Website Down? Broken?

In this post:  website down? Does your website work and function properly? Does your web guy respond in a timely manner AND can he fix it? Does it display well on smartphones, tablets and desktop computers? Does it meet your needs and wants? Does it meet the needs of  your customers? 

It’s a small thing but we believe it’s important to check to see if your website is live and functioning every day. If you visit your site every day, you’ll know. If you don’t, typically you’ll need to wait for a kind customer to track you down – most won’t. The majority will quickly move on … searching for information elsewhere. An offline website is the equivalent of boarding up your business or not paying your phone or Internet service provider. In essence, you’ve shut down your customer’s ability to reach your company and purchase your products or services.

Your website is your door to the world. It should be open 24/7 and functioning properly.

We find that those who reach out to us with website issues or challenges say one of a number of things:

  1. Our web vendor hasn’t responded to our calls and emails within the last 24 hours as promised. This happens often.
  2. Our web vendor wants us to email him whenever we have a question. It doesn’t matter if the answer requires a simple yes or a no or something that I totally don’t understand. Sometimes, I need someone to talk me through the issue.
  3. It’s a he-said, she-said problem. Our tech guy says the issue is with the website; the web vendor says it’s a network problem.
  4. Our web vendor advises she can fix it but months have gone by and nothing has happened.
  5. Our website is slow – the pages take a very long time to load.
  6. Our customers call or email often asking lots of the same questions. The answers are all on the website.
  7. The site displays weirdly on my smartphone.

We’re a huge fan of bad links or link checking reports. Without this notification, it’s nearly impossible to make sure all links site-wide are working without investing a fair amount of time. As such, we ask our web team to automatically install a bad links checker for each website. A report is generated regularly and indicates what links are broken and specifically where.

A county park routinely shows up on one report noting a server error message. I reviewed today’s report and once again – even with the new domain name address provided to me by the park’s staff and serving as my link, the website still displays a “DataBinding: ‘System.Data.DataRowView’ does not contain a property with the name …’Display’. message.

By the way, the park is busy year-round and the location of festivals including an extremely popular holiday lights event. In their defense, my reports are generated in the darkness of night and the park’s marketing person has talked to the webmaster who seems befuddled. It is now June and I’m still receiving error reports on this website. The email from December indicated, ” We don’t have any backup jobs running during that time so that would not be causing the error. Also the URLs are interchangeable so that would not be an issue either.  I don’t know what would be causing the issue during this time but we will continue to investigate.” 

The heartbeat on this one site continues to flatline in the middle of the night.

If you’re frustrated by having a website that 1) repeatedly goes down, 2) isn’t designed well, 3) displays poorly on smartphone and tablets, 4) is cumbersome and slow to upload and/or 5) just doesn’t meet your needs, reach out to us. We’d love to help make sure the hub of all your marketing efforts – your website – is functioning properly and driving visitors, customers and profits to your front door. Reach out to us at Flying Compass and let us know how we can help.

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