The Reasons Behind Website Crash
A website crash can be very frustrating if you are not aware of what’s causing it. If your business is dependent on uptime, the downtime can feel like your time is limited. But why is it down? What is the solution to the problem?
Website crashes happen, and it is not a rare occurrence. There have been big website crashes that people noticed, and outages cannot be avoided. However, it is not necessary to have outages for a long time.
Even if it does happy to almost any company, it is still something you should try to prevent because you lose business when this happens.
Most of the time, websites will be fine. If you configured your settings correctly and you have a good website design, then you should be okay. However, when a big PR pushes or gets a lot of attention, the increased volume can damage server set-ups that work for sites with a lot less traffic.
The Domain has Expired
Not renewing your website domain is a small oversight. Domain registration is a different service from web hosting. While you may still have an intact hosting plan, domains can still expire and cause your website to be down.
When this happens, renew your domain by logging in to your hosting account.
In order to prevent this from happening, set up a Domain Expiry/WHOIS so you are reminded 20 days before your domain expires. You are going to receive a notification when your domain is about to expire so you can renew it.
Plugins are added pieces of code that will “plug in” to your website so it will have more features and functions. This range could be a contact form, a calendar event, and a whole social network system.
Even if they are so good, since plugins are normally created by third-parties, they are not always stable.
In addition, some plugins are good until they are abandoned by their creators, which makes them buggy and outdated. Especially with WordPress, it is common to have a plugin installation and activation, online that it could cause a crash. You might also install a WordPress update that is incompatible with your plugin, and this causes a website crash.
That means too many people attempted to visit your website all at the same time.
It is like a mall-wide sale when there are lots of people that rush into a popular store all at once and then things get broken and many people are hurt. When there are too many people that try to visit your website at the same time, it is like that mall-wide sale.
You probably recall the time when Ellen Degeneres took a live selfie during the Oscars. It was caused by twelve very famous celebrities and there were too many retweets that it crashed Twitter. The same thing could happen to your website.
Make sure that you have a server that can handle a sudden website traffic rush so that you will not experience the same thing. You can also hire web maintenance experts to save you the trouble.
Hackers always look for unsecured domains where they can attack from. Hackers can test exploits, collect sensitive data, and gather important data regarding attacks from probing websites which do not seem to be ideal targets. These attacks can make your website crash and can land different blacklists that stop emails from hurting search traffic.
You can correct this by securing your website. WordPress websites are known for having spam comments that could crash websites and even email accounts. Therefore, turn off the commenting feature if it is not that important to you. Do not let users register if it is not necessary, and update your software and plugins. Remember to backup your stable installations so that you can revert it to a working version if you are stuck with no solution available except for that.
To keep this from happening, scan your website for viruses and malware that can destroy your reputation. Do a Malware/Virus check so it scans your website domains daily to detect issues if there are any.
Sometimes a website crash happens when you or another person who can access your website accidentally broke the code of your website.
This happens when something gets messed up when someone is doing maintenance or updates on the website. If your website crashes after someone working on it, then you know that it probably crashed due to a code error.
This can be difficult to solve, depending on where the error in the code is. You can ask help from a professional developer who can perform a website troubleshoot for a code error. If you did website updates, you can start from there.
You can prevent this by investing in development. That means you must avoid using WordPress there that are free or outdated. You must call a professional who can review everything if it is not done from scratch.
Power was Accidentally Switched Off
Data centers have emergency power switches (EPO). Generally, these are to help contain fires, as well as mitigating damages caused by emergencies. However, if someone invokes the EPO by accident during working hours, websites could crash.
There are times when emergency power-offs have no effect on the data center. In the past, the web hosting services of Amazon went through an outage which caused a lot of high-profile websites to be down. The problem was caused by an employee who got more servers offline compared to what was planned while they were debugging.
The issue of accidental power-offs is not only with WordPress-hosted websites. However, users of WordPress can back up their website on their own, by using third-party tools and solutions that are free to use. Knowing that you have a restore point option in case you lose power gives you peace of mind.
Brute Force Attacks
This is like the traffic spike except for two things. The traffic that goes to your website may come from virus software and spambots. That means they are attempting to get into the backend of your website.
Over the internet, there are little bots that crawl through different websites, trying to look for vulnerable ones they can access.
In order to prevent this, do regular maintenance and update plugins and open-source codes that you use. You must make sure that your website is using the latest CMS version if you use WordPress or any other CMS. In addition, do not upload code or script that you do not understand or trust.
DNS is how computers find your website on the internet. DNS errors cannot be pinpointed, but it is uncomplicated to solve.
Sometimes, DNS errors mean that there is a malicious attack.
In case it happens to you, check your hosting provider so you can see if there have been changes. Sometimes, they take time before an update and nothing really needs fixing.
After that, check nameservers to make sure they are taking you to the right place. In case you recently changed servers, that could be the issue. if your domain expired, it could have been the cause of the problem. After pinpointing the problem, you must make the right changes.
You can prevent this issue by having a DNS server check set up.
You Must Have a Website Recovery Plan
A solid recovery plan for a website is what differentiates a website that takes days to put back up and the one with a backup in minutes or hours. Here are two main elements of a recovery plan for websites:
- Access – You and the website team must have easy and direct access to the FTP/SFTP of your website login. If there is a control panel, make sure your web team can access that too.
- Have backups – Make sure that the backups run regularly and you store at least four backups all at one time. Your backups must be stored in different locations to the webserver.
Check if your team knows what they must do and make sure to have a plan in case the website crashes. Your team must have everything they need to get the latest backup and then upload it to your web server quickly.
You should also consider changing to a different hosting provider if it keeps happening. When your website experiences an outage, it is natural to consider if it is time to move to a different site. This is especially if resolving the issue takes too long. It is complicated, but it is worth it. Just keep in mind that if you are changing to a new domain host, your website and web-services need to change. That means the transaction servers, email, sales tools, and the analytics systems might have to be updated.
These are the causes of website crashes and what to do in case you encounter any of these issues. You might have to work extra hard to prevent them, but it will all be worth it.