How to Manage Website Downtime

In this digital age, a smoothly functional website offers a distinct competitive edge. If your website goes down it obviously irritates your users. Further, website downtime does much more damage than that it affects your brand loyalty, customers’ trust and ultimately your revenue. The question is how can your business avoid downtime? Let’s be honest. Even by deploying the best technology you cannot ensure zero percent downtime of your site. 

Causes of Website Downtime

Before you attempt to manage website downtime, you should first understand the causes of website downtime. The causes could be many including disasters like earthquake, storm, fires; component failures like programming errors, software defects, viruses and hackers. No matter how hard you try you cannot fully control these factors. In addition to these causes of downtime, there is planned downtime as well. Companies from time to time upgrade their hardware components, change their operating system and introduce new software applications. While there are no feasible ways to avoid downtime completely, a planned approach may help your business to minimize the downtime and its effects.

Plan For Website Downtime 

The fact is that not just the small and medium companies even the big companies also experience website downtime. The key is to develop a contingency plan so that you can respond in an organized and systematic manner instead of doing something in a panic mode. You are more likely to cover all the bases when you proactively do contingency planning. While drawing up your contingency plan, you need to think about your site backup, backup hosting, DNS entries, monitoring website and communication with your site visitors during downtime. 

Communicate About Website Uptime Issues With Visitors

Communication is the key to mitigate customer dissatisfaction with site downtime. If your website is unavailable and there is no site downtime error message; a visitor have difficulty in differentiating between the site experiencing downtime and a site no longer being active. As you may have also occasionally experienced domains on the Internet that do not have an active hosting plan. Not having a site downtime error message raises needless suspicions.

In addition, whenever your site goes down you can also communicate to your consumers via social media channels. Don’t forget to update about the downtime and expected resolution time on the official social media accounts. If the downtime is not accidental but a scheduled one, you can even use the social media to answer the queries and provide support to your consumers. 

Hire a Quality Website Monitoring Service

Website monitoring service providers keep a close eye on your website round the clock. The specialized service will make you aware in no time when your website goes down. You can start addressing the issue quickly and resolve the matter in lesser time. Apart from that, using a high quality, reliable uptime monitoring service which is typically available only in a paid plan, you may be able to know what exactly on your site is not functional. Such knowledge helps to chalk out a more specific error resolution.

Offer Other Alternative Ways to Reach Out to Your Company

As long as you keep the customers informed, you can dodge the negativeness of website downtime. But, it is always better to establish an alternative so that the users can complete their tasks when your site is down. Doing so, you can minimize the number of unhappy customers. 

If your web site is down and the visitors are unable to place orders online, using custom error pages you can provide them the phone numbers of your sales team. Inform them through your social media account and make sure the contact numbers of your sales team are on the social media profile pages.  Through these communication channels, you may also provide customer assistance and publish updates about the current status. 

Purchase a Secondary DNS Service

In the recent past, downtime issues were being caused by issues at DNS servers. If your DNS server goes down your website and emails will not function. A secondary DNS server backs up details of your website DNS and correctly routes traffic to your web server whenever your primary DNS server is down. 

In Conclusion – Preparation is Half the Battle Won

As we have already discussed we cannot maintain 100% website uptime, but we can use many methods to keep website downtime to the minimum.  It starts with being aware of the reason of site downtime and also having a contingency plan. Further, by opting for a reliable and paid site monitoring service along with a secondary DNS service you can ensure less downtime of your website.