Most web hosting account users do not understand that there are rules to the use of web hosting resources. They presume that having a website is to be able to load files without limits, run scripts in as much as they are supported and send emails to as many as possible. Some web hosting account holders simply do not understand that there are rules to emailing and mass mailing could mean spamming if it returns a lot of bounces.
So, although email marketing is a critical "part of their online marketing strategy”, it should be conducted in an ethical way and not in violation of the terms set by hosting companies. So, emails sending should be legitimate and not include spammy and unsolicited mails.
Unfortunately, most suspensions on our networ had been attributed to these misunderstandings and failing to abide by some common rules. In this post, we provide the common causes of website suspension and how to avoid them.
A General guide to Safe Website Updating
Why Your Website Could Be Suspended
1. Email Problems
Most users will unconsciously send emails to everyone who contacts them. You do not need to build your email list from every email address entered into your contact us form. You will get an instant suspension on Todhost once you start spamming or sending emails accounts that do not exist. Most of the emails that will send mail to you through your contact us form will not be verified emails. When you send them emails, it returns without delivery to the recipient. The result is that the server traps them as undelivered and attempts to deliver them subsequently. If it is able to deliver, then no problems, if it continues undelivered, then you have issues. Your account will be suspended.
We strongly discourage mass mails even when you have verified emails. This is because most servers do give limits to the number of emails you can send every hour. On Todhost, you can send up to 250 emails per hour. If your emails exceed that number, the server will attempt to send them in batches every hour until they are all delivered. This flow can be hampered if you have unverified on your list.
Another problem related to emails is the use of auto responders. Autoresponders will send emails to every email that contacts you whether they exist or not. The implication is that even though an email does not exist, once it is entered in your contact form, your Autoresponder will send reply. If you keep getting several of this emails, then you soon find that your spam filter is trigerred and you get into trouble.
The Solution: Use a double opt-in system to send mails. Then, you will be sure that your emails are all verified by the owners with approval to receive emails from you. A good script for this purpose is the phpList. You can learn how to install phpList in this article.
2. Phising Sites
Some users deliberately mimic another website that requires login and use email campaigns or other forms of promotion to direct unsuspected users to the page. The users are prompted to login with a username and password. They gain access to user data through that means. Sometimes, a website is just exploited and a phishing script is installed.
Caution: Do not login into any page you are not sure of. Sometimes, it is good to look up some reviews and gain more knowledge about what other users have to say about the site.
Important: Do not click on every link sent to you by email or a text message. You should only click links from trusted sources. Some links can install some malicious script on your system and gain access to data that had been stored on your system.
The Solution: Keep all your website software updated. Be it WordPress, Joomla or any other software, make sure you are running the latest version of software. Also ensure that you have your plugins, components, modules updated to the latest versions. Failing to keep up with updates makes your website vulnerable and that creates a security problem.
Todhost strongly frowns at phishing websites and the most likely penalty is a termination.
3. Poor Optimization Leading to High Load Issues
This, in most cases is associated with content management systems like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, and Magneto. Most users run outdated version of these software and sometimes they are poorly optimized. This causes high load issues and could lead to a suspension. In some cases, this happens when the caching system is not enabled or there is an exploitation. When caching is enabled, what the server does is to save a copy of your website on the server so that when a page is clicked, the saved copy, some kind of a static page, is loaded. Caching speeds up your website and enhances user experience. It is also a ranking factor as Google tends to rank fast loading websites higher than slow web pages.
Another reason for high load is un-updated scripts. Running the latest website software version and ensuring that all scripts, plugins, components and modules are up to date will save the trouble.
A third and common cause of high load is malware on site. If you suffer a malware issue, then caching and updating will not solve the problem. You have to locate the malware and remove them. Fortunately, there are malware detecting plugins available for many content management systems including Joomla and WordPress. There are also professional third party support you can get to prevent and remove malware from your site. Sucuri and Sitelock have been very good services for preventing and removing malware from sites.
Solution: Keeping all your website software up to date and maintaining good security precaution including running a functional anti-virus system on your local computer. Ensure you enable cache system on your website and check to be sure you have Gzip enabled on server. Avoid building your website with any software that does not undergo updates.
This item had been deliberately kept to be treated lastly though it should be the first thing you look at before you check for other issues mentioned above. Once your website is due for renewal and it is not immediately renewed, you will likely get a suspension. On some web hosting platforms, you can even get a termination within days. On Todhost.com, your website will be terminated once it past 1days after the due date and it is not renewed.
