Home » Canvas Host blog » Company News

Topic: Company News

Importance of Updating Billing Information

People often ask us, “What is the most requested issue our team helps customers with?”  From a billing standpoint, it is updating a client’s payment information.

Every day, we receive phone calls and answer tickets about billing requests.  We thought it would be a good time to refresh all customers on the importance of keeping account information current. If your online presence relies on orders coming through your website, any interruption in service can be disastrous.

Unlike some hosting providers that suspend you immediately for any lapse in payment, we provide a 15-day grace period before suspending an overdue account. Suspension means that instead of a customer going to your website to see the products and services you provide, they are instead redirected to a message saying that the website has been suspended.  Additionally, if you use your account for email service, you will not be able to access your account, nor will you be able to send or receive mail. All of these things can bring your business to a stop, not to mention be embarrassing from a public relations standpoint.

If a website has been suspended for more than three (3) months, we remove (terminate) the hosting account from our network. This is done for several reasons:

1) If you haven’t renewed your website in this time frame, you no longer need the service;

2) Space and resources are being used on our server for said website without payment, thus using space we could allocate for other customers.

3) Suspended accounts contain your confidential data (email messages, database data, possibly customer orders, etc.) Out of concern for privacy and protection of this data, our policy is to terminate the account.

For these reasons, we recommend that you should always, always, always make sure that your account and billing information is up to date, as a lapse in payment could result in suspension.

Your website is your business.  It is how your customers see you. It is how you promote what you do.  It is important for the revenue of your business and how you reach your demographics.

To fix billing issues, you can call us during business hours,  877-HOST-503 x3, or by logging into our customer portal at https://support.canvashost.com, where you can update your billing information or open any tickets for our team to assist.  For security reasons, we do not accept credit card numbers via email. If you have a billing issue that is not addressed here or cannot be solved via the Customer Portal, please open a ticket.  Our Billing Team is happy to assist.

Your business is important to us! We want to keep your site online and working, so you can run a successful online presence, and we do not take any pleasure in your account being suspended for a billing issue.


Tier 1 Vs. Tier 2 Support

support

Howdy, all you gorgeous, internet wizards…

Lawrence here, with another informative article about the goings on behind the scenes at Canvas Host.

We’ve got a lot going on in the realm of streamlining and improving things throughout the company this year, and the Support department is no exception.

In this newsletter, I wanted to touch on something which you may or may (not) have noticed, but something I feel should be addressed none the less…

If you’ve opened a support ticket within the past week, you may have noticed the designation of “Tier 1” and wondered what that’s all about, so I wanted to take a moment to explain and hopefully allay any confusion and satisfy any curiosity about it.

From now on, when a new support ticket is opened (either by an email being sent to support@canvashost.com or being directly opened through your customer dashboard), the ticket is assigned to Tier 1 support. Depending on the complexity of the matter, the ticket will either be answered straight away by the support team on staff at that time, or, it may be escalated to Tier 2.

So what’s the difference and does one tier have priority over the other?

Firstly, Tier 2 tickets do not have higher priority over Tier 1. If anything, Tier 1 will be answered the fastest. Customers cannot open a Tier 2 ticket. The designation is decided by our staff at our discretion.

Basic Rundown…

* Tier 1: Simple, everyday questions/issues that can be answered/resolved quickly by anybody on the support team within under an hour depending on the size of the support queue, number of phone calls coming in etc. Missed call tickets are designated Tier 1. Any staff member who touches this Support queue is required to make sure Tier 1 tickets are answered/called back before their shift is over for the day/evening.

* Tier 2: Tickets that address issues which senior members of our staff might have to take over, issues requiring further research and development, internal discussion between staff members etc. These tickets will generally be resolved within 24 to 48 hours depending upon their complexity and other tasks being juggled as we all wear several hats around here.

The reasons for this new system have to do with managing the daily throughput of our support ticket queue as well as internal tracking and analysis which will help us to establish a clearer understanding of how and where our resources can be most effectively utilized.

As always, we hope this explanation serves as a continuance of our rule of transparency in business.


Weathering the Bumps and Turns

By Angela Anderson, Operations/Finance

Every journey has bumps.  Every journey has struggles.  Nothing is ever easy.  With over 20 years of experience in managing employees, I’ve seen almost everything.  I’m not surprised with much these days.  Some say I should write a book with all my experiences so that others can learn from what I have gone through.  If I ever did that, I think many of you would sit back and just laugh at the hysteria that is human behavior.

Through my many years of  experience in training and development, I had many positive and rewarding experiences.  I loved working with individuals on performance goals.  I loved watching them achieve new things and see themselves break out of their shells of reluctance and fear.  Many individuals I was coaching on public speaking in groups. Others I was coaching on effective listening and learning to clarify for understanding.  Some I was working with solely on understanding and meeting the expectations of their position.  Each member of my team needed something different.

Just like as any stream of water hits a rock and has to flow a new direction.  We are like that stream.  Our experiences shape who we are as a river of knowledge.  We ebb and flow based on hurdles, challenges, and successes.  They shape us.  They mold us.  We are who we are as professionals because of the rocks, twigs, and branches along the way.  Don’t be afraid to bust through an obstacle from time to time though.  I used to always use this amazing line on my team.  I know they hated it and cringed when I said it but it is very true…. “It is when we are most challenged or uncomfortable that we are learning.”  Be challenged.  Be pushed, but break through and rise above.


