Your server is the backbone of your online business. It is where you store your data and where your customers can connect to you on the web. It doesn’t really matter if your server is hosted or you have an in-house IT department that monitors your servers. Server downtime can severely affect your small business in productivity cost, loss of data, reputation and customer service.

Depending on the type of business you run, server downtime can also severely affect the wellbeing of your customers and clients. Critical components of your business operation are linked to your servers. So what can you do when your web server is down?

1. Understanding System

You need to understand what systems are going to be adversely affected by the outage. Communication systems are a critical component of your business structure. You need to make sure that your IT provider sets up alerts and offers alternatives that you can switch to when your primary servers go down.

2. Plan Ahead

You need to come up with a plan that allows you to select the virtual cloud server hosting package that’s right for your business. Virtual cloud server hosting companies should provide you with reliable web server monitoring and 24/7 maintenance that tackles potential issues before they become a major headache.

3. Have a Backup Hosting Server

Once you selected the hosting package you desire for your business, it is prudent to have a backup hosting server in place. This is also going to be the place you will store data in case of an emergency. Even with virtual cloud hosting platforms it is prudent that you set up a backup host for your most critical data.

4. Set Website Downtime Alert

It is imperative that you work out where your business data will be stored for quick retrieval in case of an unplanned web server outage. You definitely need to set up a website downtime alert so you know what’s happening with your website. Web monitoring services are available that you can use to help set this up.

5 Get Experts to Handle

Just knowing about the issue with your web server is not enough. You need to know how to fix it or know someone who can fix it for you. You also need to have a clear understanding of the costs in productivity, customer service and company reputation hits.

Adjust time accordingly to what the IT personnel or hosting company tells you about the web outage. You should also have a handle on whether or not it is affecting only the servers connected with your business or if it’s a network problem.

6. Define Issues

Understanding what the issue is and how to fix it will assure your customers that you are on top of the situation. Your customers are going to be understandably concerned about the status of their data, especially if you are handling sensitive data.

Web server downtime can be the result of a number of factors. Being able to secure your data will go a long way towards your peace of mind.

7. Have a Good Data Management

Securing your customers’ data is important. You need to understand how you categorize your data, where it is located and how it is currently being stored. Cyber security is big news. It can negatively affect your business if your customers’ information is leaked inadvertently during an outage.

It is important to note that your small business runs primarily on what your customers perceive about your business. Consequently your company’s reputation depends on how your business runs.

8. Backup Web Servers

Backup web servers and data centers that practice strict security protocols are your best bet when your web server is down. You can have peace of mind knowing that you have provided for business continuity with this service.

9. Prevent Loss of Security and Credibility

Probably the most critical part of your system is your financials. It is not just the productivity costs that you need to be aware of with downtime. It is loss of your communication network, security costs and reliability.

You can take unexpected hits when you don’t understand how to secure a business network or how to maintain your company’s reputation through unexpected outages. No business can completely mitigate the costs associated with a network or server outage.
The Bottom Line

Taking the above nine steps can help you prepare for server outages. There are a few preventive measures as well that you may want to take to minimize the disruption. These are:

  1. Plan out now what systems will be affected by a server outage.
  2. Write up contingency plan for your data and categorize it.
  3. Implement maintenance procedures and update plans periodically.

Let’s face it. Nowadays businesses can’t afford to be “offline” for long periods of time. Your small business needs to be there for your customers 24/7. When it comes to understanding the true costs of server downtime you must take into consideration critical applications that run your business.

For some businesses downtime can sound a death knell for customers who had come to rely on them for their services. In some ways it can also be a matter of life or death when a critical component in the network breaks down.

Servers are the lifeblood of your business operations. Maintaining your servers should be your main priority in making sure your business runs smoothly. Preparation for the unexpected helps reduce server downtime.


Author bio: Riya Sander is a content writer. She is currently based in Asia. This time, Riya writes for VPS HiSpeed, a virtual server company hosted in Thailand. Connect with Riya on her twitter.