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Has Your Site Been Blacklisted?

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The unfortunate experience of having your site blacklisted can cost you money, reputation and time spent finding and fixing the offending site behavior. When you’re blacklisted, potential visitors are alerted that your site has been blacklisted, and they’re advised to back out. No good for business.

You can also be blacklisted by having your emails get rejected. Same applies: bad for business.

If you’re innocent of malicious behavior but you’ve been blacklisted through no fault of your own, you probably got hacked. If you didn’t get hacked, it could be your web host’s email server.

No worries, it happens everyday and there’s a way out.

The most common reasons for getting blacklisted are:

  • Your site got hacked and some malware is now running on your site.
  • Your host runs FTP software that’s easy to hack.
  • Someone on the same server/IP address as your site is sending spammy emails.

How Your Web Hosting Company Can Help

The better hosting companies out there will perform regular checks on your website and others on the same server. They’ll be on the lookout for malware and whatever other security threats that sneak their way in.

If your host finds something on your website, they’ll contact you immediately and let you know. Then it’ll be up to you to get rid of it. If you have a hosting company with good customer service, they’ll help you out.

Another Way Your Web Hosting Company Can Help

Simply by having and enforcing an “anti-spam” policy for emails, your host can do a lot to prevent you from getting your emails rejected because their email server has been blacklisted.

If that does happen to you, then your web host has failed you in two ways:

  1. They apparently weren’t on the lookout for spam-like emails going out of their server.
  2. They didn’t alert you, letting you continue business as usual and potentially damaging your business’ reputation.

What You Can Do

Perform a “Background Check” On Your Web Host

I always tell people that before they commit to a web hosting package, they should perform their due diligence. See if the host has been blacklisted in the past and if so, check whether it’s a continuing pattern or an isolated issue. If they don’t have best practices in place, they’ll most probably become an avenue for email spam and hacking, if not already.

Try a Blacklist Checker Tool

Chances are, you’ve never used a blacklist checker tool. Now’s your chance to find out about the health of your website and your server. Mail servers that get blacklisted will show up on such tools, alerting you to perhaps consider switching hosts.

You can check right now to see whether your IP has been blacklisted. Simply search for a “blacklist checker” and type in your domain or nameservers (it’s free). I personally like MXToolbox’s checker. They also have a tool for finding out your mail server’s address, if you don’t know it.

If you find your servers on an email blacklist, and your host hasn’t notified you… it might be time to find a new host. You don’t want to entrust your whole online reputation to a company that doesn’t care about your business!

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