Dealing with Downtime: What to Do When Your Website Crashes

March 2021

Downtime is every website owner’s worst nightmare. Unfortunately, it can happen to the best of us – and it never occurs at a “convenient” time. Unexpected site downtime can not only cost your business thousands of dollars (or more), but it could also tarnish your reputation. By knowing how to handle downtime when it occurs, you can minimize the impact it has on your site or business.

1. Confirm the Outage

If a regular user has alerted you of the downtime, it’s always best to confirm for yourself that your site is down. Check out the issue on your own and ask a few other people you trust to visit your website and see if it loads.

2. Determine the Cause

Once you’ve confirmed that your site is actually down, it’s time to get to work determining the cause. There are many potential sources of website downtime, ranging from a simple programming error or an expired domain name to a server outage.

Start by checking for common causes of downtime that can be fixed easily. For example, if you’ve recently updated your site’s coding, try reverting to an old version to rule out the possibility of a programming error.

3. Reach Out to Your Web Host

If you’re unable to determine the source of the downtime yourself, there’s a good chance you could be facing a server outage. If this is the case, you’ll need to reach out to your hosting company to have them address the issue, as there is nothing further you’ll be able to do yourself.

Hopefully, your hosting company offers around-the-clock support, so you can get in touch with a representative to assist you immediately. Otherwise, you may have to wait until the next business day to get help – leaving your site in the dark for hours.

4. Find a Way to Communicate with Your Users

No matter the cause of the downtime, you must find a way to communicate with your regular users about the outage. If you have a mailing list for your website, this would be a good time to send out an email blast letting your subscribers know that you’re aware of the issue and working on it. If you have an estimated “wait time” for your site to be back in action, you may also want to consider sharing it.

Social media is another great platform for reaching users to let them know about website downtime. A simple post acknowledging the issue and reassuring customers that you’re doing what you can to fix it will help protect your reputation.

BONUS: Prevent Future Downtime with a Dedicated Server

Dealing with unexpected downtime is a headache, no matter how big or small your site may be. Wondering how to prevent website downtime in the future? Having a dedicated hosting plan is one of the best solutions.

A dedicated server host will provide you with the resources and reliability you need to avoid unforeseen outages. Meanwhile, a dedicated server hosting company like ReliableSite offers 24/7 customer and technical support, so any issues you may run into can be addressed and resolved as quickly as possible. From there, you can keep your site running smoothly for your users while enjoying added peace of mind.
Ready to make the switch to dedicated server hosting? Contact us today!