A down website can create unfavorable impact to a business. It can reduce one's search engine ranking; give the audience a bad user experience (UX); affect the brand's credibility and reputation negatively or worse, result to customers' loss of confidence translating into lost sales and profits. Needless to say, it is highly important to be prepared should it happen to you and your business.
What Is Some Tell-tale Signs That Your Website Is Down
Learn some of the tell-tale signs that your site is starting to experience a system downtime. Be on a lookout for these clues so you can address the issues right away even before they produce greater damage.
1. Pages do not load. Everything is up and working and then suddenly, one or two pages are taking forever to load or basically the content does not show at all. Errors ranging from “cannot display the webpage”, “webpage is not available” or “may be experiencing problems” are seen on screen. In cases like this, do check if the same problem occurs if you use different browsers or several computers with multiple IP (Internet Protocol) addresses. If it does, it's your signal to start the troubleshooting process.
2. HTTP errors. Another indicator is the error codes you'll see on the browser. HTTP 403 in Internet Explorer may mean that the folder on the server where the program is contained isn't correctly configured. 405 in IE may be caused by something related to programming. 408 or 409 may be a server issue whereas 500 may be due to web maintenance or scripting problem. Identify what each code means so you'll be able to pinpoint its primary cause and resolve each error accordingly.
3. Display of hijacked webpages. There are certain warnings that reveal possible attacks from hackers. Messages on browsers can range from “visiting this site may harm your computer” to “Suspected Attack Site!” and “Suspected Web Forgery”. Spammy content and links that weren't there before may indicate that your web platform has been compromised. Check your logs and Google Webmaster Tools to get ideas where these warnings are coming from.
4. Slow loading time. One of the checklists in any digital marketing campaign is a fast, loading website. After all, a quick response time to every user's action equally increases the conversion rate. Hence, another manifestation of a downtime is if it exhibits poor web performance or there are messages such as “timed out” or “took too long to respond”. If there has been no recent change and yet you have suddenly encountered slow response from the webpages you visit regardless of the PC or browser you are using, it's your hint to do a web audit.