By Eric Lester
Tech support is there to help, right? The reality is, it depends. Learn some common misconceptions about tech support’s responsibilities.
You’ve just gotten a new website hosting account. You’re excited to begin your journey onto the web. You’re a novice to all this “web stuff”, but you’re confident and brimming with enthusiasm. Into it you plunge, opening the design program your friend suggested and trying to create some pages. There’s a problem, though, and you can’t make the program work, and you’re not actually building any pages. Well, time to call technical support at your brand new hosting company, right?
Your hosting is providing you the space on its servers to put this information, so shouldn’t they be responsible for making sure you can actually make a website?
This is going to sound disappointing, but the answer to that question is ‘no’. Your hosting company is providing you space and transfer for a website, but the responsibility for populating that space is yours and yours alone. What is uploaded to the account and how it is uploaded is the responsibility of the client. The role of technical support at any hosting company is the diagnosis and repair of problems with a site relating to the server on which it is hosted. This article will cover the 2 most common “Tech Support Don’ts,” training and content update, and offer alternate solutions to the “problems.”
Many novices enter website hosting with the idea that a hosting company’s technical support is not only a troubleshooting organization, but a teaching and maintenance organization as well. These impressions are due mostly to a misunderstanding of what constitutes “technical support” problems. Customers may classify a need to update a web page with new information as a “problem”, and perhaps, to them, it is, but it is not a problem for which technical support at your hosting company is responsible.
If you need someone to update your website on a regular or even intermittent basis, then you have 2 basic options. The first, and most economical, is simply to find an editing program with which are you are comfortable, learn it, and use it make your own updates. The program you need will vary according to the kind of site you wish to build or maintain. Many hosting companies even provide online “site builder” solutions that can be accessed right through your browser without the need to install separate program.
Alternately, if you lack the time or skills to update a site, consider hiring a outside web design services firm to perform your needed updates. Prices vary wildly, but you will probably be able to find a great number of resources in your local area, and beyond, by doing a search at your favorite search engine. Most web designers are generally knowledgeable, and, with information you provide, can update your site even if they themselves did not initially design it.
Hosting and maintaining a website requires some basic knowledge. It isn’t just another bill you’ll pay monthly, like electric and water. It requires a knowledge both of the programs you’ll use to create the site and of the programs you’ll use to maintain and upload it. When someone arrives to hosting without this general, basic knowledge, they may find themselves lost and believe the only recourse is to call a hosting company’s technical support for what amounts to free training.
Training on software, even commonplace software, is something many people pay a great deal of money to colleges and other professional organizations to obtain. Expecting this kind of service for what equates to a monthly hosting fee is, on reflection, a little unreasonable. In virtually every case, there will be resources associated with the programs you’re using to provide answers and rudimentary training. Answers to more general questions, beyond those specific to a single program, may be found in a variety of places. Most hosting companies can provide an entry level training in website hosting through online resources, like manuals, knowledgebase, or even advanced video tutorials. Always check for these kinds of resources before immediately picking up the phone to ask your question of technical support.
About the Author:
Mr. Lester has served for 4 years as the webmaster for ApolloHosting.com and previously worked in the IT industry an additional 5 years, acquiring knowledge of hosting, design, and search engine optimization. Apollo Hosting provides website hosting, ecommerce hosting, vps hosting, and web design services to a wide range of customers.
Established in 1999, Apollo prides itself on the highest levels of customer support.