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      How to Successfully Deal With Tech Support (5 Simple Steps)


      Spoiler alert: Setting up a website can be stressful — especially if it’s your first time. And even if you’re a pro, having something go wrong with your website at one point or another is pretty much inevitable. The hard truth is that technical difficulties can make you want to throw in the towel.

      But don’t give up, champ. 

      DreamHost’s brilliant tech support team is here to get you back on track. For more than 20 years, our top priority has always been customer satisfaction, which is why our support team wins awards for quality and responsiveness

      What’s more, getting help with your website is even easier if you know what to expect when you reach out to us and what you can do on your end to make the process as quick and painless as possible. Yep, you’ve got the power!

      In this article, we’ll help you cope with your website’s technical difficulties, give you some advice for contacting technical support, and let you know what to expect when you interact with a customer service rep. 

      Want to jump ahead? Here are 5 steps to successfully dealing with tech support:

      1. Try Some Basic Solutions
      2. Document the Problem in Detail
      3. Contact the Support Team
      4. Request a Callback (If Necessary)
      5. Work with the Support Specialist to Solve the Problem

      Are you ready to uncover the secrets to getting good customer service? Let’s dive in!

      We’ll Support Your Dream

      Whatever your goals, we’ll be right there with you, making sure your site is fast, secure, and always up. Plans start at $2.59/mo.

      Step 1: Try Some Basic Solutions

      If it looks like your site has gone offline entirely, there may be a quick fix you can tackle on your own. First, check to make sure the website is genuinely down and that the issue isn’t something on your end.

      Security software may be blocking your website, especially if you’re trying to access it from a different network than usual. Maybe your cat unplugged the router. Actually, she may be trying to help, so don’t forget to check and see if the reset worked. Last but not least, have you tried turning your computer on and off again? You’re welcome, fans of The IT Crowd.

      via GIPHY

      Once you’ve eliminated other possibilities and determined that your site is down, you’ll want to know whether it’s just you or if it’s a hosting problem. You can look at the DreamHost Status page to find out if there’s a system-wide issue.

      DreamHost’s status page.

      If DreamHost is experiencing downtime, there’s no need to contact tech support, as we’re already aware of the problem. You’ll just have to sit tight until it’s over.

      If this doesn’t seem to be the source of the issue, here are a few questions to ask yourself:

      • Did you miss a hosting payment? Maybe your payment information changed and you forgot to update it. If so, once you’ve paid up, your site should be back in a few hours. 
      • Have you recently made a Domain Name Server (DNS) change? If you’ve swapped hosting providers or made a similar change, your website may be down for several hours. Patience is the solution here.
      • Did your domain expire? Perhaps life got crazy and you forgot to renew your domain. It happens. Fortunately, DreamHost gives you a 30-day grace period.
      • Are your files in the wrong place? Websites can be finicky, so if you’ve moved an important file, your site may go down. You can check on this using the website file manager.
      • Have you changed any code recently? If you suspect this is the problem, you may want to review your error log. Even if this isn’t the cause, the information may be helpful to share with tech support.

      These are just a few possibilities, but asking the above questions may help get you on the right track. 

      If you were able to pinpoint the issue, you might want to see if you can DIY your way to a solution. Troubleshooting help is available 24/7 via our Knowledge Base and blog. Or you can join our private Facebook group to swap ideas with other website owners. 

      You’re Cordially Invited

      Join DreamHost’s Facebook group to connect with like-minded website owners and get advice from peers and experts alike!

      Step 2: Document the Problem in Detail

      So you’ve done your detective work, but you still don’t know what’s wrong. It’s probably time to call in some expert help. However, before contacting support, you might want to spend some time carefully documenting the issue your website is having. Being thorough now will make it easier for tech support to get you a solution quickly.

      First, try to reproduce the issue. A problem that can’t be copied will be much more challenging to solve. If you’re able to consistently trigger the issue, you can provide more information to the DreamHost tech.

      If you’re unable to recreate the exact circumstances, try to accomplish the task in other ways. Now might be an excellent time to explore the forums. Another user may have some helpful insight or creative suggestions for how to reproduce your problem.

      You don’t need to be a tech expert to document complex issues. Just use precise language to describe what you see in as much detail as possible. If you’re vague or inaccurate, you’ll likely end up having more back and forth with the support agent.

