Avoid a website crash at all costs, it can damage more than just lost sales

We design and build a lot of websites for many significant brands across the United States and around the world.  We also consult a lot of businesses on how to properly manage your website once it is up and running.  One thing many webmasters and website operators often overlook is server space that hosts all the data and content of your website that was created.  Generally speaking, you know how much traffic your website is garnering just by watching your analytics.  As you definitely want to start seeing an uptick in traffic numbers in visits to your site, you also want to remain cognizant of any events that could possibly bring a deluge of traffic to your site.  This could be in the form of a product placement on the New York Times gift list, maybe a mention on the Dr. Phil show, or maybe you created a new platform called Healthcare.gov by which people are instructed to register for new healthcare insurance.  In any of these instances, it’s good to put on your thinking hat, to hopefully have advance notice about any of these events occurring, and get yourself and your website prepared by upgrading your servers and storage space to handle all the additional traffic.  You might think having this much traffic would be a good thing, but what if I told you that it can cost more than lost visits and lost sales?

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  That’s right, it can actually cost you your search engine rankings, and if you have ads running in places like Google Adwords, it will cost even more in lost clicks.  For example, Google’s “Information for Webmasters” area says that if your pages cannot be crawled after several attempts due to network or hosting problems, they won’t be listed – meaning they’ll be dropped – and it may take “a few weeks” for them to show up again. MSN’s guidelines state that if your server is offline or there is another access problem when their spider tries to crawl your site, it may not return “until a later time.”  Neither Yahoo nor Bing seems to have guidelines on this issue, but it’s reasonable to assume that they and other search engine spiders operate like Google and MSN.  I can tell you from someone who spends their days doing whatever necessary to increase search rankings, something like this would be a huge kick in the gut for the time wasted on SEO tactics.

  From the Pay-Per-Click side of things, just imagine your ads running and people clicking on them when your site is down.  Not good.  Can you imagine trying to plead with Google to refund your money because your site was down?  Not bloody likely Mate.  Not only that, but the PPC medium may suspend your ad if your landing page goes down for too long.

  I got to thinking about this when last night I was watching the Olympics, specifically the Giant Slalom won by Ted Ligety.  Ted won the Gold Medal, but what also happened was something pretty amazing…Ted Ligety owns the brand called Shred (www.ShredOptics) and he wears all “Shred” gear when he races such as Goggles, Helmet, and sunglasses.  When Ted was interviewed after winning gold, he still had on all his gear with the label of “Shred” plastered all over his head.  From the worldwide audience of countless millions of people watching all over the world saw this, they too wanted to know more about Shred or even make a purchase from the website.  What happens next, any guesses…?  You got it, the site crashed faster than a government healthcare site because of the sudden influx of new visitors.

Ligety of the U.S. smiles after the second run of the men's alpine skiing giant slalom event at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics

  So what can you do to protect yourself from this sort of thing happening?  First, you can hire a reputable web design firm such as InspireSmart to build out your website to make sure you are prepared and ready for the future.  Sorry for the shameless plug.  Besides ordering more servers to handle any extra and unexpected traffic which is probably overkill, you can buy something called Remote Website Monitoring which will monitor the traffic on your website and on your servers and they will alert you before something goes wrong.  Some are free services, but the ones that you have pay for can be as little as $1-5/month from companies like www.ServiceUpTime.com.  Hiring companies like these will give you the peace of mind that all of your hard work won’t go down the tube, even after you’ve won the gold medal.

  For more information about having a custom website built, contact us at info@InspireSmart.com or call us at (303) 630-9402

  Or go to our website at http://www.inspiresmart.com