Solution: Learn to submit tickets and other complaints using the customer portal. Once logged in to customer support client area, you will be presented with any invoices that are ready and not yet paid. Update your emails on the client area so that you receive regular updates. Most web hosts will send you an email notification on any issues with your website.
There are times when a website is disabled from the domain registrar’s end for failure to verify their emails. This will most likely happen because you ave changed your registrant email. All you need to do is contact your web host and check also with the domain registrar if you got the domain from a different source.
Solution: Request the email verification link and proceed to confirm your email.
Domain Related Issues
You will get a suspension and possibly your domain will also get de-activated by your domain registrar if your domain name happens to listed on aa49.org. It is important that you avoid domain names that are related to one that is listed there. Another safe practice that will keep you from such penalty is a proper display of your contact details, those involved In your business and verification information made public on your website. On Todhost, once your domain is listed on aa419, you will never be considered for unsuspension. The remedy will be for you to contact aa419 to get your domain name removed from their blacklist and then you can notify Todhost to unsuspend your website.
If you find a suspension page on your website, please contact your web host to resolve the issue. If your website is simply not resolving, check with your web host to be sure your account has not been deleted and if you confirm that there is no issue from the web hosting provider’s end, then contact the domain registrar if different from your web host. Remember to stay away from spamming, phishing and keep all software up to date including the local antivirus running on your computer. Staying up to date with your software will keep you safe from all exploitation. Remember to speed up your website by enabling the system cache especially if you run a content management system like WordPress and Joomla.
Suspending a client website is something our technical personnel would most reluctantly do. But sometimes it is extremely unavoidable to administer a suspension penalty even without notifying the customer involved. In such cases, there would have been a serious violation of our terms of service. Let us take a look at some of the reasons a client could be sus[ended.
Remember to avoid these the issues listed below which could account for your primary domain/website suspension.
- You could have an unpaid bill on your account.
- It could also be as a result of spamming associated with your account
- High load resulting from poorly managed website content could be a cause for suspension. If plugins or CMS versions are not updated leading to an exploitation, this could result in a suspension especially where the exploitation causes massive email sending/spamming.
- Use of abusive words against or customer care staff either in an email message or on phone or livechat could lead to a suspension.
- Setting up websites in violation of our terms of service is a ground for a suspension.
So the best way to avoid any suspension is to ensure that all bills are cleared in due time and TOS violations are avoided.
Either way, please contact us via phone or ticket at your earliest convenience.
If your reseller customer is suspended, you can unsuspend them in WHM. Click Suspend/Unsuspend Accounts in the left menu, highlight the domain, and click unsuspend. If you cannot, then there is a security ticket that must be resolved first.
What About Account Termination?
Account termination is an extreme action but occurs for a number of reasons. The major reason is failure to renew an expired web hosting service within 45-60 days after it was due..
Another key reason an account will be terminated is spamming associated with the account.
An account could be terminated if it is found to be engaged in illegal financial activities. Some customers have been found to be engaged in phishing activities designed to deceive users and obtain from them, details about their login and financial data with the intention to defraud. Todhost will immediately terminate such accounts when discovered.
Malicious scripts installed on our server will lead to an immediate termination. Some customers think we will not find such scripts especially when they are hidden in some secret(they think) folder. We eventually find them as we continually monitor the performance of our servers and eventually terminate such accounts.
There are cases where an account will first be suspended before termination. It could be that the account is using an auto-responder which is being exploited and therefore results in an involuntary or unconscious spamming activity. Such accounts get suspended with the expectation that the issue can be resolved before the account is restored. The account owner will need to contact customer support to the issue fixed before the restriction is lifted.
There are cases where an account is investigated and confirmed to be a spamming account. In such cases, we outrightly terminate without asking questions. We conduct investigations before taking any action but we do not have any tolerance for spamming.
We advice that accounts be checked by customers and proper security measures be taken to see that all emails are properly opted in to avoid a spam related penalty.
NOTE: We have no tolerance for Spamming and can terminate your account on first instance.
If an invoice remains unpaid within 45-60 days after it became overdue, our system automatically terminates it. Termination means that the account cannot be restored and all emails, files and all other records on our server will be lost.
Do share your thoughts on this in the comments and let us know any other suggestions and precautions needed to stay away for a web hosting penalty.