Here at InternetMarketing247.com we have a number of hosting accounts at various hosting companies. Believe you me, that over the years we have tried many. But all too often we have fallen foul of unreliability, lack of planning and lack of information.
I remember many years ago when we were first starting the business, we hosted our websites with a hosting company in New Jersey, USA, which has thankfully long shut down, or perhaps was taken over by a company who understood the full meaning of customer service and reliability.
I can remember only too vividly nearly tearing my hair out — not that I have that much anyway — as I listened to the feeble excuses from the customer service department as to why our websites were down for the third day running! Can you believe that? And all we were trying to do was run a business!
Of course when we complained to management nothing much was done. The usual feeble and pathetic excuses were put forward with the usual apologies. Of course none of this could compensate for the loss of revenue and customer goodwill that we had endured during a three-day period of downtime. It just didn’t seem to matter to them. And it made me realise that these people did not understand that having a web site down was like having the shop door closed for 24 hours a day.
12 years on, it seems that nothing much has changed. A couple of weeks ago we were victims of another situation from one of our hosting companies called Beachcomber Creations, when our websites went down for a complete day — yes that means 24 hours. It’s difficult to compute how much revenue we actually lost.
Of course you can only guess at how much loss such a long downtime will incur for busy web sites like ours. Of course when we complained to the host, Beachcomber Creations, all you are given is excuses and apologies. Nothing more. Of course there is no way that they would ever compensate us for the loss of goodwill and the loss of revenue that we endured as a result of their alleged ineptitude. But as a result we moved one of our accounts to another host.
However, we all understand that in this complex network of computers and servers, which we call the Internet, there are bound to be times when problems occur. I think we all understand this. But what really makes me angry at what happened to us very recently, (since the last “event”) was that our illustrious hosting company, Beachcomber Creations, decided in their wisdom to move all of our websites to another server, giving us literally a few hours notice.
Of course it did not occur to them, that we have client web sites on our account. Not only this, but we have numerous of our own web sites as well. They claimed that they had a foolproof, seamless integration in place. This proved to be far from the truth. After getting conflicting information from their sales department and their support department about the name server changes which should be made, we eventually changed all of the name server information for all of our websites. This apparently did not work, even though we were told it would!
Of course we had numerous complaints from our clients during the course of the day, asking why they could not see their web site and why their e-mail was not working. In case you are unaware, whenever you move a web site from one server to another, you must also make sure that you keep on checking the e-mail at both IP addresses — in other words at the IP address of your former host and the IP address of your new host.
If you do this, you will be reasonably sure of capturing all your e-mail as the move is made, or using the professional term — migration. Beachcomber Creations only gave us a few hours notice, so we had no time to advise our own clients as to what they should do, or indeed to set up our own mirror e-mail accounts to capture e-mails from both IP addresses.
Needless to say, once again this problem has caused us a great deal of disruption, loss of revenue and loss of customer goodwill. All this because Beachcomber Creations failed to give advance notice to customers of their intention to move their accounts from one server to another.
Of course we complained bitterly about the situation and as usual, all we were offered were the usual feeble excuses and apologies. So the message in all of this, is that when you choose any host for your web site, choose wisely and carefully. As far as we’re concerned, as a result of the first debacle, we moved our first set of accounts to another host. As far as the ramifications for the other night’s debacle is concerned, we will be giving this due consideration.