High downtime for your WordPress website has disastrous consequences. When people click through to your site they want to be able to use it, but if it is offline your audience will quickly lose patience. So what can you do to reduce your WordPress website’s downtime?
In this article we are going to discuss how downtime can negatively affect your WordPress website and how you can monitor your downtime to see if it’s a problem. Critically, we are going to look at how you can improve your uptime to help make your site as successful as possible.
Why Downtime is Bad for Your WordPress Website
Common sense says that you don’t want your site to be offline. Downtime will frustrate, confuse, and upset your potential visitors. When people try to access your site, they are doing it with some goal in mind, whether that’s being entertained, learning something new, or making a purchase.
If your website is offline, it can cost you returning visitors, new leads, potential clients, and sales. Downtime can also mean that your site loses credibility with your audience and within your industry. A site that has problems with downtime portrays an image of unprofessionalism and would not be a first choice for paying clients. It definitely wouldn’t be considered to be a leader and authority in its field.
The other major reason that you don’t want a problem with downtime is that Google, and the other search engines, don’t like it. Regular download will very quickly start to affect your ranking in their results pages, and as we all know, the lower you fall the less traffic you will receive. Therefore, it’s vital you do all can to reduce your WordPress website’s downtime.
Use a Monitoring Solution to Track Downtime
The first thing you need to know when considering how to reduce your WordPress website’s downtime is just how much your site is affected by this issue. It may well be far more than you think.
One way to do this is to use a monitoring solution to see if, and when, your site is going offline. Here are a few options for measuring your WordPress website’s downtime.
Monitor will check you site every 5 minutes to see that it is online. If something goes wrong Jetpack will email you to let you know your site is down, and then again once it is back up and running. This will give you an accurate picture of when your site is offline and how long for each time.
Pingdom is a popular premium solution for those wanting a little bit more information about their sites performance. Pingdom provides uptime monitoring, using 60+ probe servers from all over the world to test your website up to every minute. If something breaks it immediately alerts you.
However, more impressively, Pingdom offers analytics to help you understand the root cause of each downtime issue. This means you can fix the problem and prevent it reoccurring, resulting in more uptime long term. Plus with the Pingdom Real User Monitoring plugin you can easily integrate Pingdom tools with your WOrdpress installation.
The first step in trying to reduce your WordPress website’s downtime is to measure its uptime. After all, as the old saying goes, if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.
Choose a Web Host With a Good Reputation
Once you have an idea of how often your site is suffering from downtime then you need to start addressing the causes. Your web hosting could well be one of the problems so it is important that you entrust your site to a professional hosting company that won’t let you down.
You’ve surely heard us talk about them before, but WP Engine is our top pick for a reliable host. They offer fully managed WordPress hosting plans that come with great technical support, free staging sites, powerful servers and an impressive 99.95% uptime guarantee.
You might see that uptime and wonder why it’s not 99.99% or even 100% – that’s because WP Engine allows for up to 0.05% of your server time each month for maintenance (and they even offer a credit of 5% of your monthly charge for each hour your site is down beyond). This is to keep your servers running fast and safe. Have you ever seen WPExplorer down? Probably not. That’s because the team at WP Engine is great at their job. Plus, if they do anticipate a server or datacenter being down for a prolonged period they’re proactive and will transfer your sites over to a new server to keep you up and running.
Want to learn more about WP Engine and all the features they offer with their managed WordPress hosting plans? Checkout our full WP Engine hosting review in the blog.
SiteGround is another feature rich managed hosting service. This one however, is at the more affordable end of the scale and therefore more accessible to everyone from bloggers to small businesses and beyond. SiteGround offers a selection of hosting options, including web, cloud, and dedicated hosting. It is quick and easy to setup and uses the most recent technologies in the hosting field.
Most importantly, however, like Pagely, SiteGround is renowned for its uptime. SiteGround boasts that its uptime is currently at 99.99%, a record that any hosting company would be proud of. Therefore, although it costs less than Pagely, SiteGround is still an impressive hosting solution that is definitely worth considering.
For more information about this great value service be sure to read our in-depth SiteGround WordPress hosting review.
Pagely is a high end hosting solution, aimed at large sites and big businesses. Offering fully managed WordPress specific hosting in the Amazon cloud, Pagely prides itself on being extremely scalable. Therefore it is a popular option for heavyweight brands with increasing traffic needs.
However, one of the main reasons that Pagely is so popular is that it offers 100% uptime (although it’s up to your good judgement whether or not you want to believe this 100% uptime guarantee)This means you never have to worry about your hosting service letting you down. Pagely might just give you peace of mind, and for all websites, whatever your size, this is invaluable.
More Tips For Choosing The Right Hosting
When choosing a web hosting provider don’t be swayed by the price or size of the outfit. It maybe a cheap deal, but if your web host can’t guarantee uptime then your site will quickly be losing the money you saved on hosting.
Equally, just because a hosting solution is well known, it doesn’t mean it is reliable. Even well-known hosts can have problems so do your research and check companies hosting reports before signing up.
Therefore, if you want to reduce your WordPress website’s downtime investing in quality hosting is a great place to start.
Keep Your Site’s Security Up to Date
One of the main ways your uptime can be effected is by security breaches. Issues with security can range from irritating viruses to your whole site being hacked, all which can increase your site’s downtime rate dramatically.
There are many ways of improving the security on your WordPress site. At the most basic level, you should regularly change your passwords, update WordPress themes and plugins, and perform daily malware scans. However, investing in a WordPress security plugin is one of the best ways to keep your site safe and your downtime at a minimum.
The WordPress Wordfence Security plugin provides free protection for your site against hackers and malware. Its Web Application Firewall prevents problems before they happen and the Wordfence Scan will instantly alert you in the event your site is compromised.
There is also a premium version of this plugin, incorporating a range of extra high tech security technologies, like real-time threat defense. Free or premium, Wordfence Security is a great plugin to install if you want to keep your site safe and online.
VaultPress is a premium security and backup solution for WordPress sites. This powerful feature rich plugin will not only protect your site from all security issues big and small but it also offers protection if the worst was to happen.
Imagine waking up tomorrow morning and your whole website had disappeared due to a security breach. Now we are talking about severe downtime, as you have to slowly but surely rebuild your site.
VaultPress enables you to backup your site and lets you restore it quickly and easily. Not only will you always have a workable copy of your site, but your uptime should never be seriously impacted.
The right backup plugin can greatly help reduce your WordPress website’s downtime in the unfortunate event of your site being hacked or corrupted in some other way.
Maintenance and Optimization
As well as implementing a robust backup and restore process, it’s important to carry out regular optimization and maintenance of your WordPress website, including its database.
And if this all sounds like too much work then you could always enlist the services of a professional WordPress support service and let them take care of reducing your WordPress website’s downtime.
The importance of putting in the work to reduce your WordPress website’s downtime cannot be underestimated. By choosing a professional web hosting service, monitoring your downtime, and keeping on top of your site’s security and maintenance tasks you should be able to maximize your site’s uptime.
This should result in better rankings in the search engines, happier visitors, and ultimately a more successful and better-performing website.
Does your website suffer from downtime? What do you think is causing it? Please let us know how you now plan to reduce your WordPress website’s downtime in the comments below.