The Day I Killed my Website: Why Asking for Help is Important

Iʼm the first to admit that my knowledge of all things tech or web related is derived from google searches, usually undertaken when I canʼt figure something out. I google CSS and HTML coding to customize templates, and otherwise live in a world where a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing.

Also a quintessential do-it-myself-er, I would rather try to figure something out than ask for help to get it done.

These two things are a bad combination when moving a website from where itʼs being built to where it will live. Not that long ago I was moving our site from one domain to another…how hard could it be?

This relatively easy job turned into a nightmare when – somewhere along the way – I missed a crucial step or two and ended up losing my website completely. I should have stopped the moment I realized something was wrong, but instead I went back to my trusty google searches and tried to fix what went wrong.

By the time I asked for help, things were so messed up from my attempted fixes that the process took longer than it needed to. But through this experience I learned two very important things about choosing a web host:

  1. Make sure your host/server has a detailed knowledge base and support documents written in laymanʼs language. While some tech-speak is necessary, the average person probably needs to have longer, more detailed explanations as a reference.
  2. A Help Center – like online chat or a quick email response – needs to be available outside normal business hours. When you exhaust the help documents, you are left with no choice but to deal with a “real” person. Having to wait 10 to 12 hours to get an answer to your question might not work for you – especially if your website is down.

So many people now build and maintain their own websites, working with a web host who speaks their language is more important than ever. Google can only answer the questions you know to ask.

As you transfer domains or web hosts, keep a log of each step you take, no matter how small that step is. Listing those steps will give the Help Center a more accurate picture of where you went wrong, getting the problem solved much faster.

Donʼt be afraid of seeming stupid and asking for help. Itʼs better than watching your website go down and having no idea why.

This is a guest post by, Jenn Bebb , photographer, author, mom, wife, CEO of the What If Conference!

Check out her books:  Photo Fusion and most recently published, Beyond Auto Mode.

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Message from DreamHost

Jenn Bebb has pointed out some great advice and if you are a DreamHost customer there are many ways you can ask us for help!

Below is a list of some of the ways you can contact us, but before you use some of these other routes, please alway submit a support ticket via your customer panel.  When approaching us through some of our other avenues, you can then give us your support ticket number so we can find your information faster and easier!

1.  Twitter: @dreamhostcare this is our support only twitter account.  We also have @dreamhost for all other inquires!

2. Contact Form: There is a drop down menu for you to choose from http://dreamhost.com/contact/

3. Facebook: You can send us private messages through our Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/DreamHost

And we are constantly upgrading all of our support areas!