Your Website is Down! What Should You Do?

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.


Tips for Crafting the Perfect Blog Post Title

This is an art, yet something that you can learn to be proficient at easily for your own blog with a bit of practice. The best blog post titles are ones that catch your eye in a feed reader and entice you to click in. You’ve got just seconds to make an impression and if the feed reader being used only shows post titles (like mine does on MyLive), your post title absolutely has to hit the mark.

My two top tips for blog post titles:

1. Word your blog post title as you would a Google search query. Here are a few examples:  What is SEO?, Best Organic Search Engine Optimization, you get the gist – use keywords in the title and even consider using a question format. This type of format gets excellent results on search engines in the organic results.

2. Create a shock factor or spark reader curiosity – I always click into the blog post that is titled with an eye catching phrase. Here’s one I just found on my feed reader for the Merjis blog: Recession – Killing Me Softly, from Matt Cutts blog: How Many Links Per Page (who wouldn’t want to know what Google says about links?), or from the Blog Tutorials Blog: Launching a Blog? Do It With a Bang.

Your blog post title is key and should reflect the content of your blog post, so make sure it is crafted to work for you on search engines AND to entice readers to click in.