Here at Spindogs, we have a dedicated Support team who are always on hand to help out our customers with any issues regarding their websites. We understand one of the most stressful things for a business is to discover that their site is down and find themselves at a loss as to what they should do, so we’ve put together some tips you can follow to identify the problem efficiently.
First Steps: Check if the site has gone down for everybody
The quickest and most effective way to determine if the reason you’re unable to access your website is to do with the site itself or it’s being caused by external factors is to rule out other possibilities.
- Try viewing the website on a smartphone through its 3G connection (rather than your network). If you can view it through mobile, the most likely explanation is an internal network issue, as the site is still accessible to the public.
- Check whether you are able to access other websites such as google.co.uk etc. If you can’t, that’s an indication that your internet/network is down. If you are still able to view other sites, you need to proceed with other tests.
- When viewing the website, is anything displaying on the screen e.g. is there an error message? It the answer is yes, you’re probably dealing with a code or server issue and you need to escalate it to Spindogs support or your own domain provider immediately.
Second Steps: Pinpoint the reason the website is down
Assuming your internet connection is working, you are able to view other sites and your website is down on 3G too, there are a number of things that might have caused the issue.
- Is the email address attached to your domain listing accessible? Domain providers send out regular domain record checks to ensure that your details (i.e. address, email, phone number) are up to date. If your email address isn’t accessible, they can often suspend the domain until it has been verified and/or updated.
- Make sure your domain is renewed and your payments are up to date. If the website domain isn’t set up to automatically renew, it may have expired. Alternatively, the card/payment details associated with the domain may have expired, in which case you’ll need to update them to get the site back up and running.
- Have your IT systems been recently updated? Check your internal firewall – the website may be blocked or filtered.
- Your IT team may have changed your site’s DNS record - double check through your host’s control panel that no website settings have been overwritten.
Update: Even the big boys get it wrong sometimes
In an ironic turn of events reported by The Register, Silicon Valley-based marketing automation giant, Marketo, failed to automatically renew its own dotcom domain. After receiving numerous customer complaints about issues with their ‘marketo.com’ domain, the company tweeted that it was looking into the issue and consequently followed up almost three hours later letting customers know that the DNS issue has been resolved. According to a source close to Marketo, the business has kicked off a "detailed review of internal operating procedures" in the aftermath of the catastrophic oversight.
Silver lining for the rest of corporate America, and perhaps globally, is that now everyone will be ensuring that their domains don’t expire – most likely by opting for the auto-renew option offered by every registrar worldwide.
Following these steps should help you save time when trying to identify your website problems, and hopefully provide an insight to how to fix it. However, if you are still having trouble you should contact the dedicated Spindogs support team or your own domain provider, who can provide additional in-depth expertise to pinpoint the problem.