Your Host Just Suspended Your Site: What Do You Do About the Downtime?

Most website owners think a hosting provider won't suspend their website unless that site contains inappropriate content. The fact of the matter is that your host can suspend your site, resulting in unexpected and profit-eating downtime, for a plethora of reasons. For example, if your site starts eating up all of the resources of your "unlimited" server, you may find your site suspended. What do you do about the issue and how do you address the downtime? This is what you need to know.

Your Site Gets Suspended and You Don't Understand Why

You signed up for a hosting plan that offered unlimited bandwidth, so when you started really sucking up that bandwidth why did the host suspend your site? Because your site is on a shared server, and your site's bandwidth usage started affecting the performance of other customers' sites. As a result, your site gets suspended without warning. If this happens, you move to a new host. A hosting provider should never suspend a site for using the unlimited bandwidth that was advertised without offering alternatives, such as a dedicated server, first.

What Do You Do?

So what do you do if your host suspends your website, causing significant downtime, due to an excessive use of bandwidth? Forget about arguing with them. If they suspended you without notice, chances are that the customer service department isn't going to be very understanding of your situation. What you need to do is start looking for a new hosting plan, and consider a dedicated server rather than a shared hosting plan since your site is obviously consuming significant amounts of bandwidth. With that much traffic going on, the cost of a dedicated server should be justifiable. Also, you should have backup copies of your site's files. If you don't, your hosting provider should still have those files, even if they aren't publicly available via your site at the moment. It's time to start taking those files and migrating them to your new host. Also, find out the TTL (time-to-live) of your DNS provider. If it's less than 24 hours, that's great. If it's not, you may want to consider switching to a service with a faster TTL because when you move your site over to a new host, that TTL is going to determine how soon your site is going to be available again to your visitors. While all of this is going on, utilize social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to communicate with your customers or clients. Let them know your site is undergoing maintenance, is currently unavailable, and give them a timeframe as to when the site will be back up and running again. When you know the TTL of your DNS, this isn't hard to do. Do not wait until you have uploaded all of your files to the new host to point the DNS to the new site. Since there is a TTL period, you want to make sure that your site is up and running as soon as possible so point the DNS to the new site and then begin uploading pages so your site can go live. Finally, when the site is back up and running, make sure you use those same social media outlets to update your customers or clients so they know you are back online.