Internet outages can wreak havoc on companies who rely on continuous connectivity to conduct their business. It has been estimated that e-commerce generates $1.2 million every 30 seconds. That means that even brief Internet outages can cost online businesses a LOT of money. Even if you are not operating fully in the e-commerce world, your business probably still relies heavily on the Internet to get your day-to-day tasks done, especially if you have a cloud-based VoIP phone system or cloud data storage.
While business owners do what they can to prevent costly Internet outages, sometimes they are unavoidable. What causes an Internet outage? What can be done to prevent one? What can you do to solve the problem if one occurs?
There are many potential causes of an outage. Below we will walk through a few of the big ones and discuss possible solutions.
While heavy website traffic is usually a good thing, it does have some potentially adverse consequences and can be the cause of a crash if your server gets overloaded. Some possible precautions include:
- Make sure you use a content management system (CMS) that is designed to support the type of traffic you are going to receive. For example, WordPress is designed for blogging, so you would not want to use it to for e-commerce. Find a CMS designed with e-commerce traffic in mind.
- Use a reliable web hosting service.
- Minimize your HTTP requests.
Hackers are incredibly talented at getting into your system and causing all sorts of chaos. Sometimes this can result in outages, but it can also lead to the compromising of sensitive information. There are many ways to minimize your risk, though, including:
- Using security software and safeguards.
- Keeping your software up to date.
- Not putting too much information in your failed log in error messages.
- Creative Bloq lists and details many additional ways to protect yourself from hackers.
Sometimes, natural disasters, construction, and other uncontrollable events disrupts wiring and causes the server to fail. This is a lot harder to control, but there are potential solutions.
For example, you should have a secondary server and power source that can be used as a backup. Make sure you have a backup plan should your servers and hardware to go down at some point.
If you want your website to be current and not look outdated, then you are going to find yourself needing to fix and improve your system at some point. Some maintenance might be able to be performed without interrupting service, but others may cause a disruption.
To avoid this concern, perform maintenance at times when you know you are going to have less traffic. That way, if you do have an issue, you are causing issues for as few potential or current customers as possible.
Similar to regular maintenance, all of the equipment that it takes to run a website must be kept in shape as well. Sometimes, this means that a router might need to be unplugged, a switch has to be replaced, or any other number of equipment will require maintenance.
Here too, you want to make these fixes as quickly as possible while still being effective for long-term sustainability. We suggest making hardware changes overnight and during low-traffic parts of your day.
Other Prevention Methods
Perhaps one of the best things that you can do to prevent or minimize outages is to use a service that does it for you. Allied Always-On Internet solutions could be just what you need. Having someone monitor your network for problems at all times, provide access speeds that grow with you, and equipment installed and managed by an expert, lets you rest safer in the knowledge that your Internet is fully functional.
Some outages are inevitable, but with a little bit of foresight and upkeep, they can be minimized. You must plan for outages so that you are always prepared to deal with them.