Ever go to access a website and it won’t load, and you scratch your head wondering why when you were just on the site the day before and it worked? Now how about if that website you are trying to access is your own. If you’re a business owner that can cause a little episode of freak out and your first instinct would be to call your hosting provider to find out what the problem is.

At Ideal Technologies we understand that having your website up and available is important, and as a means to provide you with a little peace of mind we have contracted the folks over at Uptime Robot to provide web monitoring for us. They are an independent third party service provider who pings our servers and client websites every five minutes throughout the day to ensure the servers and sites are accessible. In the event that a site is down or a server is down they notify us so we can fix it – meaning if there is a problem with a website or service that we host for you, we will know before you do.

You can access the IdealMSP Web Monitor by going to http://status.idealmsp.com in your web browser, then simply scroll down the list and find your business or organization name to see what Uptime Robot reports your website status as. Simple, easy, and provides you confirmation that your website is indeed up and available to the world. A link to the monitor will be included on our website in the coming days for easy access.

Now, why would your website ever be down? Well, in the event that we are making any changes or updates to our servers you might experience small amounts of downtime, usually lasting only minutes. Anything longer than that and we send out a notice to all our clients alerting them to the downtime. The likelihood of extended periods of downtime are small however as most of the changes and updates we perform don’t require us to take you offline. Additionally, we try to make sure we schedule major changes and updates to happen in the wee hours of the morning when it is unlikely that you will have much web traffic or need to have access to your email or ftp accounts.

Another common issue that causes websites to appear to be offline are DNS issues. Everything connected to the internet has something called an IP address, which is a block of numbers assigned to the device like an address to a house. Sometimes, the numbers change, which can make locating the server or services associated with a server (like your website, email, ftp and databases) difficult. In the event that an IP address changes, it can take up to 48 hours for the new IP address to get changed on all the DNS servers – sometimes even longer than that in the event of small ISP DNS servers or other privately administered DNS server. Now the DNS servers tell your computer what address a website or service is associated with, so if your computer hasn’t been correctly told of the new address, it won’t be able to find the website.

And of course, sometimes really bad things just happen – natural disasters, hardware failures, hackers and service attacks – things that are not completely in our control and can cause long periods of downtime – in an event like this we immediately go to work trying to get your services back online as fast and efficiently as possible. It is Ideal Technologies policy in an event of total service failure to reestablish client services in the order of Email – Databases – Websites – FTP access – Other Services. We realize that email is one of the most vital online services to a business and that is why we focus on email first, followed by database access to power websites and applications, then websites and ftp access and finally any other web or online services we provide.

If you have specific questions about your services with Ideal Technologies be sure to call or email your account representative and they will be more than happy to provide you with more information. And be sure to check out the IdealMSP Web Monitor to see the stats on your site or services.