Website downtime usually occurs while a company is redesigning its website, doing maintenance work, or resolving technical glitches. The server will be temporarily unavailable, making it impossible for anyone to access the website.
Going offline naturally comes with the risk of frustrating or even losing your customers, a reaction you should be prepared to accept. Who likes seeing that dreaded “Under Renovation” sign put up at your favorite corner store, anyway? Fortunately, with the website maintenance tools we have today, there are numerous ways to reduce downtime or even avoid it completely.
Even if you’re itching to replace that boring layout or try the shiniest website tools you’ve just discovered, never shut your website down without a solid plan. Are you prepared to roll out all those changes? How long will the downtime be? Will you have an alternative site put up for your valued guests? Study all the risks and find a way to minimize them.
Announce the Shutdown
Always keep your customers at the core of your business decisions. Moz suggests that you inform your visitors and search engines that it’s only a temporary shutdown. If you can’t provide a final date when you’ll be live again, use alternative means to communicate with them as you make progress.
Bear in mind that once you go live, search engines will automatically crawl your site and content, so it has to be flawless by then. Never go live if you haven’t perfected your updates, to avoid complications with your server.
It’s also wise to put up a new website on a different server so the maintenance doesn’t affect your rankings and hurt your company. Once you give your customers a reason to look elsewhere, you can’t guarantee their return.
Do the Maintenance Elsewhere
If you’re just changing some parts of your website, you can do that one at a time without having to take it down temporarily. In the ever-competitive and saturated digital landscape, it’s just not safe for a company to go offline anymore. Omni Media, a company specializing in website maintenance, recommends that you follow the codes so that search engines know that the shutdown is only temporary.
Downtime is sometimes necessary, especially if it’s meant to enhance user experience and attract search engines. But without proper planning, the results would be the opposite of what you want to achieve.