Maintaining the website is one of the most important parts of promoting it. Without proper maintenance, all efforts in promoting the website among the ranks in search and advertising queues will be in vain. Because if something goes wrong and the website starts working improperly or even becomes shut down, its reputation will be compromised. Its audience will start dwindling and its position in queues of various searching, advertising and promotional services will go down.
And the main thing every webmaster must be concerned about when maintaining the website’s well-being is its uptime. This is a must because of two things. First is that every second of downtime lowers the website’s uptime indicator, therefore lowering its reliability in the eyes of its audience and its related services. Second is that every second of downtime is an obvious potential financial loss.
Simply put, if your website is shut down for any reason, you will start losing reputation and money. And no one really wants it. Therefore, it is highly vital to maintain the website’s uptime high and to prevent the website’s downtime by all possible means.
What Causes Website Downtime?
To point out the main causes of the website’s downtime it is important to understand that there are two types of apprehending this particular indicator. First is the real downtime that is caused by server-side problems that lead to the website’s complete unavailability. Whether you try to access it through the web browser or through ping or traceroute utilities. This situation could be caused by hardware problems, software issues or even by a power outage in the data-center of the hosting provider.
The second cause is the overall downtime. This includes not only the real downtime, but also all cases when the website could be considered as shut down by Google Search, Google Ads or any other search or advertising platform. It could be caused by issues in the hosting-related network, DNSBL block, website database problems or even the website’s performance drop.
And what matters the most for the webmaster is the second cause of the downtime. Because it counts for Google services. Simply put if the Google parser tries to access the website and receives the timeout for any reason, it will start counting it as the downtime. Even if the website is up and running on the server-side. Therefore, it is crucial to keep the website in check to be sure that everything works properly and without any issues.
How Much Does Downtime Hurt Your Website?
As it was mentioned earlier, every second of downtime counts, no matter whether it’s the real one or overall. Because users could start leaving for other websites if the website is not available for them for too long. And for users 3 seconds of downtime is usually about 3 seconds longer than it takes to consider leaving the website. Therefore, the website’s conversion rate will start going down and the bounce rate will go up.
But audience outflow is not the most vital thing that could deliver a blow to the website’s development and promotion. The most dangerous consequence of the downtime, especially if it is too long, is the fact that search, advertising and promotional services ratings of the website will go down. It will be a major blow to the website, and it will make all your development and promotional efforts useless.
And on top of it. all aforementioned will bring down the potential profits with them. The longer the website is down, the larger this loss will be. For example, if the website is earning $1.000 in an hour, then every minute of downtime will lower its potential profits by approximately $16.5. And that’s without even counting everything that was invested into the website’s promotion and development.
How Do I Check My Website Downtime?
The most effective thing you can do as the webmaster or as the website owner to check the website’s downtime is to provide it with constant monitoring. You should use any possible means to do it, because only this way you will be able to keep everything in check, quickly react to occurring problems and even prevent them to a certain extent.
To raise the effectiveness of the routines you use to maintain the website’s uptime you must resort to automated monitoring. For instance, you can track website downtime with Host-Tracker’s uptime tracker tool which is not only automated, but is also supported by various useful features.
For example, HostTracker platform has a powerful and user-friendly logging system that is easy to handle even for complete novices. And there is also a very useful and convenient instant notification system that will send a message via chosen messenger platform if something happens. No matter what time of the day it is and no matter what caused the downtime.
And if you want to check not only the real downtime, but also its overall indicator, you can use other tools included in the aforementioned toolkit. You can easily check website response time with Host-Tracker’s response checker and utilize other services. Up to monitoring server hardware status and the website’s database stability.
How to Move an Existing Website with Minimal Downtime
One of the things that most of the novice webmasters are concerned about is the website’s migration. Because it is considered to be inevitable to avoid unnecessary downtime when the website is moved from one hosting to another. But in reality, it is highly possible to avoid lowering the overall uptime of the website if you thoroughly prepare for the migration and execute it without any hassles.
To migrate the website properly you must follow several vital steps without missing even one:
- Don’t rush. Copy the website to the new server before anything. Don’t cancel the subscription on the old hosting, just shut everything down manually when you need it. And don’t forget about having several days for testing purposes before the subscription expires or you shut it down yourself.
- Create a separate backup. Back up everything thoroughly, copy it to the cloud storage or even make several copies just in case. Making the proper blank website and then restoring everything from the backup on top of it is the best way to shorten the migration.
- Set up everything and check everything thoroughly. As it was mentioned, you must ensure that everything is working as it should on the new hosting. Set up monitoring, monitor server status and performance with Host-Tracker’s server ping tool and its other tools. Configure checks for everything from basic website functionality to databases and server hardware. Only this way will you be able to ensure the safety of the migration.
- Turn the old hosting off only when you’re sure. If something goes wrong, you will not be able to restore the old website even if you have backup. Because almost all hosting providers wipe all the data immediately when you cancel the subscription.
If you follow the steps above thoroughly, you will be able to minimize the overall downtime of the website during the migration.
FAQs: Prevent Website Downtime
- How do I ensure 100% uptime?Uptime is the percentage value that counts the ratio between the time when the website is up and the time when it is down. And it is impossible to raise it to pure 100% due to the need for maintenance shutdowns. And even if you use cloud hosting that has no need for server maintenance in its usual sense, sometimes there will be a need to shut the website down.
- How do I optimize uptime?Optimizing uptime is the thing that every webmaster dreams of excelling at. And there are some ways to actually do it. First, you must choose the best hosting you can afford. Second, you must thoroughly optimize the website and its databases. Third, you should set up backups for the website in case of emergencies. Four, you should upgrade and improve your DNS service. And, five, you must use the best CDN available.
- What is the gold standard for uptime? Ideal uptime value is 99.99%. It is the highest achievable percentage and you will not be able to reach higher even if you use the cloud. Especially if you consider the overall downtime that really counts for the development and promotion of the website.
Taking all that was mentioned into account, to prevent downtime you must do two things properly and without slacking – optimizing the website and monitoring it thoroughly. Overall website optimization will minimize the chance of downtime. And properly set up website monitoring will help you find traces of occurring problems even when you’re away from the website’s maintenance.
If you won’t be neglecting those two things, you will be able to minimize downtime. But if you will be slacking in those routines, you will be in danger of suffering from consequences. From audience outflow and reputational losses to inevitable loss of potential profits and previous investments in the website’s development and promotion.