If you are an entrepreneur, you probably rely on your website for a good portion and maybe even all of your income. While the internet can open your business up to customers all over the world, it also means that you are vulnerable to website downtime.
Simply put, when your website is down, you begin losing money. And with tens of thousands of websites hacked each day, along with many more down due to high traffic, hosting problems, technical glitches, and other causes, it is safe to say that sooner or later your website will crash.
When that dreaded day comes it is important that you know how to react so you can get your business up and running again as soon as possible.
If you depend on your website for your livelihood then seeing that your website has crashed can be downright terrifying. You may begin worrying that you will never be able to get it back or that sensitive information you had stored has been compromised. While there are plenty of horror stories out there about the absolute worst case scenarios, chances are your website’s downtime is only temporary.
Losing your cool and freaking out is not going to get it back up any faster. Instead, you need to stay calm and try to figure out what the issue is and how to fix it.
Double check with different devices
First, you need to make sure that your website actually is down and that the problem isn’t with the browser or device that you are using. Check if your website is working on any other devices you have, such as with your smartphone, tablet, or laptop. If it is working on those other devices then you know the problem isn’t with your website but with your device.
You may need to update your web browser or run a virus and malware scan to see it your device has been compromised. If your website doesn’t work on any of your devices, ask a friend in a different city to see if it works for them. If it does then the problem is likely with your local internet provider. However, if your website is down for your friend as well then it has almost definitely crashed. You should also sign up for a website monitoring service, such as Site Uptime, to get instant notifications if your site goes down.
Every minute your website is down you are losing money and potential future customers. Website downtime makes many internet users distrustful about how reliable an internet business really is. That is why you have to reach out to the public as soon as possible once you know that your website has crashed.
As an internet business, you should have already built up your social media presence. Now is the time to make use of those social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, to let everybody know that you are aware of the downtime and that you are working on getting it fixed as soon as possible. The only thing that is worst than seeing a website that is down is getting a sense that the owner of that website is doing nothing to fix it.
Identify the likely culprits
There are many reasons why your website may have gone down. The issue could be as simple as you forgot to renew your domain registration. Remember that just because you are paying for website hosting you still have to keep on top of ensuring your domain is registered. If you have added any new plugins or updated them recently then try removing them and see if that fixes the problem.
If those solutions don’t work then the problem may be with the website host. Contact their support desk to see if the problem may be because of too much traffic to your website and what options your host can give you to get your website back online. If you have tech support, contact them as soon as possible to get the issue resolved.
Remember that the problem could be that your website has been hacked or subject to a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack. If you aren’t very tech savvy then you are going to need your IT guy to get in right away and fix the problem.
Having your website go down can be extremely stressful. Just keep in mind, however, that downtime, while unfortunate, is something that happens to most online businesses sooner than later. So long as you know how to react you will be able to mitigate the damage and get your business back up sooner.