An outage can do a lot of damage to your site. While it is not possible to prevent one completely, you can be prepared for it, so that you are able to restore the site sooner. The amount of infrastructure you require depends on how important online operations are to your sales. If you use your site primarily for lead generation, you may not have a lot to worry about. But if you conduct online sales, a couple of hours of downtime can mean a lot in terms of revenue. Here are some strategies you can employ:
Backup all systems that your website accesses on a daily basis. Make sure that the servers hosting some of your site’s data externally also do so, by uploading a file, deleting it after some time and asking them to retrieve it for you. It should happen in 30 minutes or less. It is also a good idea to back up the entire site yourself, irrespective of what the host company does.
There is no such thing as 100% uptime, so you have to choose a host provider you can trust and work well with. Choose a company that is responsive and puts in the effort to get the level of service you need.If you truly need near 100% up time, it is better to go with two hosts for your page.
Don’t leave everything up to your hosting company. Make a note of all the changes made to your site, who made them and when. This makes restoration faster after an outage. Employing a website monitoring service can alert you if your site is down in a particular location.
If you do have an outage, first get in touch with your hosting company to find out what the problem is. You can also use sites which tell you if your site is the only one that is down or there are others. Restoring your site is a fairly technical process, so in case of an emergency you might want to call in an IT consultant.
Photo Credit: Flickr/Jim Linwood