This page explains how to deal with some of the problems that might arise when you create your site, or when customers try to order from it.

When your browser gets no response while trying to reach a site, it will usually print a message like
The server is down or not responding.
The way this message is phrased, it sounds as if the server is at fault, but all this message really means is that, for whatever reason, your browser could not contact the server.

If you are unable to get to, the most likely problem is that your ISP has dropped your Internet connection, or that there is some problem on the Internet between your ISP and us.

To test if your connection is live, try going to a well-known site like or If you can't get them either, then the problem is probably local.

If you can get to CNN but not to Viaweb, then the problem is probably somewhere between your ISP and us. There are periodic logjams on parts the Internet, and some ISPs also have chronically bad Internet connections. The solution here is to try again later.

If you are in the middle of editing your site, and you stop getting responses from Viaweb's server, the situation is the same as in the first section. Wait for a minute and see if anything happens. If not, wait half an hour and log in again.

If you do lose your network connection in the middle of editing your site, you won't lose your changes. Each time you click on the Update button, your changes are written to disk.

Some corporate firewalls won't let you establish a secure connection with a remote server. If you're behind such a firewall, you won't be able to place or retrieve orders from your site, because we use secure links for both.

There is a legitimate reason for firewalls that prevent you from establishing a secure connection. Secure connections encrypt data, and companies may not want employees to be able to send data outside the company in a way that cannot be monitored.

If a customer complains that nothing happens when they try to order from your site, they are probably behind such a firewall. If you want to make sure, ask if they can establish a secure connection to any other site. For example, does the following URL work?
(Note that's https, not http.) If not, then the problem is almost certainly a firewall.

When a firewall prevents a secure connection, the solution is to use a connection that doesn't go through a firewall - for example, a modem connection to an ISP.

Sales: 1-888-4-VIAWEB or
Support: 1-617-876-9678 or