How to Handle Things When The Website is Down ?

In many cases, website downtime is disastrous for online businesses. Despite the effort and planning to keep the site up and running, things could go wrong and the site may experience disruptions in functionality. The impact mostly depends on type of business, downtime duration and audience behavior. In case of B2B, the effect of downtime will probably be less because they have very limited traffic visiting their websites. However, businesses that depend heavily on websites for revenues experience large negative impact. For such businesses, the owners need to be very particular about maintaining their site continuity without breakdowns.

When downtime happens it is likely that online businesses may lose their customers to competitors. The business owners would probably panic when they discover the site is down or there are performance issues. Yet, some of them are able to handle things smoothly and are able to reduce the effects of downtime. By addressing the issues in a right way and putting in place a well-organized recovery plan, they are able to gain back the confidence of customers.

Address The Issue in a Balanced Manner

If website is experiencing downtime for the first time, the site owners may not know how to deal with the situation. Determining the reason for downtime right away is somewhat tough because it could be anything including hosting service, poor website design or server failures. As a first course of action, it is important to contact service providers that are responsible for the running of the website. Identifying the exact reason that caused the website downtime is not an easy task because it may involve testing and analyzing several things. Once the reason is identified, then it is necessary to take steps to resolve the matter. This process could take a while and till then, the site may be occasionally inaccessible to the users. Site owners can reduce the instances and durations of downtime by monitoring their websites. With a good website monitoring service, it is easy to identify and address most of the risks before they turn into a major problem.

Redirect DNS to Secondary Host

If the site is facing downtime or performance issues due to the web host, then redirecting domain name to another hosting service is a wise option. Many business owners keep backup of their websites with another hosting company, as a secondary option during emergencies. By pointing the domain to backup host servers, they can keep their sites running until the issue gets resolved on their primary host. Once the problem is solved and server is up, it can be changed back to primary host.

Unfortunately, there is also a risk of running into downtimes by the back-up hosting companies which may fail to support website uptime during outages. In such instances, it is essential to display a custom error page on the website to let the customers know about the issue and gain confidence that you are on top actively addressing the issue.

Be Honest With Customers

Whatever the issue might be, being honest with the customers is important. Instead of avoiding the situation and leaving the customers in dark about the problem, it is better to communicate and keep them informed about the site outage. In addition to error page, if possible keep the customers in loop with updates on downtime issues using social media tools like Twitter, Facebook etc. Be sure to leave customer service information in social media websites so that they can get status from an alternate source instead of at your domain. By involving the customer in the process it makes the customers feel better.

Compensate The Inconvenience By Extended Offers

During holiday season or when there is a huge sale or discounts on offerings, websites may experience outages and performance issues if they cannot handle the increase in site traffic. In such situations, there is a chance that customers may feel dejected for not taking the advantage of sales event that was offered by the business. Site owners can turn this opportunity to their advantage by extending the sale for few more days after recovering from the instance of website outage. With this simple act, customers will understand the positive way in which the site is responding to the issue. This will not only improve business revenues but also builds a positive brand image.

Handle Downtime Situations Better Using Monitoring Service

It is very common to experience instances of performance degradation and outages in online business. What makes the difference is how fast the business responds to the situation and its ability to bring the website back to normal. It is necessary to design the system components of the website in such a way that the website can successfully handle the critical situations to avoid downtimes in the future. Taking the help of a comprehensive monitoring service is an effective way to understand the bottlenecks and use the information in planning and upgrading the website to prevent degradation of service or downtime. Also, the information gained from a website monitoring service can be used to recover quickly from such situation with thoughtful anticipation and advanced preparations.