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Pro Blogger Tip: Always Monitor Your Blog

If your website goes down, it happens, right? Websites just go down.

It’s just a little hiccup and the nerds in charge of fixing it will take care of it. I can go back to being a pro blogger right away. Right?

Maybe not. Even if you already know a lot about how to blog, you may not realize how much money you can lose if your site is down for as little as an hour. More importantly, you may not realize the blog being down is a sign of a much bigger problem.

Let’s take a closer look at why you need to monitor your blog at all times.

Pro Blogger Tip 1: Know What Causes Downtime

Your site may go down for any number of reasons. Such as:

  1. Hardware Failures: Issues with redundancy, multiple power supplies, and network controllers account for half of all website downtime.
  2. Cheap Website Hosting: This is probably the second biggest cause. A lot of the cheaper hosts bite off more than they can chew, and the clients suffer from bloated hosts
  3. Hackers: Not the most common, but definitely the most deadly. If your blog is down it’s possible you’ve been breached
  4. DNS Issues: Either waiting for the DNS to propagate or the DNS has been figured incorrectly
  5. DDoS Attacks: A distributed denial-of-service. Basically, too many people trying to access the server, and it bottlenecks
  6. Poor Maintenance: Either you or your provider need to stay on top of this 24/7
  7. CMS Issues: Compatibility issues will plague even the best content management systems

Pro Blogger Tip 2: Know what a Good Uptime Ratio is and How to Get it

You shouldn’t be fooled by impressive sounding numbers like 90 percent. 90 percent is pretty good, right?

If your site is up 90 percent of the time, that means it’s down:

  • 144 minutes a day. That’s the exact runtime of the movie X-Men: Apocalypse
  • 16.8 hours a week, over two full workdays
  • 72 hours a month, 3 full days
  • 36.5 days a year, more than 5 weeks, in total.

So your conversations with would-be host and providers should not involve any numbers below 99 percent.

How do you maintain good uptime numbers?

  • Use a reliable host
  • Choose a website monitoring provider who can ensure small problems don’t become a massive outage

Pro Blogger Tip 3: Know What Downtime Costs You

Keep in mind, it’s hard to estimate how much downtime can cost you. Some estimates claim it costs a company anywhere from $1 to more than $100,000 every minute a website is down.

It can affect businesses in every sector, like:

The first thing you’re losing is trust in the eyes of your would be reader/ shopper.

How long will you wait for a site that’s not responding? And when it doesn’t respond, what do you do? You go elsewhere. Maybe even to their competition.

“If your server goes down or if you’ve got a 404 page up instead of live content, you could miss out on opportunities,” wrote Jayson DeMers, at Forbes.com.

“A 404 page by itself won’t hurt your rankings badly, but it can leave users with a nasty impression and could cost you traffic and conversions (assuming you still have links pointing to that page).

It’s hard to put a price on exactly how much your blog being down can cost you, particularly if your blog is the driving force behind your e-commerce site.

Jussi Vanto put it beautifully when he said, “Having a downtime on your website is like a retail store with no lights on and the front door closed, but you are still paying for electricity, rent and employee salaries.”

To take it one step further, imagine there is a store right next door that all your customers can go to, to buy anything that you should be offering them. Think they will stick around? Would you?

Pro Blogger Tip 3: Know That Downtime Could Mean a Hack

As we said earlier, your site going down could be a sign that a hacker is in and now has total control of all of your web assets. And likely all of your customers’ information, details, and maybe even their personal banking information.

And customers know this! That’s why they get very, very nervous when they see “Page Cannot be Displayed.”

3 years ago, The Wall Street Journal estimated that the cost of cyber crime in the U.S was about $100 billion a year. Scary, right? Well, a few years later in 2015, British insurance company Lloyd’s said that cyber crime costs $400 billion a year.

Pro Blogger Tip 4: Google Knows Everything

Google sees when your site is sleeping. It knows when it’s awake. It knows if your site is up or down, so be up for goodness sake.

Google wants to crawl your site as often as possible, so they know where everything is, so they can show other people who are looking for you.

“Now, this is all well and good when the site does not go offline frequently. Sadly, when using some hosts, people will see their site go offline often,” wrote Dan Virgillito of SEOBlog.

“This is something that one must avoid as Google will punish the site severely. Without a doubt, when offline for more than a few hours, one can see their rankings all but disappear.”

And your site doesn’t even have to be completely down. A slow load time is also enough to raise Google’s ire enough to punish your site. Google does pay attention to how quickly your pages load, and the overall user experience you give a visitor.

They will reward you for offering a (presumed) good experience and punish your ranking for providing a bad one. So make sure your pages all load quickly, with no lags or 404 screens.

Pro Blogger Tip 5: Hire a Professional

You don’t have the time or the resources to look after all of these things by yourself. So bring in an expert who can monitor your blog and protect it from any harmful attacks or downtime.

Click here to find out more about how we can help you.