If you use your website primarily for lead generation, it won’t hurt you too much if it goes down for a couple of hours or for a whole day. However, if your business transactions deeply rely on your website, even a couple of hours of downtime could cause severe damages to your business in terms of money, time, number of customers and not to mention the resources needed to get the site back up and running.
Having a crash plan for your site is very important if you plan on running a successful business, and this is why we are addressing this matter today.
Consider these strategies in order to prevent disastrous crashes that could severely damage your business.
One of the essential steps towards ensuring your e-commerce’s safety is performing daily backups of all the systems included in your site. However, part of your data will always be located on the external servers of your hosting provider.
All web hosting providers say that they backup your site, but you have to test them.
How do you do this? Simply upload a certain file to your website and delete it a couple of minutes after. After you have done this, ask your host to go and retrieve that file.
If your provider doesn’t get the file back in less than thirty minutes, then that service is not any good.
Nevertheless, even if your host is on time, you should backup your entire site by yourself. Consider using some free software such as FileZilla in order to copy all the relevant files and data to your internal systems via the control panel of your site.
Monitoring and Logging
I can’t stress this enough – you simply can’t leave everything to the web hosting provider if your website is used for generating revenue. As I’ve said before, it is important to keep a certain level of backup control on your own.
Another way you can achieve this is to make and run a manual log in which you will write what changes have been made to your site, when they were made and who made them.
All of these things will greatly increase the restoration speed of your website in case of a catastrophe. One other thing that you should put into work is a website monitoring service. This service will send an email to notify you if your website is currently down. The email is sent to the location you previously designated. There is a huge variety of website monitoring services, so learn more about them in order to choose the one that suits you the most.
Many hosting services claim they have 100 % uptime, but, in reality, there is no such thing, and many hosts like to sugar coat their service.
This is why it is important to choose a reliable and trustworthy service. If your current service is complicated for cooperation, get rid of that firm. It’s much better to have a hosting company that listens and is responsive, rather than one that is cheap but has a low quality service.
The next thing to consider is the level of service your business really needs. If you choose shared hosting, your site will be located on a computer with many other sites.
Although this option is cheap, you can’t really use it for customer or order data, as security is very low. For this type of website, you will need to get VPS (virtual private server) hosting. This is a dedicated server that is private and it is secured on a physical server via visualization technology. The most advanced hosting method is a dedicated physical server, which can handle high end sites that have huge daily traffic. Before choosing any of these, you should do even more research about the different types of hosting out there.
One last thing before we wrap up – if your website is subject to an outage, stay calm. The first thing you should do is call your hosting provider and see what’s happening. As soon as you are able, inform your customers about the problem you are experiencing and let them know when things will get back to normal. It is very important to communicate with your clients in order to reduce the damage.