9 best practices for improving your website uptime

A website is the key to your business ROI, to the success of your brand, and to the happiness of your customer. Just like a traditional brick-and-mortar business needs to be stocked, friendly, and clean, so also your website needs to run as fast and efficiently as possible. Conversely, when your website is down for scheduled or unscheduled maintenance then that’s cutting into your revenue and potentially driving away new customers.

 

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Industry experts suggest that downtime can cost as much as $7900 per minute. That’s a staggering $474,000/hour! Obviously, a down website results in lost time and money not to mention frustrated customers. There are going to be scheduled maintenance windows obviously. But that’s the exception; the norm should be to aim for uptime 99.99% of the time. In order to be mindful of the importance of continuous operations, let’s walk through 9 best practices that you should adopt to guarantee your website is operating as efficiently as possible.

1. Check Your Web Hosting

When thinking about your uptime strategy you also want to keep tabs on your web hosting service. They may offer you unlimited bandwidth but does that mean shared service with other sites that ends up affecting your own web performance? Are you frequently experiencing downtime or bandwidth issues? If so, it’s worthwhile to review your hosting options to ensure you’re getting the most efficient service. Don’t be afraid to insist on 99.99% uptime.

2. Have a Contingency Plan in Place

Though highly unlikely, in the event that your host is down for an extended period of time, you need to have a backup plan in place. Don’t just leave things to chance as the cost is just too high. You should have hosting in place with a backup of your site saved on the backup host’s servers.

3. Reduce Image Size

Website uptime is often related to your website hosting. But remember, in this day and age if your customers have to wait a long time for your site to load up it might as well be like a scheduled downtime because they’ll leave and never return. So the more you optimize your front-end, the better your performance and overall user experience will be. One place to start is with your image size. According to the HTTP Archive, 61 percent of a website’s page weight on a desktop computer is images. Make sure that your images are appropriately sized. Adopting new image formats, such as WebP and JPeg XR, can also help reduce image weight by 20 to 50 percent without sacrificing quality.

 

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4. Try a CDN

A content delivery network is a way of taking a website’s static files, like CSS, images, and JavaScript, and delivering them through web servers that are closer to the user’s physical location. Shorter proximity amounts to faster load time and ultimately better performance. But another benefit is that by offloading the bandwidth you also get less risk of downtime disruptions due to traffic volumes. Every way you look at it a CDN is a win-win for uptime.

5. Compress JavaScripts & Load Asynchronously

Just like it sounds, compressing your JavaScript files will remove extra spaces to shrink file size and ultimately improve load time. Another trick is to think about loading any of your third party JavaScripts asynchronously. Websites today are increasingly integrated with third party content: social media, chat features, commenting services, information feeds, and others. So if you load async then in the event the third-party crashes, your page won’t be held up trying to load that resource. Async loading can also speed up page loads.

6. Improve DNS

Domain Name System, or DNS, is an Internet service that translates domain names into IP addresses. DNS is often overlooked, since it’s an attribute of your website host. But it shouldn’t be ignored because if DNS is down then your site won’t work. It would be worthwhile to check with your host about upgrading from standard to premium DNS services to ensure an automatic failover to other servers on the network if the closest server goes down.

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7. Build Redundancy into Your Website

Another step to take in guaranteeing continual uptime is to invest in a DDoS mitigation platform. This kind of service can optimize and scale up your infrastructure if you experience a DDOS (distributed denial of service attack). The way it works is by redirecting your web traffic to the platform server farms so that your site keeps on running inspite of being under attack.

8. Communicate Scheduled Downtime Early

The bigger and more sophisticated your E-commerce site becomes, the more likely you’ll need scheduled maintenances. You should list prominently on your website exactly when it will be down for maintenance so that your best customers will be informed in advance. This is all about courtesy and your customers will understand.

9. Enlist Monitis for 24/7 Website Monitoring

No technique for optimizing your uptime is as powerful as that of a quality website monitoring service. It’s impossible to manually do this, but thanks to the cloud there are services now available that will keep metrics on your site 24/7.  Wouldn’t it be nice to have a monitoring service keeping an eagle eye on your site for you? How about having a service notify you of any downtime events that are in progress instead of discovering it too late? Better yet, what about knowing in advance when there’s a performance drop so you can save the sales you would otherwise lose from downtime? If you answered affirmatively to all of these questions (and who wouldn’t?!) then you need to look into Monitis 24/7 monitoring service. With its first-class global service, Monitis lets businesses monitor their network anytime and from anywhere, including website uptime monitoring, full page load and transaction monitoring, and web load testing. The benefits and takeaways from Monitis are peace of mind and less stress. Knowing about the issues before they strike means you can be proactive rather than reactive. This is good for you and your business, and ultimately leads to better performance and happier customers.

 

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If you’d like to get onboard with the latest in real-time, cloud-based website monitoring then go on over to Monitis today and start a free trial. Let them “keep an eagle eye” on your infrastructure so you can enjoy life and focus on the things that really matter.

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