The Causes of Website Downtime and How to Mitigate Losses

Your website plays a crucial role in the success of your business. Whether you are selling products and services online or your website is simply one component of your company’s branding efforts, it is crucial that the site is up and running properly. Unfortunately, 100 percent website uptime is almost impossible to achieve. There are a variety of factors that can result in server downtime and slowdowns, directly impacting your website’s ability to perform. Your job as a website owner is to ensure that your website is up and running properly and consistently. Before you can do that, however, you need to understand the things that can cause website downtime and what you can do to prevent downtime and minimize profit loss.

The Causes of Website Downtime

Planned Downtime

Planned website downtime is something that every website experiences. If your web host performs certain tasks such as server upgrades, hardware upgrades or software upgrades and installation, the sites that are being hosted by that particular server may go down during the process. Once the upgrade has been completed, the website goes back online.

The good news is that you can usually alert your customers and/or visitors ahead of time when the website will be unavailable. Keeping your visitors informed of planned website outages is important if you want to minimize the frustration caused by website downtime.

Hackers Run Amuck

We live in a day and age when certain individuals thrive on wreaking havoc on various websites. If your site becomes a target of one of these hackers, chances are that your site is going to experience a slowdown, if not a full outage.

Component Failure

The hardware and software components of a server are quite complex in their nature. There may be times when these components fail and are unable to function. Component failure eventually leads to website downtime.

Accidents and Disasters

None of us really know how vulnerable we are to Mother Nature until she decides to strike. If your website’s server is in her path when she does, chances are that your site is going to go down. Events like hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes can and do lead to website downtime. Accidents that result in fires or other disasters that can physically damage your website’s server are also a potential threat that can result in website downtime.

How to Prevent and Monitor Downtime

The first thing you must understand is that website downtime cannot be avoided completely. Your website is going to experience slowdowns at outages at one point or another. The key is to minimize the time your system is down and to keep note of how often your website is experiencing downtime and outages.

The one thing you can control is planned downtime. While you may not be able to control the upgrades or updates that your web host performs on your website’s server, you can take measures to alert your customers prior to the website downtime when an upgrade is being planned.

There are also ways you can keep your website live even if your server runs into some issues. You may want to look into investing in a backup DNS service. This service will grab your DNS data and will act as a backup should your main DNS server happen to go down.

You should also invest in website monitoring services. If your website is experiencing significant amounts of downtime you may not even realize it until you have a service to track your website downtime and alert you of the issue. If your hosting service cannot provide you with 99.9 percent uptime, it’s time to look into either upgrading your service or moving your website elsewhere.

Website downtime equates to lost profits. The only way to tell if website downtime is having an impact on the profits of your business is to be alerted whenever outages occur. This is exactly what website monitoring services do. They watch your site 24/7 and alert you whenever there is an outage or slowdown.

While website downtime may not be completely avoidable, there are things you can do to minimize the downtime of your website and mitigate potential losses. Keep the above tips in mind and take the appropriate actions to ensure that website downtime isn’t affecting the effectiveness of your online presence and cutting into your website’s profits.