The Top 4 Essential Methods To Dealing With Unscheduled Website Downtime
# website monitoring

The Top 4 Essential Methods To Dealing With Unscheduled Website Downtime

Did you know that the average website experiences website downtime on average three times every single month?

It's one of the reasons that web hosting providers can't guarantee 100% website uptime, and it's another reason why you should be prepared to deal with unscheduled website downtime.

If you're responsible for a website within a business, or maybe it's your own website, maybe a blog, then having unscheduled downtime for your site is going to happen at the most inconvenient time...

It's your responsibility to ensure that you've got the processes and systems in place to deal with this, so in this blog post, I'm going to give you the essentials for dealing with unscheduled website downtime.

Ready?

Let's dive right in.

Keep Your Customers Up To Date On Social Media

let customers know what's happening on social media

We live in a digital world, and more and more of your customers are on social media, more of the time.

In fact, more than half of the world now uses social media, and around 346 million new users have come online within the past 12 months, one article suggests.

As a result of this, if you're not being proactive in keeping your customers in the loop, even if they're not your customers just yet, but cold leads, then how are they going to trust that you're dealing with unscheduled website downtime?

They're not.

If the domain monitor website goes down, we've got processes in place and tools that help us identify when it goes down, and the potential causes behind it.

Respond to your customers, keep users up to date and informed with the situation and they'll trust you more...

Use website status pages

One of the ways that you can keep users up to date on social media whenever you experience unscheduled website downtime, is by ensuring you've got a status page set up.

What is a site status page?

I'm glad you asked, it's simply an external web page that shows customers the status of your products and/or services. Cachet is an example of this.

Ensure You've Got Website And Database Backups

ensure you have website and database backups

Did you know that more than 30,000 websites get hacked every day?

So how would you feel if that all new feature that you've been working on for your website for the past 3 months suddenly was lost because someone tried hacking your website causing your site to go down?

You'd be absolutely gutted I'm sure!

Taking regular website backups and database backups does two things:

  • It ensures you've got a version of your website to fallback on
  • You don't lose customer data

Chances are, your web hosting provider has some kind of website backup option that you can turn on, although, be wary, because it could cost you a bit extra per month for web hosting.

That shouldn't be an issue if you consider the fact that your website could be one of the 30,000 daily sites that get hacked causing unscheduled website downtime to occur though right?

How To Backup A WordPress Website

If you're on WordPress, you're going to want to backup your website and your database, there's instructions for both, and there's also automatic WordPress backup options that require the use of additional plugins.

How Often Should I Backup My Website And Database?

I'd recommend that you backup your website and database separately, so that in the event of unscheduled website downtime you'll be able to recover your website more quickly so that you can retain some SEO profile.

You should be aiming to backup your site at least once a week if you're making frequent changes, and if you're publishing a lot of content (which you should be) then weekly backups are essential.

If you aren't making as frequent changes, once a month should be sufficient, but it's all conditional and feel free to change this based on your situation.

Be Proactive With Team Communication

be proactive with communication

Team communication is extremely important when website downtime occurs, but it can often be overlooked, or incredibly frustrating to communicate downtime with team members such as managers and project owners.

Why?

Because here's the thing, if you're a website developer and you're expecting website downtime, then you might overlook letting your manager or the project owner know about this...

For you, it'll be normal, and once the website goes down, you could end up being bombarded with messages in your team's Slack channel for instance about the downtime, you might get frustrated because you expected them to assume some downtime given that new feature you've worked on right?

But here's the thing...

They never knew, you didn't tell them, and it wasn't planned in advance, and you just deployed that new feature.

I get it, it's not always worth communicating every fine detail and micromanaging expectations, I've been in that position, and it's a difficult one to manage, so here's my tips on dealing with this...

Tips For Communicating Effective Downtime Incidents With Your Team

  • Always give a heads up notice if you expect there to be some scheduled website downtime, even if it's unscheduled
  • Stay calm when your website goes down or stops working if you expected it
  • Make backups before deployment, especially when dealing with customer data
  • You don't need to micromanage other team members

Ensure You've Got Website Uptime Monitoring In Place

get website uptime monitoring set up

Did you know that Amazon estimated to have spent at least $72 million as a result of unscheduled website downtime?

And that just 2% of website downtime throughout a year could cost you £9,460 (UK) if you aren't prepared for it?

Crazy right?

But really, if we dive deeper into the true costs behind website downtime, you'll quickly realise that actually...

It's not really that crazy any more.

You see, you can introduce measures into your website and business to keep a check on whether your website is up.

Why?

Because you certainly don't want to be experiencing sleepless nights, or always on the edge not knowing if your website has been down for longer than it should be.

This is where website uptime monitoring comes in, uptime monitoring will actively check your website to ensure that it remains up, functional and online for your users and will alert you immediately if there's an issue.

Uptime monitoring simply makes requests to your website/domain name to check whether it's up by reviewing the HTTP status code that's returned to the monitoring service.

By signing up for a website uptime monitoring service like ours, you can take some reassurance in knowing that your website's uptime will be monitored around the clock based on the checking frequency of your choosing.

If something goes wrong, we'll let you know straight away!

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