There are many reasons why websites go down. Your server may become overloaded, or you could have an equipment malfunction. You might experience data centre problems, or you might have forgotten to renew your domain name registration. Sometimes your site goes down because of issues connected to scheduled maintenance, or you could be the victim of a hacker. Regardless of the cause, you need to resolve the problem quickly, as downtime can have a negative impact on your business. Here are several of them.
You will receive a lower search engine rank
If your site is inaccessible, search engines will notice. If this is only an occasional occurrence, the consequences aren’t very severe. However, if downtime happens frequently, you will receive a lower ranking in search engine results.
User experience (UX) will suffer
It doesn’t matter how well designed your site is, how riveting your content is or how attractive your promotions are. If your site is down often or loads very slowly, all the effort you have spent developing an exceptional website will have been for nought. Visitors will not wait for a slow site to load or return to try to access your site if they find that it is down repeatedly. They will turn to your competitors, and you may have lost that customer for good.
Your brand will lose credibility
Visitors will associate a poorly performing website with poor performance in delivering your goods or services, and your brand will suffer. You could lose your credibility and get a poor reputation.
A recent survey conducted by Wirehive confirmed this point. Wirehive surveyed 1,000 UK consumers in January 2017. Of those surveyed, 68% said that would have a negative impression of a brand if its site were down when they tried to access it, and 57% said they would not buy from a brand that experienced excessive downtime. In addition, 45% of the respondents stated that they were unable to access a site from which they wished to make a purchase within the past week, and 55% of those surveyed said they were unable to access a site to check out a product or service during the past week.
Robert Belgrave, CEO at Wirehive, added: “It’s easy to assume that enjoying an online browsing session or checking out at an e-commerce platform will be plain sailing. This report has highlighted how a broken online journey can ruin your brand’s reputation and, worse still, dent your sales … get it right and your customers will have a satisfying experience.”
You will lose profits
Keep in mind that your website is the way you communicate with your customers, and every minute of downtime translates into a lost opportunity to make a good impression and make a sale. The impact of even a small amount of downtime can be significant. Market research firm Statista estimates that e-commerce revenues in the UK will total £440,772bn over the next five years. Even a downtime of only 0.1% would result in a revenue loss of £440bn over that period.
Downtime can be costly, so consider using a website monitoring service to notify you if your site goes down so you can take prompt corrective action.