Make Sure Your Site is Ready Before You Roll It Out

When it comes to doing business online, website downtime can cause your business to lose credibility before it has even had a chance to establish itself. The HealthCare.gov site is a perfect example of this fact, as Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius testified before a House committee regarding the malfunctioning of the website and its rocky beginning.

What Happened with HealthCare.gov?

Answering what didn’t go wrong with the rollout of HealthCare.gov would be a lot easier than answering everything that has gone wrong. The site has experienced repeated episodes of downtime since launching. The site as taken down October 29th after an outage at one of Verizon’s data centers caused the site to go offline. A similar outage occurred the weekend before that forced the site to be taken offline that Sunday. While Healthcare.gov is pointing the finger at Verizon for the outages, Julie Bataille, communications director for the federal agency that is in charge of constructing the enrollment system for HealthCare.gov, admitted that glitches and bugs needed to be fixed before the site would be fully operational.

What Can You Learn from HealthCare.gov?

When it comes to website reputation, the last thing you want is for your site to go down before it even has a chance to establish roots in the online community. While some people will have no choice but to wait for this particular website to get its act in order, that is the benefit of being a government agency. When you run a privately-owned website and there is competition ready to take your would-be customers in a heartbeat, you just can’t afford downtime like the website downtime that HealthCare.gov is experiencing. So what can you do to prevent this nightmare scenario from happening to your start-up site? First and foremost, make sure any and all bugs or errors are addressed before you launch the site. You don’t want to find out about bugs and errors that can cause website downtime once the site has already been made available to the public. Also make sure you are working with a reputable hosting company. Your site can be in tip-top shape, but if your host goes down your site is going to go down with it. Once you are sure you are working with a reliable host, put contingency plans in place. Even the best hosts have outages every so often. You want to make sure you can get your site back up and running with a contingency plan in place should your host experience an outage that could affect your site’s reputation. When it comes to fighting website downtime, it’s not about doing any one single thing to prevent the downtime that can hurt your site’s reputation as well as its profits. It’s about combining quality hosting, quality control checks, and contingency plans to ensure that your site achieves the maximum amount of website uptime possible.