Your website is one of the most important parts of your business. It lets you reach, connect with, and do business with people around the world—when it’s working properly. That’s why you need it to be up all of the time, but unfortunately, there are times when your website can crash.
Surviving website downtime is one of the biggest challenges online business owners face. The time that your website is down can be highly stressful if you aren’t adequately prepared. However, there is plenty you can do to make the downtime easier and less stressful. If you own a website, here is what to do to survive site downtime.
One of the best things you can do to survive site downtime is to plan ahead. If you have a plan in place, then handling that downtime is less stressful and can prove to be more productive than you think. Your plan should include:
- Website recovery steps
- Communications management steps
- Next steps after recovery
Your plan should be simple and intuitive so that you can start using it right away. It helps to have a written plan stored in a place that is easy to find. This way, you don’t have to scramble to find it or work without it.
When your site crashes, don’t panic. There are plenty of reasons a crash might occur, from faulty code to a hardware issue. If you panic, then you won’t be able to think straight and could inadvertently cause more problems.
One important thing to remember is that it’s rarely your fault that the website crashed. Most of the time, it’s a hardware issue. Sites can even crash when communications systems stop working, such as during a major storm. Regardless, you will likely not be the only person working on getting your website back up, since web hosts often monitor their websites and hardware for problems.
When your website crashes, you should start to investigate. If it crashed while you were working on it, then it could have been caused by a software change you made. For example, some plugins for WordPress can be outdated or broken and cause issues with your website. Most hosting platforms have a way of reverting back to a slightly older version of your page.
Look through your host’s platform to see what backup options are available. You should make a backup of your website often so that you always have a copy. Many host’s backup automatically and make it easy to recover your website.
Reach Out to Your Web Host for Help
If you are unsure of how to recover your website, reach out to your web hosting company. Most hosting companies have a customer service program that can offer you some help. The company can look deeper into the problem, including checking servers and communications systems. In many cases, they can even look at the files for your website to see if there is anything they can do to fix it.
Use Your Other Online Platforms to Communicate
Surviving website downtime is also about keeping your business going in all the ways you can. If you have other avenues of connecting with customers, use them. Social media platforms make it easy to reach out to your audience and let them know what’s going on. That way, your audience won’t think you went out of business.
Try to Reboot Your Website if You Can
If there is a tool or a system that you can use to reboot your website, give it a try. Many people use the tools provided by their web host to reload a previous version of their website. However, you may be able to use a separate tool to reboot it. Every host’s platform is different, so you’ll have to check with yours to see what is available.
Plan for a Longer Outage
While you are waiting for your website to come back up, plan for a longer outage. If you sell products online, an outage could really set your business back. This is the time where you come up with other ways of selling products. For example, you can use Instagram and Facebook to display products and connect with customers. You can also rely on phone sales to help you keep your business going until your website is back.
Work on Other Business Issues
Since you won’t be able to work around the clock until your website comes back up, you can have some downtime to work on other business issues. This can include creating documentation, researching new products, looking for better hosting features, or making changes to your website. There are plenty of things that you have to work on for your business, and you can use this time to get to some things that you normally cannot.
Calculate Losses and Plan to Recover
If you are expecting to lose a lot of money during a prolonged outage, then you should start to calculate losses and plan how to recover. Calculating how much you likely lost during the outage may be stressful, but not knowing can hurt your business substantially. Once you know your projected losses, you can come up with a recovery plan.
If you have a method of boosting your income, like a popular sale, you can host that sale when your website comes back up. You can also put out sales codes on social media for customers that continue to interact with you during the outage. That way, you’ll see a boost in income to help make up the difference while also increasing social media traffic.
Dealing with a website outage can be a hassle, but you can survive an outage. The key to doing so successfully is to have a plan ahead of time. While there may not be much you can do to stop an outage, you can be ready for one. You can also prevent them by choosing a host with a high uptime rating. That way, you’ll be less likely to experience problems. Bluehost has strong performance ratings and offers