What to do When Your Website Crashes
One minute everything is running fine and the next you’re getting an instant alert: your website is offline. Like most companies, you likely rely on your website for a lot, most importantly as a way to interact with customers and partners.
So what do you do? Whether it’s the middle of the night or on Black Friday, you need a plan for how to get your site back online as quick as possible. Here are a few tips and tricks to keep in mind.
Know Your Website Hosts
Almost all companies outsource their website hosting to a third party, so before your website goes down make sure to know all the proper channels to contact there. The last thing you want to do is be looking for numbers and emails while your site is down, so keep the contact information in an easy place to find. Also check that you have all relevant IDs and passwords along with a list of approved decision-makers that can act on your site’s behalf in a speedy manor.
Communicate in Other Ways
One of the benefits of technology today is the proliferation of ways to communicate with customers. You can use Twitter and Facebook accounts to provide outsiders with information about technical difficulties and provide alternate ways to interact with the company. While not a catch-all, it shows your company is on top of the problem and looking to fix it.
Have a Backup Ready
It may not be financially viable to host two full sites, especially if you are a smaller business. That doesn’t mean you can’t have a backup one ready to go. Consider building a stripped down version of your site that can inform customers of the main outage and provide ways to interact with the company. It’s a nice safety net for when a site goes down as long as it is kept relatively up to date.
Double Check You Are Actually Down
This is where a site like Uptime.com comes in. Before you jump into action, get confirmation that your site is down from everywhere, opposed to an issue on your computer or a local network acting up. Uptime.com will alert you when your site is actually down, so you can avoid this step in most cases, but it’s a good practice to be in. You don’t want to start calling people and alerting employees until you are sure.
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