Have you ever tried to log onto a website and for some strange reason it wouldn’t allow you to connect? Depending on your current needs, it could be a minor inconvenience or downright annoying. However, for the site itself, these short outages can cause problems that reach far beyond annoyance. These outages are called downtime and are one of the biggest enemies of any company that conducts business online. Learn more about what downtime is, these far-reaching effects and what solutions are available to solve the downtime dilemma — then, you can better learn how to prevent or deal with this issue as a business owner yourself.
What Exactly is Downtime Anyway?
There are actually two different types of downtime. Planned downtime is when a company brings the servers or computer system down to maintain it or add additional services. While this is not necessarily a good thing, it can be scheduled for a time during a low server load and customers can be warned, so it is considered a necessary evil. The other type of downtime is unplanned downtime. This is the type most companies would like to avoid altogether. It creates a denial of service for customers and can lead to some very negative long term effects.
What are the Long-term Effects of Downtime?
There are a number of different effects of downtime, none of which are a good thing. Some of the most notable include:
The busier a website, the bigger an impact that downtime has on profit. A single, 2-hour outage in 2007 cost Amazon.com over $3 million dollars.
· Customer Satisfaction:
When a customer cannot reach a website, he or she is likely to think unfavorably on the site and the company as a whole.
· Search Engine Rankings:
One of the things a search engine considers when determining how high to place a site within a search is uptime. An unreliable site may then not get as much traffic in the future.
· Brand Outlook:
When a company has an unreliable Web presence, it reflects poorly on the brand as a whole, essentially making the brand seem unreliable too.
What are Some Possible Ways to Avoid Downtime?
The first thing to do is choose a host that has a reputation for high uptime. Looking at the stats of competing hosting companies can help you make a good decision. Make certain your company’s IT team can easily get in touch with the host if there is a problem, that way the situation can be quickly resolved and you can get back to business as usual.
Make sure your hosting provider can handle what you’re trying to do. If you’re running DotNetNuke to power your site, make sure you’ve got a good .Net host rather than one that specializes in barebones servers or just databases.
As you can see, downtime is a major problem for all types of companies. This includes companies that operate online as well as those that rely on a Web presence as a form of marketing and customer interaction. Luckily, if you are willing to make a few simple changes and take some precautions, you can avoid and cope with this problem. Then, you’ll be able to conduct business with confidence — knowing that if the worst happens, you’ll be able to cope with downtime and get your business back up and running again quickly.