What To Do If Your Website Goes Down
Has your website gone down? Do you know the reason for it? There can be many reasons why your website may go down. In this article I will discuss the top 3 reasons why your website may have gone down. The first thing you need to remember is to always remain calm. It may seem like the end of the world when your website does not show up but if you do some simple checks, you may find out why, and if you are still struggling to find the root of the problem then you will need to get in touch with your website hosting company.
1. Your Domain Name may have expired
One of the most common reasons why a website goes down is because the Domain Name has expired. If this has ever happened to you you'll know the heart sinking moment when you first look at the error message saying 'This Domain Name expired on dd/mm/yy and is available to buy'. This is one of the biggest ways you can tell if your domain name has expired however when the domain name expires this message will not always come up. Sometimes a page saying ' This webpage is not available' will appear. You can find out if your domain name has expired by visiting this website address – http://who.is/. Once you are on the website all you simply then need to do is to type your Domain Name in:
Once you have done a search, you need to scroll down to the 'relevant dates' section. Here you will be able to see when your domain name expired:
If you see this come up you need to get in contact with your Domain Name provider straight away and see if you are able to purchase the Domain name back again. If you are able to purchase the Domain Name back, you are then able to have full control again. So all you need to do is point the domain name back to your website.
2. Changes to your Domain Name Settings
You don't always have full control of your Domain Name, you more than likely have a company which you have to look after your Domain Name and to make relevant changes when needed. Sometimes the Domain Name provider you have may make some updates to the Domains they have control of, and this can sometimes have a knock on effect. By this I mean they may make changes to the Domains they hold and edit the IP address. This means that now your Domain name is not pointing to the right IP address where your website is being hosted. Again you can find this out by going on the same website as before, http://who.is/. You go through the same steps, you type in your Domain Name and then hit the search key. Once all the information comes up you need to look on the right hand side and you'll see a 'site status' section:
Here you can see what the IP Address is for where your website points, if you are unsure what the correct IP Address for your website is, you can simply call your website hosting company and they will be able to tell you. If the one they give you does not match up to the one which is showing in Who.is then you need to contact your Domain Name provider so they can change this for you.
Another thing you can look for in the relevant date section instead of looking at the expires on part, you can look at the 'Updated on' part. This is because if you know your website was active and working last week, and the 'Updated on' part says some changes were made with yesterdays date, you know that your Domain Name provider have changed something within your Domain Name settings. All you need to do in this case is again, call your Domain Name provider and ask them to look into their records and see what changes were made on that date.
3. Payments to your website hosting company have stopped
You make regular payments to your website hosting company so that they can host your website on their server. The fees can range depending on what company you use and what amount of support they offer you. If you stop your regular payments to them, often monthly, then they will take down your website. They can do this because it is like any other monthly fee that you pay, for example if you take a Sky subscription, you pay each month and if you do not make a payment in a month they will cut off your Sky. This is exactly the same for your website. If your website does go down and you are unsure if the payments have stopped then you can simply call your website hosting company and ask for their accounts department to look and see if payments have been made from yourself for hosting. If they then tell you you're paying you know this is not the reason why your website is down. You can then move onto the next point to check.
If you do the above points and they all come back clear you then just need to contact your website hosting company and let them know that you have done the 3 points above. This will mean they can look into the issue further and find a solution for you.
Article by: Adam Jones