Anyone who owns or operates a website knows that maintaining the uptime of that site is of the utmost importance. Dreaded downtime results in lost profits, reduced consumer confidence, and even a drop in search engine rankings. While knowing that downtime is enemy number one is important, understanding what causes downtime and how to minimize it are fundamental to the success of your online business. Forget everything you think you know about downtime. The picture that the facts paint about website outages and what you can do about them may be a very different picture than the one you have come to believe.
What Causes Website Downtime?
When it comes to planning for downtime, a lot of companies tend to focus on disaster planning. The truth is that natural disasters (or even manmade ones) account for only a small fraction of website downtime. Hardware failures, human error, and software failure are more likely to cause a site outage than anything else. In fact, about 55 percent of all website outages are due to hardware failure. Approximately 22 percent of website downtime is caused by human error. Another 18 percent is caused by software failure. Unfortunately, while you can minimize the website downtime that is caused by these issues, it is impossible to actually eliminate downtime altogether. That means that website owners need to focus on taking measures to minimize any downtime that does occur.
How to Minimize Website Downtime
While you can’t completely avoid website downtime, you can indeed minimize the amount of downtime that your site experiences. First and foremost, if you use a hosting company, make sure you utilize the services of a reputable provider. Since more than half of all downtime is due to hardware failure, you want to make sure that you are utilizing a website hosting provider that has failsafe measures in place should a component of the host’s hardware fail.
You also need to be careful with the management of your site. Human error, such as accidentally wiping out a file system on your server, can wreak havoc on your site’s availability and uptime statistics. Always make sure that there are backups of your site’s files and that you have measures in place to protect your data.
In addition, make sure you properly handle any patches or software updates for your site. If you don’t test patches or updates before making them live, you may find yourself facing corrupt applications that can make portions of your site unavailable or can even bring down your entire site altogether.
In addition, you also need to have quality website monitoring in place. A quality website monitoring service will ensure that you are made aware of any issues that could indicate a problem with your site, such as pages that aren’t loading properly or a decrease in your site’s performance. If your site does go down, a website monitoring service will ensure that you know the moment it happens. This will ensure that you can take immediate action to get your site up and running again as quickly as possible. A website monitoring service will help you determine exactly what has caused the downtime so you know what actions need to be taken to fix the problem. Remember, time is money and this is especially true when it comes to website downtime. The sooner you can get your site back online, the better it will be for your business’s bottom line.