Insureon Blog

Have a Website? Make Sure It Doesn't Crash

4. March 2015 08:15

dog at computer

It's 2015 – of course you have a website. For many small-business owners, their website is one of the first investments they make in their business, and rightfully so. Most people won't even know a business exists if it doesn't have some form of online presence.

If you sell products or services, chances are your website plays a key role in the sales process. If you run an ecommerce business, your website may be the only tool you have to close sales. In other words, there's a lot at stake when your website crashes.

Let's take a look at what we mean when we talk about "crashes" and how your business can mitigate the chance of one happening.

What Causes Website Crashes?

A crash can refer to any unplanned or unexpected downtime your website experiences (e.g., network failures, software glitches, or power loss). According to The Washington Post, crashes can be caused by…

For example, say your small business is the target of a denial of service attack. The cyber crook uses a botnet – i.e., a network of zombie computers infected with malware – to flood your website with traffic that exceeds its operating capacity, effectively shutting down your site.

What's in it for the hacker? The criminal demands that you pay a ransom if you want your site to run again. (Good thing Cyber Liability Insurance can cover that cost – read more about it here: "Cyber Insurance a "Necessity," Especially During the Holidays.")

Other crashes may be caused by less nefarious reasons: if a rush of customers visit your website to take advantage of Black Friday deals, the demand might be too much for your server to handle. When traffic exceeds what your server and hosting configuration was designed to handle, your website crashes.

Why Crashes Are Bad for Business

If you've planned an online sales event or product release, the goal is to get a lot of traffic to your website. But if your site doesn't have the capacity to handle that traffic, all your planning, marketing, and money may have been in vain.

Every minute that your website is down is a minute a potential client or customer moves on to a competitor whose site is working just fine. When you're a small-business owner, you don't just have to worry about corporate competitors – most of the time, you're competing with other small or local businesses. And if those businesses are better prepared than you, customers take notice.

Remember, the Internet has made smarter, pickier customers. The whole point of shopping online is convenience, and if your website isn’t responding, expect to lose money. Lots of it.

How to Curtail Website Crashes

Don't let a crash catch you off guard. Anticipate and plan not for the web traffic your site currently has, but what you want it to have in the future. Here are some ways to do that, according to the website development company Bop Design:

As a last note, if you have a fear of all things technical, consider hiring an IT professional to help you get your website in shape.

Tags:

Contractors | Freelancers | General | Home-Based Business | Small Business | Small Business Risk Management | Tips for All Small Businesses

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