News & Updates

What to do if your Site Crashes

Website downtime can enrage us, especially when it’s unexpected and you’re unsure how long the problem has been going on. Of course downtime is much more than an annoyance, it can affect consumer confidence and ultimately pinch away at your bottom line. So how can we avoid the “page unavailable” message-of-death? First, we need to know what cause of the problem.

Top reasons for downtime

Scheduled Downtime: Your website downtime can be scheduled for routine maintenance or upgrades. General Failure: Unexpected challenges like viruses, file corruption, software failings or even defective hardware can cause website downtime. Human Error/Attack: Experimentation by your team, unintentional or deliberate file deletion or even hackers can crash your site.

Reacting to downtime

Pingometer will alert you when your site begins experiencing downtime. Know that we check and double-check to confirm your site has gone down before we send an alert. Once you, or your team, receive the alert it’s time to determine the cause.

In addition to phoning your IT department, Pingometer will contact your website hosting company to determine if they can be any help getting it back up.

In the meantime, let your online users and customers know of the downtime. Turn to social media to let your consumers know you’re aware of what’s going on, you appreciate their patience and you should have things back up and running before long. Also, keep in mind if you have an upcoming planned outage, let customers know in advance through email or social media.

Once your hosting company or IT team identifies the problem, you can regroup after the site is back up and see how the outage can be avoided in the future.

Preventing website downtime

It’s always a good idea to take preventative measures rather than react to a crashed website. Before you get the alert that your website is down, consider these measures:

Have a Domain Name System backup. If your primary DNS goes down, your backup service could help you avoid one big mess as it is designed to grab your DNS data and store the information in case the primary source fails.

Use Pingometer as your website monitoring system. We’ll monitor your site every minute to every few minutes and alert you when we detect any performance issues or downtime.

Renew your domain name regularly. It’s something you likely seldom think about, but you can avoid downtime from this issue by setting your domain name account to auto renew or purchasing your name for many years in advance.

Receive information directly from Google by using Google Webmaster Tools. Because SEO is so important, Google will crawl your page and send you alerts about errors or issues so you do not lose search rankings.

Websites are vital to modern business, and a crash of any magnitude can be just as detrimental as closing the door to a brick and mortar store in the middle of a busy Saturday. Pingometer not only lets you know when your site is down, but we also warn you ahead of time when something isn’t performing correctly so you can correct the error before it turns into something bigger.

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Website Downtime is More than a Crashed Homepage

If you operate a personal website, an online store or a frequently read blog, you know how important website uptime is to your success. It’s inevitable that you will, at some point, experience downtime with site maintenance, a challenge with the server or a misstep in the DNS configuration. Having a website uptime monitor that alerts you to potential problems beyond a complete crash is key to your online triumph.

Before the crash

Often website downtime doesn’t consist of an entire site crashing, but rather it’s a single service or tool on your site that isn’t functioning properly. The moment you discover a vital part of your site is out of service— and who knows how long it’s been down — is not the time to look into a website uptime monitor. Pingometer alerts you when an application on your site is not functioning properly, because you may be looking at your website thinking everything is fine, when in actuality it’s not.

Monitors

When error messages are constantly being seen by your website viewers, Pingometer alerts you to the problem. With statuses available via HTTP, HTTPS, RUM, DNS, ICMP, IMAP, POP3, SMTP, TCP, UDP, API and Transaction monitors, you’re sure to find an outlet to receive warnings that works for your business.

Alerts

If something goes wrong with your website, you need to know about it — immediately. Pingometer offers alert messages via email, text message, phone call, Twitter DM or webhook with intelligent scheduling. Not only will Pingometer alert you to performance issues and help you control website downtime, but we will alert only the people or groups you specify. Customize your Smart Alerts to make sure the right people receive information the way you want them to so your web issues can be addressed immediately.

If you profit from your website in any way, be it revenue, business branding or reputation, you need a website uptime monitor. Pingometer observes your website 24/7 to ensure you’re aware of any downtime that may affect search engine rankings, revenue or customer confidence.

If you have questions, please let us know.

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5 Benefits of Using Social Media in Combination with a Website Monitoring Service

A website monitoring service allows you to track your website’s performance at all times so that you don’t have to worry about a late notification if your website malfunctions. If and when your website goes down unexpectedly (i.e. “downtime”), the monitoring service will be there to notify you immediately. There are a number of quick response tactics you might use, such as calling the web host and checking plugins and the site’s IP address. However, getting your website up and running is only half of the battle.

In the physical world, your customers will be waiting around in the dark, not knowing why their favorite website is down or when it will come back online. This can result in a loss of sales and/or exposure to your business. Further, in the age of social media, customers carry a pretty sizable stick when it comes to voicing their opinions to the world. During downtime, your customers could erupt in a furry of aggravation and confusion online.

So what is the answer for the website owner to respond? Exactly as your customers would – by engaging your customers using social media. Here are the top 5 benefits of using social media in combination with a website monitoring service:

Communicate with Customers During Downtime

As a website owner, you can quickly post to your website’s social media accounts, such as Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, that your website is experiencing technical difficulties. Social media allows you to keep in contact with your customers during downtime and provide them with updates.

