Website TroubleshootingIt doesn’t happen very often that a website goes down, especially on Hosting101’s servers.  Our servers have 99.9% uptime and have been online constantly without a glitch since September 2014.  Having said that, if your website ever goes down you can check a few things before contacting Hosting101’s support.

Steps you can follow yourself to get your website back online:

  1. Check that the server is online
  2. Check that your site isn’t suspended for some reason
  3. Whitelist your public IP address
  4. Inform your web developer, if necessary
  5. Contact Hosting101 Support

Check that the web hosting server is online

As stated before, Hosting101’s servers hardly ever go down.  In the few cases where they do go down, it’s mostly because of routine maintenance or security updates, which are always scheduled from midnight and are usually completed within a few minutes.

But to confirm that the servers are online, you can easily ping your website by pressing the Windows key + R and typing “CMD” into the Run command line, then press Enter:

When the Command Prompt opens, you can type “ping www.yourwebsitedomain.co.za”, obviously replacing the “yourwebsitedomain.co.za” with your actual website address.

If you receive a response from the server, as above, that means the server is online.  If you get no response it still doesn’t necessarily mean that the server is offline, but we will look at that in step 3.

Confirm that your website isn’t suspended for some reason

A website can be suspended for a few reasons.  One of those reasons is non-payment.  The other reasons usually involve spam being sent from your account, which could lead to blacklisting of your account and your domain, which is a very bad thing.  These spam messages could be because of a hacked website, malware on your computer, or simply you sending out a lot of emails to your customer base from your email account, that is seen by various web servers as spam.

To avoid this, you can ensure the following:

  1. Never send out emails to more than 10 people from your own email account. Rather use a service like Mailchimp or Send in Blue (both have free versions) for sending out mass mails.
  2. Always ensure that your antivirus software is up to date and scans your PC regularly. Also use additional malware protection like the free version of Malwarebytes, since it can often pick up malware that is not detected by normal antivirus scanners.
  3. Get your web developer to install security plugins in your website, and to keep your website’s plugins up to date.

When Hosting101’s server suspends an account, it always sends an email stating the reason for the suspension.  If you can’t access your emails, feel free to contact Hosting101 to confirm.

Whitelisting your Public IP Address

Sometimes Internet Service Providers give their users IP addresses that have been blacklisted when they were in use by previous customers.  These IP addresses are often blocked by Hosting101’s servers for security reasons.

If you can’t ping the server (step 1) this might be the cause.

To rectify this issue, go to www.google.com in your web browser and search for “find my ip address”.  The public IP address will be shown in the top of the search results in bold black letters.  You can then send that IP address to Hosting101 and request that it be whitelisted, after which the problem is very often resolved.

Informing your Web Developer

Sometimes the reason for a website being offline has to do with outdated website code.  If the previous three steps did not resolve your website issue, it might be a good idea to contact your web developer.  They should be able to determine if the problem is with the site itself or if it is related to the hosting server.  If they can’t resolve it, then it is time for the last step.

Contacting Hosting101 Support

Technology is supposed to make our life easier, but unfortunately that is not always the case.  Things can go wrong in an almost unlimited number of ways.  This includes web hosting.

If you’ve tried all the different steps above and still can’t manage to get your website up and running, please contact Hosting101’s support and we will assist you further.

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