While there are certain steps that you can take to minimize the chance or impact of it, website downtime is inevitable. It affects even the greatest of websites (like Google and YouTube). Most website owners don’t have the resources to fully avoid outages, it’s much easier to minimize its impact. CDN (Content Delivery Network) Having a CDN is the best way to avoid outages. Why? A CDN uses many different servers and each one has a copy of your website. If one server goes down, then you can just temporarily deactivate that server and let the other ones pick up the slack. It will increase loading times, but it’s still better than having your website down.
CDNs are expensive and they are only for large websites. At the same time, if you have a growing business on your hands, then you should invest in a CDN for many reasons. Watch Resources Using too much bandwidth can cause a server overload or suspension of server use. While there are times when you might accidentally overload a server (you just released a popular new product or received a huge amount of viral traffic), you should always ensure that you have at least 20-30% more bandwidth than you commonly need to avoid this situation.
It’s also a good idea to lighten your pages so that you need less bandwidth per page. Create Backups A hard outage can destroy your website by erasing it from the server. While the host should have a backup file ready, it might be a very old copy of your website. It’s a good idea to perform your own daily backups so that you can get back to business after this worst-case scenario. Contact Host It’s surprising that most people won’t contact their hosts. They focus on what they can do to stop downtime, but it’s the host’s responsibility to keep servers from going down.
There will be times when your host simply doesn’t know what is happening. Contact the host and explain your problem. The host should immediately send technicians over to the server to fix it. They might also move your website to another server if possible to keep your website online. Cloud Hosting Cloud hosting is great for preventing downtime and outages. While the servers will still go down (both planned and unplanned instances), moving a website to another cloud server only takes seconds instead of minutes or hours.
Cloud hosting used to be expensive, but it’s now nearly the same price as a regular host. Cloud hosting is usually faster and has several other unique benefits. Website Monitoring Some website owners are so worried about downtime and outages that they will keep loading their page to ensure that it works. This is no way to spend your time. There’s a much easier way to ensure that everything is working. A professional website monitoring service will watch your website. If the website goes down, then you’ll get an email and/or text message to alert you. This allows you to jump into action when you need to, rather than waiting for the worst to happen.
Despite its usefulness, professional monitoring only costs about $1-$10 a month. Social Media If you want to grow your business, then you should have a social presence in place. Now’s the time to use it. Instead of leaving your visitors in the dark, post a short message saying that you are experiencing issues with your host and that you’ll tell everyone when your website is back up and running. This also gives you a great PR chance because it shows that you care enough about your followers to tell them when something is wrong.
Expired Domain Sometimes outages have nothing to do with the host or servers. Many website owners found out a little too late that their domain expired. If you want to avoid this embarrassing problem, then just set alerts through your host or registrar or set your account to automatically renew the domain. Server Codes Use a 503 server error code when you experience an outage. Using a 303 can hurt your SEO presence because the spiders will think that your website is permanently gone. This also tells your visitors exactly what is going on.
Conclusion While downtime will always happen at some point or another, there are many things that you can do to avoid it. Just remember that it isn’t the end of the world, and that preparing will help you recover from this devastating problem.
I hope this article helped you. Stay tuned as I’ll be posting more topics about hosting reviews that will surely make you an expert when it comes to hosting related topics.