Keep your website up – Communicate! —

Keep your website up – Communicate!

I had a client recently whose website was put on hiatus – they had forgotten to pay the hosting bill!

Fortunately their domain was good for another year, so all that happened was their site was temporarily replaced with an “account suspended” page – easily fixed by paying the bill.

So why did this happen?

The easy answer is that someone wasn’t paying attention to their emails! After all, the system starts sending out reminder messages a month in advance!

Looking deeper, however, reveals a flaw in the system setup – and this is why I look at the whole system when setting up a new website. There should be a line of communication that is put in place to ensure someone who can react to problems vis-a-vis the site is kept apprised of problems.

This particular client is a homeowner’s association – and as such has a management staff PLUS a volunteer board of directors. Communication lines have not been clear in the past, which made it difficult to decide who needed to know what when originally setting up the system.

As a result, the original setup was for account info be sent to the main office email account….and here is where the flaw was exposed last week. The office does not have a clear communication setup – the website email account is used, but also a additional “off-site” account, which was getting heavy traffic (and thus most of the attention.

The fix? The primary hosting account now is listed as an alias – which automatically forwards everything to the webdesigner, the board’s president, the office, PLUS the communications committee.

A lesson learned with a very small price to pay. You don’t often get those in adulthood!

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