There are a number of things that your web host would prefer that you never know when it comes to things that affect your website’s downtime. These include shared hosting plans, uptime guarantees, and other things that are critical to your website’s success.
Before you choose a web host, you should ensure that they are living up to their promises and that they are the right people to do business with. Here are things that affect a website’s downtime that you should be aware of.
What Your Web Host Will Not Tell You About Downtime
1. Do not trust their guarantee
Like the post Why You Should Ignore Your Host’s Uptime Guarantee that I had wrote, You think that your web host is the best because they offer a 99.99% Uptime Guarantee? You better think again. Many times, the uptime guarantee is not worth the small space your website will be hosted on.
You need to understand that hosting guarantees do not include planned downtime. This means that if your host provider decides to put your website offline for two hours every month for planned maintenance, the uptime guarantee does not protect you.
When it comes to unplanned downtimes, there is really no way for you to know if they are keeping their promise because they have no duty of telling you when your website experiences more downtime than they promised. But if you are using a website monitoring service, you will know the amount of downtime your website experiences but even then you are not protected from losses.
What you need to understand about uptime guarantees offered is that you are only entitled to a refund of the difference of the uptime guarantee and the uptime you got. Therefore, if your plan costs $100 monthly and your website experiences an extra hour of downtime, you will only be entitled to 14 cents. When you consider the huge losses your company made in that hour, you can see why you don’t get any protection from uptime guarantees offered by web hosts.
2. Shared hosting plans suffer from downtime and performance issues
Before you think that getting an unlimited shared hosting plan is a great deal and begin setting up your website, there are a number of very important questions that you should ask yourself first. Because you are sharing resources on one server with hundreds of other websites, what happens when one website starts sucking up all of the server’s resources? Fact is, your website will definitely suffer, either in downtime, or performance issues. To prevent some websites from affecting others in a shared hosting environment, web hosts set a limit on the amount of resources a website can use each month. If your website was the one that was resource intensive, it will experience a big drop in performance once it reaches this limit.
3. Your web host could be responsible for your website’s downtime
If your website has been experiencing too much downtime, there is a possibility that your web host provider is responsible. It is very unlikely that the company will communicate with their clients and tell them that they are experiencing difficulties which translate to more downtime than was promised. Your web host would rather you not know about the downtimes and hope that you never realize that your website was down more times than it should. Using a website monitoring service can tell you exactly how long your website has been down and what the possible cause for the downtime was. When you start noticing a spike in number of downtimes that are caused by your web host, this signifies time to change your host provider.
What you can do to recover losses and prevent future downtime
Nothing can adversely affect a website as much as website downtime. Downtime easily leads to customer frustration, damage to the reputation of your brand, and also loss. If left unchecked, it can also ruin your website’s rankings on search engines. If your web host is responsible of the downtime your website is experiencing, there are a number of steps that you can take to help you recover your losses and prevent such an occurrence in the future. Follow these steps to repair the damage done when your web host provider causes your website to experience downtime. They will help you avoid future losses too.
1. Know what caused the downtime
Find out what resulted in the downtime. Was it your web host’s failure to deliver on their promises, or was it because your website used up too many resources than was allocated? If your website exceeded the allocated resources, it means that time to upgrade to a better hosting plan has come. If the issue was on the server, or a result of another website using up too many resources, then consider moving to a dedicated hosting plan. Also, if the downtime was because of maintenance issues that your web host could have avoided, it is still time to move to a better host altogether.
2. Use an Uptime Monitoring Service
If you do not have uptime monitoring in place, it means that when the downtime occurred, it took you much longer to find out about it. Longer than it should have taken. Ensure that you have a quality uptime monitor in place that will watch your website’s uptime all day long and ensure that you are notified the moment a downtime happens so that you can move in quickly to solve the issue. Every minute of downtime reduced translates to reduced losses and more customers retained. An uptime monitor will also help you know when the quality of service offered by your host begins dropping.
Helpful Tools: Must-Know Website Uptime Monitoring Tools
3. Have contingency plans in place
When your web host experiences issues and the downtime your website experiences is beyond your control, there are several steps that you can take to prevent significant losses to your business. You should therefore have contingency plans in place that will enable your business run smoothly until the problem is resolved and you are back on track. For example, when your web host encounters issues that cause your website to go down for an extended period of time, you could redirect your URL to a backup of your website that you have hosted with a different provider. This will allow your business to operate flawlessly until the issue is resolved.
4. Use discount offers to recover loss
When your website experiences downtime, you incur losses and your customers are alienated. There is really no way of preventing loss but you can recover some of it and repair customer trust by offering coupons as a way to make up for the inconvenience. Apart from driving more sales where you can recover some of the loss incurred, customers who were affected by the downtime will greatly appreciate the gesture and are very likely to forget about the inconvenience caused by the downtime.
While you cannot undo the damage caused by a website downtime, you can definitely minimize future occurrences and also the damage caused. You can even take steps to repair the damage caused by the downtime your website experienced. Taking the above steps will help you mitigate future effects of downtimes and also recover from the losses incurred.