It can be easy to panic if you discover your website is not loading. You instantly worry that thousands of people all of a sudden aren’t able to access your website, and you’re losing $$$. You worry about the damage to your brand, or maybe the traffic you’ll be sending to your competitors because of your outage. First of all, take a breath and try to calm down.
Unless you’re a really big website, like The Warehouse or Air NZ, or even Facebook (which has also had outages), hardly anyone (or maybe no one) will notice if it’s only a short outage. Even medium-sized e-commerce websites generally only have a few dozen visitors every hour.
Also keep in mind that your email won’t be affected, or, at worst, emails will be delayed – but you won’t lose any emails due to a hosting outage.
That said, hosting outages are something that we, as a hosting provider, try to avoid if at all possible, so we take any downtime very seriously and have measures in place to resolve any outages as soon as they happen. Unfortunately, they can’t be avoided 100% of the time so if you’re a website owner it’s good to understand they do happen, and know what you can do to, firstly determine if the problem is your hosting service, and secondly, steps you can take if there is an outage.
Please note, that there is no need to contact us if our hosting service is experiencing an outage – we are automatically notified the second there is an outage and work to resolve it ASAP. Depending on the cause, it might only be a few minutes, or it could be, in some rare cases, an hour or so.
How can I be prepared for hosting downtime?
In the same way you might prepare for a natural disaster (contingency planning) it’s a good idea to have a plan if you are experiencing a hosting outage. And, yes sometimes a natural disaster can result in a hosting outage – this is a good reason to have offshore hosting in locations that are relatively disaster free (and not on the pacific ring of fire like NZ!).
Check the following before an outage happens!
- Your login to where your domain is registered (and that it works!)
- Know who your email is with – is it with your hosting service or another service like Microsoft Outlook, Zoho or Google Workspaces? Once again, make sure you have working logins for all your services and they’re kept in a safe place (and not just with one person!)
- Think about a standard message you might put on social media if it’s an extended outage (eg longer than an hour) – you can say it’s being worked on and will be back as soon as possible.
How can I check if my hosting service is down?
If you can’t load your website, there could be a number of different reasons unrelated to your hosting service. Check the following before assuming it’s your hosting (the details below are specific to our hosting service).
- Check if it’s down for everyone using a website like www.isitdownrightnow.com – if they can access it then the problem is with your internet connection.
- Check your domain has the correct settings – if you use our nameservers make sure they are: ns1.pogonz.com and ns2.pogonz.com – if you use an A record to point to our hosting make sure it is 126.96.36.199
- Check your domain hasn’t expired (with your domain registrar, where your domain was registered)
- Check your hosting account with us is up-to-date (make sure you are receiving emails from [email protected] – check your spam or promotions folder, or add this address to your contacts)
- Check www.pogostick.co.nz – we use the same hosting service so if our website is loading correctly it is a problem with your website – it could be a fault caused by changes or updates made by a website admin – in this case, contact us or contact a local WordPress website technician for assistance.
- If our hosting service is experiencing an outage we are notified automatically and are working on the problem to have it restored as soon as possible.
What if my email isn’t working?
A hosting outage won’t disrupt your email service (at worst, if you are using our email service, your emails may be delayed) but if you are experiencing problems with your email service, check the following:
- Is your email with Google, Microsoft or Zoho? Ask their support for help and follow their instructions.
- If your email is with us, can you access it via the webmail portal? (yourdomain.co.nz/roundcube)
- Have you reached your quota limit – can you delete some large emails?
- Have you tried setting up your email using a Gmail account (how do I do that?)
- Also, check the list for website troubleshooting above.
What can you do if uptime is critically important to your business?
For a lot of businesses, downtime is not too much of an issue. It’s not great, but it’s not a major problem either. However, if uptime is critical to the day-to-day (and hour-to-hour) success of your business, then here are some suggestions:
- Be prepared – See above for some things you can do to have a contingency plan in place if an outage occurs.
- Are you on the right hosting plan? – Do you have a lot of website visitors? Do you run big ad campaigns from time to time? Do you have a lot of products in your online store? Is your website very interactive? It’s possible you’ve outgrown your current hosting plan and you should think about upgrading. Talk to us about your options.
- Optimise your website – Sometimes websites go down because they are poorly optimised. Contact us to discuss options to optimise your website, making it faster and less likely to fall over when there’s an increase of visitors.
- Set up your domain on Cloudflare – This can add an extra layer of protection against any issues with your domain DNS settings. We can help set you up if needed.
- Ask for access to your hosting panel – Our bigger plans allow direct access to your hosting service. This can be useful if you need to enlist the help of a technician to diagnose and fix the problem (or in the worst case scenario, move your website to a different hosting service).
- Have a backup technician available – If the problem is urgent and we’re not immediately available, have a backup website technician you can contact.
As mentioned above, we take website hosting uptime very seriously and work hard to make sure our hosting service is available around-the-clock. We monitor the service 24/7/365 and if there is any outage, it gets worked on immediately. We are also constantly looking at ways to improve the robustness and reliability of our hosting.
As with all our products and services, we are also focused on making it very affordable. Check our hosting plans to see just how affordable it is, and ask about our free website transfer.