A Few Fast and Easy Practices to Minimize Website Downtime for Your Enterprise

Now that the holiday season is here, it is even more crucial for many online businesses to avoid downtime and capture as much of the incoming seasonal traffic as possible. If you were to go to your favorite store during the holidays, or really any time of year, only to find that the doors were locked and the lights were off when the store should have been open, what type of impression would that leave you with? It is the same impression that consumers get when they try to visit a website that is inaccessible or not performing properly when they want to do business with that website. Fortunately, there are some fast and easy practices you can put into place to minimize your downtime, not only during the holiday season, but each and every day of the year.

Proper Use of Development Servers for Testing

Making changes to your servers is par for the course, but doing it right is crucial if you want to minimize your website downtime. Countless websites suffer downtime due to something that went awry during the testing of new software or code on the live server. If you want to ensure any changes you make won’t affect your website’s availability or performance, make sure you utilize development servers and be sure those servers are completely separate from your live servers. This way, if something goes wrong, your live servers, and your website, will not be in jeopardy of downtime or performance issues.

Renew Security Certificates and Other Credentials on Time

If you happen to let your security certificates and other website credentials lapse, it’s going to affect your online business’s success during the holiday season and throughout the year. Make sure you have these credentials on auto-renew so you don’t run into the mistake of forgetting to renew them when the time comes.

Implement Quality Web Code That is Accessible on a Wide Range of Mobile and Desktop Browsers

Gone are the days when consumers only used their desktop browsers to access the Internet. Nowadays many consumers use their phones and tablets more than they use their computers to shop for products and services online. Considering this, it’s essential that you implement quality code that can be accessed by the wide range of browsers that are in use today. If you don’t have the proper code implemented, and those who use mobile browsers can’t access your website from their mobile devices, you’re missing out on a very significant portion of your target market.

Regular Updates to Server Software and Web Applications

One of the easiest ways for a hacker to take your site down is to exploit any weaknesses or bugs in your server software or web applications. If you want to avoid this, you need to make timely updates to ensure those bug-related weaknesses aren’t exploited and that malware doesn’t end up damaging your website (as well as the site’s reputation). Always be sure to download updates as soon as they become available.

Make Sure Your Site’s Design is Bandwidth-Friendly

If your site is suffering performance issues and you’ve ruled out all the common causes, the issue may be with the design of the site. You’ll want to hire a qualified web designer who understands that a design that utilizes too much bandwidth can result in performance issues for your website. While sites with little traffic may not see a performance issues with a bandwidth-heavy design, as those sites gain traffic and bandwidth goes up, the performance of the website begins to suffer. Make sure your design is streamlined for minimal bandwidth usage to avoid unnecessary performance issues.

Utilize a Quality Website Monitoring Service

When all your ducks are in a row and your site is set up and being run properly, it is crucial to have a quality website monitoring service in your arsenal against website downtime. Even with all the planning in the world, website downtime can (and does) happen. It’s your job to minimize the duration of it when it hits. This means implementing a quality website monitoring service that will notify you the moment your site goes down, so you can fix the problem fast.

Enjoying the Holiday Season

The last thing you want to do during the holiday season is spend all your time putting out fires and fixing problems that pop up with your website and website downtime. You also don’t want to lose potential profits this season can bring. By implementing the above practices, you can ensure that your site continues to run smoothly and, should website downtime or performance issues hit, you have the tools in place to quickly rectify the issue and get your site back online as quickly as possible.