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Surviving Website Downtime: Survival Guide

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If your business is mostly online, then website downtime is something to look out for. Through your website you make sales, reach new customers and connect with your—when it’s working properly. Which is why it needs to be up and running at all times. But as part of every business things can go wrong sometimes. Your website can crash.

It is ok when that happens, but the most important part is to know why it happened and knowing how to fix it. Surviving website downtime is one of the biggest challenges online business owners face. The time that your website is down can be highly stressful and sometimes detrimental to a business.  There is plenty you can do to be adequately prepared and to make the downtime easier and less stressful. Firstly let’s mention the most common cause of Website Downtime.

The several causes of Website Downtime

1.    Planned Downtime

2.    Component failures

3.    Trouble caused by the operator or the user

4.    Natural Disasters

The Impacts of Downtime to your Website

Bellow you will find just some of the negative impacts that can occur to your website if it is down for a significant amount of time and if you do not find a way to resolve the issue.

  • Reduced search engine rankings
  • May create an overall negative user experience
  • Can tarnish the brand’s reputation and credibility
  • Lost revenue and potential client opportunities

So make sure if your website is down that you can get to it quickly. Sometime sit can even go unnoticed. Each second their website is not functional, they are experiencing several missed opportunities and, ultimately, lost profits.

Now let’s talk about the steps you should take if you are ever in this dreadful position.

See If Your Website is Actually Down

When you realize that your page is not working, make sure that it’s actually down and that it is not a small mistake that could very easily be fixed. This saves you the hassle of trying to figure out how to fix a problem that does not exist, wasting critical time and resources, and potentially creating other problems in the process.

Notify Users When Necessary

Notify your users when necessary and if they will also be affected. Let them know that the site is down, apologise for the inconvenience, let them know that you are investigating the reasons why, and that it will be fixed soon. This retains customer trust and makes them more likely to revisit your site as they expect the issue to be corrected.

Calculate Losses and Plan to Recover

If you are expecting to lose a lot of money during a prolonged outage, then you should start to calculate losses and plan how to recover. Calculating how much you likely lost during the outage may be stressful, but not knowing can hurt your business substantially. Once you know your projected losses, you can come up with a recovery plan.

Investigate

You should try and find out what has caused the problem? This will help you stop it from ever happening again. It could have been caused by a software change you made. Some WordPress plugins could be out of date for example and cause issues with your website. Some of the common reasons are:

  1. A programming error on the website,
  2. A DNS problem, or an expired domain,
  3. A networking problem,
  4. Something on the server has crashed,
  5. The whole server has crashed.

Reach Out to Your Web Host for Help

Reach out to your reliable hosting company, they will usually be able to be of assistance. Most hosting companies have a customer service program, offer maintenance and 24/7 support that can offer you some help and help get to the root of the problem.

Regularly check in with your IT team.

Regular communication with your IT team is crucial. Cooperate with them if they need any help finding information about your website or server. Get an estimate from them as to how long it will take for the problem to be resolved.

Through the many modern instances of downtime, it has become abundantly clear that downtime is a matter that must be swiftly dealt with to avoid lasting negative repercussions in terms of revenue, customer satisfaction, and client loyalty.