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Help, My Website is Down!

Whether your website is new or well established, it is a scary experience to discover it is no longer available. You've put time and effort into creating content to drive potential clients to your services, but now they can't even see your site. Rest assured, all is not lost. This article will help you discover a few ways to get to the bottom of what is happening.

Is it down?

IdeaBank sites are hosted in a secure, access controlled location with multiple power backups. It is very rare that a site will actually go down. Here are a few self diagnosis tips to determine if it is really down.

If you go to your site, and just receive a blank screen or timeout message, you will want to check if it is down for everyone or just you. First, attempt to go to other websites. If you aren't able to access other websites, you may have an issue with your internet service provider.

If you are able to access other websites, you can check other people can see your website. is a website designed for this sort of test. You will simply type your websites URL into the search box, and the site will tell you if it can see your website or not.

If the above tool does not see your site, you will want to contact IdeaBank Support to resolve the issue. However, if your site is reported as available, but you cannot access it, there are a few steps you can take to diagnose the problem.

Why can't I see my website?

IdeaBank sites have strict security controls to prevent intrusion or manipulation of important files. The most common reason why you may not be able to access your site is due to misconfigured email.

A misconfigured email account can attempt to login to your site's web server using incorrect information on a regular interval. The web server would detect this as an intrusion attempt, and block the IP location as a potential spammer or hacker. This problem can be quickly remedied with a support call or email, however it is recommended you first verify you have the correct email settings in place. Unfortunately, this is not a simple diagnosis, as your IP location is probably shared by other people in your business. If someone else has an improperly configured email client, you could also be blocked. IdeaBank will help you diagnose who is accessing the site with invalid information, and work to resolve the issue.

Another reason you may not be able to see your website is due to a poor Domain Name System (DNS). By default, your Internet Service Provider (ISP) will provide their own Domain Name System. It is our experience that these ISP provided DNS setups are generally slower, and less likely to follow domain specified refresh rates, or Time To Live (TTL).

There are many tools to help you determine the fastest DNS based on your location, however we generally recommend Google's own DNS, as it is very stable. Google has also provided a handy guide for updating your DNS settings.

I Can See My Site, But Have An Error Code.

If you receive an error code, please either copy the error or take a screen capture using either the "Print Screen" button on Windows or "Cmd+Control+Shift+4" on Mac. Paste the error or screen capture into an email, and send it to our support staff. You can follow up with a phone call, but having the error code documented will help us determine the issue.

Error codes can vary, and just because you see an error code, doesn't mean that everyone can. Having the error code in our support system will help us determine the severity of the issue, and prevent it on other sites in the future.

How Do I Contact Support?

2013 has been a big year for IdeaBank, and we've rebuilt our support from the ground up. We still offer the phone support by calling (402) 463-0588, but now have a support system to easily keep a record of all of your support issues. By using our support email, you will help us track issues and build a complete communication history of any problems you may have experienced. You will immediately receive an issue tracking ID, which we can use to quickly check the state of your issue or bug.

More details and features will be coming in the following months about our new support channel.

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