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Top Tips for Minimizing the Risk of Website Downtime

Death, taxes, and downtime. What do they have in common? They are all inevitable. Like death and taxes, when it comes to facing downtime, there are measures you can take to minimize your risks. Here are a few tips for reducing website downtime.

Source a Reliable Provider

Network and server outages are probably the most widely recognized forms of downtime. When you see blogs boasting of tips for how to keep your website uptime at 100%, this is the type of downtime they are trying to help you eliminate, and with good reason. The 2019 IT Outage Impact Study from datacenter monitoring company LogicMonitor revealed that 51% of network-level outages are entirely avoidable. The chief causes of this downtime were identified as businesses using servers with inadequate space or traffic handling capacity to meet their needs and overlooking diminishing performance from critical server hardware (or software) until it’s too late.

The best solution for mitigating your risk of network and server outages is to choose your web hosting provider carefully. It is important to ensure any potential provider can offer reliable hosting solutions that meet your company’s needs. Careful inspection and comparison of their service level agreements (SLAs) is a good place to start. SLAs can vary greatly, even in the way they define key terms like downtime.

Reduce Opportunities for Human Error

According to a study from the Ponemon Institute, 22% of website downtime is caused by human error.

Human errors, such as accidentally switching off a page, renaming linked files (causing all of their back-links to break), or deleting a file system, can have devastating effects on your site’s functionality and availability. A few ways to reduce the chances of your website falling victim to human error are as follows:

  • Restrict access: The fewer people with access to your content management system (CMS), the better.
  • Set appropriate permission levels: If a marketing executive only needs access to publish blogs, there is no reason for them to have access the any of your other pages or site functions.
  • Establish best practices: Implement procedures like personalized logins. This will allow you to identify who is responsible when a human error does occur and ensure they receive training to prevent issues from recurring.
  • Train staff: Implement regular, on-going training for your website administrators and relevant staff members to strengthen knowledge and best practices.

Plan for Downtime

Finally, knowing what to do if a website is down is key to getting it back up quickly. A contingency plan is called for, complete with proactive measures to spot and identify instances of downtime when they occur. Here is a brief list of the basics to get you started.

  • Monitor: Use automated website monitoring software like PageChecker to monitor website downtime. With a solution like PageChecker in place, you will receive website downtime messages when something goes wrong. These alerts will also provide you with clear, actionable details to help you understand and fix the issues.
  • Backup: Put data backups in place for your site. Ensure all of your site’s files, assets, and content are automatically copied and saved at regular intervals.
  • Communicate: If your site is experiencing downtime that cannot be resolved quickly, you should communicate what is happening, why, and the estimated duration of the downtime to visitors. This kind of transparency can help you build trust with visitors and minimize any brand damage. Responsive error pages are one way to do this. Better Error Pages offers a free solution.

To learn more about how PageChecker can help you minimize your risk of website downtime, contact us at or click here to start your free trial today.