ddddIt’s early morning, you have beaten the cold and traffic and made it to your desk ready to have a productive day.

You switch on your laptop, log online and alas! Your website is down! Emails are not going through and you are completely paralysed!

We understand the frustration that is why on this article we will be discussing why your website may be unresponsive and some of the steps you can take to prevent this and get it back online.

Let’s get in to it shall we?

What is website down time?

Website down time refers to the period which your website is not operational or accessible online. This means that your prospect and existing clients cannot find you online while you cannot be able to send or receive corporate emails.

As you can imagine, this is not a desirable outcome for any business looking to find an edge over its competitors. It’s like closing shop when still in operating hours.

Well the most natural reaction when faced with this challenge is to call your website developer or hosting firm. In this case it will be us deepAfrica on 0712-500500 and we will be able to get you back online any day at any time with our 24 hour support service.

Reasons your website is down:

But why is your website down to begin with? Knowing the causes of website down time can help you to avoid such incidences in future. Here are some few reasons to know next time your website goes down.

Server maintenance:

Website information, credentials and configurations are normally held by a hosting platform which is in turn held on a server. This hosting allows your website information to be accessible by the users of your site through your domain name.

It therefore goes without saying that if something was to go wrong with the server the availability of your website information will be compromised.

Server issues are the main reason for website down time hence you should be careful to choose a reliable server that is frequently maintained to ensure that it operates efficiently with low or no risk of server failure.

Server errors can be mitigated by frequent updates on security and software features. To avoid interruption of normal operations these updates can be done off duty time.

Coding errors:

Websites are a product of meticulous coding from talented developers like those at deepAfrica. However it is normally a tiring endeavour and developers are human still. At times due to mental fatigue they may add or neglect a coding pattern which may in turn affect the operations of a website.

Although it may be hard to detect, once a developer identifies the coding error it is easily fixed and your site should be back online in no time.

Server overload:

Sometimes the server issue is not physical rather a system overload. This occurs mainly on shared hosting platforms where you share your server and hosting with other websites requiring the same resources you do. Once in a while these website over use the resources allocated to them resulting to a slowdown in server activities. This can be as a result of increased traffic or emails.

To avoid this, you can employ extra back up servers to handle increased pressure especially in times you anticipate to run a promotional campaign that may result in to a significant increase in website traffic.

Data centre problems:

Most servers are physical and stored together in what is referred to as a data centre. These off-site centres are created to ensure the servers are held in an environment that is optimum for performance.

However in an event where these servers face a challenge like a power surge or hardware malfunctioning then all the sites hosted on those servers might experience a down period and interruption of services.

Hacking:

One of the common challenges faced in having an online presence is the looming threat of hackers.  Previously defined as a clever or expert programmer, the term hacker over the years has morphed to mean a person who can gain unauthorized access to computers and online platforms. Most hackers have malicious intent such as extortion and blackmail using the information collected or by interrupting key services.

Though hacking can at times be inevitable, there are steps you can take to improve the security of your website such as having a Secure Socket Layer which ensures any information you send online is encrypted and only visible to the intended final users.

You can also use complex passwords to secure your information and avoid using similar password across different platforms. Changing your passwords often and using a password manager can allow you to keep your site safe while reducing the stress of remembering each password. Also avoid sharing your passcodes with third parties.

Plugins:

Plugins are software components which add specific features to an existing computer program. They are mainly used to enable customization of a website to ensure the functionality is as expected by the users. Plugins are important if you want to make your online experience unique, fast and efficient.

However, the use of plugins might at times have the effect of slowing down or putting the entire site offline. This can be due to the incompatibility of the plugin with other programs within your website or can be as a result of wrong installation of the plugins.

To avoid such outcomes, do thorough research before incorporating any plugins into your website to determine its compatibility.

You can also use a professional programmer with prior knowledge of the use of plugins to guide you through the process.

Can you do without plugins? Yes you can but so can you sleep without a mosquito net before the mosquito season starts. Plugins eventually become necessary to a website.

Traffic spike:

The gist of any website is to attract as many people towards it as possible. The levels of traffic witnessed in a website is one of the key metrics in evaluating the performance of the site. However, this can be a double edge sword with the negative result being a slow loading website at worse or a totally crushed website at worst.

So how do you go about mitigating the challenge of spiked traffic levels? One of the straight forward solutions is increasing your hosting capacity.

Hosting platforms and the resources allocated to it determine greatly the number of people that can safely visit your website at once. Depending on the type of hosting your website may or may not be able to handle a traffic spike.

Preventing website crashes:

Now that we have gone through some of the major causes of website crashes, how then can you be able to prevent them from occurring?

Choose the right hosting platform:

One of the easiest and most efficient ways is to ensure your hosting platform is in line with the needs of your website. Since hosting determines the types and levels of activities your website can support you need to pick one with care and diligence.

Some of the hosting specifications to look at include:

·         Amount of storage space allocated.

·         Email features such as number of emails that can be sent per hour.

·         Type of hosting: shared or dedicated hosting.

·         Features and limitations of the hosting platform.

·         Technical support from the hosting entity to help you in times of down times.

Password usage:

Another way of preventing website crashes is by putting in place the necessary security measures which reject hacker and virus access to your website and its files. Frequent changing of password can also go a long way in prevent unauthorised access which may affect website functionality.

Frequent backups:

Make sure your website information, files and databases are backed up frequently. This gives you the peace of mind knowing that in an event your website crashes you have the data necessary to restore the site with its current content.

Updated software:

If your website is using a content management system, shopping carts, plugins or any other software to aide its operations then it is prudent to ensure these are always updated to their latest versions. If any of such software are outdated, they might impact the website negatively by significantly lowering the speeds or crashing the site all together.

Basic server checks:

Doing a check on the server settings can go a long way in preventing your website from having a downtime. Most hosting companies will place a data cap on the services available to a website. These data caps limit the amount of interactions such as send emails and the traffic it can sustain. While for a normal website this is normally not a problem, these data caps may interrupt website which experience unexpected surge in traffic and activities.

Though the removal of these data caps may come at a cost, it might be a good idea especially when your website matures and needs the extra data to support it.

The deepAfrica promise:

As an online solutions provider, deepAfrica has vast experience in dealing with and preventing website crashes. With our dedicated support and technical team we offer 24 hours monitoring of all websites and respond quickly to any challenges arising.

Our hosting servers are always up to date with the latest technology to give you a seamless online presence that is reliable and functional. All our websites are also programed with Secure Socket Layers which ensures any information sent from and received by your website is encrypted for security.

deepAfrica also ensure your passwords are frequently updated automatically to keep your website secure from unwarranted access.

Call deepAfrica today on 0712-500500 and experience an online presence with no interuptions.