bigstock-access-denied-no-access-in-res-52424974Last week saw one of my biggest mishaps ever and I’m ashamed to admit it, given my line of business. However, I’m going to hang my head in shame and tell you in the hopes that you can use my story to avoid similar mistakes in the future.

I changed the direction of my business last year, focusing my attention on web design. That’s when I created this site and I happily continued along this path… everything was working as it should and the transition was seamless.

Until, all of a sudden, I started receiving all kinds of errors and I couldn’t send or receive emails. I tried to go onto my websites, but they were also completely down.

Turns out I didn’t pay the bill!

And it was my own sloppy error.

When I went the direction of Unbound Website Creations, I changed my email address to match. That’s a good thing, right?

I even forwarded my old email to the new address for six months so as to not miss out on any important mail. When I knew that I was not receiving any more important mail on the old account, I stopped it.

I discovered the issue on a crazy busy afternoon, right as I had to leave to pick up my husband. The 20 minutes’ drive each way felt like a century and it may have pushed my generally tranquil demeanor to the extreme as I sat thinking about no access to my email and/or sites.

As it turns out, I was supposed to receive invoices, hosting reminders, and suspension notices…

Fortunately, I was able to access billing and pay the hosting invoice. My hosting company (Hostgator) was helpful via instant messaging and helped remove old items and voila – things were back on track.

However, I came this close to losing EVERYTHING I had worked so hard for. The thought was very disconcerting. I felt uneasy at how easily this could’ve caused absolute chaos, and how easily that could’ve been avoided – had I just updated my email address on my hosting account.

What Can You Learn From My Mistake?

It would’ve been horrible to be without email for more than a couple of hours. Suffice to say, I learned my lesson.

How can YOU avoid making the same mistake?

1. Don’t change your email.
2. Make a thorough list of every account you may need to update first.
3. Run all your email accounts through Gmail and don’t discontinue any email accounts if you can help it. If not, follow steps 1 and 2.
4. Pay your hosting bill on time! Mark your calendar if you don’t pay monthly so you don’t forget. 😉

Need some tips or advice? Don’t hesitate to ask in comments below. Even if I don’t have all the answers, my readers will have them.