Understanding and Managing Server Downtime

Server downtime is something that is dreaded among website owners. If you don’t own the server your site is hosted on, you have no control over the duration of the outage when the server goes down. If you do own the server, then you’re the one responsible for getting it back up and running. Either way, server downtime equates to a nightmare in terms of website downtime. Here are some things you need to keep in mind whether you own your website’s server or not.

What Causes Server Downtime?

Server downtime can be caused by a plethora of issues. From something as simple as someone tripping on a cord to something as severe as malware. Here are some of the most common causes of server downtime:

  • Overloaded processors
  • Increased memory usage
  • Disk errors
  • Lack of routine maintenance
  • Improper server design
  • Human error

So know that you know what causes server downtime, what can you do to reduce your chances of it?

Reducing Server Downtime

If you own the server your site is hosted on, make sure you run routine maintenance and store and care for your server or servers properly. Also make sure you use server monitoring tools and utilities to help you reduce incidents of server downtime. These tools can help alert you of sudden problems with the server. By taking corrective action in time, you may be able to stop those problems from become downtime issues. In addition to maintaining your servers properly and using monitoring tools to avoid server downtime, you should also increase server security. Security issues can cause significant server downtime problems and increased security automatically means a reduced risk of downtime. Also deploy an uninterrupted power supply (UPS) to your server to ensure that constant power is provided to the equipment. A quality UPS will compensate for power outages and will also clean the power by leveling spikes and surges that could harm your server. If you do not own the server your site is hosted on, make sure you “subscribe” to enough of the server’s bandwidth or have a dedicated server in play to ensure the traffic of other sites doesn’t contribute to your site’s downtime issues. You should also put a failsafe plan into play, with a backup of your site on another server, just in case server downtime does occur and you need to keep your site redirected and running on another server until the issue is resolved.