How to prevent your small business WordPress website crashing

Protecting against loss is a major consideration for companies of all sizes and yet many SMEs forget to put measures in place to prevent their WordPress website crashing.

The most obvious result of website downtime is a loss of revenue from sales and leads. But it can also turn customers the way of your competitors, affect your employees’ productivity, damage your reputation and impact on your company’s image and brand.

Not to mention the fact that if downtime occurs too often, your website may be penalised in the search engine rankings for being unreliable.

And if you think it will never happen to you, think again. There are a range of reasons for websites crashing – from viruses to server maintenance – that can affect any site at any time.

So how do you ensure you’re aware of those times when your WordPress website crashes? How do you minimise the risk of it happening in the first place? And, when it does, how do you deal with it effectively?

Be proactive and have a plan

We’ve already pointed out that your website is bound to crash at some point in time, so make sure you’ve put plans in place for the moment when it does. You’ll need to do as much as you can to ensure that your business continues as close to normal as possible.

Use a good, reliable hosting service

This is crucial in managing your website’s downtime and giving you the support you need. Look for a provider that gives a 24/7 service and has an excellent track record of uptime. It may be a good idea to use one that specialises in WordPress sites.

Just remember to choose a service that meets your needs, whether or not it’s the cheapest option.

Using a managed hosting provider can also help you to manage your site overall. It gives you time to focus on running your business while leaving the host to deal with everything from updates to backups and plugins to suspicious activity.

Beef up your security

Keeping your site secure is key to minimising downtime and decreasing the likelihood of hackers, malware or malicious code entering your site. And improving your website’s security isn’t rocket science – there are some simple things you can do to make it harder for hackers to gain access. These include:

  • Tightening up your log-ins: Firstly, don’t use ‘admin’ as your log-in. And don’t choose basic, unsafe passwords; they may be easier to remember but it’s vital that businesses use complex passwords for any online activity
  • Making sure updates are installed automatically for every element of your site, including plugins.

Don’t forget your back-ups

Backing up your website should be considered alongside your security measures, with back-ups preformed on a regular basis. This ensures that you have a solid copy which can be used to restore your website in the event of your WordPress website crashing.

If nothing else, you should be backing up your WordPress database. Backups should always be stored remotely and should be encrypted for extra security.

Monitor the uptime

At a basic and obvious level, you should be checking your website’s uptime regularly. However, with the best will in the world, you’ll be unable to monitor your website 24/7. The best way of making sure your site doesn’t go down when you’re not looking is to use a hosting service that monitors it for you round the clock.

Improve your site speed

If your site loads slowly, it can give visitors the impression of downtime, even if that’s not actually the case. And even if it loads eventually, it doesn’t reflect well on your business and your visitors’ experience of your website.

There are a number of things you can do to improve your site’s speed. Read our post 5 ways to speed up your WordPress website for more tips on how to improve your WordPress loading speed.

Keep communication open

If the worst does happen and you don’t have the right level of support through your  hosting provider to get you up and running again quickly, it’s vital to acknowledge downtime quickly and give your site’s visitors an alternative means of contacting you. Use social media to let people know of any issues and to offer alternative communication methods.