As a web designer, I know a lot about a lot of things web-related – and thus, I have become sort of a default tech support option for many many people. I love all of my clients and really am always happy to help, however about 90% of the time, I am not actually the best choice for whatever issue they are having. The same is true no matter who has created your web site – there is frequently a much faster and more efficient way to get your problem solved and your question answered! Plus, sometimes we web developers go on vacation, or spend time with our family, or sleep! You don’t always need to wait for us to be available to get your issue resolved.
SO I thought I would outline some of the common issues people have, and who you should contact first if it happens to you!
1. My site has gone down!
First, make sure your site is really down. Can you get to other web sites? Can you check your email? If not, your internet is down, not your web site. Contact your internet provider to report the outage.
If you can get to other web sites, just not yours, make sure you are entering the URL correctly. Also try reloading the page, as it may have been a momentary glitch and may already be resolved.
If it is really down, have you or anyone else made any changes since the last time it was working? Did you just edit some text, or did you try to change some code? Did you install a new plugin, or change some settings somewhere?
Have you been paying your hosting and domain name registration fees on time? If you allow either one to expire, then your site is going to go down, and you need to contact the company who provides those services ASAP to pay your bills.
If you haven’t made any changes, or all you have done is basic changes to the content, and your bills are all paid, then you need to contact your hosting provider. They may be having a server outage, and it needs to be reported so that your site can be back up and running as quickly as possible.
If you have made changes to code, settings, or installed plugins right before the site went down, then go ahead and contact the person who created your web site and they can evaluate if you accidentally broke something, or if it is unrelated they will direct you to contact your hosting provider.
2. My site is too slow!
First, make sure it is just your site that is slow. Visit a bunch of other web sites – are they all slow too? Then you are having Internet issues – contact your Internet provider.
If only your site is slow, are you on GoDaddy? I have seen sites on GoDaddy become progressively slower and slower and slower. Note that if you call them to complain, they will offer many other excuses for why your site is slow, and try to upsell you to a more expensive plan. Upgrading will probably fix the issue, however moving to a better host will do the same thing for less money.
If you are on a good host that has been fast before, has your traffic increased a lot? Are you running a promotion that is bringing in a lot more traffic than usual? Do you foresee this traffic staying high and getting higher? First, congratulations! Second, it may be time to upgrade to a server that can handle the heavier traffic you are getting. Contact your hosting provider to see what options they can provide to upgrade you to a faster server.
If you are on a good host, and your traffic has not changed, then contact the person who created the site for you. They may be able to diagnose and fix the problem. Things like ads pulled from external sites (like Amazon ads) or external scripts can cause your site to slow down.
3. I need to set up my email!
The majority of the time, you will set up your email through your hosting provider. You can log in to your hosting account and look for a link for “email” and follow the online cues to set up your email addresses. They will also usually provide directions for how to set up a program to retrieve and send email for you. If you have any issues, contact your hosting provider’s tech support – they will be able to get you up and running in no time.
4. My email is broken / I am not getting any emails / emails are bouncing / I’m getting too much spam!
These are all issues that need to be taken up with your email provider – usually the same as your hosting provider. Please contact your hosting company’s tech support.
5. How do I set up a Facebook page?
Click here to follow Facebook’s step-by-step directions to set up a Facebook page.
6. How do I set up a Twitter account?
Click here for Twitter’s step-by-step directions to set up a Twitter account.
7. I am having issues with Facebook or Twitter!
Google for the issue to see if other’s have had the same problem and what the solution will be. Facebook and Twitter both also have their own technical support.
8. I need to integrate Facebook and/or Twitter with my web site!
Contact the person who set up your web site and they can get you up and running.
9. How do I set up an eNewsletter?
First, you need to sign up with an email marketing service. I recommend Mailchimp for ease of use and affordability, but other popular options are Constant Contact, EmailBrain, and MyEmma. There are countless others. Each of these will have detailed directions and support. If you need help setting up a template, contact the person who set up your web site and they can probably do it for a fee, or can recommend someone to you.
10. My computer is broken!
You need to seek out a computer repair shop for that.
If you have general internet-related questions, try Google first. It is a great resource – frequently people email me with questions, and I use Google to make sure I give the most updated and complete answer, then send that info. You can avoid the wait by trying Google first.
If you need to add or change something on your web site, or something on your web site is suddenly broken, contact the person who created your web site.
If you are using any third-party service with your web site or your Internet marketing in general, like an email marketing program, ecommerce program, affiliate program, etc, your best bet is always to contact their tech support first.
Thanks for reading!