Your website represents everything that you are. Whether you’re a hobby blogger, a business site, or the owner of an online shop, your website is the central focus of your brand’s identity.
When site visitors click on your site, they expect nothing less than a perfect experience. And they definitely don’t expect your site to be inaccessible.
Think about it.
There was a time once when Google’s page speed dropped a mere half a second. Because of this, they claimed to have experienced a 20% drop in site traffic.
If slow site speeds affect site traffic that much, imagine what would happen if you’re entire website went down.
Keep in mind: You didn’t buy your domain, develop your content, and marketed your brand only to have downtimes kill your revenue. To prevent a loss in site traffic, conversions, and even revenue, it’s essential you take a proactive approach to minimise website downtime.
Take a look at these strategies for reducing downtime so your site visitors have a seamless experience and you can keep your credibility, search rankings, and profits intact.
1. Use a Content Delivery Network
One of the best ways to ensure your website stays up and running at all times is to use a content network delivery (CDN).
A CDN reduces latency and helps deliver site content faster than ever to site visitors.
Using multiple servers that span the globe, a CDN will deliver your website’s content from the server that’s geographically closest to the site visitor requesting to visit your site.
But more than that, a CDN can be used as a powerful weapon against DDoS attacks.
A DDoS attack includes multiple systems flooding a server storing website data in an attempt to bring it down (and all the websites being stored on it).
This type of attack results in significant website downtime for you and every other website on the affected server.
However, since CDNs use a network of servers to store your site’s data, when one server goes down, the other servers pick up the slack and continue delivering content to site visitors.
Also, many high-quality CDN services come with extra security features like:
- Data theft protection
- Malicious bot injections prevention
- Backdoor shell protection
- Integrated web application firewall (WAF)
- Two-factor authentication
Reduce the risk of website downtime, and offer a better user experience to your site visitors by investing in a reliable content network delivery system.
2. Set up Site Monitoring
It’s impossible to have 100% uptime every year for your website.
However, you can plan to make what downtime you do experience as short as possible by monitoring your site at all times.
This way, when you do run into issues on your website that are making it inaccessible to site visitors, you can resolve the problem quickly.
Here are some of the best uptime monitoring tools on the market you can use:
Set up monitoring for your website, server, or application within minutes using Pingdom uptime monitoring.
Receive alerts via email, webhook, or SMS whenever something on your site goes down. From there, take immediate action to fix the problem to reduce the damage done.
Uptime Robot is a free uptime monitoring tool that brings you features like:
- Site checks every 5 minutes
- Re-checks when a problem is detected to ensure downtime
- Alerts whenever an issue is detected
- Central monitoring location in Dallas-USA, with others centers across the globe
- Monitor website URLs, servers, on-page keywords, and SMTP, DNS, and pop
Other uptime monitoring tools include Uptimia, DownNotifier.com, and Uptime.
3. Backup Your Website
As much as we hate to admit it, sometimes a serious crash of your website can wipe out years of hard work.
And, while the downtime you experience from a crash like can be devastating, sometimes the loss of all your hard work is worse.
After all, you’ll have to replace all of it if you want to get back up and running.
And who knows how long that will take.
That’s why, if we can convince you to do only one thing to reduce the effects downtime can have on your website or business, it will be to backup your site’s data.
That way if for whatever reason – a server crash, site malfunction, or hack attack – renders your site completely down, you have a backup for restoring your website to a time before the crash occurred.
Many hosting companies offer daily or weekly backups of site files and databases, which can be a huge time saver on your end.
If you need to restore your website, all you have to do is access your host’s control panel and put your site back together.
That said, if your host is part of the problem, you may have trouble accessing backups of your site, making your problem even more significant than you originally thought it was.
That’s why it’s always recommended you back your site’s data up to a third-party location that you can easily access, just in case you need it.
Some of the best, and most affordable, backup solutions on the market today include:
- IDrive: backup unlimited devices in real time, view historical snapshots of your site, utilise the web-based console for backup management, and receive regular activity reports.
- XCloner: create safe and automatic backups of any PHP/MySQL website, receive professional 24/7 support, rest assured site backups are secure, and restore on any location using the exclusive XCloner restore functionality.
- Backup Machine: easily backup your website automatically and without installing any software, archive all files for easy restore points, delete old backups when not needed, and even download files in secure .zip files (all for free!)
Again, backing up your site isn’t going to prevent downtime.
But downtime of your website is bound to happen at some point, and if it’s serious enough to need a site backup to fix, you’ll be glad you used a backup solution.
4. Beef up Site Security
Using a CDN to prevent DDoS attacks isn’t enough when it comes to site security.
And, with over 30K websites being hacked daily, and Google blacklisting nearly 20K sites a week for malware and 50K a week for phishing, it would be foolish not to focus on site security.
Luckily, there are tons of companies that take your website’s security seriously, so you don’t have to worry quite so much about malicious activity causing your site to go down:
- Comodo: free security tools like malware prevention, antivirus protection, free and paid SSL certificates, internet security, firewall protection, and more
- ESET: choose a security bundle to meet your needs including protection for Windows, Macs, iPhones, Androids, file servers, and email accounts
Lookout Mobile Security: protect your mobile users from malware, data leaks, and issues associated with jailbroken devices
- Random.org: generate strong passwords for anything related to your website or business to reduce the chances of brute force attacks finding their way into your site
- Sucuri: as an industry leader in website security, the Sucuri platform gives you an all-in-one security platform for protecting, monitoring, and cleaning up your hacked site to lessen the damaging effects of site downtime
98% of organizations say that just 1 hour of downtime has the potential to cost them over $100,000 in revenue loss.
Adding to that, 81% state it would cost them over $300,000, and a whopping 33% claim it would cost them $1-5 million for just one hour of downtime.
So, saying that site security is vital to preventing downtime is an understatement and should always be a priority.
Preventing downtime is crucial if you want to continue to build a large following, get more leads, and make more sales.
After all, your reputation depends on having an accessible website day or night and can cost you more than just money if your site goes down.
So, follow the above strategies when it comes to protecting your site from downtime and make sure that your data, hard work, and bottom line are safe from the devastating effects of website downtime.