When you pay for hosting, there are almost always some caveats. Hosting providers reserve the right to terminate your account under particular circumstances — for example, if your site has malware or content that violates the host’s guidelines. If your account gets flagged, you’ll see a message like “this account has been suspended.”
The positive side is that “suspended” isn’t the same as “terminated.” When an account is suspended, you can usually appeal the decision or fix the problem that caused your web host to take action against you. If your efforts succeed, you’ll regain access and control over your website.
In this article, we’ll talk about the potential causes for hosting account suspensions. We’ll then discuss what to do if you run into the “this account has been suspended” message and how to proceed after you fix things.
What does the “Account Suspended” error mean?
In most cases, you’ll only see a “this account has been suspended” message if your host temporarily disables your website. The error itself doesn’t mean the data is lost, only that you don’t currently have access to it.
The text of the error message itself may vary depending on your host. Still, it all points towards your hosting provider finding a reason to flag your website and suspend it.
With a suspended account, you won’t be able to:
- Visit your website
- Access your WordPress website’s backend
- Restore backups of your website
- Access your website via File Transfer Protocol (FTP)
Your provider will also disable access to your hosting account. The company does this so that you can’t simply set up a new website or try to circumvent the suspension while it’s in action.
The “this account has been suspended” error can be frustrating to deal with. There are several potential causes for this issue, depending on your provider’s guidelines. Reputable web hosts will usually reach out and tell you what the problem is and what steps you can take to troubleshoot it.
Keep in mind that account suspension can come before deletion. If an account stays suspended for a while and you don’t make an effort to work out the situation, your host might delete your data. That means you can lose your website and all of its contents unless you have recent external backups.
If you miss your web host’s messages, you can always reach out to the company directly to find out the problem. Most hosting providers will be willing to work with you to resolve any outstanding issues so you can get back to running your website and continue staying a customer.
Why you need to troubleshoot the “This Account Has Been Suspended” error immediately
As a rule of thumb, you’ll want to fix any error that prevents users from accessing your website as soon as possible. The longer your site remains offline, the more likely visitors will start migrating to your competitors. You could lose sales, clients, ad views, and followers. And if your site is down, Google can’t index it, which can ultimately lead to a drop in search engine rankings.
The “Account Suspended” error can lead visitors to believe that your website is abandoned. For visitors who know what the error means, it points toward a serious issue with your site — anything from failing to pay for hosting to the website being taken down due to malware.
Unlike with other WordPress errors, when your hosting account is suspended, you lose full access to your website. Those access points include pages, the WordPress dashboard, and your hosting control panel. In most cases, you also won’t be able to access your website’s data via FTP.
As the account owner, you’re responsible for solving the problem to your web host’s satisfaction. If you don’t, you’re essentially giving up on your website, all of its content, and your audience.
Six potential causes for the “Account Suspended” error
The reasons for a suspended account will vary from one web host to another. Some hosting providers might suspend accounts aggressively, while others may be more permissive.
Typically, if you run into the “this account has been suspended” error, it’s due to one of the following reasons:
1. You didn’t pay for your hosting
Hosting doesn’t come for free. Like with any other service, if you fail to pay for it, the provider will eventually cut it off. Hosting providers will usually bill you automatically, either monthly or yearly, depending on the plan you chose when signing up.
With most web hosts, you pay for hosting in advance. That means you can go a long time in between payments, particularly if you sign up for a yearly plan.
Hosting companies will usually keep your payment information on file. When your hosting period is up, they’ll attempt to bill you for the next cycle automatically. If that payment fails for any reason — like a canceled credit card — your provider will reach out to you to try and solve the issue.
Most hosting providers won’t outright suspend your account if the payment fails. Instead, they’ll give you a few days to update your credit card information or submit payment before they proceed with suspension.
It’s important to note that several Virtual Private Server (VPS) and cloud hosting providers will charge you on a rolling basis. These companies usually tell you how much an “instance” costs per hour.
This approach might cause some confusion if you’re used to paying for hosting upfront. If you use a cloud hosting provider, we recommend checking to see how much you’re due to pay before each billing cycle closes. That way, the hosting bill won’t take you by surprise.
2. Your website has been hacked
Your hosting account might get suspended through no fault of your own. Any website can fall prey to an attack.
If you fail to implement proper WordPress security measures, your site is more likely to be the victim of a hack. By “hacked”, we mean that a malicious actor gains access to your site and uses it for purposes that violate your hosting guidelines. Hackers can use websites for phishing purposes, to host malware, and to send spam.
Any reputable web hosting provider will have clauses in its service contract that reserve the right to suspend or terminate your account if it engages in any of those activities. If your site becomes spammy, your web host might not know whether your website got hacked or you decided to use it for nefarious purposes.
