A site outage, regardless of whether it is resolved immediately or it lasts for a prolonged period, can cause a lot of problems for businesses and organizations. Website owners and managers must know how to deal with such a dilemma when it occurs.
When your site is offline, both new and returning visitors won’t have access to it. Because of this, website traffic will drop, and this can cause a potential loss of conversions and even sales.
Additionally, whenever your website is down, the sudden surge in bounce rates will give visitors a poor user experience. As a result, your site may end up being less crawled by Google and other search engines. This, in turn, could cause your ranking to take a hit.
Because of these unfavorable consequences, it is essential that you have a list of steps to follow that would help you deal with unexpected downtime.
Reducing Site Outages
Although it can be difficult to prevent website downtime from happening, there are ways to minimize its occurrence. A leading provider of IT support services shares these tips below:
Install an uptime monitoring plugin
Almost all websites, even the most popular and visited ones, experience downtime occasionally. However, there are instances wherein outages happen repeatedly, and yet you may not even be aware of their occurrences.
As a result, you lose out on leads, conversions, and possible revenue.
Since keeping an eye on your website 24/7 to wait for it to go offline is not possible, you need to have a tool that can do it for you. This comes in the form of an uptime monitoring plugin.
An uptime monitoring plugin is a website tool that records the amount of time your site is working properly. When it goes offline, you will get a notification.
With this tool, you can also review all records and identify trends regarding outages. Additionally, certain plugins can diagnose the problem. Because of this, you can get the issue fixed immediately.
If you don’t have this tool yet, install it now. An uptime monitoring plugin comes in both free and premium options, so you don’t have any excuse not to get one. Whether you want to try an unpaid or paid version, make sure you choose one that is compatible with your platform and that comes highly recommended.
Identify the usual causes
Since your uptime monitoring plugin will give you reports on website outages, you can pinpoint the main reason or cause of each downtime.
The usual reasons for website downtime are:
- Software and hardware failure
- Server overload
- Traffic overload
Once you identify the usual reasons, you can take the appropriate actions to fix them and implement some precautionary measures to prevent them from causing any more problems in the future.
Upgrade to a high-quality hosting platform
In case the usual cause of your website outage is server downtime, don’t delay switching to a faster and more reliable hosting service.
Look for a provider that has a solid uptime track record. Find one that will monitor, update, and back up your files. The best hosting provider will also help protect your site and send you alerts on downtime and suspicious logins.
When choosing the best platform, you don’t have to go with the most expensive option. However, you will need to pay a bit more if you want a server that won’t cause your website to crash frequently.
Back up your website
To be fully prepared for the worst-case scenarios, use a backup service that automatically saves copies of your website. By doing so, you can quickly restore all the data and files when your site goes back online after a server glitch or attack.
Another option would be to set up secondary hosting on a different server. This way, you will have a reliable backup of your primary account in case of downtime.
Whichever option you choose, make sure you back up regularly so that you will always have access to the recent versions of all your files.
You can get help with performing data backup and recovery, if necessary, from an IT company. Make sure you choose a service provider that is reputable and reliable as well.
Take extra security measures
Hacks and data breaches are two of the worst things that could happen to your website. They can cause downtime, which can be difficult to fix. Moreover, when your customers’ sensitive information is stolen and used for various reasons, you will lose their trust and repeat business.
Because of these reasons, you need to implement additional security measures to prevent hacking and data breaches from happening.
Start by installing top-rated and reliable security plugins or software, if you don’t have any yet. Additionally, always follow security best practices to protect your website from external attacks.
These include instructing all users to sign in using only trusted and secure networks. They must never use public Wi-Fi and other untrusted Internet providers.
Make sure your security software is always up to date as well so that they can give your system better protection.
Consider investing in website vulnerability scanners as well. These tools will identify technical weaknesses in your website that hackers can take advantage of.
As long as you take the necessary precautions and create a plan for managing website downtime, you can keep your site online all the time and reduce prolonged outages and the stress that accompanies them.
Sharon Mallorca is the Sales Manager at Create IT in Dubai. Established by innovative digital agency Create Media Group, Create IT has rapidly become the Middle East’s leading IT Support and IT Solutions company, providing the highest quality IT support and services to a growing portfolio of global brands.