There’s nothing more panic driving than when you find out your website is crashing. In today’s age of high-speed internet and ever-improving technology, online customers expect a lot from your website. They expect it to be attractive, they expect it to be responsive, they expect it to be fast, and at the very least, they expect it to be working!
Studies have shown that even a few seconds’ delay in page loading speeds will have your customers clicking away in droves. In a 2019 Unbounce survey, 70% of respondents admitted that slow page loading impacted their willingness to buy from a website.
So if your website goes down for an extended period or keeps repeatedly crashing during a browsing session, you can imagine the negative impact it could have on your business. Not only does it create a poor user experience for your customers, but your website crashing can also harm your credibility, your search engine rankings, and your revenue.
Let’s take a look at some of the main reasons your site might be crashing.
Your code is faulty
Behind all the beautiful graphics, menus and text on your website are thousands of lines of code that make your site look and operate the way it should. Unfortunately, it only takes one stray character to break your code. Remember when Amazon’s servers went down in 2017, taking sites like Quora, Slack and Expedia with them? The resulting four-hour outage caused S&P 500 companies to lose an estimated $150 million US. The cause was a simple typo. So, if you made updates to your site right before it started crashing, checking that code is a good place to start.
Your plugins are misbehaving so your websites crashing
Plugins are fantastic tools, for the most part. They help you easily add functionality and features to your site that improve user experience and website performance. But too many plugins can slow your site down, and if they don’t play nicely with each other or aren’t compatible with your site’s code, they can wreak havoc. Make sure that you only run reputable plugins that are essential to your site, and remember to keep them updated.
Your domain has expired
Domains usually expire annually, and it’s a simple process to renew them. But if you forget, your site will go down. You’ll usually get a reminder before this happens, but it’s a good idea to check that you haven’t overlooked it if your site suddenly goes completely offline.
Your web host is having problems
No hosting service has 100% uptime, although some come very close. Occasionally your host may experience server issues or run scheduled maintenance that temporarily takes your site down. If your site stops working for no apparent reason, it’s a good idea to check your host’s status to see if the issue is at their end. If it’s something that’s repeatedly happening, it’s probably time to look for a new host.
Your traffic is exceeding your site’s bandwidth limits
Depending on the features of your web hosting plan, you may have a cap on the amount of data or the number of page views you can use each month. If your visitor numbers regularly exceed these caps, it can be solved easily by upgrading your hosting plan. Sometimes a site will experience a one-off surge of traffic. New Zealand’s My Vaccine Pass site experienced problems on launch day because it mistook the huge amount of visitors for a denial of service attack! Speaking of which…
You’re website is crashing under attack
Unfortunately, there are plenty of cyber-baddies out there that can cause your site to crash, from brute-force and denial of service attacks to viruses and malware. Usually, this happens when millions of bots bombard your site at once, trying to break into the backend and causing it to crash. Check that your web hosting service offers protection from these attacks.