common causes of website outages & how to prevent them.
Businesses today rely heavily on their websites as a crucial avenue for communication, sales, and marketing. But when website outages occur, they can cause severe harm and lead to significant losses in revenue. To minimise the risk of these disruptive events, it’s essential to understand the most common causes of website downtime and take steps to prevent them. In this blog post, we’ll explore the reasons why websites go down, such as hosting issues, server crashes, network failures and the website software itself. We’ll also offer practical solutions to help you mitigate these issues and get your website back up and running as quickly as possible.
Hosting issues are one of the most common causes of website outages. Hosting providers may encounter issues such as power outages, hardware failures, and software updates that can affect the website’s performance. When the hosting provider’s servers are down, the website becomes inaccessible to users. In some cases, hosting issues can be resolved quickly, while in other cases, they may take several hours or even days to fix.
a reputable hosting provider.
Server crashes are a significant concern for businesses and website owners, as they can cause significant downtime and revenue loss. These crashes occur when the server hardware or software malfunctions, making the website inaccessible to users. Server crashes can happen due to various reasons such as hardware failure, software glitches, and security breaches.
a backup plan.
To prevent server crashes, businesses should ensure that they have a backup and recovery plan in place. Regular backups of website data should be performed and stored securely, so that they can be easily restored in case of a server crash. By regularly backing up data, businesses can minimise the impact of a server crash and quickly restore their website to its previous state. A great hosting provider will have hourly backups with a backup retention of a month.
Another solution to prevent both hosting issues & server crashes, is server virtualisation. Server virtualisation allows multiple virtual servers to run on a single physical server, reducing the risk of an outage caused by a single server failure. This technology can also improve website performance by allowing website owners to scale up or down their server resources as needed, ensuring that the website runs smoothly and efficiently.
Network failures can occur due to issues such as DNS (Domain Name System) problems, routing issues, and bandwidth overload. Network failures can cause the website to become slow, unresponsive, or completely unavailable.
limit who has access to your DNS.
DNS problems can occur when the Domain Name System, which translates domain names into IP addresses, fails to resolve domain names. This can happen due to misconfigured DNS servers, DNS cache issues, or DNS attacks. Limit any DNS changes to a dedicated employee or owner, who has experience. A good hosting provider will stop any unauthorised changes for taking place and do them on your behalf.
upgrade to unlimited bandwidth.
Bandwidth overload can occur when the amount of network traffic exceeds the capacity of the network infrastructure, causing performance problems or complete network failure. This can happen due to sudden spikes in traffic, malicious attacks, or inadequate network capacity. The way around this is the make sure that your hosting has adequate bandwidth. Find a hosting plan that offers unlimited bandwidth and you will limit if not remove this issue from ever happening.
website software issues.
Website software issues can occur due to bugs, compatibility issues, and improper website configurations. These issues can cause the website to become slow, unresponsive, or inaccessible.
keep your website up to date.
Website software, including content management systems (CMS) and e-commerce platforms, is constantly evolving to address security vulnerabilities, performance issues, and user feedback. By updating to the latest version of website software, businesses can ensure that their website benefits from the latest security patches, bug fixes, and performance improvements.
Additionally, businesses should ensure that any third-party software used on their website, such as plugins and themes, are also up-to-date. Third-party software can introduce security vulnerabilities and performance issues, so it is essential to keep it up-to-date as well.
make sure everything is compatible.
The most common cause of a WordPress website breaking outside of being hacked, is human error when making an update or change.
We encounter a lot of businesses who ‘set and forget’. They leave their website on auto update and eventually the site breaks due to an update of a plugin and / or theme not being compatible with one another.
Before installing new software, businesses should check to ensure that it is compatible with their existing software and hardware. This may involve checking the software manufacturer’s website for compatibility information or contacting the manufacturer’s support team.
increase your web security.
Website outages can be detrimental to businesses, causing significant revenue losses and damaging the business’s reputation. However, by understanding the common causes of website outages and taking appropriate measures to prevent and resolve them, businesses can minimise the risk of downtime and ensure the smooth operation of their websites. By choosing a reliable hosting provider, performing regular backups and keeping website software up-to-date, businesses can prevent hosting issues, server crashes, network failures, and website software issues, and keep their websites running smoothly.