Give Your Customers Status Updates

Your customers will want to know what went wrong with the site and when it will be online again. Social media allows you to answer these questions. You can provide them with status updates and other need-to-know information. Instead of repeatedly hitting the refresh button, your customers will be understanding – and hopefully more patient and considerate – knowing that you are doing everything you can to get your website up and running again.

Mitigate a Negative Response Online During Downtime

If there is a serious problem with your website, it could be down for several days at a time. Anxious or confused customers might take to social media to rant about a poor user experience. As the owner, you can engage them online and do your part to ease your customer’s anger or frustration. You can show your customers that you value their time and opinions as you gently guide them through your website’s downtime.

Increase Transparency Between Your Website and Your Customers

Customers tend to be more responsive if they see that the owner of a website is directly responding to social media posts. This gives the customer a sense of agency and value. Social media opens the door for transparency, increased communication and service accountability.

Improve Your Website with User Feedback

Feedback is one of your best tools when it comes to optimizing your website. Your customers can use social media to tell you what’s working, what’s popular and what needs improvement. You can also post questions online to promote more user feedback. This creates a lasting relationship between you and your customers.

Social media is a website owner’s second-best defense against the perils of downtime. Of course, nothing beats 24/7 access to a superior website monitoring service. Pingometer immediately alerts website owners when their website goes down. Use social media in tandem with a website monitoring service to stay connected to the people who matter most: your customers.

If you have questions, please let us know.

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3 Most Common Mistakes Web Marketers Make

Building a website is only step number one when it comes to launching a business online. Many entrepreneurs fail to properly market themselves to their target customer base after launching their website. Online marketing is a long-term game that requires patience, perseverance, and plenty of legwork. If you’re new to the world of online marketing, avoid these common mistakes and let your website develop a life of its own.

Not Blogging

Maintaining a blog is like a part-time job. If you’re adamant about your website’s success, you have to be ready to post at least twice a week if not more. Try to come up with attention-grabbing topics that will generate interest in your website’s products and services. Remember to break up your content with headers, bullet points, or images. Readers respond to content that is concise, informative and, of course, mobile friendly.

Not Investing In Social Media

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn are your biggest assets as a small business online. Whether they’re informative, entertaining or promotional, sharing photos, links, and updates will attract more users to your website over time. Your customers like content. So why not give it to them? Social media also creates a forum where your customers can communicate with you online and build relationships. This is a fundamental step towards building a lasting, meaningful relationship with your users.

Not Using a Website Monitoring Service

Now that your website is up and open to the public, it’s time to start monitoring its performance and utilizing web analytics. Your website is like a child – it needs constant care and attention. You can’t just leave it in the other room with the TV on and hope that it’s okay. A third-party website monitoring service tracks all activity on your website including its response time, peak hours for online traffic, and whether or not your website is functioning properly. If you’ve spent any time or money on your website at all, you owe it to yourself to invest in a third-party website monitoring service so that you can focus on you growing your business.

Pingometer is the number-one choice when it comes to monitoring your website’s performance. They offer 24/7 access from the world’s biggest markets, smart alerts to all of your website’s personnel, and 100% accuracy in all uptime and downtime reporting.

If you have questions, please let us know.

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3 Ways to Minimize and Prevent Downtime

Downtime – when a website goes down unexpectedly – is usually a website owner’s biggest fear. More than just an interruption of service, downtime affects the company and/or individual’s reputation. When greeted with an error message, customers might be discouraged from ever returning to a website again. As the owner, it’s your job to protect your website from downtime at all costs. There are thousands of technical issues that could arise on any given day. That’s why it’s important for website owners to stay alert and responsive. With all of the time and money you’ve invested in building your website and your business, how much downtime can you afford?

Use a Website Monitoring Service

The most important step in preventing downtime is to track your website’s performance. If and when your website goes down, you should be the first one to know. A third-party website monitoring service will alert you as soon as your website goes down. You can then take the necessary steps toward getting your website up and running as soon as possible.

Set Up a Downtime Response Strategy

Now that you’re monitoring your website, do you know what to do when it goes down? It’s important to prepare for the worst-case scenario. You should have a list of phone numbers and people to contact in case of an emergency. These should include a customer contact number for your web host or your content management system, an IT department, a malware protection hotline, or a coding expert. You should also prepare a courteous message that will greet your customers when they try to visit your website. You should let your customers know that you’re aware of the problem and that you’re doing everything you can to fix it.

Properly Vet Your Web Host

The company that hosts your website can either be a helpful resource or the cause of all your problems. Poor web hosts and other bargain platforms tend to fail often. Database issues, problems with connectivity, or lousy customer support will send website owners reeling. If you’re committed to your website’s success, you should make sure that your web host is up for the job. The Internet is full of web host comparison charts, user reviews and feedback forms. Do your research and choose the best web host for your website.

Pingometer offers reliable website monitoring services. They provide their clients with instant alerts on all mobile devices, 100% accurate reporting, and 24/7 access to website monitoring in countries across the world. Protect your website from downtime with Pingometer.

If you have questions, please let us know.

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