The Best Ways to Prevent Website Downtime
September 20, 2018
September 20, 2018
When a website is down or not performing well, it can spell disaster. Avoid downtime with these tips.
When you run a website—any website on any platform—it’s important that site be live and available. You want to build site traffic and if a user clicks on your site and nothing shows up, that’s a problem.
Website downtime can be a result of server downtime, traffic overload, an error, or something malicious, it doesn’t matter. For that site visitor, it’s all the same. Your content is unavailable. Often, that’s where it ends between you and a potential customer.
Rather than scrambling to repair damage after the fact, use these tips to prevent downtime. Keep your site running smoothly and allow access to your content without interruption as much as possible.
WHY IS UPTIME SO IMPORTANT?
Of course, site uptime is critical for both customers and prospects. This is mainly about credibility. Your company will not appear viable without a regularly working site. Period. Credibility is a huge factor in why uptime is important and it will make you look professional, responsible, and knowledgeable. You want that, and you want it 24/7. But that’s not all. . . .
Did you know that downtime can also negatively impact your rankings with search engines such as Google and Bing? While the occasional outage won’t do much damage, if downtime is frequent and a spider happens to be crawling your site (i.e., a search engine is monitoring you), you could fall back in the rankings and it will take significant work to crawl back up. These effects are cumulative.
HOW TO STAY LIVE
One of the best ways to stay on top of your site’s activities and uptime is by monitoring your uptime. You can do this via tools like Pingdom or by installing an uptime monitoring plugin. A great example of a good monitoring plugin is Jetpack by WordPress . Once installed, a monitoring plugin does just what its name implies: it monitors your site’s uptime. It also reports back to you with automatic notifications. You’ll know immediately if your site is down and you can take action if need be.
Another way to ensure minimal site downtime is by using a Managed Host Provider or a Website Maintenance Company.
Managed hosts and maintenance companies, as the names imply, make it easier to maintain your sites. From core updates to theme and plugin updates, to how backups are configured and carried out automatically—all typically without your input—these providers make your life easier. This gives you time to build sites, create content, and otherwise run your business. These hosts also keep you up-to-date on your site’s status via immediate notifications.
But, be selective about who you choose. The cheapest option may not make the most sense. And, if you have a WordPress site, be sure to choose a provider that specializes in WordPress and is designed to handle the unique stresses and strains these sites impose on a server.
Security also plays a major role in site uptime. Security issues can range from viruses to your whole site being hacked, all of which can dramatically increase downtime. On a fundamental level, you should regularly do things like change passwords, update WordPress plugins and themes and, perform daily malware scans. Check out our blog post on security best practices for a few simple things you can do to batten down the hatches.
A WordPress security plugin is a great way to maintain site safety and to minimize downtime. The Wordfence Security plugin is a good plugin to install to get free security site protection against hackers and malware. Finally, investing in a maintenance provider that can monitor and strengthen your site security can add an added layer of protection.
Speed matters. Just as a visitor will question the credibility of a site that doesn’t load at all, they will also question one that loads s-l-o-w-l-y. Don’t be that site. Even if your server doesn’t time out, a slow loading site leaves a bad impression and often causes a visitor to click away. Why risk that when you can do something about it? Improve your site’s speed. Optimize images, use a caching plugin, and minify your HTML and CSS. Get your site performing faster and better. You want your users to have a great experience on your site, so decrease the likelihood of a slow load, and increase the chances they will click and stay.
Back it up. If you are not regularly backing up your work, you are asking for trouble. There are too many threats out there to leave it to chance.
You should be making regular backups to your site in the event that you get hacked or malware gets installed, despite taking the above-mentioned security measures. In fact, for WordPress users and many others, backing up is so simple, you don’t have any excuses not to do so.
When you do a site backup, you have a concrete copy from which you can restore your site. And, if you have a security plugin installed, you’ll have been notified as soon as any breach is spotted. You can take quick action, have minimal downtime and, hopefully, no worst case scenario: a total file wipeout.
It’s all about prevention when it comes to website uptime. With managed maintenance and site security; a professional web hosting service; and well-monitored downtime, you should be able to run smoothly. Need help? Contact us at ProactiveWP.com and let us help you keep your site maintained and maximize your site’s uptime. You will have happier (and more) site visitors, higher search rankings, and ultimately a better functioning, more reliable, and more successful website.