More so than ever before, people are reliant on the internet to find the products or services they need. So, server downtime can have a significant impact on businesses of all sizes. It is particularly detrimental to e-commerce businesses and those who operate solely online, and the importance of finding a reliable hosting solution can’t be overstated. 

Understanding what server downtime is, what causes it and how you can be proactive in preventing it is crucial for business owners. Whether you have a website or you run another online application, keep reading to find out more. Below we have explored the concept of server downtime and how it can impact your business. 

What is Server Downtime?

In short, server downtime refers to a period when a server becomes unavailable. During downtime, a server won’t respond to user requests, resulting in the disruption of website services, email communications and other online functionalities. Server downtime can occur due to various reasons and sometimes, it’s unavoidable. It’s important for hosting providers to have plans in place to not only reduce the likelihood of downtime but get servers back up and running again as quickly as possible after unexpected downtime.

The Impact of Server Downtime on Businesses

Server downtime can have a direct impact on businesses that are hosting their websites or applications on the server. Some of the biggest consequences of server downtime for businesses include; 

Loss of Revenue

When a server goes down, websites, online stores and all other digital services become completely inaccessible to customers. This leads to a loss of potential sales and revenue. Whether you have an e-commerce business and you’re unable to process new orders or a service-based business and you’re unable to provide online consultations, downtime will greatly impact your revenue generation.

Damaged Reputation

Customers have come to expect uninterrupted access to websites. When downtime occurs, it can impact the thoughts and opinions customers have towards your business, and result in damage to your reputation. Frustrating experiences trying to access your business’s website can result in customers turning to your competitors instead. Rebuilding your customers’ trust can be both time-consuming and expensive. 

Customer Dissatisfaction 

Since server downtime directly affects user experience, it also impacts overall customer satisfaction. Slow-loading websites or error messages can be infuriating and cause customers to give up on your business. This can result in a loss of existing customers and also deter potential customers from using your services. Unfortunately, unhappy customers often share their dissatisfaction with others and this can impact your future success. 

Search Engine Rankings

Search engines like Google have several ranking factors that impact where your website is shown in search results, including website performance and availability. Frequent server downtime can negatively affect your search engine optimisation efforts, leading to a drop in organic search results and reduced online visibility. This further impacts your website traffic and customer acquisition rates.

Missed Opportunities

Unfortunately, server downtime can occur at any time, including during peak traffic periods or critical marketing campaigns. This can result in you missing out on significant opportunities to capture the attention of customers. Whether you’re launching a new product or you have a time-limited promotion, server downtime can cause several problems. Missed opportunities can have long-term repercussions on growth and market competitiveness.

Common Causes of Server Downtime

There are lots of different reasons why a server may stop working and downtime is commonly caused by things such as;

  • Hardware Failures – Faulty components, power issues and hardware malfunctions can all cause server downtime. Even something as simple as overheating can lead to system crashes and disrupt services.
  • Software Glitches – Software errors and compatibility issues can cause server downtime. Inadequately tested software updates or faulty configurations can result in system failures and servers going down.
  • Security Breaches – Successful hacking attempts, malware infections and data breaches can lead to server downtime. Ineffective or compromised security measures can result in prolonged downtime and several other problems for businesses. 
  • Human Errors – Mistakes made by administrators, developers and maintenance personnel can cause server downtime. Accidentally deleting critical files and improper system changes can lead to service disruptions.

How to Avoid Server Downtime

There are a few things you can do as a website owner to help reduce the likelihood of server downtime and avoid its repercussions. Remember, the hosting company and server solution you choose will have a big impact on downtime, and it’s key to do your research. 

Use a Dedicated Server

One of the easiest ways to avoid problems caused by server downtime is to use a dedicated server. Since you won’t have to share this server with any other websites or applications, you won’t be impacted by the problems they experience. Using a dedicated server is a great way to ensure maximum uptime and performance. 

Regular Server Maintenance

Having a proactive maintenance schedule to ensure that your server is regularly updated and optimised can be beneficial. If you don’t have the technical expertise to maintain your server yourself, it’s highly advisable to use a fully managed hosting solution. An expert will monitor server health, perform software updates and address any vulnerabilities for you. 

Secondary Systems and Backups

For peace of mind and to ensure that your website isn’t impacted by server downtime, a hosting company should have a network of secure secondary systems. Instant failover should be in place to protect your website if a problem occurs. It’s key to regularly backup your website too and saving data will allow for quick recovery in the event of a failure.

Monitoring and Alert Systems

Requesting that your server is monitored regularly is key to avoiding downtime. When a server is monitored, potential issues will be highlighted before they become big problems that impact your website. Ideally, everything should be monitored 24/7 and alerts should be sent directly to an engineer to allow for timely intervention.

Security Measures

Using a hosting provider that prioritises security is very beneficial. Robust security protocols, including firewalls, security patching, anti-virus and malware solutions will help to protect the server from downtime. Security updates should be carried out as standard to prevent concerns relating to hackers and cybercriminals.

Experienced Server Support Teams 

Regardless of how much technical knowledge you have, it’s always useful to have a highly-skilled support team on hand to help you. Managed hosting solutions that include around-the-clock support can help to minimise the disruption caused by server downtime. Experts will be on hand to answer any questions and provide efficient assistance. 

Searching for a Managed Dedicated Server in the UK?

All in all, it’s so important to make sure you’re proactive in preventing server downtime and that you’re choosing the right hosting service to help you protect your website. Here at catalyst2, we would highly recommend managed dedicated server hosting to anyone who is worried about the impact of downtime. This comprehensive solution will ensure that your website is always running smoothly and you’re not experiencing any problems. 

As a UK-based company, we provide a reliable and well-supported service to website owners. When you use our managed dedicated servers, we will go above and beyond to ensure your website is up and running. We have assisted thousands of clients over the years with their websites and we are very proud to be one of the most trusted names in UK hosting. Day or night, our team will answer the phone and we are committed to exceeding your expectations. 

Should you have any questions about our managed dedicated server solutions or our 100% network uptime agreement, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.