this issue?
Try to remember that the tech support person is just doing a job. Treat that person with kindness and avoid accusations, cursing or name calling. Negative behaviors rarely make the person on the other side of the server want to work more quickly. No matter how aggravated you might be, remember that you are a professional business person.
Read the Knowledge Base
When your site is down, you may want to begin by reading the Knowledge Base and forums at your host’s website. Other customers may currently be undergoing the same problem or may have dealt with it in the past. Sometimes, the solution is as simple as resetting an “htaccess” file or changing permissions for a folder. Other times, the solution may require some changes on the server’s end and the knowledge base can help you understand when it is something you can fix and something you’ll need to wait for help on.
Know When It’s Time to Go
On the other hand, if you’re experiencing down time often or for extended periods of time, it can begin to feel like a disease that is killing your business. In fact, it will impact your traffic as customers will grow frustrated and not return. There are times when you simply have to find a new hosting company to keep your site running the way it should. When it’s time to leave your current host, WHSR is here with reviews and tips for finding a new hosting service that will meet your needs.
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Lori Soard has been working as a freelance writer and editor since 1996. She has a bachelor's in English Education and a PhD in Journalism. Her articles have appeared in newspapers, magazines, online and she's had several books published. Since 1997, she has worked as a web designer and promoter for authors and small businesses. She even worked for a short time ranking websites for a popular search engine and studying in-depth SEO tactics for a number of clients. She enjoys hearing from her readers.