When you have an online presence, it is vital that it is always available. Viewers do not look too often if the site is down, and your followers will soon move elsewhere. If your site does not work, they will assume that it is no longer live, and downtime really does need to be kept to a minimum.
There are times when downtime is scheduled for maintenance, but then you can leave a message so your users know the reason.
You will never know how many potential customers you lose by suffering downtime, and the best way to deal with this is to put measures in place to prevent it happening to your WordPress site.
When your site is being set up make sure your IT partner is certified, or you could have problems that are not so easily fixable. Hiring the best people you can afford to help you will save you money in the long-term.
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Uptime Monitoring Plugins
Hopefully, you will be so busy running your business you will not always have time just to sit watching to make sure your site does not go down. Uptime monitoring plugins do exactly what the name suggests and will let you know immediately if your site goes down. They will send you reports automatically so that if there is a problem you can get it sorted as soon as possible.
Jetpack by Automatic is a free plugin that among other features has Monitor that checks your site every five minutes and sends you a notification if your site goes down. It is worth using this tool if you want to keep on top of things.
Managed Hosting Providers
You need to take care when you are selecting a hosting provider, as it is not always the most expensive that is the best. You should not go for the cheapest either as the price is no guide at all to their reliability.
Research them and find out what their record of downtime is like. Steer clear of ones that it happens too regularly.
Probably the best solution is to use a managed hosting provider that specializes in WordPress. This kind of host is made specifically for WordPress and is designed to handle the stresses and strains such sites impose on a server.
As the name suggests, the idea is to make it easier for you to manage your WordPress site. Core updates, theme updates, and backups can all be configured and carried out automatically with very little input from you. This will take some of the everyday tasks off your shoulders and leave you to get on with running your business.
They will also send you automatic notifications to keep you informed of the status of your site, as well as details of uptime, backups and suspicious logins. There are a lot of these managed hosting options available, WP Engine, Pagely, Pressable, and SiteGround being just a few examples.
Improve Your Site Security
One of the things that can cause downtime of your site is a hacker. You have no control over when one of these will hit you and all you can do is to have the best available security to try and keep them out.
Always install any updates you receive for your hardware or software because these often include patches to prevent security breaches that have been found. Never use the same password on more than one of your logins, and do not keep a list of them on your computer. Change them often and make them as obscure as you can to help stop the hackers accessing your site.
You should also install a good anti-virus so that your site is not thrown into turmoil by getting infected.
Take regular backups so that if the worst happens you can clear your computer and reload it as it was a short while before. This is much better than having to start from scratch, which could cause a huge amount of downtime for your site. As a WordPress user, there is no excuse for not doing backups as you can set them to run automatically without you having to do anything.
WordPress has several plugins to help keep your site secure, including Sucuri Security, iThemes Security, and BulletProof Security.
Be Aware Of The Solutions
Downtime is a real problem for any website, but when yours is run through WordPress there are many unique solutions that can be used to help prevent it from happening. Just a few of them have been mentioned above, there are others that can help. What you need to remember is that is better to spend the time preventing downtime from occurring than having to spend even more time putting things right when it does.