In those situations, your web host will probably suspend your account for security’s sake before it contacts you. That means you should have the opportunity to explain if you think your website has been hacked. Then, a good web host should be able to review server logs to corroborate your story.
3. Your website is affecting server performance
Many shared hosting providers will tell you that you get unlimited bandwidth with your plan. Still, that’s almost never the case in practice.
The issue with shared hosting plans is that, well, they’re shared. That means if there’s one website taking up too many resources, it can affect other sites.
Most web hosting providers will include some type of ‘fair usage’ clause to outline what constitutes acceptable usage parameters.
Usually, fair usage policies are written so that web hosts have a lot of leeway in determining when they can suspend your account. Hosting providers will typically be very proactive in letting you know if you’re coming close to exceeding your plan’s resources.
The solution, in this case, is to consider upgrading your hosting plan to an option with increased resources so that you don’t affect server performance for other users. At some point, if your website starts to get a lot of traffic, you’ll outgrow shared hosting altogether. When that happens, you should consider moving to a more advanced plan, like a VPS or dedicated server.
There are plenty of additional advantages to using a VPS or a dedicated server. Firstly, your website’s performance should improve drastically. You might also get full access to your server, enabling you to configure it to your needs.
If you want all of the benefits of increased performance without tinkering with server settings, we recommend considering a managed WordPress hosting plan. Plenty of excellent managed WordPress web hosts tell you exactly how much traffic each package can handle. That way, you’ll always know when it’s time to upgrade to a better plan before you start closing in on fair usage limits.
4. You have plagiarized content
Plagiarism is common on the modern web. Creating a website with competitive content can take months or even years of effort. Others may try to get around the difficult process by stealing your hard work.
Plagiarizers might make an effort to rewrite your content a little bit or just steal it outright and reproduce it as their own. This stolen content may not perform well with search engines, but it can affect your rankings and confuse visitors.
Most web hosts aren’t on the lookout for plagiarized content on their servers. Still, they typically pay attention to takedown or Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) requests. These are official requests that tell web hosts that a website is infringing on a copyright and ask the hosting provider to take the offending pages down.
How a web host handles takedown requests will vary from one provider to another. In most cases, a single takedown request isn’t enough for a host to suspend or terminate your account. But if your hosting provider finds that you’re in repeat violation of its copyright infringement policies, it will probably cut business ties with you.
If you’re on the receiving end of fraudulent DMCA takedown requests, that fraud should be relatively easy to prove. The date on which you first published a page or a post will serve as evidence that you’re the original creator. So, it’s simply a matter of contacting your hosting provider’s customer service team.
5. You have illegal or unauthorized content
It’s important to understand that most web hosts have limitations on what type of content or websites they’ll allow on their platforms. Gambling and adult websites are two examples of content that many web hosts frown upon and actively block.
If you take the time to read your hosting provider’s terms of service, it will outline what type of content it doesn’t allow on its platform. Unlike other issues that can lead to account suspension, there’s very little that you can do if you’re hosting a website with content that your provider prohibits.
In that scenario, your best bet is to migrate your WordPress website to a new host that accepts the type of website you want to run.
How to fix the “this account has been suspended” error in WordPress
You should be able to fix most WordPress errors independently. With a bit of help and some tutorials, troubleshooting WordPress can be relatively straightforward.
In contrast, the “this account has been suspended” error is one of the few situations where you’ll have no choice but to contact your hosting provider.
When you run into the “Account Suspended” error, it means that you’re completely locked out of your WordPress website. You won’t be able to access your hosting panel, log into the WordPress dashboard, or connect to your site via FTP.
“Account Suspended” error pages almost always include a contact email address for your web host’s support team. They’ll be able to tell you why your account is suspended and what you can do to solve the problem.
The bad news is that reversing an account suspension is almost never an immediate process. Unless your web host made a mistake when suspending your account, there’s usually some back and forth involved in restoring access to it.
For a popular website, that can translate to a significant loss of trust and traffic. Visitors that see an “Account Suspended” message might think that your website isn’t trustworthy and decide to look elsewhere for what they want. Many people will likely see the error and assume that your site doesn’t exist anymore.
It’s in your best interest to reach out to your web host as quickly as possible and cooperate with their requirements. Doing this will enable the hosting provider to restore access to your account as quickly as possible. Barring that, your only alternative is to migrate your website to a new web host. However, do keep in mind that this may be a temporary fix. Depending on the issue, your new web host could also suspend your account for the same reason.
What to do if your hosting provider won’t reactivate your account
Unfortunately, your web host might decide not to reactivate your account. That outcome can happen if the company decides that you’re in repeated violation of its terms of service.
