When the site is down due to web host failure, the first thing that comes to anybody’s mind is to change the service or opt for a better plan. But this is not the ultimate solution because even the big players in hosting service experience downtime issues. Since the problem is not in your control, when downtime instances happen you just have to wait for the hosting service to resolve the issue. In the meantime, customers suffer as they cannot reach your website and the business loses its sales & revenues. In case of frequent or extended downtimes, the effects are much worse. It also impacts on customer retention, branding and search engine rankings. Hence to avoid the setbacks, online businesses have to ensure continuity of their websites by having a failover plan in place.
Implementing failover support for websites help businesses maintain service continuity during planned and unplanned outages. Regardless of the downtime issue, it ensures websites are constantly available for user activity. Ideally, the process would be seamless that the customers wouldn’t even know about the issues. When it comes to failover strategies businesses have their own unique requirements. However, there are some key aspects that need to be included in every website failover solution.
Businesses use Website monitoring service to check the status of their websites and detect reasons for site failures. It is not uncommon for websites to suffer downtime or performance issues during peak hours. Web site monitoring service keeps consistent check on websites & servers and alerts you promptly as soon as the site goes down. It helps to quickly identify the issue that is causing the negative performance or website failure. This helps you to act immediately on resolving the issue and initiate failover plan for website continuity.
Keeping an up-to-date redundant copy of the website helps businesses easily address downtime issues. If you are hosting your own website servers, make sure you have drive space allocated for backups. Remember, the changes you make to the site should be applied to the backup copy so that you will have a current version of website. In case if you are using third party hosting, make sure they have an option for backup. Check if you can configure automatic backups for critical data & content in case if unexpected downtime occurs. You may also need to check with them to get a clear understanding on how they can help you out when server issues happen.
If you receive an alert from website monitoring service notifying outage of primary webhost, it is necessary to redirect site to backup website server. This should happen seamlessly without any notable negative impact on user activity. The good news is that website monitoring service offers an advanced technology feature called webhooks to automate the redirection of IP addresses to the backup web servers. As soon as the site goes down, the DNS associated with the failed domain gets redirected to the alternate IP address. Thus, even during outages occasions the site keeps working as usual without any noticeable difference in site speed and performance.
Keep Customers Notified
When downtime happens, how you communicate the message to the customers is also important. Instead of reacting to the situations at the time of outage, it is better to establish relations with the customers from the beginning. For instance, if you are planning to use social media channels for contacting customers, keep the communication active. This way it becomes easy to put across the message to your audience. Keeping the customers informed reduces customer frustration and keeps them calm during the events of downtime.
Alertra is a leading provider of web site monitoring and alerting services. We monitor the availability and performance of Internet-connected devices. As part of website monitoring service, we provide timely alert notifications and access to detailed reporting. We offer monitoring service to all sizes of businesses right from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies.