Where has my website gone?

Websites sometimes disappear. You might be wondering where your website has gone. Read on to find out some of the reasons why your site might not be showing and what you can do about it.

You’ve typed in your website address, you wait patiently for the site to load and nothing happens; or you get an error screen. This is a scenario no one likes to be confronted with.

Where has your website gone?

There are a few different reasons that your website might not be displayed:

  • Your web host or domain registrar have taken it offline for an unpaid invoice
  • A technical problem with your server
  • A problem with the website pages or content management system, they’ve been changed or deleted
  • Your site has been hacked

Taken offline by your web host or domain registrar

This happens when you have an outstanding invoice that hasn’t been paid by the end of the grace period, it frequently happens where you have an automatic credit card debit set up and your credit card details have changed. Usually a message will be displayed instead of your website urging you to contact the provider to pay the outstanding amounts and update your card details. Or it could be simply that you get no web page at all. Also see the next point, it’s also relevant.

Hosted by Thrive Web Design

If Thrive Web Design is the one to invoice you for your web hosting or domain name, then you’ll need to contact us directly for any issues, on 03 5439 5801.


If you have your hosting with Hostgator, you’ll need to contact them directly to pay the outstanding amount and have your website reinstated.

Log in to your billing and support account here: login details would have been supplied in the email when you signed up for a Hostgator account.

Other web hosts or domain registrars

If you brought your own hosting with you when we built your website, then you’ll need to follow the instructions on the suspension error page, or go to their website and look at their support documents, or phone/email them directly. We don't support other web hosts. 

They will generally offer support pages that show their account suspension policy and how to reinstate your account.

A technical problem with your server

Occasionally there may be problems with your web host's server. These problems can vary from maintenance work, short term outage, or longer outages. If outages are happening frequently, consider looking for a new web host with more reliable up time.

Many web hosts will email their clients prior to conducting maintenance work that will cause an outage for their website. If not you can usually check their support page for scheduled or unscheduled outages.

Get in touch if you're experience web host issues and we provide your hosting.

Hostgator offers a network status forum.

If you’re with a different host, they will most likely have a similar page to detail outages. These are good places to start looking to see if there are any issues with your hosts servers.

A problem with the website pages

Your site may disappear completely or it may look ‘broken’. This typically occurs when you (or someone you know) has been editing templates, website files, or the content management system files.

To prevent this issue, don’t delete or edit files if you’re not sure what they do. If you’re running a content management system like Joomla or Wordpress, installing a new plugin/extension can cause this problem. Before installing, make a backup and download it, and always check compatibility with your version of the CMS. If you’ve already installed one, deactivate then uninstall the plugin/extension and see if this fixes the problem.

**** Ensure you’ve always got a recent backup of your site.****

Most web hosts offer a backup feature for creating and downloading full site backups - check the support documents from your web host.

How to back up in Hostgator cpanel account.

If you’ve still got problems give us a call at Thrive Web Design Bendigo and we’ll get you online again 03 5439 5801.

Your site has been hacked

With any website and not just content management systems, there is the potential that your site may become compromised.

The first of the two main types of hacks that we’ve come across in our business, is where the site is defaced. You open your website and its advertising pharmaceuticals or porn, or just tells you that you’ve been hacked.

The second is a little more stealthy. Your site looks like normal, but the pages listed in google search show references to porn and pharmaceuticals.

Prevention is a more simple matter than curing a hacked site.

Keep your site up to date and backed up

To minimise the risk of your site being hacked, always ensure that your content management system and any plugins are kept up to date, ensure that plugins are secure and that you regularly back your site up.


There are a few other methods to help in the prevention against hacking:


  • Anti-virus software
    • Ensure that it is always running, updating regularly and scanning regularly. I would recommend a minimum of weekly.
  • Malware detection software
    • Again, update and run this regularly to detect and clean compromised files
  • Firewall software
    • Firewall software detects incoming or outgoing network connections which give you the power to determine what can programs or files are allowed to connect to your computer

Other suggestions:

  • Website Security: Have your website developer ensure that the site security is locked down
  • Email: don’t click links or attachments if you aren’t sure they’re secure
  • Browser Toolbars: Don’t install toolbars into internet explorer, many of these are compromised and collect your login credentials for nefarious purposes
  • Passwords: Ensure that passwords such as logins to your websites, FTP accounts are difficult to guess combinations of characters
  • Passwords: Update your passwords regularly
  • Dodgy Websites: If you’ve been directed to, or stumbled upon, a website that looks shady, don’t click any links, close the window.
  • Software: Only install software from trusted download sources
  • Untrusted networks: From open wifi hotspots, or internet cafes, don’t login in to accounts; login credentials can be easily stolen

If you find yourself in the unfortunate circumstance where your website has been hacked, we can advise whether or not your site can be recovered. Call Thrive now 03 5439 5801 to find out more.