Your website allows you to do what business owners decades ago could not do – stay open to the world 24/7. As a result, you can have customers from any geographical location accessing your business and making purchases even while you sleep. Only downtime can prevent you from achieving this every day. Downtime refers to the times your website goes offline. When customers search for you online you are not there. This can be extremely frustrating for you and your customers, and is one of the ways online companies lose customers. Why do websites experience downtime and how can you avoid it?
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What Does Website Downtime Mean?
Whenever a website is not functioning efficiently making it impossible for users to complete a task or the webpage is not available online, it is experiencing downtime.
5 Factors that cause Downtime
No website is immune to downtime; however, it is possible to reduce it significantly to the point where it seems non-existent. The key to this is, understanding why your website has gone offline in the first place. Once you know the reason for your downtime, you can address it to prevent future recurrence.
1. Server Maintenance
It is possible for your website to go offline when your web host provider is updating the software the server uses. However, most service providers do server maintenance at non-peak traffic hours. This helps to minimise inconvenient business or website disruptions.
2. An Overloaded Server
Even huge websites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter sometimes experience downtime because of server overload. A surge in traffic also causes a website to go offline. This sometimes has a lot to do with the type of web hosting package you have, as some do not offer the resources needed to facilitate a huge traffic volume. If you are using a shared hosting plan, your website can go down because another website on the server is experiencing increased traffic.
3. A Website Attack
One of the main reasons websites go offline is from malicious cyber-attacks such a DDoS attack. This type of attack happens when hackers send a lot of traffic to your website, to overload your server and bring it down. Setting up backend security protocols for your website is critical. If you do not you will make it easy for hackers to knock your website offline.
4. A Coding Error
Sometimes a tiny technical error causes website downtime. A missing line in a code or a backslash (\) instead of a forward slash (/) can cause your site to go offline. If an error flag is not associated with your server, it could be an issue with a web theme or a plugin.
5. A Free Hosting Plan
When you are just starting your website, it is very tempting for you to use free hosting. It goes without saying, that free hosting does not have the kind of resources needed to handle lots of traffic. That is why it is quite common for websites with free hosting services to experience frequent downtime. To prevent this its best to invest in an affordable hosting service.
Reliable Tips to Help you Avoid Website Downtime
Several factors can result in website downtime. Once you know what is affecting your uptime you can start implementing personalised preventative measures so it does not happen in the future. The following tips are factors to consider that will ultimately help you to avoid website downtime.
1. Uptime Monitoring
Uptime monitoring also called website monitoring helps you to decipher your website’s activities and online availability, alerting you whenever your website goes down. These immediate alerts help to minimise the impact of experiencing downtime and help to get your website back up and running in a short space of time after going offline.
2. High-Quality Hosting Platform
Your website is an investment. The amount of returns you get on this investment has a lot to do with the web hosting service you use. If you use a low-quality platform with frequent downtime and overall poor performance, this will also be the fate of your website.
Instead, look for the best web hosting provider with plans equipped with the necessary resources to facilitate a 99.9% uptime even during a surge in traffic to your website. A fast and reliable hosting service will cost you a bit more but is worth the investment. A high-quality hosting package usually has measures in place to help protect your website by sending you suspicious logins and downtime alerts.
3. Always Backup Your Website
By creating a backup of your website, you will be able to survive worst-case scenarios such as cyber-attacks or human errors from accidentally deleting critical files. A backup is simply a duplicate copy of your website. You can backup your website using a separate server to set up a secondary hosting for your website.
Also automatically save multiple copies of your site by using a backup service. This way should your website go offline unexpectedly you will be able to restore your files and data as soon as it goes back online. If you are looking for advanced cloud backup services find out more here.
4. Use Social Media to Fill The Gap During Downtime
Whenever the main road is being fixed traffic is normally diverted instead of just closing off the road without a way for drivers to get to where they need to. The same works well whenever your website goes offline. While you work on getting it up and running during downtime, use your social media to engage and update customers. Keep them informed, answer their questions about why the site is down and how long it may be offline for.
For your website to be successful, it has to be accessible to customers. While it is hard to avoid website downtime there are measures you can put in place to reduce it significantly. You can start by installing support systems and monitoring software. A key factor in achieving high availability or 99.9% uptime is by choosing a good web hosting provider. Hosting.co.uk is fast and reliable. Our hosting plans offer unlimited bandwidth, large disc space and great 24/7 customer support.