Every web host invests some amount of resources in providing customer support. Although most support is routine and predictable, web hosts put systems into place to avoid any type of inconvenience to the customer, so that there is no need for providing support. Most support issues occur when the account has just been created or has been transferred over from another provider. This article lists the most likely support issues a client will face in his first few days of taking a new hosting account or transferring his hosting account into a new service.
Setting up email for a new web hosting account, amounts to about 60% of the support that web hosts have to provide to new customers. Email configuration, although pretty consistent across hosts is a major cause for concern for a web hosting client atleast in the initial days of having the account. Most web hosting providers provide detailed instructions and support material with the welcome email which goes out to customers. Despite this, email configuration remains one of the most common causes of support tickets in the first few days of buying a hosting package. Clients can overcome this by carefully looking at the welcome emails or support forums and documentation. Web Hosts can avoid such support by clearly mentioning the email configuration in their welcome mail or automatically sending it to the client.
Web hosting clients need to remember several passwords for several different options. This can be quite a task and can cause undue frustration. The web hosting client must keep a record of all his passwords, including email passwords, web hosting control panel, domain control panel, billing area, SQL databases and FTP accounts. Some passwords maybe common, but most passwords can be retrieved or reset through the billing control panel. In some cases only one master password is used to access all these services, however this can be quite dangerous if the password falls into the hands of the wrong persons.
When you have just transferred your domain name or have bought your domain name from some place other than your web host, you may run into issues with pointing your domain name to your web host’s servers. To ensure that your website does not have downtime, you need to ensure that the DNS settings are properly changed over to the new configuration. This would mean either altering the Name Server or NS records or modifying the A records. Name Servers take upto 48 hours to migrate globally and this may affect the visibility of your website if not done properly. A records usually change in about 10 minutes. Each web host requires different setting to be put in, specific to the services that they offer. It;s best to take support of your web host and ask them to clarify any doubts that you may have before you start making changes to the DNS of your Domain Name.
Like passwords, a web hosting client needs to remember a list of different URL’s which will help him to login to different places. The control panel URL, billing area URL, Mailing List manager, Webmail URL, Support Forums URL, Documentation URL, Contact URL are some of the links that you need to remember or record, to make things easier.
Till the first billing cycle is over, most clients get confused or muddle up the account billing. This happens especially when changing hosts. Clients follow the old hosts billing cycle until they receive warning emails and account suspension emails from the new host. Some clients continue to use their old calendar reminders to make payments, thereby throwing things out of gear. Till about 1 year of having the account, billing issues like forgotten payments, delayed payments, account suspension occur, which can be simply avoided by following the reminders from the web hosting company and making payments on time.