Everyone on the web experiences website downtime at some point. But why does it happen?

Cloudflare
Source: Freepik

Cloudflare

Cloudflare provides content delivery (domain name server) as a distributed DNS. Its services protect website owners from attacks on DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service), comment spam, and peak traffic.

Some website owners constantly worry that their sites will go down. Others disregard the potential and hold out for the best. Unfortunately, if the worst happens, either approach can put you in a precarious situation.

To be proactive and avoid downtime, you can take several easy steps. Additionally, if your website goes down, you can typically restore it quickly and with little disruption.

What happens when your website goes down?

It can be incredibly frustrating if your website goes down. However, only because your website is unavailable does not necessarily indicate that there is a problem with it or that there is nothing you can do to fix it. Preventing a site outage is your best line of defense. You still have options if your site goes down in the worst-case scenario.

The effort and preparation needed to ensure a website never goes down are worth the risk of lost conversions and SEO penalties brought on by downtime. There are several causes for websites to go offline. The issue would already be resolved if there were simply one root cause. Because big websites like Facebook and Twitter periodically encounter downtime, you are not alone if your website goes down.

What is Downtime?

Let’s explore what downtime is, why it matters, and how it could harm your company.

A website’s downtime on the internet is when it is not accessible to some or all of its users. If the website is unavailable, users who try to visit it can be directed to an error page or view one that their browser has created. The website’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO) rankings may decline due to these disruptions and conversion losses.

Why Website Downtime Must Be Taken Seriously

Users being unable to access your website is the most pressing issue that downtime causes. Ultimately, this undoubtedly results in lost income for you in one way or another. Customers won’t be able to make purchases if you operate an eCommerce website. Also, blogs will lose out on advertising money, and you will probably notice a decline in the conversion rates for email subscriptions and other services.

Additionally, if downtime consistently plagues your website, the consequences could have far-reaching implications. It might affect your credibility, for example. Potential clients or customers may perceive your brand similarly if your website is unreliable. They will probably be less inclined to trust your financial data and company.

A drop in your search engine rankings is another possibility. Short-term outages that occur sometimes shouldn’t lead to penalties, but prolonged outages will harm your SEO.

Top Reasons Why Websites Go Down

There are several causes for website downtime, but you may take precautions to prevent them. This might be done by lowering the risk or taking care of the underlying problem.

Here are seven typical causes of site outages and how to fix them.

  • Maintaining a Website

Web hosts occasionally need maintenance on the website files’ servers. There may occasionally need to be some downtime for this maintenance. A smart host should schedule this maintenance time during periods of low activity, notify users in advance, and keep it to a minimum.

  • Errors in the Code

The proper execution of code is essential for a website’s functionality; even the smallest error can render a website inoperable. Edge cases are the exceptional situations that some bugs require to operate. After improper code is posted online, it could take several hours or even days before these edge case vulnerabilities are found.

  • Overloaded Servers

Because web servers can only process so many requests at once, sudden traffic increases might overwhelm servers and make it impossible for users to view the website. Hosting firms occasionally employ multi-tenancy, which refers to hosting several websites on the same server. When there is multi-tenancy, a surge in traffic to one site may result in downtime for another unrelated site.

  • Malicious Attacks

Websites may be taken offline by Distributed Denial of Service attacks and cyberwarfare. A Distributed Denial of Service attack is an effort to take down a website by overloading its servers with traffic. More malevolent attacks include using brute force or other techniques to access the website’s hosting account or domain registrar. If an attacker can use forged authorization to access a website, they may hack or alter it.

  • Hardware Malfunctions

While hosting servers are typically kept in secure, monitored facilities, this hardware can occasionally malfunction. Data centers might go offline due to power outages, natural catastrophes, fan failure, or corrupted storage disks. These hardware issues may result in an extended outage if a backup strategy is not in place.

  • Inactive Domains

The registrar will break the connection between a site’s IP address and domain name when the domain name registration expires. Users won’t be able to access the website using that domain name after that.

Suggestions for Preventing Downtime

It can be difficult to achieve 100% uptime because even well-known websites and social media platforms periodically experience outages due to numerous factors. However, site owners can take measures to reduce the amount of downtime a site encounters. 

Your business suffers every second you are not online. This indicates that your website cannot be accessed or is loading slowly. A few seconds of delay can result in losing potential reach, clients, and revenue because “right now” has become the new norm, particularly when conducting business online.

The major ways that downtime harms your website and business are listed below.

  • Choosing the Correct Web Host and Hosting Package

Any web host can experience problems like unplanned server maintenance and hardware failure, but some have a better uptime track record than others. There are online uptime comparisons for different hosting providers, and choosing a host with a solid uptime history can boost the likelihood that a site will stay online. The first step in limiting downtime is identifying it as it occurs; thus, picking a host with a trustworthy monitoring system is crucial.

  • Some hosts impose daily or yearly bandwidth restrictions on their customers. A sudden increase in traffic may cause the host to suspend the account and shut down the website. 
  • The best options for avoiding downtime are hosting packages with unlimited bandwidth or pay-as-you-go fees for bandwidth overages.
  • Some hosts have failover strategies. If the server hosting the site fails, the host will immediately begin hosting the site from another server.
  • It also offers a good defense against hosting-related outages. It should be noted that a reliable failover plan would include servers located in different regions. 
  • In the event of a power loss that affects the entire data center, the failover servers won’t be of much use if they are all housed in the same data center as the primary host.
  • Make Use of a Content Delivery Network

Content Delivery Networks can temporarily serve customers’ cached website files without connecting to a host’s origin server by storing website data at the network edge. By serving up the site from the cache even when the hosting server is inaccessible, CDNs can help offer coverage during brief periods of outage.

Remember that the CDN will only cover short periods of unavailability before contacting the host server again to request a new copy of the content because the cached website files have a Time-To-Live (TTL). This TTL typically lasts between 1 hour to 5 minutes.

  • Activate DDoS Defenses

Many businesses wait until they have experienced an attack that costs them a substantial downtime before researching DDoS security. DDoS mitigation services can be activated to guarantee that DDoS attacks are promptly handled, and downtime is kept to a minimum.

  • Find a Reliable Registrar

Regarding domain name expirations, some domain name registrars are more understanding than others. The best domain registrars for maximizing uptime are those that excel at alerting their clients when a domain is about to expire and who provide a significant grace period after expiration.

  • Applying Best Practices in Web Development

Developers should take a few simple safeguards to reduce the possibility that coding errors would bring down a website. By using version control, local development environments, and rapid testing of production modifications, a site can decrease the likelihood of a site outage caused by production issues.

  • Close Observation

Understanding downtime is crucial to mitigation. An independent uptime monitoring solution is advised in addition to the monitoring offered by a hosting provider. When a website is unavailable, these services can immediately notify developers.

Website Down? Choose a Reputable Host!

A proactive approach to security is essential for being competitive and will assist in ensuring that your website is not susceptible to performance problems, which could lead to downtime. Avoid waiting for a website issue to occur before taking action to stop it from happening in the first place.

Saffron Tech offers a complete site monitoring solution with uptime monitoring. You can utilize this solution to obtain cutting-edge capabilities like transaction tracking, user monitoring, and page speed monitoring. You may also track server problems and receive warnings to fix mistakes promptly. The solution aids in root cause analysis through server response codes and traceroute. With a variety of measures for availability, loading times, and response times, you may gain thorough insights into how well a website performs.

Do you still have concerns about avoiding website downtime? For further information, please get in touch with us.

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