Due to the ever-increasing vulnerabilities of the Internet, your website is guaranteed to crash – the only question is when.
“I think that all services will have downtime,” WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg wrote in an e-mail to CNN. “No matter how much you prepare, have redundant systems, or audit, there will periodically be a black swan event that is completely unlike whatever you’ve experienced before. It even happens to Google! In these moments of crisis, the key is how the service and the people behind it respond.”
While there are millions of technical reasons for a website to crash, here are the top 2 external reasons that are beyond your control.
Every day, it is estimated that 6,000 websites gets hacked and blacklisted by Google and other search engines. Once blacklisted, all modern browsers like Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari will block access to the site. This leads to drop in visitors, sales and destroys the reputation of the site.
Malicious hackers and automated bots infect websites with malicious computer code (i.e., web malware). Hacked websites is used to launch spam and phishing campaigns. For example, a compromised site might try to convince Internet users to visit a fake banking page, buy pharmaceuticals, or something similar. Hacked websites also suffer DDoS attacks (Denial of Service) where the site is unavailable where existing data can be deleted.
In fact, according to CommTouch’s “Compromised Website – An Owners Perspective”– 63 percent of website owners don’t even know how they were hacked.
Realistically, hacking can never be prevented. This is because every week a new vulnerability is discovered in software powering websites. Even if your website is managed by a team of security experts, your website will always be vulnerable.
2. Web outages
In the era of cloud computing, web outages are common occurrences where websites shuts off unexpectedly and at times inexplicably. Most outages are brief inconveniences while others are extended periods of disruption. In 2012, notable prolonged outages happened at Google, GoDaddy, during Hurricane Sandy and more. The worst of the lot was Amazon Web Services where 3 separate outages shut down popular programs (i.e. Instagram, Nexflix and Pinterest) to millions of users.
Fully preventing outages isn’t possible, if your site is primarily used for lead generation, it’s probably not a disaster if it goes down for a few hours or even a day. But if you’re conducting business transactions from your site, a couple hours of downtime could cost thousands of dollars in lost revenue or customers, not including the time and money spent to restore the site.
Preparing for and dealing with website crashes
With proper planning and careful selection of technology and hosting partners, a small business can protect itself against unnecessary downtime and be able to quickly restore service.
While prevention is impossible, a remedy is website backup. Experts advise backing up your entire website on your own, on top of what the hosting company is doing. Performing a regular (daily) backup of all systems that your website accesses is a basic requirement.
Dropmysite is the most comprehensive website, email and database backup solution in the cloud. It is free to signup and start a 30 day trial where it will automatically back up your website daily.
Here’s an infograph of the real website hacking situation to show the severity of this epidemic – protect yourself from the inevitable by backing up: