How to Prevent Website Downtime
Website downtime is the amount of time that your site is not available to its visitors.
A website is described as being “down” when it is:
- Not accessible
- Unable to perform its primary task
Downtime is a serious threat. It can impact brand reputation. Businesses can lose potential customers. It negatively impacts page speed and search engine rankings.
Website downtime cannot be 100% avoided but it is important to be prepared with measures to reduce downtimes as much as possible.
In this article, we’ll explore proactive tips to prevent downtime.
1. Choose the right infrastructure and hosting plan
Select a scalable infrastructure that can handle huge traffic. A sudden increase in traffic can cause your website to fail. It is important to take a hosting server with enough resources for traffic spikes.
Determine your ideal server size. Indicate the power of the hosting package with
- Hard Drive Space
Two things to consider in good hosts to maintain website uptime:
- The power of its server resources
- The ability to scale those resources
You must also select a hosting plan that suits the scale of your website.
Many website owners select shared hosting for its low cost. Often a shared hosting provider has multiple projects running on one physical server. This leads to limited resources availability and poor performance.
Dedicated hosting has one main drawback; It does not scale.
The best solution would be a cloud hosting provider. A managed cloud hosting provider with a flexible hosting plan lets you easily scale as needed.
2. Enable security
Security plays a huge role in your website’s total uptime. Numerous security threats and cyber attacks can lead to downtime.
- A Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack. It causes server overload to bring the website down.
- Brute force attacks
- Poorly coded or outdated software
- Domain Name System (DNS) cache poisoning
Following are some of the key strategies to secure your website:
Use Website Security Solutions An all-in-one security solution protects and monitors your website. It notifies you of issues and provides solutions to address them. Sucuri is one such cloud-based security platform. It is a security toolset for security hardening.
Set up a Web Application Firewall (WAF) A firewall helps protect your site against common web exploits and bots. It monitors your website’s traffic and blocks suspicious users. It protects your website from a variety of attacks. Such as cross-site scripting (XSS), SQL injection, and cookie poisoning, etc.
Implement a Content Delivery Network (CDN) If your website is under high load, a CDN will ensure that all static content can be delivered an edge next to the visitor.
Limit login attempts Hackers use bots to gain entry to your site by repeatedly testing login credentials. Limiting login attempts can help you prevent brute force attacks.
Enable two-factor verification You can prevent hackers from gaining access to your dashboard by enabling two or more verification methods.
Scan for malware A website malware scanner can analyze your site. It determines if malicious code has been added. It scans your website and generates security reports.
Close Unused Ports Open ports allow hackers to configure the service to gain access to sensitive data. Closing ports are like shutting the door on hackers. System admins can scan and close open ports to avoid data breaches.
Keep all your systems updated with the latest security patches
- Managed switches
- Load balancers
- Operating systems
- Web servers
- Languages and their libraries
3. Zero Downtime Deployments
In a Zero Downtime Deployment method, your website is never down during the deployment process.
Here, the web server doesn’t serve the changed code until the entire deployment process is completed.
Many organizations are adopting (CI/CD) pipeline to avoid the risk of deployments. CI/CD stands for Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery.
CI/CD pipeline identifies and diagnoses issues before they’re deployed to production. The CI/CD pipeline is the automation that enables incremental code changes to be delivered quickly and reliably.
In very simple terms, it helps minimize downtime when delivering frequent changes. It protects your website from bugs. Resolves availability issues to enhance user experience.
4. Implement Fine-Grained Access Control
Fine-grained access control is a method of controlling who can access what.
It enables you to design and implement access plans.
A limited access to the employees helps avoid errors in the production environment.
The Access control can be based on several specific factors. Including the role of the person requesting access and the intention upon the data.
For example, one employee may be given access to edit and make changes to a piece of code. While others may get access only to read the code.
5. Set up Network Traffic Monitoring
Proactively monitoring your network is the best way to prevent unplanned network outages.
Server monitoring tools monitor your site and alert you if it is down. It also gives you the visibility you need to stay one step ahead of potential issues. It employs an approach of early detection to avoid downtime.
Network monitoring solution gives you the ability to monitor your network in real-time. It gives you reports and status updates of your website.
By monitoring network traffic, you can:
- Optimize network performance
- Monitor your network's bandwidth usage in real-time
- Troubleshoot a slow network
- Monitor traffic flow and resource usage patterns
- Monitor response time and uptime
- Detect malware activities
- Get alerts when server statistics reaches their threshold
6. Set Up Monitoring Alerts
Pick a server monitoring tool that checks website performance 24*7.
Set up monitoring alerts to receive notifications and alarms. If your website doesn’t respond properly, set up instant alerts to inform you of the issue.
Alerts can send you reports, notifications, reminders, and alarms via multiple channels.
In your monitoring and alerting strategy:
- Configure threshold monitoring
- Create alerts to send you reminders when resources are on the brink of reaching the threshold
- Ensure monitoring rules around deployment. Make sure it doesn’t go to production without suitable alert rules.
- Set up sending of alerts to the right people
- Classify alerts based on priority
- Establish a policy to handle high priority alerts
Monitoring alerts help you take action on time. It lets you work towards a resolution more quickly.
It should be the topmost priority for you to ensure uptime. With the tips mentioned above, you can prevent website downtime.
Take cloud hosting for better infrastructure flexibility. Monitor your server and set up monitoring alerts.
Take a proactive approach to security. Ensure everything is patched with the latest updates.
Ensure plugins and themes are compatible with your website. Maintain regular backups to restore your data in case of a disaster.
If you do not wish to do all of this on your own, we recommend taking a managed hosting service.