Top 5 Reasons for Website Downtime and How to Avoid It

Top 5 Reasons for Website Downtime and How to Avoid It


Website downtime is one of the most frustrating things for website owners. You invested time, energy, and effort into developing it, adding content, and promoting your site in hopes of drawing traffic and making sales.

Then, one day your website goes offline for some reason. If this happens, 

And, as a result, you lost sales, traffic, and a lot of opportunities.

It’s a nightmare for any business. Back in 2018,  Amazon’s site was down for only 20 minutes, but during that brief time, it cost the company an estimated $3.75 million in sales.

Everyone loses in this situation, no matter how small or big your business is.

Fortunately, there are many things you can do to prevent your site from going down, and how to troubleshoot when it goes down.

What is a Website Downtime?

The term “website downtime” is self-explanatory. It’s the time when people cannot access your website or application.

Website downtime can take many forms, including:

  • Website pages load slowly or incompletely
  • An error message displays when trying to access a page
  • The entire site is down and cannot be accessed

Downtime happens when a web hosting provider or server experienced technical issues that prevent websites from running normally.

This can be caused by hardware problems, network problems, failure of data centers, or even human error.

In some cases, downtime can also be caused by a Denial of Service (DoS) attack — which floods a server with requests until it crashes and becomes unavailable.

No matter what the reason, website downtime can cause catastrophic consequences if you’re running an online business or using your website for your livelihood. That’s why it’s important to know what causes website downtime and how to prevent it.

Reasons for Website Downtime

1. Server Overload

When too many people try to connect to your server at once, it can slow down or even go offline temporarily.

This is especially a problem for shared hostings like GoDaddy which put many different websites on the same server. If one site gets a lot of traffic, it could slow down other sites on the same server.

To solve this problem, you should upgrade to either VPS hosting or dedicated hosting where you have more control over how resources are allocated and distributed between websites on the same server.

2. Malicious Cyberattack (DDoS)

This is one of the most serious reasons why your website goes down, especially when it’s a malicious DDoS attack.

DDoS stands for Distributed Denial of Service. It’s a type of cyber attack in which the attacker sends too many requests that your servers can’t process them all.

If your site experiences an attack, it will stop functioning completely. The best thing you can do in that situation is to contact your hosting provider immediately so they can identify the attack and mitigate it as soon as possible.

3. Domain Name Expired

If you own a domain name, you must renew it on a regular basis (usually 1 year).

When the renewal date is passed, the domain name will be disabled and your website will go down. It will only come back online once you manually renew the domain name. You will need to keep your domain safe and check SPF record for domain when it comes to email marketing, for example. Ideally, you will need your domain for multiple business purposes, so make sure the name is not expired.

If you don’t want to use the domain name anymore, it’s recommended to disable auto-renewal to avoid unnecessary expenses.

4. Web Hosting Account Suspended

If your website seems to have disappeared, it’s possible that your web hosting company suspended your account.

A hosting company may suspend your account for violating the terms of service. This could happen for a variety of reasons, for example, excessive use of server resources, malware infection, payment failure, or any other policy violations.

If your account has been suspended, the hosting company will send you an email explaining why they took this action.

If you do not receive an email and your account has been suspended, contact the web hosting company for more information about why this action was taken.

If they confirm that your account has been suspended and give you the reason, take care of the issue as soon as possible and have them re-enable your account.

5. Server Hardware Failure

The term “server failure” refers to a computer server that stops working and cannot complete its normal operations. When this happens, your website will be offline for a certain period of time until fixed.

Server failure usually occurs because of hardware or software problems including hardware crashes, network connection problems, outdated hardware or software, and power outages.

Hardware failures are often out of your control. All you can do is contact your hosting provider and let them know about the issue and wait for them to resolve it.

6. Server Maintenance

Occasionally, hosting providers schedules downtime for their servers to perform maintenance and ensure that no problems are occurring.

When this happens, you’ll probably see an error message when trying to access your website.

How to Prevent Website Downtime

1. Choose a Reliable Host

One of the reasons that websites go down so often is due to hosting problems. To avoid downtime, find a reliable host that can handle traffic spikes, and provides high uptime and good customer support.

To avoid choosing the wrong host, read online reviews on different blogs, forums, and YouTube to find out what other users think. 

We recommend looking for web hosts who can provide you with excellent customer support, solid uptime, and offer fast page load speeds, including a money-back guarantee.

Many companies offer 99.9% uptime, but this can be deceptive. It’s easy to hit 100 percent uptime for one month or even a year. But if a host doesn’t provide reliable service most of the time, it isn’t worth your trust.

Ideally, you want to choose a host that guarantees at least 99.95% uptime over the long term (preferably measured in years).

2. Employ a CDN

Content Delivery Network (CDN) is one of the most important solutions to prevent website downtime. It is a global network of servers that deliver web content based on your site visitors’ geographic location.

A CDN basically stores cached copies of your website on different servers around the world. When someone requests an object from a website or application, they can get it from the server that’s physically closest to them.

This gives users faster access to data, and can significantly improve the performance of your website. It also ensures that your website will stay online if one of our servers experiences an issue.

You can use a free CDN like Cloudflare or paid options like KeyCDN, Bunny, Akamai, etc.

3. Get a Website Monitoring Service

You have a busy life, and it’s not easy to keep an eye on your website all the time. That’s why you should use a monitoring service that will do it for you. 

Basically, a website monitoring service monitors your site 24×7 and instantly notifies you when they find any problem. It also gives you important information on what is wrong with your website so that you can take action immediately. Most of the time, these companies use business phone systems to provide constant customer support, so you won’t need to wait for long.

Additionally, you get a detailed report of what caused the downtime so that you can take steps to prevent it from happening again.

Uptime Robot has a free plan that lets you monitor up to 50 websites, and it gives you an alert in case your site goes down.

4. Have a Backup Plan

If you want to ensure that your website is up and running at all times, the best thing you can do is back up your data.

With a backup in place, even a severe attack will not be able to shut you down for good.

If your website gets hacked or compromised, you can easily roll back to a previous point in time, when everything was working well. Backups also protect you from human error and server failures.

In most cases, you don’t even have to do the backups yourself. There are many web hosting services that offer free data backups as part of their service packages.

Additionally, you can consider saving them to an external hard drive or a cloud storage provider such as Dropbox or Google Drive.

5. Keep Software up to Date

Keeping your website’s software up to date is essential for avoiding downtime caused by hackers or other vulnerabilities.

If you are using open-source software like WordPress, it’s a good idea to check updates regularly. These updates often patch security issues or other bugs that could cause problems in the future.

When you put off updating your software, it can put your website at risk of downtime, which can cost you a lot in lost business and reputation.

Conclusion

Website downtime can have a huge impact on your business. It can cost you money, lose customers and even damage your brand.  Large Enterprises utilize Enterprise risk management software to find vulnerabilities.

Fortunately, there are ways to combat website downtime or prevent it from happening again.

In this post, I have addressed the top seven reasons for website downtime and how they can be resolved. I hope the tips provided will help keep your site online and working well.

Have you experienced any website downtime so far? How long did it last? Do let us know.