5 Steps You Should Be Taking to Minimize Website Downtime

If your website is monetized, you need to ensure that you avoid downtime at all costs. Every minute of downtime equates to lost profits. How much you lose depends on how profitable your site is, but any amount of money lost is too much. From startups to larger companies, there are some basic mistakes that can lead to significant downtime. Here are five steps you need to be taking to ensure that your site doesn't encounter any unnecessary downtime (and unnecessary profits lost).

1. Invest in Backup DNS Service

Backup DNS service is cheap but priceless. For about $15 a year, a backup DNS service will grab your DNS data at set intervals. If your DNS happens to go down, the service will act as a backup. If you don't have DNS backup service in place, you'll be helpless in the face of downtime if something goes wrong with your DNS servers. Visitors won't be able to access your site and there will be nothing you can do about it until your DNS service is restored.

2. Invest in Website Monitoring Service

Website monitoring service is another cost-effective (yet priceless) investment for your website. A quality monitoring service will monitor the performance and uptime of your site. If your site goes down or encounters performance issues, you'll be notified via email, SMS text message, and/or phone. If it's three in the morning and your site goes down, you'll be notified immediately so you can get to work ensuring that your site is back up and running as quickly as possible for your customers.

3. Don't Touch Your Database without Backing It Up

If you don't backup your database before making changes, you can bring your whole site crashing down. This is especially true if you don't make backups on a regular basis. Before you do anything to your site's database, make sure you have a current backup in place in case something goes awry.

4. Don't Allow One Aspect of Your Site to Bring the Whole Site Down

If at all possible, you need to try to make your site functional in bits and pieces. This will ensure that if an element of your site goes down (such as your database) your homepage doesn't have to go down with it. Having parts of your site go down is much better than having the entire thing go down as a whole.

5. Automate Updates

If something goes wrong with a website update, it can take your site down for hours, days, or even weeks. When it comes to rolling out updates, make sure you use a source management system that offers automated process for rolling out updates. This means you won't have to move directories yourself and manually diff files. The process will be quick, seamless, and automated, ensuring your site doesn't encounter significant downtime due to the update process.