We are working on the highest levels of server setups with our clients balanced hosting services special content delivery networks all this to make sure websites are always online.
This allows for uninterrupted operation including online marketing
Unfortunately even the biggest institutions with the best and most powerful servers and security go down, this is part of the deal. One thing web delivered to businesses is opportunity to be open 24/7/365(6) for business but do not believe some sales person from a hosting company or your internal team manager saying – “our uptime will be 100%” – this isn’t going to happen in any time in the near future.
We can keep downtime to a minimum so you can count it as customer in minutes per month/year but it will never be 100% uptime. There are few reasons for this:
a) operations these days may depend on external services and if they can not process payments or orders it means you cannot do business. In this case we can have your website live but with no functionality to process customer requests.
b) the downtime can be related to network issues not server issues – it makes website inaccessible for some or all of your customers but server is up and running. This group of issues can be connected to routing problems, data centre network problems or attacks known as DDoS.
Either way when looking in to hosting of something vital for your business web services look not in to promises of uptime etc. but firm setup of infrastructure and what happens when your website goes down or when customers cannot access it. What procedures are in place to avoid this. Also make sure you have procedures in place to handle situations when your site is offline eg. take payments over the phone. Below you have sample of Nationwide action when they refer customers to ATMs and Branches but what if your business is on-line only!
There are ways of dealing with these issues too. Do not forget you always have other channels to keep the damage to a minimum.
However the first things you should try to do in crisis downtime situation are:
1) Establish ETA and inform your potential customers about changes to your schedule.
2) Stop all advertising if possible to avoid people and potential new customers being directed to dead pages on your website.
Have a quick look how Nationwide.co.uk deals with Online Banking Downtime:
Today (23/04/2013 St Georges Day) Nationwide (few weeks earlier HSBC) had to close online banking operations.
When you try to log in the following message appears:
We’re sorry to have to tell you that our Online Bank is unavailable
We are making every effort to restore service as quickly as possible and will keep the service status page updated with our progress.
We apologise for any inconvenience this will cause you.
If your banking is urgent, we have other ways you can bank with us. You could try:
Unfortunately website doesn’t say what is ETA for the current issue. I would say they have still some work to do here. On the other hand they have comfort of being also well establish high street brand which allowed them to be a bit relaxed about few hours of downtime in online operations.