Almost every entrepreneur who is involved in the world of ecommerce understands that website uptime is important. After all, uptime ratings are a big selling point for many hosting providers. If website uptime wasn’t so important, web hosting companies wouldn’t guarantee 99 percent uptime or more to draw customers in. The question is why is uptime so important? What makes downtime so detrimental to the success of any online business? Furthermore, once you understand the significance of downtime, what can you do to prevent it? Here are the answers you’ve been looking for.
Why is Downtime So Dangerous?
Every minute of downtime equates to lost profit potential. When your site is down, it can’t generate profits. Whether your profits are generated by sales or by advertisements, downtime means that you aren’t making money. Money, however, is not the only thing that your business has to lose when your site faces downtime. Customer loyalty is another thing that is put at risk.
Imagine that you need to place an order and the site that you usually frequent is experiencing an outage. Do you wait to place your order? Probably not. You likely begin searching for another online supplier with a website that is up and running. If your site is down, your customers are doing the same thing. Don’t count on customer loyalty to get you through downtime. Online shoppers aren’t known for their patience. Some studies show that online consumers won’t even wait three seconds for a page to load, let alone wait an hour or more for a site to get back up and running. If your site is down and can’t take sales, your customers are likely heading to your competition. To make matters worse, there’s no guarantee they’ll be coming back to you the next time they need to place an order.
In addition to lost profits and lost customers, your website downtime can also result in lost search engine rankings. While short periods of downtime aren’t likely to hurt your site, long periods of downtime can actually affect your search engine rankings. Chances are that you’ve invested quite a bit of money into the SEO of your site. The last thing you want to do is jeopardize the rankings you’ve achieved. Unfortunately, website downtime can do just that.
How Can You Prevent Website Downtime?
Once you understand just how detrimental website downtime actually is, you can begin to see the big picture one of your top priorities should be the prevention of downtime. Many will tell you that 100 percent uptime is impossible to achieve. Just because you may not be able to achieve it, however, does not mean that you should not strive for it.
Utilize a Website Monitoring Service:
The first step in avoiding website downtime is to employ the services of a website monitoring service. A website monitor will check your site 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to ensure that your site is performing as it should be. If your site begins to experience performance issues, a tell-tale sign that downtime may be imminent, you can look into what is causing the issue and take measures to correct the problem before the downtime even occurs. If your website monitor notifies you that your site has already gone down, you’ll be the first to know and may be able to correct the problem before your customers even realize your site went down.
Put Backup Plans into Place:
In addition to employing a website monitoring service to alert you of performance issues and downtime, you also need to put backup plans in place. This means subscribing to a backup DNS service and even having a backup web host. If your hosting provider experiences an outage, you have no power over how fast your site is back up and running unless you have a copy of your site hosted on another server. If your DNS goes down, you won’t be able to get your site back up and running unless you have a backup DNS service in place. The last thing you want to do is leave your site’s profits and reputation at the mercy of your DNS provider or your hosting provider. Make sure that you have backups that you can turn to if these services should encounter a problem.
Protect Your Site from DDoS Attacks:
In addition to website monitoring service and backup services, you should also employ anti-DDoS services. More and more sites are becoming the targets of DDoS attacks. If your website host does not have measures in place to mitigate the damage caused by DDoS attacks, you need anti-DDoS support to ensure that a hacker can’t interfere with the productivity of your site.
Make Sure All Your Bases Are Covered:
By covering all of your bases, you can ensure that website downtime doesn’t affect your customer loyalty, your search engine rankings, or your website profits. Website monitoring service is a crucial weapon in your anti-downtime arsenal. It is not, however, the only weapon you should be using. Backup plans and services that protect your website are also crucial to the uptime of your site. While preventing downtime does take time, effort and a bit of investment, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If every minute of downtime equates to lost profits, the money that you invest in these services will pay for themselves for each minute of downtime that they prevent.