Understanding Roles in the Web World

By Jacqueline Sinex, Friday, August 12, 2011
Business woman working at laptop

Who do I call for what type of tech issue?

As a web hosting company, our tech support staff has had a fair share of calls about all sorts of IT problems outside of our control – but we understand. A good business owner just needs good information, and they need a good network of people to rely on for various issues that challenge them. You can’t expect the owner of a restaurant to learn the ins and outs of server technology.

What a Web Host Is Responsible For

Your web host is providing you with server space and resources to store your website and allow it to be accessible via the Internet. On a typical shared web hosting plan, your website is hosted on a server along with several other websites, and you are sharing resources with those other customers. Your web host’s staff monitor the health of their server and network, and you save money by not needing to purchase a sophisticated data center and servers, and by not needing to hire an IT manager to maintain that server.

If there is a problem with the server or network that your web host operates, you will contact them for support.

What a Web Developer Is Responsible For

Your web developer is the web design/programming professional who built your website. They can help you to maintain features in the website, and troubleshoot problems with coding errors. In some cases, they team up with other graphic designers, database programmers, or marketing professionals to turn around your complete website project.

If there is a coding error with your website or its back-end software, you should usually talk to your web developer.

When a Website is Hacked

There are 2 ways that a “hacker” or their abusive program can possibly compromise your website:

  1. They could get in through a vulnerability in your website’s code.
  2. They could get in through a vulnerability/infection on the server where your website is hosted.

In our experience over the last 15 years, number 1 is the most common. Number 2 tends to be more likely for servers running Windows since so many viruses and malware issues target the Windows platform (WEBii uses mostly Unix servers). They are also more likely to happen to a web host who does not have a good security protocol in place, such as the reliable intrusion detection systems and firewalls at WEBii.

If your website breaks because of a problem with the software you are using or a coding error, you should consult your webmaster or web developer first to troubleshoot the issue. They will be more familiar with the make-up of your website and where to look for causes and solutions.

If your web host’s server has been compromised by an infection, it would then be their responsibility to investigate and resolve that.

Local IT Problems

Sometimes issues can also happen to your local computer systems, email programs, and related software at your office.  We may help you to troubleshoot an email issue and realize that something has disturbed your actual email program on that computer, rather than our email server. When you do not have a full-time IT manager to rely on at your office, it is a great idea to hire a professional Managed IT Services company. These firms usually handle everything from streamlining your office network to cleaning up viruses on your computers and troubleshooting computer problems.

Beyond the Basics

There are even more special scenarios we have dealt with that can throw an extra wrench in a technical question. But your peace of mind comes in knowing that it is possible to solve your tech problems when you establish a solid network of professionals in a variety of technical areas.


Posted in: Tech Support, Web Development, Web Hosting, WWW Learning Center

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