Understanding Website Downtime and How to Achieve Zero Downtime with WordPress

If you own one or more websites that you continuously monitor and your business depends on it, website downtime is one of the worst nightmares for you. Website visitors are unable to access the website and you have a list of complaints to resolve. Sometimes the visitors do not raise the question of why the website is down, they just leave it, and now you have a risk of losing the business. If your website depends on visitors, and you earn by writing articles, oh well, you have lost a reader and they are not coming back.

Downtime happens to the best of websites and there is no single answer to why it happens. It could be a server issue, it could happen during maintenance or some keyboard warrior decided to have a street fight with your website.

Out of all platforms that exist out there, WordPress is the most prone to downtimes. Believe it or not, whenever I see a website down, it is likely a WordPress website. Now there is nothing particularly bad with WordPress, but it is just the most used platform out there, which is why you see it crashing more than anything else.

Causes of WordPress downtime & Solutions

Here I will list some of the reasons why WordPress websites experience downtime, and how we could avoid it.

Server Overload:

This does not happen very often but when it does, it is a pain to identify what is causing the overload. If it is traffic, it is a good sign for your business, just need to upgrade server resources. But it could be malicious traffic, in this case, a security plugin such as Wordfence and Securi can help you identify the fake traffic and block malicious IP addresses.
Sometimes server overload happens because of bad code. In this case, contacting a developer is your best bet.

Poor Hosting:

This is one of the most common reasons why WordPress websites experience downtime. Very limited resources, outdated server software, and insecure servers. There are many ways a poor hosting provider saves their money, they cut costs by using less secure software and a small management team.
We recommend doing some research and reading user reviews before choosing a host for your website. We use CloudWays and WP Engine hosting for our clients.

Software Updates:

Sometimes websites go down because of software updates. The new update might not be compatible with the existing setup of WordPress or may have compatibility issues with server software. Reading the changelog before updating the plugins and themes is a nice way to stop this from happening.

Plugin Conflict:

Almost all WordPress websites rely heavily on plugins. This particular reason is why WordPress is so dynamic, but it is also the reason why websites break. We installed a new plugin to add new functionality to the website and the next thing we know, the website is down. There is no clear way to avoid this from happening. The best way is to use staging for new functionality additions and updating the website.

Security Breaches:

Security breaches can happen on both, the website and the server side. Outdated software or malware allows hackers to take the system down. It can be avoided by keeping the software updated and keeping the security system in place.

Coding error:

During the development of the live website, it can face a lot of downtime. Development should not be done on the live website, it should always be staged.

Exceeding Bandwidth Limits:

Hosting providers only allow a certain amount of data to pass through your website. Good hosting providers warn you before exceeding your bandwidth limits and allow you to take necessary action.

DNS Issues:

This rarely happens, and most of the time when it happens, it is usually our fault. Like adding subdomains and changing the main domain by mistake, sometimes you are adding DNS records for email hosting and you end up ruining the whole domain records. Only by paying attention, this issue be avoided.

Expired Domain:

Believe it or not, I have seen many queries where I get an email about a website being down and the client is worried about his customers not seeing the website, but when I check it, the domain is expired. It seems like it is very hard to miss the domain renewal but it happens when we miss the domain expiry notification by the domain registrar. How do we miss it?

We are no longer using the email address that we provided for the domain registry.
Someone else registered the domain and that person is no longer in contact.
Some employee was in charge of registering the domain and they did it with their account, now they are left and we forgot to get full access.
The domain registrar email is landing in junk mail.
We can avoid all of these issues by making sure we always have access to the domain panel and we are using our main email address with the registrar.

Conclusion

Downtime is the worst nightmare for a website owner but it is not very hard to achieve 100% uptime. All we need is a good hosting provider that keeps their software updated, then we need to make sure that we keep the WordPress, plugins and themes of our website updated.

WpSiteCare360 is a service that maintains your website. We optionally host your website to our private servers and we keep it updated and well maintained. There are many more benefits of running your website with our services. You can see all the features on the features page.