Websites are complicated pieces of software. Whether they are robust and nuanced ecommerce or content aggregators or simple HTML informational sites, all sites are subject to bugs or ‘hiccups’ from time to time. This is mainly due to the many types of variables that exist on the Web including different hosting options, programming languages working together, and users with many different browser options interacting with the application.
There are important things to know when a crisis like this happens.
- Remember to stay calm. The last thing you want to do is panic when any sort of emergency happens, let alone something like a website error; these things happen. If it can be said that a website hiccup is equal to the website being confused, the last thing you need is to be panicked and confused, yourself!
- Record the error. Taking to your web designer or webmaster about website hiccups is very close to speaking to your doctor about being sick. The first thing he asks is ‘where does it hurt?’ Since you are not your website, you may have to do a little research and record exactly what is wrong with your site before repairs can begin. Visit your site just like anyone would do when they arrived from Google and see what they would be seeing. Save any emails from users mentioning the hiccup and refer back to them. The more information you can collect, the easier it will be for the programmers to find the error and repair.
- Configuration changes: Did you make any changes you your site recently? Was anything added to your software? Changes large and small are equally important so be sure to document them all.
- Hosting changes: If you did not make any changes, large or small, to your site it is often likely that your hosting company has made some small changes to their settings. Check with them also to see if anything has changed on their end.
- ISP changes: Occasionally, IP addresses can be blocked by web providers for a variety of reasons. If you think this may be the case, try visiting your site through a proxy server, easily found on the internet. This allows you to view your site though the eyes of a third-party visitor.
- Send all the info to your professional web designer. If you’ve done a good job of locating the errors and naming exactly what is broken, this will not only make your web designer happy but will let him get to fixing it right away instead of looking around himself for errors which can be tedious and time consuming. This means that he can focus on getting your site up and running ASAP and you back in business.
- Check daily for updates. If your web designer is any good, you are probably not his only customer. He likely has many other things on his plate as well as attending to your hiccups. While your situation should certainly be a priority to him, it does not stop the phone from ringing with other customers and their needs. He is only human and can get distracted. Feel free to check in with him for a few minutes daily to see if he needs any additional information. This will help him keep you a high priority and speed the repair process.
- Let all affected parties know about the fix, if inconvenienced. Once the site is fixed, any customers or users that were affected by the hiccup should be reassured that the site is back to ‘full speed ahead’. This helps to let your customers know that you care about their traffic and support your site 100%.
At iScripts.com, we support our software unconditionally. Our software quality is our reputation and we are always happy to help our clients find the ideal website for their business model and user base.