Are you getting a bunch of excuses from your webhost or designer?
Most website down times can be remedied within the first hour of discovery. Complete server crashes may take a while longer due to the multiplicity of accounts being affected. Depends on the problem, how extensive the damage is and If backups are available.
For a single site malfunction, the proper way is to cure the breach, repair the problem, restore the backup or else put up a ‘In Maintenance’ or ‘Under Construction’ Page. Restore email services if the problem took down email also.. This gets the DNS, web server and email services running and troubleshot. Then the actual site and content can be restored as needed.
So, why do some hosts take for ever? It might be your fault.
Do you have someone actually assigned to liaison with the hosting company?This puts one point of contact on both sides as most hosting operations assign a tech, customer service rep or designer in charge of the trouble ticket and/or account.
Did you ask to store a backup at your office? Do you either have login credentials ‘at the ready’ for all your sites and domains? Or do you have someone to assist if not? (see my offer at end of Note)
If you actually host your site from your office or data center did you store a complete backup copy of the site elsewhere? Do you have someone assigned to drop all projects when there’s a website problem? Or a service company or web professional to assist?
So, why do some hosts take forever? It might be their fault.
Some smaller hosts run their sites from one server and have no contingency plan in place if that server should crash. They choose to deal with problems as they arise which may overwhelm the staff.
A bigger host might run two or more servers and inter-op between the two with one server doing the master DNS for half the client sites and the other being slave and…. reversing those roles for the other half of their clients.
Same with email. One server is the email server for half the clients while the second if a forwarding server and vice versa. Half the client websites would be hosted on each server.
Some hosting companies or owners are talented artists and designers but fall flat on the technical issues. Being able to fix a PC still leaves you exposed when it comes to the intricacies of running a web server.
So what do you do?
Figure out how critical your site is to your operation…. and when. For instance, you might be running an online store. Availability is key to a a storefront!
You might normally count on your site for passing out information most all year but have several periods when your site needs to provide timely, changing info and possibly deliver ticket sales or other items.
You might find your site can survive multiple sever downtime instances due to your extensive use of social media. (This might be the right place for a forwarding ‘In Maintenance’ page when the web site/page is down. Forwarding to a Facebook type page after a brief message for example).
What to do?
You might want to hire some outside vendor or expert just to deal with backups, copies, server info, and recover issues. That’s part of what I do. Give me (Jeff) a call (540)-440-1850.
And if you find yourself in the middle of an emergency already feel free to call me. I may be able to help.