      DreamHost’s Contact Support form improperly filled out.

      Once you’ve put together a detailed description of the issue, you’ll want to compile your website’s recent history. Identify which domain is having problems and what Content Management System (CMS) you’re using. Include any changes you made, no matter how innocent they seem — even installing a new theme or plugin can sometimes create problems.

      Additionally, you’ll want to take screenshots of what you see to support your description. A picture is worth a thousand words, especially in tech support! Bonus points apply if you can grab some video while you’re at it.

      After you’ve thoroughly documented your problem, you’ll need to gather your account information. Have your domain name and the last four digits of your password handy.

      Step 3: Contact the DreamHost Tech Support Team

      Now it’s time to contact DreamHost’s award-winning, in-house support team. You can access a technical support specialist by email or live chat. If you’re an existing customer, both of these options will be available to you through your panel on the Contact Support page. If you’re unable to log in to your DreamHost account for any reason, you’ll need to contact support using the online contact form.

      No matter which avenue you choose to get in touch, you’ll start by filling out the Contact Support form. Remember all that information we asked you to gather in the first two steps? Plug it into the form. Include your detailed description of the problem, as well as any methods you’ve tried to fix it.

      Live chat is available from 5:30 am–9:30 pm Pacific time, seven days a week. The service is available in Spanish as well. After filling out the Contact Support box, click on the Chat now button and wait for an agent to join.

      Alt-text: DreamHost’s Live Chat feature.

      Once the chat is complete, you can review it in the Contact Support page’s Recent Messages section. Keep in mind that while it may be convenient, live chat is best suited for situations with a quick fix. If your issue is more complicated, the chat agent may ask you to open a ticket via email, as this is the preferred method for contacting support.

      You can create a ticket the same way you access the live chat. The only difference is that you’ll click on the Submit a ticket button after you’ve filled out the Contact Support form.

      Once you’ve submitted your ticket, it will appear under Open Tickets. You can withdraw it if you solve the issue independently and no longer need help from tech support. Otherwise, you’ll be able to view your conversation here. 

      Step 4: Request a Callback if Necessary

      After support resolves your issue, you can still refer back to the conversation if needed. You can find the closed ticket in the Support History section of DreamPanel. You’ll also find any other messages from DreamHost here.

      The support history section of DreamPanel.

      If you need to submit a file, you can do so by selecting the Attach files link at the bottom of the form. If you prefer, you can send the file via SFTP to your DreamHost server. Just be sure to explain what you’ll be uploading and where you uploaded it.

      DreamHost’s support team doesn’t typically operate over the phone. However, callbacks may be available to you, depending on your plan. You can choose to add three callbacks per month to any plan for an additional fee.

      To access phone support, check the Request a callback box when you submit your ticket.

       

      The option to request a callback when contacting DreamHost tech support.

      Here, you’ll also be able to add your phone number and a preferred time. Even if you choose to have a callback, be sure to include as much information as possible when filling out the Contact Support box.

      Step 5: Work With Our Support Team to Solve Your Problem

      The DreamHost support team tries to reply to all requests within 24 hours. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll completely solve the problem at that time. You’ll be working together with a support agent to diagnose and resolve your issue. Tech support is a team effort.

      Be prepared to answer some questions and maybe even perform a few tasks to help diagnose the trouble. You’ll also be able to ask any questions that you may have. If it turns out the issue isn’t with DreamHost, our support specialists will try to point you in the right direction to get it worked out.

      Of course, it helps the entire process if everyone tries to remain calm and courteous. Glitches and technical difficulties are part of owning a website, and this likely isn’t the only time you’ll encounter frustrations. Even if you’re worried about losing traffic, it won’t help to lose your cool. You haven’t done all that yoga for nothing. Breathe.

      Remember, even if your website is experiencing significant downtime, DreamHost has a 100% uptime guarantee. You’ll receive credit for the inconvenience, and we’ll do everything we can to improve your customer experience.

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      Great Customer Support Is a Click Away

      Handling website problems is no one’s idea of a fun time, and TBH, neither is interacting with angry customers. It’s totally normal that you’re feeling stressed out, frustrated, and maybe even embarrassed for not having the answers yourself. But before you open that bottle of wine, keep calm and contact tech support.

