Has this scenario ever happened to you, personally I hope not. Just checking your site out to breeze over your latest revisions, everything is fine and you leave for a few minutes. Upon returning, you try to access your site and – Blammo – your site is down. At this point you only have a few emotions that resemble a hybrid of sheer panic, stress and anxiety as you attempt to access your website time and time again and it’s still off-line.
Granted, if you have a website that is visited from search engine spiders once a month, or every few weeks it no big deal right?
But to a thriving website with loads of traffic, a great reputation or lots of activity this can be disastrous. Down time from a bad server, or for lack of better terms digital gremlins that are known to show their faces from time to time can result in a dramatic dip in rankings (if search engines are attempting to access your site), loss of existing clients trying to access your site, or worse yet potential clients trying to reach your site for the first time being greeted with an error (not your best first impression right?).
So, what can you do? Screaming at your internet service provider or website host won’t help, maybe for a few minutes as your blood stops boiling, but instead here is a nifty little tool that you can use to check your server to see if all is up to par, just in case.
Personally having gone through one of the most agonizing hours of downtime in life of my website from switching to a dedicated IP address. The sense of helplessness that accompanies the experience is something you would only wish on your #1 competitor. One can only cross their fingers in the hopes that the server resolves and your back to business within a few minutes instead of days (which has been known to happen).
Server side issues can bring a business to it’s knees, so make sure that your website host can pass the muster and has 24 hour tech support to deal with real life circumstances as they unfold. Your online reputation is at stake and you are only as strong as your weakest link. Don’t let trying to save a few bucks on a hosting plan vs. getting a plan that can handle some serious bandwidth be the end of your website address as you knew it.
If you plan on doing SEO or article marketing for your website, make sure your servers handle the increased activity. Quite frankly, making the wrong decision regarding your hosting plan could result in your website getting buried from a top story at Digg by some heavy traffic (as website unavailable) or being able to fully capitalize on a newsworthy event that is directing droves of traffic to your site. Expect the best but plan for the worst so at least when or if it ever happens to you, you know what is causing the problem and can assist in diagnosing and fixing it in the least amount of time possible.