It’s not common for a web host to suspend services altogether if your site is hacked or uses too many resources. In those situations, hosting providers will usually find a way to work with you.
If your web host decides not to reinstate services, your only option is to migrate your website to a new server. To do so, you’ll need a recent and full website backup. That backup should include both your WordPress files and database.
Armed with that backup, you can sign up for a new web hosting plan with any other provider. After you install WordPress on a new account, you can restore that backup manually or using a plugin, depending on your preferences.
Restoring WordPress backups is a relatively straightforward process. Still, that’s only the case if you have access to backup files that aren’t tied to the suspended hosting account. If your web host takes care of backups, you might lose access to those files. Then, getting your provider to send them your way can be challenging.
That’s one of the many reasons why you should store your backups completely separate from your web host. For example, if you use a WordPress backup plugin like Jetpack Backup, multiple copies of your files are saved separately from your host, on WordPress secure servers.
In any case, if you can restore a backup of your website on another web host, you’ll just have to update your domain. You’ll then need to point that domain toward the new website. Once you do, visitors will be able to re-access your site.
If you think that you might have gotten a suspended account due to a security vulnerability or illegal content, it’s important to review your website thoroughly. A comprehensive security scan should be able to spot issues that will prevent your account from getting banned from a second web host.
What happens to my domain if I get a “Suspended Account” error?
You may have purchased your domain name from the same place you host your site. That domain will be tied into your web hosting account, which means you might lose access to it if your account is suspended.
If your account is suspended, you might not be able to update your domain name settings. The domain itself will still work, but will lead to the page with the “Account Suspended” error.
Once you get in touch with your hosting provider and resolve the account suspension, you’ll regain access to any domains that you registered through the host. But if you face a full account termination, you’ll need to initiate a domain migration process.
Domain migration involves moving your URL from one registrar to another. The domain itself will still work the same, but you’ll now use a different registrar to update settings and pay for renewals.
How to protect your WordPress website after your account is restored
If a security issue led to your WordPress website getting suspended, you need to take steps to ensure that doesn’t happen again. A lot of web hosts place security in your hands, meaning you need to be very proactive when it comes to maintenance tasks, including:
- Regularly updating WordPress core, plugins, and themes
- Reviewing user privileges so that no single account has access to tools that it shouldn’t
- Updating passwords and encouraging team members to do the same
- Preventing brute force attacks
- Blocking spam comments and form submissions
- Regularly scanning your site for malware
- Adding two-factor authentication to your login page
If you want to take a more hands-off approach to website security, we recommend looking into plugins to make your life easier. Jetpack, for example, offers a comprehensive WordPress security suite that includes real-time malware scanning, brute force attack prevention, automatic off-site backups, plugin updates, and more.
Off-site backups mean that you always have access to full copies of your site even if your web host decides to suspend your account. Jetpack can also help minimize comment spam on your website, preventing users from sharing illegal content on your posts and pages.
Another way to increase website security is using managed WordPress hosting. Managed web hosts can take care of basic maintenance tasks for you, like updating WordPress. Depending on which web host you use, you’ll also get access to advanced security configurations, which can make a managed plan a worthwhile investment.
Protect your hosting account and your WordPress website
In most cases, you should be able to get back your hosting account and your website even if they get suspended. It’s as simple as reaching out to your web host’s support team and asking them what you can do to resolve the issue.
If your website was hacked, your host might work with you to clean it or restore a recent backup. If your site uses too many resources, your provider might ask you to upgrade your plan or pay overage charges. If all else fails, you can always migrate your WordPress website to a new host.
WordPress account suspension FAQs
We’ve just given a full explanation of why you might see the “this account has been suspended” message on your WordPress site. If you have any lingering doubts, here are some of the most frequently asked questions about this issue!
What does “this account has been suspended” mean?
The “this account has been suspended” message means your website is temporarily disabled and inaccessible. You won’t be able to reach your WordPress dashboard, view your site content, or access your data until you resolve the issue with your hosting provider.
Why do accounts get suspended?
Your account may get suspended because you forgot to pay your hosting provider or your website is using too many resources. Your site might have plagiarized, illegal, or otherwise prohibited content. Finally, your website may have been hacked by malicious actors.
How do you unsuspend a website?
You’ll need to contact your hosting provider to unsuspend your WordPress website. In many cases, the host will have a dedicated customer support team. If your site violates your host’s terms of service, you may need to migrate it to a different hosting provider.
Do suspended accounts get deleted?
Your web host may delete your suspended account if you don’t resolve the issue promptly. To avoid this scenario, try to reach out to your hosting provider as soon as you see the suspension message. You may also need to explain why the company should not delete your account.