      Knowing what to do when complex issues arise can make the situation a little less scary. Also, planning ahead when dealing with tech support can help you get the most out of the experience. Gather as much detailed information as you can and know what channels you have available to you, as well as how to use them.

      With DreamHost’s superhero tech support team in your corner, you can build your website fearlessly. Get started with a hosting plan today!



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      COVID-19 Pandemic Shines Spotlight on How Essential Soft Skills are to the Future of Tech


      In the day-to-day life of a workplace, success often hinges on how well a team works together. All the technical skill in the world won’t help an IT team or company reach its goals if it’s plagued by poor communication, poor leadership and lack of flexibility, among other things. These soft skills have proven even more important in the age of COVID-19, with a rise in remote work and the corresponding shift in the ways we work with each other.

      Even before COVID-19 disrupted work as we know it, soft skills were so important that one study found 67 percent of human resources professionals declined to offer a job to an otherwise qualified technology candidate because of a lack of soft skills.

      Prior to the pandemic, we asked 500 senior IT professionals and infrastructure managers to rank the soft skills they thought would be most important for future IT professionals to possess. The attributes were ranked 1-6, with 6 being the least important. Below are the average ranks.

      Most Important Soft Skills for Future IT Professionals

      Soft Skills in Tech

      Since these results were collected, the world has obviously changed. And yet, our “new normal” only underscores the results.

      Flexibility Is the No. 1 Soft Skill for IT Pros

      Based on the rapid changes we’ve seen in tech and the world at large, it should come as no surprise that “flexibility” was ranked most important. Working with a team that’s willing to step up to the plate and roll with the punches will lead to better outcomes than working with players who are rigid and unwilling to bend as priorities shift.

      “Hiring managers need to identify flexibility as a key behavior and skill set during the hiring process,” said Jackie Coats, INAP’s Senior Vice President of Human Resources. “To evaluate it, have the candidate explain a time when they had to deal with an unforeseen situation, and what they did to accomplish their goal regardless of the surprise.”

      Business priorities are often adjusted and the demand on IT teams will move with them. Or a team member might leave unexpectedly, and the rest of the team will need to fill in.

      “Another question to determine flexibility would be to ask how the employee has helped outside of their role when the team was short-staffed or under a tight deadline,” Coats added.

      As we’ve seen remote work become the norm for many businesses, flexibility is an important trait for both employees and for supervisors to possess.

      “Being flexible during these times is a critical tool we as leaders must leverage,” said Matt Cuneio, INAP’s Vice President, Global Support. “Nothing is more important to the health of a team than confidence that we’re all in this together. We’re going to be flexible with each other, ensuring we all win.”

      A Need for Innovation Necessitates Creativity

      Change often feels unexpected, as we’ve seen with the pandemic, but it’s always inevitable. In another pre-pandemic survey, we wanted to get an idea of what exactly will be driving change in IT roles now and in the future, so we asked our participants to choose the top driver. The need for innovation took the top spot, selected by 27 percent of participants. (Robust security and infrastructure scalability came in a close second and third.)

      All of this change and need for innovation emphasizes the importance of creativity — the second ranked soft skill for IT pros. IT teams are also asked to problem solve on a daily basis and come up with new solutions to help the business achieve its goals or to find solutions to unique problems, like how to adjust networking strategies for a decentralized workforce.

      Undervalued Empathy?

      Empathy is the ability to identify with another person by sharing in their perspective and feelings. This soft skill is commonly valued in the helping professions, like counseling and social work, but can bring great value to teams in all professions by helping develop camaraderie and trust. Yet empathy ranked lowest on our list.

      Cuneio shared his thoughts on the impact of empathy for IT, both within a team setting and with customers. “I had a friend tell me once, ‘Listen to understand.’  A listening ear is a powerful and necessary tool in today’s world,” he said.

      Fostering empathy between individuals helps people feel heard and understood, which in teams can benefit collaboration and brainstorming sessions where colleagues feel empowered to share ideas.

      “Every interaction you have is an opportunity to impact someone’s life,” Cuneio added. “It always amazes me the response I get by asking the simple question ‘How are things?’ The key component to this question is to listen and inquire to the response.”

      It’s also been shown that companies that have a more empathetic culture outperform less empathetic companies by 20 percent. The bottom line: Individual empathy shouldn’t be overlooked.

