Jo Why Lee

London - United Kingdom

    Business Help Why Does Your Website Keep Experiencing Downtimes?

    December 12, 2016
    Website Downtime

    If you own a website that pulls much traffic or experiences regular traffic spikes, then you probably already dread downtimes. When they happen, your website goes down, and you don’t only lose traffic, you also lose money. This is especially true for people that monetise their websites via affiliate marketing and those that sell products or services on their sites.

    For instance, Amazon lost $66,240 per minute during the period in 2013 when its website went down briefly. Other ways a business can experience loss during a downtime include loss of business to competitors, loss of customer loyalty, and loss of credibility.

    The big question is: what causes website downtimes?

    Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Attack

    If you pay attention to news, then you must have heard of the DDoS attack that crippled many high-traffic websites , including Spotify, Twitter, and PayPal, in the U.S. and the U.K. using a myriad of everyday Internet of Things (IoT). A Distributed Denial of Service attack occurs when a site is intentionally assaulted with traffic from numerous sources so that its server overloads.

    Datacentre Issues

    A datacentre is a facility with a controlled environment for managing multiple servers. Although datacentres follow certain strict compliances and are properly equipped to prevent disasters and downtimes, sometime power failure happens and backup generators fail. Also, hardware can malfunction. Any websites hosted on servers in the datacentre will be affected at such times.

    Server Overload

    This is much like DDoS attacks, except that it's not deliberate. A server overload can occur due to an influx of traffic to a website hosted on a server whose capacity can't manage that amount of traffic. Websites hosted on shared servers are more liable to downtimes due to server overload than those hosted on virtual private servers, dedicated servers, and cloud servers. This is why you need to use a reputable website host from the onset, one that allows easy upgrades, so that you can upgrade your hosting plan as soon as your current server becomes a hindrance.

    Server Maintenance

    Sometimes, to upgrade the hardware of a server, the website(s) on that server has to be taken offline. This is also true for when updating the software of a server. However, server maintenance is usually done during low-traffic periods, depending on the location from where most of the traffic to your website originate.

    Webmaster Errors

    Website owners are sometimes also to blame when downtimes occur. For instance, when you fail to renew the registration of your domain name, your website automatically loses its web address and goes offline. This can get worse if someone else registers the domain and uses it for their own site--your customers thus would be directed to the person's website instead of yours.

    Your websites can also become prone to downtimes if it’s running too many scripts, if the scripts aren’t optimised, and if it’s riddled with coding errors.

    You can avoid these causes of website downtime by maintaining a secondary hosting account and backing up to it regularly, by using a DNS management service to automatically channel traffic to your secondary host as soon as your website goes down, by ensuring that your web server or hosting plan provides ample RAM and bandwidth for your website, by using a scalable hosting plan, and by using a proficient web designer and programmer when building your site.

    Read Jo's other blog entries >

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