Troubleshooting application issues such as web site or database errors, site functionality, and web site performance would typically be handled by the web site owner or developer. As a hosting service provider, our technical support services are limited to your network and server environment. If errors in your web application indicate possible server or network issues however - please provide those details to us so we can investigate further.
Servers with a Server Concierge Management Plan: For servers with a Server Concierge management plan or web sites in our shared hosting environment - standard server administration services are available at no additional charge. We will help in any way possible to narrow down your issue (outside of application troubleshooting) such as reviewing resource usage on the server, going through various server logs (Application and System logs, and relevant logs such as PHP Error or SQL logs).
Servers without a management plan: Outside of ensuring the network and underlying services are operational and that your server is reachable via the Internet, we don’t provide any additional support included, but you are able to purchase professional services at any time and these are billed at a starting rate of $150.00 per hour and most incidents are resolved within that first hour. If during troubleshooting we find that the issue is application related we will provide you with our findings so that you can contact your developer or web application vendor. If you request professional services for an issue and we find during the troubleshooting that the issue is at our side you will not be billed for those services. If you require professional services and would like a time estimate in advance please request one.
Web Site Application / Database Troubleshooting Tips
When an application is having performance issues or other problems, the following should be considered:
Server resource usage should be examined (CPU, Memory, Disk Space), as maxing out on resources often causes performance issues or other problems. Replicate the problem while monitoring CPU and Memory to see if it is spiking during this time.
- Have any recent changes been made to the site or database? If your web application was working well and suddenly has an issue, please consider if any changes were made to your web site or database by yourself or your team. If you have a recent back up of your web site from when everything was functioning correctly you can try rolling back to that version. Depending on your service with us we may also have a recent backup of your site, please contact us for more information if you’d like your web site or database restored to a previous date.
- Error messages: if your web site is displaying an error message this could be helpful in tracking down the problem. Some web applications are able to display errors but are configured to only show friendly errors to web site visitors. This is not only for cosmetic reasons, but because error messages come sometimes contain sensitive information about your web site, such as your database connection information. You can temporarily enable detailed error messages to display if your application supports it so that you can view the full, detailed error message. In other cases the application logs errors to the database. You would need to consult with your web application documentation, vendor, or consult with your web developer for help with doing this for your specific web application. This varies for each application, but most ASP.NET applications can enable detailed error messages by following the steps at https://support.appliedi.net/kb/a340/how-to-view-detailed-error-messages-for-troubleshooting.aspx
- Ensure your web site is using the correct version ASP.NET or PHP. You can modify these settings through your control panel. You can always test on a different version and switch back to the current version. For ASP.NET there are two modes (Classic and Integrated), test your site on each mode.
- Web site spidering and bot attacks: search engine robots that spider your web site can sometimes cause issues for your site. Most of the large search bots (such as Google or Bing) are throttled and usually do not cause problems. However there are some other search engines bots are more aggressive and may be causing issues. Another possibility are malicious bots that scour the internet trying to break into web sites, these often try to submit forms on your web site (such as login forms) over and over again. You can confirm if this is the case by reviewing your daily raw web site access logs.
- Security/PCI Scans – if you have a service that periodically scans your web site security, this can sometimes cause application issues. As with the bot spidering mentioned above, you can confirm if there is a scan occurring on your web site during the time you were experiencing issues by reviewing your raw web site access logs.
- Site Traffic - check your site analytics reporting (we recommend Google Analytics) to determine if your site has had a large increase in traffic. Prior to starting any marketing or advertising campaigns we recommend load testing your web site to gauge the amount of traffic it can handle. Please contact our sales department if you require additional resources or a quote for a load-balanced server environment.
- Measure load time of each web page element. A particular element on your page may be causing performance or other issues. Load your web site in Chrome Developer Tools or FireFox Developer Tools while in the 'Network' tab to view a waterfall of your web site as it loads. Look for errors and for elements that are taking an unusual amount of time to load.
- For database performance issues, there are tools to help track down slow or problematic SQL queries. For MS SQL, one tool is SQL Sentry. For MySQL, we like Jet Profiler. Jet Profiler requires elevated rights for the MySQL user however so this cannot be used in a shared hosting environment.
If you need to run a debugger on the web server itself, such as the debugger in the Windows Software Development Kit (SDK) or profilers such as NP .NET Profiler - this is only possible if you have your own cloud or dedicated server with us (debuggers cannot be run within our shared hosting environment).
Other options if you have your own server are tools such as LeanSentry and New Relic. You can view a demo of how LeanSentry works at https://www.leansentry.com, and through Applied Innovations you can request a free 14-day trial here: https://appliedi.net/leansentry