Sadly, in the world we live in, websites are always under threat of attack from hackers and people with negative intent. A good example of this happened the other day. The company which houses my dedicated server was down for almost 24 hours. They claimed it was due to a firmware update in their main data center. Now whether that’s true, or they were hacked and they just can’t tell you for security reasons, the result was the same. My site was down as were many of my customers who are on that particular server. Unfortunately with hundreds of thousands of sites affected, it is very hard to get in touch with hosting companies. Live chat went down as they couldn’t handle the volume, and forget about phones as you sat on hold for hours.
My biggest problem is that my website and therefore my email are on the same server as many of my clients. So when they try to email me, it’s not going to get through. This is a major problem. A company like mine was built on great customer support and people know I always respond. Although some of my clients called or sent text messages, not everyone thought of that and relied on my company email or my support mailbox. So for me, the immediate need was to let people know what was happening and to provide as much information as I had at the moment. I immediately turned to social media and posted updates to my twitter and facebook accounts. Unless their is a major catastrophe, chances are one of those 2 sites is up and running.
The problem is that since emergencies don’t happen all the time (Thankfully), people don’t always know where to turn. For me this is a question of educating my clients. In my next email to my client list, I will be instructing people what to do in the event their website is down and/or email. Unfortunately one of the first thing that happens is people want to go in and change email settings. I always instruct people to first make sure their websites are up and running before mucking around with your email. Typically your email settings don’t change very often. So they should leave them alone unless they speak with me.
Managing websites is about communication. In this day and age you need to have alternate forms of communication as well. Social media is perfect as most people are on either Facebook or Twitter and both have an excellent up time records.