Whether you have one website or many websites, it’s very important to know how to contact your web host for support, BEFORE you really need to. There are so many web hosts on the internet, and each has its own type of customer support. The quality of their support varies a great deal from one web hosting company to the next. In fact, this is something you should pay a great deal of attention to before choosing a web hosting company. The quality of customer support offered is a good reflection on the web host as a whole!
The importance of good support
Don’t make the mistake of assuming you will never need to contact your web host’s customer support. No matter how knowledgeable you are about building and maintaining websites, there’s still a good chance that you will need help at some point. So if you are still in the position of shopping around for a web host, you should read some customer support reviews for each company and find out what their reputation in this area is like.
If you currently have web hosting and aren’t satisfied with the customer support, you can always make a switch. This is a good reason to take your business somewhere else. Some good web hosting companies such as BlueHost and HostGator help you to transfer for FREE!
Let’s assume, however, that you are sticking with your current web host and want to get the most out of it. Of course.
Do your part before contacting support
Before you try to contact the customer support, make sure you’ve done everything possible to solve the problem yourself. Most web hosts provide written and/or video tutorials on how to perform various tasks.
Contacting support should not be your first step when you have a problem – it should be your last step, when everything else has failed.
It’s a good habit to be as self sufficient as possible when it comes to building and maintaining your website. This is for your sake, not to save the company the trouble of helping you (though they will appreciate this as well). You don’t want to get too dependent on having someone hold your hand and walk you through everything. Sometimes this may be necessary, but at least give it your best shot on your own first!
The best way to contact Support
Assuming that you have a genuine problem or question that you couldn’t resolve on your own, it’s now time to contact support. Most web hosts offer some choices in this area. Typically, you can contact support by phone, email (ticketing system) and live chat.
Phone call is not the best option
While many people are used to picking up the phone when they want to contact someone, when it comes to online help this is not usually the best choice. Very often, the support representative will have to give you written instructions or you will have to provide him/her with something like a domain name or some screenshots. It gets to be time consuming and inefficient to have to be giving this type of information over the phone.
The one time it’s good to have phone support is if you need help and cannot get online for some reason. That’s why it’s good if your web host does offer phone support, but in general it’s not the best option.
Use live chat or support tickets
Live chat and support tickets are usually the best way to go. Let’s use BlueHost as an example. They are a popular web host with an excellent reputation for customer service. They have a very efficient system for opening a support ticket, as you can see on their support page.
What you should tell support
When you are contacting customer support, make sure you supply them with all of the information they will need to help you. For example, tell them anything that is relevant to your situation, such as:
- If you are getting an error message, tell them exactly what it says
- Tell them precisely when you are having the problem
- When the problem began
- How serious it is for you (e.g. is it disrupting your business?)
After you’ve communicated the message, whether by live chat, email or phone, you have to give them some time to come up with a solution. If you are lucky, you may be able to have the issue resolved right on the spot. In many cases, however, it will take a little time for them to investigate and get back to you.
Give the company at least 6 hours to work on the issue before you contact them again. If you call them repeatedly, you are only wasting your own time and it’s not going to help you get satisfaction any faster.
If you are consistently having problems with your web host, or you’re dissatisfied with their customer support, you should consider finding a new company to work with. Don’t do this impulsively, though, as in some cases it may be an unavoidable mistake or something you are doing wrong.
You may want to do a search for the type of problem you have on Google. You can also include the name of your web host in the search, to find out if they are known for problems in a certain area such as downtime, a slow server, email or whatever it might be.
If you are ready to bail on your current web host, make sure the next one you choose has a great reputation when it comes to reliability and support!