server uptime

The Cost of Downtime: Why You Must Monitor Server Uptime for Your Ecommerce Site

Dread sets in as you realize the promotional newsletter sent your readers to a dead website. All because you skimped on paying for hosting that had good server uptime.

Your stomach sinks as the email fails to connect — costing you thousands from lost sales. The burned recipients shoot aggravated emails. They develop a mistrust for your brand.

These occurrences can and will happen when running an e-commerce site.

What can you do to avoid these big mishaps?

Let’s explore the options.

The Shocking Cost of Downtime

Two main thoughts will immediately come to mind during an outage:

  • How much am I losing?
  • How much will it cost?

The downtime doesn’t only affect the loss of potential revenue. It has a cascading effect throughout all areas of the business. Each tacking extra costs.

Lost Revenue

One can guestimate their loss by taking their average revenue and dividing it by the minute.

Example: If the site made $10,000/day then it loses $6.9/min when it’s offline.

The costs extrapolate depending on your industry such as a mortgage site. The number is only truly known when using a downtime calculator. Though, it’s rough estimates because there are other parts of the business that gets hit.

Workplace Disruption

A whopping 64% of small businesses use SaaS for their sales, growth, and productivity. The Software as a Service sector has become integrated with business operations. Any downtime creates a blackout effect.

Saas has penetrated all parts of the business from customer service to shipping.

The downtime now plays into labor costs which grow depending on the size of the team and their salary. Take the number of employees and multiply it by their daily costs and downtime for a rough estimate.

Recovery Expenses

Backup services and hardware/software fixes aren’t cheap when they’re mission critical. Many recovery services charge a premium for off-hour repairs.

The outage may have also destroyed parts of your server as a result of:

Those lucky enough will pay less when recovering these important files. But, those without backups could face death by failing to get back to operations.

Legal Troubles

Companies are accountable to stockholders. The companies may face legal troubles due to lost revenue and service disruption.

Likewise, the downtime may void contracts from missing shipment dates or service calls. The null contract will presents penalties.

It’s not only problems with the parent company, though.

The HealthCare.gov website sees downtimes during critical signup periods. Those unable to complete signup could face penalties due to health insurance mandates. The disruption affects the user and puts them in a legal bind. It ruins public perception of the service — even leading to litigation.

Playing Catch-Up

An e-commerce site heavily relies on logistics. A single disrupted day will create an enormous backlog. The company will need to switch to priority shipping. It’s a last-ditch effort to get products to their customers on the promised delivery date.

Imagine an e-commerce company like Steroid-Cheap (learn more to work along the example) gets hit by downtime. The downtime has customers missing their routine supplements. Customers would backlash because they’ve become disrupted in their strict goals.

Failure to deliver products on time inconveniences the customer. It will have them looking elsewhere for those products especially if it’s timely.

Brand Distrust

Show of hands for those willing to work with Equifax despite their multiple fails.

Not happening…

Equifax is one instance of a brand completely ruined due to site problems. Their lack of monitoring let hackers gain access to 145.5 million individual records. If they were competent with monitoring and best server practices then they may have deterred the problems.

Imagine this incident happening to your business — your brand would get ruined.

It’s impossible to recover the financial loss when the customer base loses its trust.

How to Monitor Your Server Uptime

It’s quite easy monitoring the server uptime with the right set of tools and services. Such as those provided by SiteUptime.com.

Here’s how the service works. Plus, what else you could do to reduce your chances of experiencing downtime.

Use a Monitoring Service

Monitoring services remove the tedious task of checking a website. Or, relying on visitors to alert the problems.

These services use multiple tiers depending on the needs of the site owner.

Standard and premium plans are recommended for sites requiring critical uptime performance. The premium tiers include regular check intervals that’ll alert if any problems exist. It also includes several important services like reporting and flexible contact updates.

Audit Performance

Evolving websites from years of updates become convoluted with legacy code. The fractured code becomes a house of cards. One error and it could go offline.

An audit policy will generate regular reports of the site performance. Graphs will trend the performance alerting the hosting provider and company of faults.

The information provided by the audits will allow the company to plan. It creates an understanding of the much-needed updates and/or a complete overhaul.

Set Alerts

Alerts are sent through different channels:

  • Emails
  • Texts
  • Phone calls

The level of service will dictate which options are available. Email is a standard channel provided by most. Texts and the rare phone call will provide faster awareness of downtime. This leads to the actions one takes to recover and reestablish server uptime.

Surviving the Potential Death Blow

Website hosting mention 99% uptime because it’s impossible to maintain operations without interruptions. Plenty of accidents result in the 1% downtime. This prevents hosting companies from declaring 100% uptime.

Meaning: Have a downtime game-plan.

The game-plan would include:

  1. Automatic backup recovery and DNS caching
  2. Switching or rerouting services
  3. Shifting work to off-site teams
  4. Notifying users and sever tech support

Will it handle all troubles of the downtime? Probably not, but it’ll certainly ease the pain and frustration. It could be the difference between a complete outage or a few minutes of inconvenience.

See why it’s so important to keep an eye on your server uptime?