Even the most stable websites aren’t immune to crashes, especially if they’re targeted by a hacker testing out his skills. However, outages aren’t limited to just small businesses. In the past few months, we’ve seen The New York Times go down twice, along with a glitchy Amazon. Google even went offline for approximately five minutes, and 40% of the traffic that Google generates for other websites dropped off the map until Google was up and running again.
While you can’t prevent an outage or downtime, you can be prepared for it.
Who’s Responsible for Keeping Your Website Running?
When your website goes down, it’s important to know whom you need to talk to. Sometimes it’s the web professional, and at other times it’s the hosting company. If you don’t know that, then it’s hard to figure out where your problem is. Have the phone number or email you need to contact in the case of excessive downtime somewhere obvious, so you don’t have to spend any time looking for it.
How to Tell Your Customers
The easiest way to tell your clients your website is down is to maintain and use an active social media page or two. This way, you can simply post a message telling your customers that your website is currently inaccessible and that you’re working to fix the issue. If you want to reach out to people via phone or email, make sure you’re prepared with a good explanation of what is happening (or what happened), an apology, and an estimation of when the website will be back up. Sometimes these emails are even better sent after the fact so that you can explain the situation with detail and tell them the website is back up and running.
Finally, Don’t Forget to Verify Your Website is Actually Down
Before you start posting apologies, calling companies, and trying to get to the bottom of your problem, verify your website is actually down. Sometimes it’s our internet acting up, or our electronic devices throwing a fit. Try accessing the website from several different devices, and ask a friend or two to try and do the same. There are also a few websites out there that allow you to test a website to see if it’s down for everyone else and not just you.
If you stick to your guns and follow the steps above, then while you may still experience downtime, you’ll be prepared if the worst case scenario does happen.