Strategies to help you stay in control when your business website crashes

Thousands of shoppers were furious and unable to order Christmas presents as Amazon’s site had gone down, after experiencing problems. For any business, having your website go down can cause significant revenue losses if they are not properly prepared.

Here is what small e-commerce businesses can do if their site experiences similar issues.

Set up website downtime monitoring

Discovering your website is down during work hours can disrupt your daily activities. However, there are ways you can prepare yourself for any technological barriers.

By setting up website monitoring software, you can monitor the status of your website 24/7 to ensure that the site works smoothly in the background through real-time alerts.

The tool Freshping offers 50 checks at 1-minute intervals, allowing you to stay on top of any errors that can affect crucial subpages, like subscription forms or category pages.

Knowing potential issues can help you prevent your whole website from crashing.

Software designed to monitor a site can’t prevent the worst from happening, but it can offer peace of mind in helping to ease what would ultimately be an extremely stressful situation.

Immediately stop advertisements

If you have outgoing payments being made towards Google’s advertising system, be sure to pause them as soon as you recognise any issues with your website, otherwise you’ll continue to  spend unnecessary money that fails to gain you any online traffic.

Once you have logged into your Adwords account and paused all campaigns, you should also stop any social media advertising on social media websites including Facebook, Twitter, and any other platforms optimized for click-through rates or conversions.

It is critically important to also pause any automated email newsletter campaigns that might be previously scheduled as they will also direct traffic to your unavailable site.

Notify and reassure users

With online services relied upon daily by clients in selling a product or services to customers, letting users of your websites know that you’re experiencing an issue is important.

Explain what’s happened and reassure them that you are working towards getting things back working as quickly as possible. Once you have sourced the root of the problem, the quickest and most effective way to notify users is through your social media channels.

If you have an active social media presence, your clients and customers are most likely to check there first to seek out information, thus try and post as soon as possible.

If necessary, inform them how your website’s error could affect the delivery of their orders. You can contact your clients by email to reassure them that their private data is safe.

Create a backup site

Unfortunately, website crashes are beginning to happen on a more frequent basis, so it may be worth creating a backup website, allowing your users to retain access to your services.

It won’t save you from financial losses or fluctuation of traffic but allows you to communicate with clients, highlighting trustworthiness and dependability in a time of crisis.

A backup site doesn’t necessarily need to have the same functionality as the original website, and can simply contain static pages only. However, it is a great strategy to maintain your business’s basic functionalities whilst you are working on fixing your original website.

Utilize these handy tools going forward

It’s great to have a wide range of online accessibility within the digital world.

There are a variety of digital tools out there that can help you with some of the important aspects of your business, and help smooth things over when problems do occur.

From financing and marketing strategy to human resources, sales, and project management, there are several digital applications and tools that you can leverage, for example MailChimp, HubSpot, Google Analytics, LinkedIn Sales Navigator and Zoho Projects.

These tools ensure maximum organisation and control when something like this does occur.

Nick Drewe is the Founder of online commerce site Wethrift.