Is Your “Website Down”? 

By Lawrence Hearn, Support Lead

Never fear, problems have solutions. A handy guide to process of elimination trouble shooting.

Here in the support department, I and the rest of the team are in an interminable state of diagnosing and resolving all kinds of issues. It’s like the mail… it never stops, and no two packages are ever the same.

This is of course a bit hyperbolic; it’s not really that bad. However, I thought I’d take a moment to go over some of the basics of how we approach some common issues when we receive a trouble ticket. Hopefully this information might help you to get a better handle on things (should you encounter said issues).

Firstly, when it comes to “Our website is down”, 99% of the time the website is not down, not in the technical sense anyway.

If you try to bring up your website and it does not load, the most likely cause is that the IP address you’re connecting to our network from has become blocked in the server’s firewall (for any myriad of reasons). Common causes are a choppy internet connection, failed login attempts etc, but in most cases the blocks are temporary at best and only last between 5 to 15 minutes.

How can you know if (in fact) you have become blocked? The first thing I like to do is check to see if you can view the website on a device that is not connected to the WIFI network you are connecting from (such as a smartphone or tablet using a carrier signal like AT&T, Verizon etc). If the site comes up, then you know (#1) that the website is not “down” and (#2) that the firewall is blocking your IP address.

You have several options now from here…

#1:

You can use the “Unblock My IP Address” tool located under the “Support” menu in your customer dashboard at https://support.canvashost.comes

This tool automatically detects the IP address you are connecting from and queries the firewall of the server your hosting account is associated with and unblocks it. Very simple, very fast.

————————————————————————–

#2:

Email support@canvashost.com with a request to unblock your IP address. In most cases the support system will flag the IP address you’ve emailed us from, but it’s good practice to provide the IP address in the body of your message. There are many ways to find out what IP address you’re connecting from, we have our own tool you can use at: https://canvashost.com/ip

Once we receive your ticket, we’ll unblock the IP and in some cases add it to the firewall’s “Ignore” list, which will prevent the firewall from blocking you in the future. This is performed at the discretion of our staff.

————————————————————————–

#3:

Just give us a call. All though the other two methods are likely going to be faster, you may feel challenged by navigating the support system etc and we totally get that. As long as you can provide us with your domain name and the IP address you’re connecting from, we’ll get you unblocked right away. Our customer service phone number is listed right at the top of our website at https://canvashost.com Portland: 503.914.1118 | Toll-Free: 877.HOST.503 | UK: 0800 081 1815

————————————————————————–

If your website is actually down for everybody then that is of course a totally different issue. Assuming there are no global issues with the web server and your website is the only one effect, questions our staff will ask in these cases are as follows:

When was the last time you recall seeing the website up and working properly?
Have there been any updates made to the website recently and prior to the issue occurring?
Has the person(s) who built and/or maintain your website(s) been notified and if so, what (if any) feedback do they have?

In most cases, websites break because of old, depreciated code or conflicts between different software installed on the website. The average WordPress site is an amalgamation of 2 to 3 software vendors writing code independently of one another. This is the nature of the platform and the finickiness of PHP.

Let’s use this an an example of a quick (process of elimination) troubleshooting technique…

In a WordPress file framework (which you can access via the File Manager in your cPanel) there are 3 to 4 core folders. One of which is named “wp-content”. In this folder is another folder simply named “plugins”. Renaming this folder (to whatever you like, I generally just do something like “plugins2”) will disable all of the installed plugins without effecting any other part of the WordPress framework. If you do this and then check your website and it comes up, then you know there is/are one or more plugins which just aren’t vibing with each other. Now you can log into your WordPress dashboard (you’ll want to name the plugins folder back to “plugins” first) and go to the Plugins screen to disable all active plugins, then reactivate them one by one, checking the site each time until you’ve identified which one(s) “break” the website.

Assuming there are no updates available for that plugin, it’s just a matter of uninstalling it and looking for a replacement, of which there will likely be at least 2 to 5 available depending on what kind of plugin it is.

And there you go! Now you’re an internet scientist and the envy of your friends and co-workers.


End of Year Finance Stress?? A Quicker Process

By Angela Anderson, Operations/Co-Owner

It’s the end of the year and many companies are going through analysis of their 2018 budget as well as forecasting of their 2019 budget.  This can be a pretty stressful experience and can encumber many long hours of meetings.  Not to fret….

We’ve been there.  We’ve lost hours of sleep.  There are solutions.

We have found that they best remedy to this stress is proactive and productive conversations throughout the year.  One of the successful strategies in finance is to analyze your budget through your Profit and Loss statement monthly as you balance your accounts.  We’ve turned this into a very efficient process for ourselves, as well have taught several of our clients.

  • Step 1:  Balance accounts
  • Step 2: Print off Month End Profit and Loss and Balance Sheet
  • Step 3: Analyze month-end numbers in correlation to last month, last year, and year over year trends

We do this for our own company every month.  Instead of looking at your monthly budget, look at your cyclical nature of your expenses.  Average them over the full year and then create your monthly budget.  Not every month is created equal.

Analyze your income separate than your expense.  Do you have systems in place to look at your revenue streams to counteract your cyclical expenses?

This whole process can be complicated if your expertise is not finance.  We are here for you.  We can walk you through it and set up templates and procedures to help you as well as your finance leaders.  A few hours of pre-planning can overcome weeks of stress.