Your business relies on its website. In one way or another it’s a vital tool for your customers, and it’s important that they can always access it. Whether they just use it for contact information, lead generation or you have an e-commerce platform to sell your products and services, you can easily work out what downtime could cost in lost revenue and opportunities. Some will be worth a lot more than others, depending on the nature of their business, the type of website, and the amount of traffic it serves.
Downtime can be expensive! If you’ve got an e-commerce store, it’s VITAL that you’re always online. You’re selling your products 24 hours a day, every day! Any amount of downtime is lost revenue for your business. It’s a lot easier to calculate the value of lost revenue on an e-commerce platform that’s down for a period of time, than a missed enquiry. You need to factor in your conversion rates for both instances, along with your average order/client lifetime value.
Here at 33Technologies, we specialise in ensuring your website stays online all the time. We use a variety of techniques to ensure that your business websites and applications are always available.
Use the right provider
There are thousands of hosting providers out there, ourselves included, but there is a huge difference in the types of hosting that they provide, This comes down to the core architecture of the host. A lot of web hosting is shared hosting, a cheap monthly/yearly fee that will be suitable for websites not getting a lot of traffic. These types of hosts are great, but typically have a weaker SLA attached.
Realising this, your next biggest concern is, how much traffic is your website getting. This is one of the most important numbers to know before you invest in your web host. Find out if they’re geared towards handling multiple hundreds, thousands, or millions of users. If you’re expecting a lot of traffic, it’s going to cost you more. Pick a provider that will enable you to grow and scale without downtime.
Questions to ask of their architecture:
- Is it highly available?
- Is it shared hosting?
- What sort of resources do I get?
- Do you do backups and at what frequency?
- What is your response/resolution SLA?
Managed hosting, simply is utilising a dedicated or virtual server providers infrastructure to host an application/website where by the server configuration and maintenance is managed by another platform or party. So you get all of the performance benefits of a Virtual Private Server (VPS), without any of the hassle of having to know how to configure it yourself. VPS typically offer you dedicated resources, i.e. cpu, memory, SSD that is far superior to a share hosting provider.
The biggest differentiator for hosting providers is their architecture. For us, we offer a managed single virtual private server for each customer, with specs that match their requirements + room for spikes. While that isn’t highly available, it offers a cost effective solution to people who can afford a little bit of downtime in case of disaster recovery.
We also offer packages that have multiple servers and databases that is fault tolerant and redundant in nature, utilising Amazon Web Services. These types of setups are a bit more expensive, but allows for fault tolerance and redundancy. The systems are also usually self healing too! We call this Managed Cloud.
Downtime can also be attributed to hackers gaining access to systems and then rendering them unrepairable, at least not without a recent backup. Which could mean you’re losing hours/days worth of data if your backup schedule isn’t appropriate.
You can easily help to mitigate this risk by ensuring that your web host is up to date with their most recent security patches for both services and operating systems.
Monitor your website
There are plenty of third party plugins and services out there will help you to monitor the uptime of your website. These services allow you to get notifications sent to you appropriate people in your organisation to start actioning the processes to get it resolved. Your web host should already have something like this, but often times they don’t monitor individual websites, just the host itself.
Reduce the impact that downtime can have on your website by ensuring that your have backups scheduled regularly. The more often you backup, the less data you’ll lose incase of disaster recovery.