We would usually not bother until one fine day your website fails to respond. And if you have a website that helps you making an earning from it, then the frustration starts to build. A usual spontaneous reaction is that you’d simply start blaming your web hosting provider without knowing actual cause of the problem. If your website has faced a downtime, it needn’t always be due to a fault with the host server.
The first course of action in such as situation is to try and find out the cause that has caused such a downtime. Find out whether every site that is hosted on your server is failing to respond. If its just your site, then there is a problem with your site. While all the sites fails to respond there might be a problem with the shared IP which is used by multiple sites hosted on the server. It may even be possible that your websites domain name has expired the term of usage allowed by the registrar, and a simple renewal might reactivate your websites accessibility.
If everything as stated above looks fine, try to login to your server as root. If you are able to do so, it clearly indicates that the server is running fine. There may be a problem with the database server, check for any related to it.
If incase you are unable to reach the server, try to ping the server/website using command line interface, this should help you determine if there is an issue with the network connectivity. You may then contact the host asking them to investigate the issue. If the problem is known to them, you would be instantly be notified with the reasons and a normal server reboot may get your website/server back to normal.
Despite all these efforts there is a possibility that the server would still fail to respond and have to contact the datacenter to check for the problem. Its possible the they respond saying the machine is operational and has no problem at their end, that would point to the fact that there exists an issue with your ISP, try contacting them to investigate the problem if its there’s a problem at their end. Doing a traceroute should be helpful with identifying where the problem stands.
If nothing is helping you find a solution, you should raise a support request with your hosting company. If they are skilled enough and have been in the business they should be able to help you out instantly based on their experience with dealing such instances.
Now, if they get your server back into operations, you should try to digg into the reasons that caused the problem and find out the troubleshooting steps that were carried out to restore the server. The server and Apache kernel logs can help you determine the reasons. There may be numerous reasons that may have caused the server malfunction, the logs should be a good place to find out the causes.
It is suggested to have a back-up plan to maintain a copy of files and data present on your current web hosting UK server, so that even if the hard-disk of the server crashes wherein the data cannot be recovered you’d have all your data safe which when transferred to a new server should help you restore your website with minimum downtime. An effective disaster recovery strategy can help you face minimum loss as hardware may fail without prior notice, what best can be done is staying prepared for the worst situations.
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