Your website’s uptime is important to lots of people: your readers, customers, supporters, fans, and certainly you. You want to make as much money as possible, the most online sales, improve visitor metrics, and see the best conversion rates. Obviously, uptime is a critical factor. If you experience downtime often, no one can buy from your site, and potential customers will leave it in frustration. What’s more, your SEO will suffer as search engines will push down your ranking.
We outline several good practices to maximize efficiency, which include website uptime.
Monitor Your Website
Even the best websites can have downtime. What makes them the best is that they find out immediately and act. Remedying downtime starts with being aware of it. Tools like the Free Website Monitor app can track your site’s status in real-time. They keep you informed by verifying that it is responding and can check it for keyword changes and speed. There are also paid website monitoring tools to choose from. You can select between external testing sites and integrated plugins tailored to your hosting provider.
Choose a Reliable Web Host
On that note, your hosting service can make a huge difference. Your host should offer 99.9% uptime, transparent pricing, and scalability in case you need to accommodate rising traffic. If you’re just getting started with your online platform, you could go for shared hosting to save money. This means your site will share a server with other sites. The price will be within budget, but the other sites on the server will impact your site’s performance, often negatively, even causing it to slow down on occasion.
VPS hosting is still affordable, perhaps less so, but the quality is far better and makes up for the higher price. You have a portion of the server to yourself, so other user activity doesn’t affect you. If you choose managed hosting, the provider will take care of all hosting-related aspects, so you don’t have to. This frees up your time and efforts for more pressing tasks. Have a look at this list of some of the best managed VPS hosting providers on the market today.
Another great option is cloud hosting. It provides the flexibility to scale up if your traffic surges. Most businesses will benefit from cloud hosting as it ensures website performance that doesn’t come at the expense of scalability.
Asynchronous loading is recommended if you want to optimize loading times. You load native content first rather than the whole webpage at the same time. Third-party content such as embedded videos, live chat, and social media feeds follows. If you implement this approach, no crashing third-party content will ever drag down the page with it.
Use Web Caching
Caching saves a lot of time. If it didn’t exist, your server would go through the cumbersome process of retrieving your web pages for each visitor whenever they want to open them. The retrieval process involves enabling images and fonts, going through headers and footers, generating widgets, etc.
When you enable caching, the server remembers the end result for each visitor. It increases your site’s loading speed and reduces the risk of downtime.
A website can go down for all kinds of reasons: a viral post, a server issue, a hack, etc. Maintaining high security of your website and server can ensure uptime even during a cyberattack.
There is a lot you can do yourself:
- Choose strong passwords
- Update your content management system consistently
- Keep all of your apps, plugins, integrations, and tools up to date
- Check your web permissions – they could be inviting cybercriminals in
Every other measure is up to your web hosting provider. Always choose hosting companies that guarantee high security and are serious about data safety.
Improve Your DNS
Every visitor to your website interacts with the Domain Name Server (DNS), which hosting providers bundle with other services. Your whole site becomes inaccessible if your DNS experiences downtime.
You can upgrade your DNS service to prevent downtime in a process known as automatic failover. If you set this up, your site moves to the next closest server in the network if the regular DNS crashes. DNS upgrades cost more than regular services, but this investment is worth making.