5 Common Causes of Website Downtime (and How to Prevent Them)

20.03.2020

By: Drew Germyn

Categories: Hosting Servers, Technology

For business owners and entrepreneurs, there are few things more frustrating than website downtime. When your website isn’t available, it means that you’re potentially losing business and alienating customers. It’s essential to understand the common causes of website downtime and how to prevent them.

At Localnode, we provide reliable web hosting with superior hardware, and we guarantee 99.9% uptime for our valued clients. We believe it’s our responsibility to remove the worry of unexpected downtime.

Website owners may find it helpful to understand the most common causes of website downtime. Here’s what you need to know.
 

How Does Website Downtime Hurt Businesses?

Let’s start with the reasons why you should be concerned about website downtime. Website downtime hurts businesses because:

  • When your website isn’t available, the people who come to you looking for information, products or services won’t be able to find what they need.
  • The likelihood is strong that if your website isn’t available, people will find what they need somewhere else.
  • Repeated downtime can damage your company’s reputation online, making it more difficult for you to retain existing clients, attract new ones, and grow your business.

In other words, there are immediate and potential long-term costs associated with website downtime, and those things can do serious harm to your bottom line. It’s essential to do what you can to maximize your uptime.
 

What Causes Website Downtime?

The good news here is that, while many things may cause website downtime, there are actions you can take to minimize your risk. Here are five common causes of website downtime and some pointers on how to avoid them.

#1: DDoS Attacks

Distributed Denial of Service attacks, more commonly referred to as DDoS attacks, occur when bad actors attempt to make a website or online service unavailable by flooding it with traffic. When a DDoS attack occurs, it can lead to extended downtime and lost income.

The best way to prevent DDoS attacks from occurring is to implement layered security measures to identify attacks when they start. These may include firewalls, software, and around-the-clock monitoring. You can read more about Localnode’s security measures here.

#2: Hacking

Hacking can take many different forms, including DDoS attacks, malware, ransomware, and more. An attack that either directly or indirectly affects your server can cause your website to crash and leave your business hanging out to dry.

The best protection against hacking attacks is a robust firewall configuration combined with anti-virus and anti-malware software that’s regularly updated. At Localnode, all our servers are protected with:

  • CageFS, a virtualized file system that prevents users from detecting other users on your network
  • SecureLinks, which protects against the symbolic link attacks that are common in unsecured shared hosting environments
  • HardenedPHP, which protects websites that use older versions of PHP to mitigate vulnerabilities and keep your site safe

These are an example of the security tools we use to make sure we can deliver on our 99.9% uptime guarantee.

#3: Coding Errors

If you design your website yourself or try to update it without testing it, coding mistakes could lead to website downtime. Even a minor error in coding can cause chaos for your business.

The solution here is to hire a professional designer if you can afford one. If that’s not an option, then the key is to test every bit of coding before it goes live. That means setting up a staging environment on a local machine and testing each change to make sure it works as intended. After testing is complete, you can update your website.

#4: Infrastructure Problems

While many of the technological tools you use to run your business are in the cloud, some are physical. A key example? The servers, power supplies and other hardware that keep your website up and running. A disruption to any element of your site’s infrastructure can lead to website downtime.

The best way to prevent infrastructure problems is to partner with a reliable hosting provider that has protections in place to minimize infrastructure disruption. Some examples include:

  • Backup power supplies
  • Robust on-site security to prevent unauthorized personnel from accessing hardware
  • RAID configurations
  • Up-to-date hardware that’s appropriately maintained

At Localnode, we pride ourselves on using superior hardware to ensure that our clients don’t need to worry about website downtime.

#5: Software Problems

Finally, there are times that issues with your software (or your hosting company’s software) can cause website downtime. When software isn’t correctly updated and patched, you may end up with security or accessibility issues as a result.

The solution to avoiding website downtime caused by software issues is twofold. First, you should make sure that your software is updated regularly and that you install all security patches promptly. Don’t put off updates. Doing so can lead to using unsupported software that’s vulnerable to crashes and hacking.

The second key to avoiding software-related downtime is to partner with a reliable hosting company that uses superior software. For example, at Localnode, we use the best hosting software available. We take pride in our services, and you shouldn’t settle for a hosting company that uses software that’s out of date.
 

What Does a 99.9% Uptime Guarantee Mean?

Localnode’s 99.9% uptime guarantee means that you won’t need to worry about unexpected website downtime. We will give you plenty of notice if anything we do will lead to downtime. In other words, you will have time to plan and inform your clients of the need for updates.

It also means that it’s extremely unlikely that you’ll ever be surprised by downtime. We can’t predict every circumstance, but we use superior hardware and software on a reliable network you can count on to be there when you need it.
 

Conclusion

You rely on your website being there for your customers and potential customers. At Localnode, we strive to provide reliable web hosting that ensures your website is up and running around the clock – and protects you from losing business as a result of unexpected downtime.

Ready to see if Localnode’s reliable hosting services are right for you? Click here to learn more!

 

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