What to learn From Website Outages?

It looks like there is no end to the website downtime troubles, as they continue to happen to major sites, they leave thousands of users in chaos. Just a few months back, there was a massive site outage of Dyn caused by DDoS attack, and recently we have come across the unexpected site outage of Virgin Money Giving when it announced the fundraising event for Virgin Money London Marathon. The reasons for website downtime could be different, but it caused the visitors frustration when they could not get access to the websites. So the question remains, how to keep the websites protected from these unexpected outages.

One way to do this is understand the situations that can cause your site downtime and learn from the other outages to protect the site as much as possible. These are some tips that can help the site owners prepare for unexpected website outages.  

Have a Service that Notifies you When the Site is Down

When outage happens, the one thing that can be more problematic is the inability to quickly bring back the site to normal. As a site owner, the thing you need to know is that there is an issue with the website before the majority of your viewers or customers. This way you can act on it in a timely manner and reduce the downtime impact. For this, you can count on services like website monitoring to check on site working status, get help in identifying the issues that are causing disruption and get informed immediately through a suitable communication channel when the site is down.

Anticipate Problems and Keep Track of Possible Issues

The first step towards protecting the site from outages is to understand its response under various circumstances. There are several free testing tools available online that can measure the performance of the site by simulating various high stress or peak site volume conditions. These tools might measure website's endurance for various test conditions but cannot anticipate and alert possible issues like website monitoring service. Use the right monitoring service that can gather comprehensive information on websites and which has better ability in ensuring continuous optimal performance and bottleneck detection.

Have Your Website Tested Continuously

The more it gets delayed to get notified about the downtime issue, the greater would be the negative impact on the business. Even a couple of minutes delay in communication can extend the problem resolving process. If there is lengthy gaps between the website checks, then there is a lesser possibility of timely spotting the issue. Hence it is essential to have monitoring service that can check the website for uptime and other metrics at lesser frequency intervals. For instance, if the monitoring frequency for the website is 30 minutes, the loss that the business would be incurring during this half an hour is substantial. Apparently, a service with lesser monitoring frequency will minimize the downtime losses.

Keep Backup of Your Site Data

Building a website takes lot of time & energy and you don't want to lose all these efforts by being negligent with data and content. It is essential to ensure the proper backup of your website information and capture all the recent changes to the content and data files. Unfortunately, not many site owners pay much attention to it and face troubles while restoring the data during site failures. Every time a change is made to the website it is important to take backup, so that it can be restored to the previous version if the new changes are not working properly.

Don't Neglect Customers - Keep them Informed When the Site is Down

When the site is down, provide updates to the customers through social media and keep them informed about the outage. Keeping the customers in dark about the site problem can cause inconvenience and make them more frustrated. If possible keep the lines of communication open, apologize for the inconvenience and let them know through email and social media updates about the actual site situation.