For many small businesses, besides Facebook, their website is their main form of marketing. It gives them a sense of legitimacy and a way for people to understand their services. It becomes the backbone to their business.

Yet what happens when the website no longer works?

Are you comfortable in how you would get yourself back up and running?

There are a number of ways that a website can stop functioning…

The server it’s hosted on goes down;
The hosting is suspended;
The domain expired; or, even worse,
The website is deleted.

At that’s just scratching the surface of reasons.

While in most situations, the web host should have a backup of the site, there is no guarantee that the backup has been taken, when it was taken or if it is a complete backup that you can restore every part of your website from.

There have been a number of times where I’ve been contacted because something has happened to a website. These people are ones I do the occasional work with and who know that I can help them out in a lot of areas.

Yet, I can’t always guarantee that I can recover their site.

So, what do I do when faced with a situation like this?

Firstly, I look at the site to see if I can access any information. This can be to see if the page loads for me, as sometimes it’s not a fault of the website but of the internet connection trying to access it; as well as seeing what kind of error message comes up.

Secondly, I work out what it is that the page is telling me. It could be an error message, a down for maintenance message, a hacker or defaced page, or even nothing at all!

From there I work out the next steps which could include restoring a site, checking for status updates from the host and logging tickets.

For the busy coach, you don’t want to work your way through the various issues, you just want an answer as to how long it’s down for and a solution to get it working again.

This is why I recommend to my design clients to get a maintenance package. A monthly plan to take care of all the possibilities, with regular backups of the website so all new content is included. It’s not because I’m saying that it will happen to their sites, but because I want to make sure if it does happen, they have the best chance of recovery and the lowest recovery time.

For more information on my maintenance plans and what they include, please contact me.

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