      Laura Vietmeyer


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      INAP’s New Strategic Alliance Showcases Benefits of Private Cloud for Legal Tech


      We’re pleased to share that NMBL Technologies LLC (pronounced “nimble”) today announced it will offer its legal workflow management solution, Proxy, in a secure private cloud environment managed by INAP.

      The partnership strengthens INAP’s foothold in the legal services industry, and bolsters Proxy’s position as a secure legal technology solution that businesses can trust with their most sensitive data.

      “While cloud adoption in the legal services industry has improved recently, many corporate legal departments remain wary of moving to a public cloud provider,” said Daniel Farris, a NMBL founder and the company’s so-called Chief Man in Suit. “Leveraging INAP’s secure private cloud environment further bolsters Proxy’s position as a leader in secure legal technology.”

      INAP’s hosted private cloud solution is offered as a logically isolated or fully dedicated private environment ideal for mission-critical applications with strict compliance standards and performance requirements.

      NMBL Homepage

      “INAP is already a trusted provider of cloud services in highly regulated industries, including healthcare, financial services and ecommerce, where stringent standards like HIPAA and PCI dictate how infrastructure and applications are secured and managed,” said T.J. Waldorf, INAP’s Chief Marketing Officer. “When we looked at the legal services market, we could see that it was underserved, and very much in need of providers who understand the unique issues lawyers face when adopting and implementing new technology. This alliance is a natural fit for us, bringing together our platform with a workflow solution tailor-made for corporate legal departments.”

      “Inefficiencies brought about by antiquated processes, lack of adequate controls, poor workflow management and collaboration tools, and the generally ineffective use of technology plague the legal market,” said Farris. “Corporate legal departments feel the effects more acutely than most; they’re often trying to manage their work with solutions that weren’t built for their needs.”

      “In-house lawyers are under greater pressure than most other business managers to protect data and documents,” agreed Rich Diegnan, INAP’s Executive Vice President and General Counsel. “In fact, lawyers in many states have an ethical obligation to understand and ensure the security of the legal technology they use. Implementing already-secure platforms like Proxy in INAP’s secure private cloud environment allows in-house lawyers like me to migrate to the cloud with confidence.”

      NMBL and INAP have a common perspective on their work, viewing the management of legal work performed within companies by in-house counsel as the most significant opportunity in legal tech.

      “NMBL is embracing the legal ops movement, viewing in-house legal departments as business units, and developing enterprise solutions like Proxy for the corporate legal ecosystem,” said Christopher Hines, NMBL’s so-called Uber Geek. “Partnering with INAP is a no-brainer for us—their secure IaaS solution is yet another differentiator that creates competitive advantage for Proxy.”

      “Seventy-five percent of all U.S. legal work is now performed by in-house counsel, but the majority of legal technology products and solutions are still targeted at firm lawyers,” said Nicole Poulos, NMBL’s Marketing Maven. “Combining legal ops, workflow management, and a secure cloud platform powered by INAP, will provide corporate legal departments with greater control of their legal function, improve efficiency, and provide actionable data and intelligence.”

      The two companies also share a geographic connection. INAP’s cloud services expansion has been heavily influenced by the Chicago-based personnel brought on with the company’s acquisition of managed hosting provider SingleHop in 2018. Also based in Chicago, NMBL was recently named a Finalist in the American Bar Association’s Startup Pitch Competition at TECHSHOW 2020, taking place in Chicago in February.

      “The Chicago tech scene has generally been more focused on enterprise and B2B solutions,” said Farris. “INAP and NMBL are both dedicated to helping companies be more productive and efficient by enabling the adoption of strong technology suites.”

      “Cloud adoption in the legal market still trails other sectors significantly,” said Jennifer Curry, INAP’s SVP of Global Cloud Services. “The most-cited reason is concern about privacy and data security. INAP’s secure private cloud solutions make a lot of sense for an industry focused on not only ensuring the privacy and security of information, but also on faster, better, more effective ways to manage legal tasks and documents.”

      Both companies focus on providing flexible, lightweight solutions to customers in regulated industries.

      “INAP is always looking to establish alliances with disruptive tech companies,” said Waldorf. “Our scalable, reliable and secure platform offers best-in-class architecture with all the convenience and power of any well-established cloud provider. NMBL wants to leverage INAP’s platform to continue to disrupt an industry ripe for technology-driven change.”

      INAP


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