Having your blog site down is one of the most nerve wracking things that can happen to a blogger. But in my case, all it took was a few steps to get back in business
Not too long ago, my blog site was down for two days. I had been working hard to get the word out and I was getting great feedback so this was a mighty smack to say the least. Once I got over the nasty surprise I kicked into tech mode and tried to get to the bottom of the issue. Turns out was a technical glitch with the domain registration that “magically” solved itself after I made a call but that got me thinking about how many other bloggers went through a similar issue and how it could be handled.
Here are five steps that will help you get to the bottom of things:
1. Calm down
It may seem like a cliche but like many, my mind was racing with possibilities about what happened to my blog site on top of being angry. Hacked, software upgrade malfunction, plugin issues…I had to make a conscious effort to relax, assess the situation and not come off like a lunatic.
2. Error messages
What was the exact error message that came up when I tried to reach the site? In this case it was a DNS error which means that the domain server was unable to resolve the name of the blog site. Because I was able to resolve the domain name of other sites, the problem was with my blog host and not with my internet service provider (ISP).
3. Do a command ping
This is an old trick I learned as a Technical Manager years ago. A command ping was used to check if the packets of information could be sent to different parts of the network, including external sites. I opened up a command screen (in my case Windows Start>Run>cmd) and tried to “ping” my blog site: ping www.yourblog.com. If everything is OK, you should get something that looks like this:
The ping stats show replies to the request. If you’re unable to get to your site, you wouldn’t see something other than these 4 positive replies that would tell you the ping failed.
4. New blog site software plugin additions
A while back I had a problem with an SEO plugin. It was touted as, the best, powerful and wound up crashing my site. So I retraced my steps and remembered if there were any new plugins. The only major change to my blog site was upgrading to WordPress 3.5 which, by the way, has nothing to do with DNS issues.
5. Get support document ready
I made sure I took screenshots of what I had done and the error messages. I also made sure that I mentioned any new plugins I had added in the support doc I created. Once support got back to me, I was able to take the necessary steps.
If your host is worth the fee you’re paying, they will find this information useful and will help you get to the bottom of your site crash. When the problem is solved, it will take some time for your site to propagate and come back on line. In some cases a few minutes but count on two to four hours.
Once I was back online, I breathed a sigh of relief because it could have been worse. Thank goodness I could get back to promoting my blog site and getting more traffic.