Website Speed Matters: How Downtime and Slow Page Load Time Burns a Hole in Your Pocket

If you have an online business or a website, then downtime can be a nightmare. Ideally, it applies to the duration when the web server hosting a website becomes unavailable. It has been noticed that frequent downtime can cause an adverse effect on one’s business. It might sound surprising, but even some of the biggest tech companies in the world like Facebook, Twitter, Samsung, and eBay have also suffered from the negative consequences of downtime. So how to avoid it and maximize your website’s uptime? Here’s an informative post, plus an infographic from BestHostAdvisor, on downtime and its effect on a website that will answer every related query of yours.

Is your Website Slow or Down?

Before we get into the details, it is important to diagnose the present status of your website. A lot of people get confused between a down and a slow website. Ideally, if your website is not loading at all and its server is not responding, then it is considered down. On the other hand, a slow website simply takes more time to load. A busy server or overloaded traffic could be the reason behind it.

It has been noticed that 47% of users expect a website to be loaded within 2 seconds. Not just that – around 53% of the mobile web users would leave the website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. Needless to say, having a fast-loading website is as important as having less downtime.

What is Downtime?

A downtime is considered as the time period in which a website becomes unavailable. An unplanned event and a planned maintenance are the two major scenarios for causing a downtime. Mostly, the server where the website is hosted fails to respond or malfunctions. Communication failure and network outage are some of the other triggers for this issue.

Even after the server becomes responsive, a website takes some time to function ideally. It has been noticed that only 2% of the websites in the world function normally within an hour of their downtime fix. On average, it takes 4.7 hours for a website to function properly after its downtime. This not only causes a loss in business, but also makes the website vulnerable to threats.

What are the Common Causes of Downtime?

Before we get to know how to minimize downtime, it is important to identify what can cause this problem. In this way, you can look out for these common triggers and even try to avoid them in the future.

Network outage
More than 50% of the downtime instances are linked to network outage. In this, either the communication or the main server malfunctions.

System or application error
This is a more software-related issue. The application interface or the running system on the server can crash, making it unavailable.

Any server can only host a maximum limit of requests. When the number of requests crosses the threshold, the server overloads. The infamous DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack exploits the same.

Hardware failure
This is the most common cause of downtime these days. It has been noticed that a switch, processing unit, or any other hardware component can fail. This disrupts the entire server, causing it to be down.

Other issues
A natural disaster, device error, or human mistakes are some other causes of downtime.

Negative Effects of Downtime

Needless to say, downtime is not good for any online business. Following are some of the major consequences that websites or online business owners suffer from downtime.
  • A huge chunk of revenue and website traffic can be lost during the downtime.
  • It also affects the trust of the end-users and customers on your brand.
  • The repairing cost of fixing the damage and running the website again can be a lot.
  • If your website is not running, then your customers and leads would automatically go to your competitors.
  • It will directly impact your marketing campaigns and the output of sales funnels.
  • Chances are that search engines would rate your website low (due to high bounce rate)
  • It would also make your website vulnerable to hacks and security threats.
  • Slow downtiming, hijacked pages, and slow loading time are some other adverse manifestations of downtime.

How to Handle Downtime like a Pro?

As you can see, downtime can cause more damage to your website (and its reputation) than you can imagine. In order to avoid downtime, consider following these expert suggestions.

Things to do in advance
  • Firstly, buy a DNS backup service. In this way, the DNS (Domain Name Server) of your website will remain safe even if the server won’t load.
  • Use a monitoring server, keep an eye on the overall performance of your website. There are all kinds of free and paid monitoring tools that can perform in-depth auditing of your website.
  • You can consider testing different verticals and pages of your website at regular intervals. Also, set up instant alerts so that you will get notified first as soon your website is down.
  • Apart from the DNS, make sure that all the data hosted on your website has a dedicated backup copy. In this way, even if the data is wiped off from the main server, you can extract it from a previous backup.
  • Check the domain registration and its expiry date. Make sure that the domain is not outdated.
  • Maintain a copy of server downtime error codes so that you can easily diagnose the issue.
  • Take the assistance of Google Webmasters Tool that would help you diagnose your website and track any issue.
Things to do during downtime
  • Firstly, try to access your website from different sources and devices to ensure that it is down or not.
  • Immediately, try to diagnose the issue behind it. If you are getting an error on your server, then decode the message or look up on the error log.
  • Get in touch with the hosting service of the website to check the issue and get dedicated assistance.
  • Post a message on your website, letting the visitors know in a creative way that your website would be back.
  • Once the servers are up, test the website, and make sure that everything is running smoothly without any trouble.

Some Interesting Facts and Tips

Downtime is a serious global issue. On average, $66 per minute is lost by medium-scale companies due to downtime.

One of the biggest downtime issues is recorded by Facebook. It was down for almost a day, costing the social media giant $11.7 million in revenue loss.

Even e-commerce companies like eBay, Amazon, and Nordstrom have also suffered from downtime. A one-day downtime costs eBay $28 million in revenue.

A fast-loading website is extremely important for any business. Amazon did a research that showed the website would lose $1.6 billion annually if it would be slowed by just one second.

If you are doing regular maintenance of the website and would like to make it unavailable, then prefer informing the users in advance. Alternatively, you can consider doing it when you get the least traffic on the website.

How Downtime and Speed Affects Your Website [Infographic]

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