While there are many reasons why a website can go offline, one of the most difficult to deal with is downtime from your web hosting company. Web host downtime is a big problem because you don’t have direct control over the issues, and you’re relying on the hosting company to take care of its own problems.
If you have been experiencing a lot of web host downtime, this article can help you learn what you can do to deal with downtime when it occurs. Specifically, you will read about things like:
- What could be causing so much downtime with your website?
- What does web host downtime really mean?
- How to fix downtime on your website?
- What to do next when your downtime continues?
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7 Tips for Fixing Downtime on Your Website
If you have issues with your website regularly, there are some things you can do. The following seven tips can help to get you started toward fixing any downtime issues you have with your website:
- Work with technical support: Anytime you’re experiencing downtime for your website, the first thing you should do is reach out to the hosting company’s technical support team. They often can get you up and running fast and let you know what caused the problem.
- Avoid making changes to your site: One of the most frequent causes of an outage with a website is a change to the site itself. If you’re struggling with downtime, now is not the time to make changes. Instead, focus on finding the cause of the problem so that you can keep things stable before trying to make any significant changes.
- Run uptime tests to gather information: Run continuous uptime tests on your website so you can learn when your site goes down. This lets you react quickly to bring it back up, but also helps you get important information that could be used to prevent outages in the future.
- Migrate to a virtual private net (VPS) or cloud solution: Moving your site to a VPS or cloud hosting system helps to provide improved stability, which could eliminate your problems. VPS’s and cloud solutions have significant advantages over shared hosting.
- Upgrade to a more robust hosting account: Make sure that your hosting account is sufficient for the amount of traffic you’re getting. If your outages are caused by your hosting server getting overloaded, you may need to upgrade to something more powerful.
- Keep your systems up to date: Make sure you’re keeping all your software systems up to date. This includes your content management systems, databases, and anything else that you use.
- Find a new hosting company: If you’re still experiencing outages on a regular basis, it may be time to migrate to a new hosting company. This does take some planning and effort but finding a great hosting company that can keep your site operational is well worth the effort.
What Does Web Host Downtime Mean?
This is generally going to be some type of unscheduled outage that you aren’t prepared for, which is why it can be such a big problem if it happens frequently.
Web hosting companies work hard to provide the most stable environment possible for your websites. There is always the possibility, however, that a problem occurs that causes your site to go offline.
If the problem is with something that your hosting company is responsible for, it’s considered web host downtime.
Understanding the various types of downtime that can impact your site helps you to get a better idea of what the root cause of your site’s problems may be.
If the problems truly are with your hosting company, you need to figure out what options you have available for making sure that the cause of the problems are fixed.
What Causes Website Downtime?
- Problems with your web hosting
- Problems with your website platform
In general, there are two main things that can cause downtime for a website. Within each of the following categories, there may be dozens of different subcauses that may be the actual cause of the issue.
Anytime that you’re experiencing downtime with your website, you need to make sure you understand what’s causing the outage.
There Are Problems With Your Web Hosting
Almost all websites are housed by a web hosting company. This company is responsible for making sure that the hardware that runs the website is up and running properly and that it’s accessible.
If there’s a problem with your web hosting company, it likely impacts not just your website but many others that it’s hosting as well.
Some issues that a web hosting company could have that would cause your site to go down:
- Server issues: Server problems could be issues with a hard drive, memory, central processing unit (CPU), or any number of things. Ideally, a hosting company has backup options in place to minimize or eliminate this type of downtime.
- Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks: If a site hosted by your hosting company is experiencing a DDoS attack, it could cause the sites they run to go offline. The best web hosting companies have a variety of DDoS prevention and mitigation systems in place to avoid this type of problem.
- Data circuit problems: All hosting companies need to have one or more large data circuits that allow internet traffic to come into their facility to access your site. If that data circuit has issues, it could cause your site to appear offline. Top-tier hosting companies have multiple data circuits from multiple telephone companies to minimize the risk of an actual outage.
- Issues at the data center: Issues at the data center where your website is housed can also cause an outage. If the facility loses power, for example, your site will go offline unless they have backup generators or other options for getting the electricity they need.
Most web hosting companies offer some guarantee regarding how much uptime they have.
For example, a common uptime guarantee is 99.9%. If you find that your hosting company isn’t meeting that guarantee, you can often ask for a refund of your costs to make up for the downtime. Even with the refund, however, you want to take steps to make sure the outages aren’t going to be a regular thing.
If you find that your web hosting company cannot keep your site up and running smoothly, you want to consider migrating to a new hosting company that won’t have similar problems.
You Have Problems With Your Website Platform
While it can be tempting to always blame the hosting company for an outage, that isn’t always going to be appropriate. Many website outages are caused by either the site owner or the developer of the platform software.
For example, if you run your website on the WordPress content management system, you could cause an outage by installing a plugin that wasn’t properly tested.
It’s important to always test your website before making any changes to the production system to avoid accidental outages that could impact your end-users.
What If You Continue Experiencing Web Host Downtime
If you have done your due diligence to try to address any potential issues with your site but you’re still experiencing consistent downtime, you almost certainly want to find a new hosting company with which to work.
If you run a website for your business, you need to make sure that it’s available as much as possible. Whether you drive direct sales on your website or you just use it to provide potential customers with information about your business, having a site that’s offline can be devastating.
When someone tries to visit your site and finds that they cannot access it, they may think that you’re no longer in business, which means a direct loss of sales.
There are hundreds of hosting companies out there to consider, so take the time to find out which one is best for you so that you can get your site up and running smoothly as soon as possible.