How to minimize website downtimes?
If you are proactive, you can minimize website downtimes. It’s best to try to be proactive to prevent anything that may go wrong with your website. But that doesn’t mean that one day you won’t have to deal with your website being down for one reason or another.
Working with countless clients over the years, we have helped businesses recover websites that were down for technical reasons or because someone forgot to renew their domain registration.
Is your website down? Contact us with any website related questions.
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Between managing our clients’ sites and helping other businesses on other hosts, we’ve built up a pretty hefty guide on diagnosing and fixing a website if it’s not working.
This guide will help you deal with website downtimes. It will give you ideas about what could cause a website to be down or unavailable. So, even if you don’t feel well-versed in website troubleshooting issues, our guide will help you.
You can always contact us if you are a small business owner with any website questions. But, if you want to manage your own website, we hope you find this guide helpful.
Website Down Due To Internet Connection
If you cannot connect to the internet, your site may seem down. But, if you can pull up other websites, you know the problem isn’t your internet connection.
So, if you get the “THIS SITE CAN’T BE REACHED” error, you should start by checking your internet connection. But the fact that you are reading this article right now shows that you have a working internet connection.
Reasons your website is down to internet connectivity issues:
- The DNS server is unable to point your browser to your website. Sometimes DNS servers fail. At other times DNS servers can be under attack. DDoS attacks are common online and will bring down DNS servers.
- Your website might be down due to your web host. Just like your laptop, tablet, or phone needs a connection to the internet to reach your website, so does the web server where your website is hosted. Unfortunately, many small business websites are hosted on some of the cheapest hosting accounts. The result is either a slow website or frequent website downtimes.
Can my website be down because of an expired domain name?
Often, websites are down because someone (You know who you are) forgot to renew the domain name.
If you let your domain name expire, don’t panic. You might be able to get your site online. If it hasn’t been a long time since your domain name has expired, you might be able to re-register it. But, if someone already has registered your domain name, you’re out of luck.
Unfortunately, we had several clients who failed to renew their domain name registration over the years. If that happens to you, your website will be down until you register a new domain name. This can be expensive because you might have to rebrand your business.
Websites are often down because of an expired domain issue. Many businesses think of domain name registration as a permanent registration, and they forget to renew their domain name. And by the time they realize it, their site is down.
So, don’t ignore your domain registrar’s “domain name expiration” emails. We recommend registering your domain name for five years, so you don’t have to worry about it yearly. Also, it’s best to schedule domain name registration renewal on your calendar if you don’t want your website down due to an expired domain name.
Can my website be down because of a DNS issue?
Your website can be down because of a DNS or Domain Name System issue. If you see the “website not found” error, there may be a problem with the DNS server.
DNS is a simple yet critical part of finding websites online. DNS servers can point your laptop, tablet, or phone to your website’s hosting server. But, if the DNS server is down or unreachable, people won’t be able to access your site.
The DNS server is responsible for resolving your domain name to a specific IP address, which is the unique identifier for your website. Each domain name points to a specific IP address. But, without the DNS server, your website will appear to be down. As a result, the browser will return an error.
We see this common problem when businesses change hosting companies. If you change your web host, make sure you input the correct DNS address in your registrar settings.
Is your website down? Contact us with any website related questions.
Can my website be down because of web server issues?
If your website is down due to web server issues, you might see the “500 Internal Server” error message. This common error message means that your site might be pointing to the right web server, but there are some issues with the web server.
Is my website down due to my hosting provider?
Your website could be down due to your hosting provider. Unfortunately, some hosting companies provide cheap but low-quality hosting. If your website is down, it’s best to check with your hosting company. There may be a server down or some other network issues.
Many hosting companies post information about the status of their servers. But, no issues are published on their website. You should call them or open a support ticket. When contacting them, ensure you provide the specific error message you see in your browser. The more details you provide, the better they can help you with your “site down issue.”
Is my website down because of the .HTACCESS file?
The .htaccess file is an important file that could bring your website down. Web designers often use the .htaccess file to send all site visitors to a specific page during site maintenance. The problem occurs when people forget to remove the forwarding to the “Site Maintenance” page.
If you aren’t familiar with the .htaccess file, it’s best to ask a web developer to help you.
Can file permissions bring my website down?
File and folder permissions can bring your website down. Each folder and file has permissions assigned. The permissions are shown as numbers.
The numbers indicate who has permission to do what on each file. You or someone else working on the web server could set the permissions to block “read” and “execute” for public user directories, and people online will get the dreaded 500 error.
If you look in your site’s file permissions, you should see them set to “755” or “644”. But if you aren’t sure how to set file permissions, don’t make any changes. To get help with file permissions, reach out to your web designer.
Your web designer should be able to confirm that the permissions are set correctly on all files.
Can PHP issues bring down my website?
PHP issues can bring down your website. One of the most common PHP problems is incompatibility. For example, your web developer may develop your website on one server, but when your site goes live on another server, there are problems.
Is my website down because of SSL issues?
Your website may be down because of SSL or Secure Socket Layer issues. If you see any of the following errors, your site may be down due to SSL issues:
- “Connection is Not Secure”
- “Your Connection is Not Private”
If you see any of the above error messages when accessing your website, SSL is not set up correctly. Modern browsers show an error message to protect website visitors from unsafe websites.
When SSL is incorrectly set up, the data between your browser and your website isn’t encrypted. Most of the time, SSL errors are caused by expired SSL certificates.
If you suspect an SSL issue with your website, you should contact your web designer or developer for help.
How do I fix a website that’s down?
- Check your internet connection – Can you pull up any other websites?
- Validate your SSL certificate. An expired SSL certificate may prevent your browser from displaying your website. Websites that aren’t https are considered unsafe.
- Confirm that your domain name hasn’t expired – Log into your domain registrar account to see if your domain registration is current.
- Check A record – Confirm that your DNS configuration is pointing to the IP address of your web server.
- Make sure your web server is online – You should check with your hosting company to get confirmation that your web server is online.
- Make sure there are no network issues – Your website might be down due to various network issues.
- Check the .htaccess file if your site is down.
- Confirm permissions are correct on the files and folders of your Public_html directory.
- Make sure there are no PHP compatibility issues.
- Slow-loading sites may seem down – Check with your hosting company if the web server might be overloaded.