There is nothing more heart stopping for a site owner than seeing that their website has been taken offline for some reason. Sometimes it’s not even your fault—your hosting company might be performing maintenance on their servers or is experiencing technical difficulties—but that doesn’t really make you feel any better about the situation. Every hour your website is offline the more damaging it is to your online business. Every wasted second means potential visitors can’t access your site even if they wanted to, which means your company has no way of making money online. Site’s that are down for an extended time might even find themselves facing serious SEO ramifications that can take a long time to overcome.
Here are three ways you can help prevent your website from going offline:
1. Register your domain name for at least five years.
You don’t own your domain name forever. The last thing you want to happen is wake up one morning and find that someone else has purchased your domain name—I’ve seen it happen! When registering your domain name, make sure you have it for at least 5 years. Personally, I think 10 years is an even better idea. If you are serious about building and growing your business you’ll probably be at it for at least the next decade. Schedule some kind of reminder down the road so you don’t forget when your domain registration is set to expire.
2. Make sure your credit card and contact information is up to date.
One of my former SEO clients called me in a panic one day because they had been locked out of their website by the hosting company. The registration period had ended and the credit card the hosting company had on file was no longer active so they couldn’t automatically renew the registration. Most hosting companies will try to get in contact with you long before registration or your credit card expires, but the person that was the contact on file was no longer with my client’s company. Their email account had been suspended so my client never got any notifications that their domain registration was set to expire! They had also changed phone numbers and failed to update their contact information with the hosting company. Because they forgot to keep tabs on their domain registration and the hosting company wasn’t able to get in touch they lost their website!
3. Create emergency tech support contact list.
Who you gonna call? IT! Everyone in your office should know who to contact in case your site goes down. Whether it is your web developer or hosting company, make sure that tech support contact list is accessible by everyone in your office. If you’re the only one who knows who to contact in case of a tech emergency, what happens if your site goes offline and you’re not in the office? You want to get your site’s technical problems fixed as quickly as possible.