No one likes it when their website is down. Downtime is more than just an annoyance or something to avoid. In fact, downtime costs $2.5 billion dollars each year to Fortune 1000 businesses alone. Imagine how much downtime is costing you and your business. The good news is that many causes of downtime can be completely avoided by following a few steps.
1. Set up CloudFlare
CloudFare is a life saver when it comes to saving your website from downtime. Even in the event that your website goes offline, CloudFlare will save a cached copy of the website to be available for your visitors. Two great things about CloudFlare is that it is both completely free (paid addons available), and that it is easy to set up. Usually
CloudFlare can be set up with just a few clicks within cPanel.
This is a great solution for company websites or for blogs, but it isn’t ideal for interactive sites like forums or shopping carts. This is because forums and shopping carts require users to interact directly with the website, so there are other options that might be better fitting.
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2. Optimize your website
Back in the early days of Twitter, seeing the twitter fail whale was just another common occurrence. It just meant that the website had overloaded its capacity (again). The same exact occurrence can happen with your website. Imagine that your great new article just got picked up on Hackernews or just hit the front page of Reddit. You can keep your website online and eliminate this downtime by optimizing your website. One super easy way to optimize your site is to include caching software. If you’re running a WordPress site, you can use WP Super Cache. Most content management systems, forum systems, and even shopping cart systems include some variant of
caching software. This saves server resources by not requiring the site to be fetched dynamically each time the page is requested.
If you’re not completely sure about optimizing your website, talk to your web host, who will certainly be able to provide some tips and information on how to get your website loading faster.
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3. Choose a DDoS Protected web host
Sometimes downtime is not caused by your site being extremely popular or hitting the front page of Reddit. Unfortunately, downtime is sometimes caused by malicious individuals or competitors who can profit from your website’s downtime. DDoS attacks occur when malicious individuals send large amounts of traffic in continued waves in order to exhaust the bandwidth of your website. One way to imagine the flow of traffic is like two pipes. For your website, it has a shared pipe for incoming and outgoing traffic.
In a DDoS attack, individuals will send thousands of requests through the pipe in order to leave no room in the pipe for outgoing traffic. The only way to deal with DDoS attacks is to find a DDoS protected web hosting provider. A good DDoS protected provider will be able to stop the attacks before they start in some cases, or it may take up to a minute for the DDoS protection to come online. This means that your website will never go down due to malicious attacks from others.