‘Hey.. Did you see your website’s down?’
If you’ve ever received a message like this from a friend or employee, you know the feeling of anxiety it brings. Your first thoughts are the pain and money this will cost your business. You are fully aware that opportunities fly out the window each minute your website is inactive.
With 48 hours of to-dos already in line for your 24 hour day, scrambling to find a web developer is the last thing you need. You’d think after paying for a professional website, things would just continue to work, right?!
Unfortunately, website issues happen to the best of us, even with the most modern and pricey designs that money can buy. If you’re in the midst of a website crash, don’t panic! We’ve got you covered with this step-by-step plan.
What To Do When Your Website Goes Down
STEP 1: Make sure your site is actually down. Try visiting other sites like Google to determine if it’s just your website that isn’t loading. Hold down SHIFT while refreshing the page to ensure you’re not viewing the cached version. It’s possible that you (or whoever noted the crash) are experiencing the issue because of internet connection, browser or device errors.
Ask others to quickly verify they having the same experience. If your friends aren’t especially helpful, you can try visiting this website which checks if the URL you enter is down for everyone, or just you.
STEP 2: Determine the cause. This step really depends on how tech savvy you are. Trying to resolve a website crash if you don’t have in-depth website experience and coding, is like trying to perform surgery without experience as a surgeon.
While it’s not life-or-death, there are almost as many factors involved. In our blog ‘Should My Business Really Pay For Website Maintenance?’ we explored the long list of reasons website crashes occur. Since there are many complicated culprits, in many cases your best option is to contact an experienced web developer.
STEP 3: Notify users of the disruption. If your outage is expected to last more than an hour, let site visitors know. This can be vital if clients log into online accounts through your website. Even if you doubt anyone will notice the crash, it’s better to make this mention regardless.
Communicate website problems on your business social media accounts. If a visitor does find your site down and you haven’t posted anything about it, they may conclude you are negligent or that these problems happen consistently.
STEP 4: Check in with your developer. Stay in touch and be ready to provide them with information related with your website or server. If you have hired someone other than the original developer of your website, they may run into issues with coding translation.
Take this into account when deciding who to approach with a website crash or bugs. Don’t hesitate to ask for a estimate as to how long they will take to get you back up and running.
Don’t Underestimate The Effects
If you own an eCommerce site, you should be particularly prepared for crashes. At any time a visitor could be browsing your products, adding items to their cart, or checking out and setting up payment. When your website crashes or even glitches, it’s usually enough to send them shopping elsewhere.
Crashes are not only frustrating and inconvenient, they destroy your trustworthiness and precious brand reputation. Investors, clients, and search engines do not view crashes as a positive reflection of your business. Frequent and prolonged down times of more than 24 hours are a part of the top 5 negative ranking components for search engines.
How to Avoid Website Crashes Altogether
Electing to invest in a website maintenance contract can be very beneficial to your business. Unless you have an existing employee who doubles as a gifted coder, ongoing maintenance is a life-saver.
Each website is coded and designed uniquely. Repeatedly using the same company keeps everything consistent and can save you money often spent by a new developer to research coding.
Growth-Driven Design is another effective concept that moves your business website and marketing forward rather than running into roadblocks and digging out of holes. Based on continuous improvement, developers conduct testing and make repeated updates to ensure websites are at their full potential, always. With an updated website and modern coding, you can fall asleep at night without nightmares of website hacks and destructive crashes.
Not sure who to hire for website maintenance? Pick the right developer for your business by reviewing these 11 crucial questions.