This time has come to reveal this shocking truth to small business and organizations around the world:
Your web designer has nothing to do with your company email.
Websites are typically hosted by 3rd party services such as Blue Host, Dreamhost, Go Daddy, Network Solutions, Ezy-hosts and etc. If you have a company email that reflects your domain name, these services are not only hosting your web pages, they are likely hosting your email as well.
If anything goes wrong with your email, you need to call your host, not the webmaster who designed and built your site. A web designer will supply you with all the information you need to configure email clients and/or connect with your server host. After that, they are not responsible for troubleshooting email issues.
The following issues are common:
1. Can’t send email
Most of the time this happens because the Outgoing Server is incorrectly configured. If you buy a new phone, a new tablet, a new laptop, a new computer – you’re going to have to correctly configure the outgoing server. Talk to your email hosting service to find out what your configurations should be or call a local IT person to sort out your issues.
2. Can’t receive email
Most of the time this happens because the Incoming Server is incorrectly configured or there is some kind of hold up at the server end of things. This can happen if the server is experiencing trouble, attacks, upgrades, or unexpected downtime. Call or submit a trouble ticket to your email host server immediately. Expect things to be resolved within 24 hours. During your wait time, you can try to connect with webmail. Most email servers offer a webmail option. If webmail doesn’t work either, you’ll need to sit tight and hope things get resolved quickly.
3. Need new emails set up
Your company is growing and you’d like some new emails set up. This can be done through your cpanel. Your web designer gave you a login to your cpanel when the original website project was completed. If you’ve lost that information, contact your web designer and they will send it over to you. If you decide to ask your web designer to set the emails up for you, this will cost and hourly fee.
4. But they’ve been helping us all along!
It is true most web designers will hang in and help you out with email and server issues for the first while. Goodwin Studios has a 6 month Help Desk policy and will help clients at no charge. After that time your best action will be to deal directly with the Server Systems Administrator. Their time is included in the monthly hosting fee you pay. Goodwin Studios does not host websites, therefore any time they are asked to spend (after the 6 month period) will be charged at their monthly web maintenance fee.
5. All my email is blocked – I can’t send, receive or even see my website anymore!
This could be caused by a few things. First, of course, your internet might be offline. Try visiting a website you never visit for example (sbc-peru.org) to see if you are able to connect. Second, you can go to Down For Everyone Or Just Me – this is a great free service where you type in your web URL and it will tell you if it’s actually ‘down’ or just ‘down’ for you. If your site is up then you may have been blocked
Most of the time, this happens because an incorrect login has been attempted multiple times. This alerts your email host to the possibility of a spam or viral attack and your IP is blocked.
Step one is to find out what your IP is – type What’s My IP into google and note the number there. It should be a series of digits divided by dots. Step two is to send a trouble ticket into your Email Host Server and indicate that you’ve been blocked and include your IP number so they can unblock you. If you ask, they can also send you a new login and you can reset your systems. You’ll need to know how to configure your Email Software in order to input the new logins.
Why does this happen? The most common reason is that an employee or volunteer has purchased a new device and are attempting to set up their company email on that device. The Email Software has a ‘check mail every …..’ time stamp, if it’s set to 10 seconds or something like that, it will send the incorrect login into the server every 10 seconds for as long as it take to be read as an attack and shut down.
Your IT person can also help you sort out these kinds of issues.
6. What else can go wrong?
Truth is, there are dozens of things that can go wrong with email! Configurations, servers, ISPs, IPs, modems, software, employees – the list is too long for this short article.
7. This is all too complicated – what is my best solution?
Your best solution is to have a good communication stream with your Email Host and a local IT person that can come in and help you with on-site issues. Some companies agree to a monthly maintenance package with the web designer which covers help with things like email and servers and updates to the webpages. If you find all this overwhelming, talk to your web designer to see if their company offers a package of this kind.
8. What is the worst thing I could do?
Your worst solution is to get angry with your web designer! If you’re nice to her, and your current host is giving you trouble, she might come back on board and help you set your website up with a new host. Or she might help you reconnect with your server, or give you advice as to who the best local IT people are. And she’ll answer your emails, listen to your troubles on the phone – most web designers will continue to do this for years without charging you a cent. But do keep in mind, she is not getting paid by anyone for this service!
9. Why are you telling me all this?
Email issues have become increasingly common. Telus makes changes, half the emails stop working properly. New devices are bought, or new software, everything needs to be reset. Operating systems upgrade automatically, suddenly old software no longer works properly. As a web designer, I find that at least 25% of my work hours are spend resolving people’s email issues. And none of this time is paid for. But as a business owner, I enjoy the continued connection with my clients and am happy to help where I can.
However, the internet is frustrating and even frightening to many users. When people get angry and frustrated and take it out on their web designers, the whole thing becomes much less enjoyable.
9. What’s my first step?
Ask your web designer for a complete list of logins and be sure they include:
Your Domain Name – where it’s registered, how to log into it
Your Web and Email Host Server – who it is and how to contact them
Your Host Server Cpanel – what the URL is and how to log into it
Your WordPress or other CMS Logins
Once you have these in hand, make multiple copies! Put one in your file box, one in your desk and one in your freezer! You will need this information when talking to an IT person, or your web host.
A final word – if your company email is not working, do not call Telus or Shaw. They really have no ability to help you with your domain name and email.