[Self-Hosting Basics] How to Deal with Website Downtime

How to Pinpoint and Avoid Website Downtime

When your website goes down it can be a very worrying and discouraging experience to go through.  You probably think that just because your website has gone down there is something wrong with your website and nothing can be done about it.

Protection and prevention are the best remedies when your site goes offline.  Don't worry, if the unfortunate event does occur, there are plenty of steps you can take to help offset the situation.

This post is for you if you're looking to prevent site downtime.  I'll show you below websites can go offline and what measures you take to get through it.  By acting now and implementing the steps below you can make sure your blog or business doesn't suffer for too long due to website downtime.

The Reasons Websites Go Down

Websites can go down for a number of different reasons.  If the cause was simple one the problem could be immediately solved.  Even massive websites like Twitter and Facebook suffer from outages every now and again, so you're not alone.

Server Support (Maintenance)

Often times your website will go down due to server software updates, causing an interruption to the service.

This is usually done off-peak when traffic is quiet, depending upon the location of your server.

Too Much Traffic

You're host may not be able to cope with the number visitors, and is unable to handle such large volumes of traffic.

Your website may also go down if you're using a shared host plan, and other websites using the same server are also receiving a surge in traffic.  "The bad neighbour effect" as its known is also possible, but most hosts try to prevent this from happening.

Website Coding Mistake

A single piece of missing code can break your site, along with many other techinical errors, can take your blog offline.  If you're receiving a message that has no relation to your server, it may lie with a site plugn or theme conflict.

Website Invaded

A hacker may decide to flood your website with traffic, to try and bring your site offline.  Without proper security protocols your site is wide open for any hacker to take control, and take down your website.

Free Hosted Website

Your current website host may not be able to handle the amount of traffic, or it may just be a low-quality host needing a lot of downtime.

How to Stop Your Website from Going Down

Keeping your website online is in your own hands.  Learn some proactive measures you can take in the steps below to ensure your website stays online.

Choose a Stable Host

The uptime of your website is going to depend on the host you choose.  A low quality host will help increase downtime with your website.  A huge factor in choosing the right host depends upon how much traffic your site will receive.  You'll require a website host that can handle massive spikes of traffic or a steady volume.  Read about HostGators 99.9% uptime guarantee here.

Look at a CDN

A CDN can enhance your site in various arenas.  In peak traffic times, CDNs can act like a buffer and deter DDos from attacking.  Free CDNs like Cloudflare are a great starting point, and can improve existing hosting environments.

Update Your Site Regularly

If you're website requires themes and plugins make they're updated regularly otherwise you run the risk of leaving your website open to attack.

Look Into a Monitoring Service

A website monitoring service will tell you whenever your site goes down.  A service like this can keep you in the loop if your website goes down.

Renew Your Domain Name

When it comes to the end of your yearly payment cycle make sure you set your hosting and domain name on set on auto-renew and you renew your hosting name.

Things to Do When Your Site Crashes

If your website does go down here are few things you should do before terror sets in.

Check It's Offline

Make sure that your website is actually down.  Try looking it up your mobile phone or tablet.  Phone a friend and get them to pull it up on their computer.

Find Out the Cause

Try to get to the root of the problem, to help determine the outage.  Have you forgotten to renew your domain or hosting?  Is it because of a surge of traffic?

Contact Your Webhost Support

Go to your website host and see if they can diagnose the problem.  After all that's what they're there for.  A really good host will work with you to help sort out the issue and fix it.

Alert Users

If you have a lot of followers relying on your blog, let them know the situation straight away.  You can do this via email or social media.  Never leave your users in the dark.

Most of us will go through this at one time or another.  Hopefully the above tips will help minimize the problems downtime might cause.  Choosing the right host that's properly equipped will help you handle any issues that may arise.

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