You just looked or a prospect or client emailed you to tell you your website was down, what do you do?
First don’t panic. Sometimes a website will go down because the server at the web host is being refreshed, serviced, or the host had a power outage. Wait for 15 minutes and try to access your site again.
In some cases you will get an error message. Make sure to copy the error message. If you get a reference to your database or header files, don’t call your web host, this is a website and webmaster problem. Meaning that something is wrong with the source code of your website or the database that runs your website has gone down (that may be a web host issue).
If your website is not up in 15 minutes or your get a database error that you have never seen before and your site was working fine before, it is time to contact your web host. In some cases it is most practical to pickup the phone and in others more practical to do a tech support ticket.
If your email is down as well, it is time to make sure that the problem really isn’t that you’ve let your domain name expire or that you did not pay your web hosting renewal bill. Here a prompt call to your web host sales department is in order. Typically if your web host has had a hiccup and our website is down, your email will still be operational.
Personally I have only seen both email and the site go down when the client has let the domain name or web hosting expire. Of course there may be other reasons, but letting the domain expire or even the web hosting expire are the most common reasons.
So if your site is down for more than a day or if your email is down too you need to take action and start by calling your web host first.